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View Full Version : High alk? Or bad test kit?


ethuman
09/24/2017, 11:37 AM
I haven't run any tests in a while because everything in the tank seems to be just fine with my weekly water changes but tested today just because and my alk is through the roof!!!!
Red Sea tests
Alk 14+
Mag 1420
Ca 420
Could i just be getting a bad reading? Test kit is not expired
Second I'm getting a nitrate reading around 50 with salifert test kit which i have been trying to get down with weekly water changes. I'm running a reef octopus skimmer that doesn't get a ton of skimmate so maybe I'm not running it correctly. Pics attached...
Any advice would be appreciated

mcgyvr
09/24/2017, 12:34 PM
I'm not seeing any pics but skimmers don't remove nitrates.. They remove proteins that can later break down into nitrates but they do nothing for existing nitrates present in the water.. But you likely just have it turned down too much and should adjust it..

As to alk...
It could be correct or it could be a bad reading..

What salt mix are you using?
Many have elevated alk levels normally..
If you have a salt mix that is high in alk then there you go.. if not take a sample to your local fish store for a second result

ethuman
09/24/2017, 01:24 PM
Sorrry they didn't load ill try again

ethuman
09/24/2017, 01:26 PM
I use RC for salt. If i have high nitrates shouldn't they have come from proteins which should have been skimmed out prior to becoming nitrates?
Doing my usual 20g water change today so i will test again tomorrow to see if there is any change.

mcgyvr
09/24/2017, 01:44 PM
I use RC for salt. If i have high nitrates shouldn't they have come from proteins which should have been skimmed out prior to becoming nitrates?
Doing my usual 20g water change today so i will test again tomorrow to see if there is any change.

RC salt is high in alk usually mixes up to 13dkh so there may be some measurement error on your part too.
or
Are you adding/dosing anything? and PH buffers? they will increase alk too and really shouldn't be used..
But in general reef crystals is made for tanks that are heavily stocked with corals and really isn't the best choice for one that isn't..

Skimmers are at best 30% efficient and will not effectively handle nitrate issues on their own..
Do you test for phosphates too? you might be overfeeding..

You might want to look into carbon dosing (vinegar is fine) to help with your nitrate issues..

ethuman
09/24/2017, 03:26 PM
I am not dosing or adding anything. I run carbon and gfo in a bars reactor but that's it. I haven't checked for phosphates but maybe i should pick up a test kit this week...

thomas.torode
09/24/2017, 03:38 PM
Yea I had this same problem when I started using RC just the past few days. Maybe we both just got bad batches.
What test kits are you using?

ethuman
09/24/2017, 04:43 PM
Red Sea for mag ca and alk. Salifert for nitrates