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Old 08/10/2007, 09:51 AM   #57
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Hamilton, Canada
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Originally posted by JB NY
First you need to understand that the test kits we use are not 100% accurate. A kit that costs under $50 is pretty good but I think that real labs use stuff that cost 10x what we pay. but mostly stable to me means that it is around the same. You should also get in the habit of testing around the same time. So if you test every day you should do it at the same time of day.

If had to give some +/- I would say

Alk +/- 0.5
Ca +/- 20
Mg +/- 30

Here are my records for about 1 1/2 years of taking monthly readings.

11/30/2003 Ca:430 Alk:10.2 Mg:1200
12/09/2003 Ca:420 Alk:10.2 Mg:1250
01/06/2004 Ca:415 Alk: 9.4  mg:1300  
02/06/2004 Ca:440 Alk: 8.6  Mg:1200 
02/17/2004 Ca:440 Alk: 8.4  mg:1350 
03/20/2004 Ca:470 Alk: 8.4  Mg:1320 
04/21/2004 Ca:460 Alk: 8.6  Mg:1350 
06/23/2004 Ca:490 Alk: 7.7  Mg:1320 
07/28/2004 Ca:470 Alk: 8.6  mg:1350 
09/03/2004 Ca:480 Alk: 10.9 Mg:1390 
10/07/2004 Ca:480 Alk: 10.6 Mg:1390  
11/03/2004 Ca:550 Alk: 9.6  mg:1350
12/08/2004 Ca:470 Alk: 8.4  Mg:1320
02/06/2005 Ca:470 Alk: 7.7  Mg:1320

I started keeping my alk lower and Ca higher in Dec 2003. The spike in sept 2004 is from being lazy for the summer. But no problems happened because of it.
very helpful--thanks
I am not clear on the symantics here-----I gather you are receiving accurate results monthly---but how often are you testing and dosing---I am using the same dosing chemcals as you stated you are using---once a week.
I have a reefing buddy--who uses the two part system and doses everynight --I was just tank sitting for the last week--he has two plastic cups with the lines marked on it for daily using and I think he monitors it once a week. personally I prefer to test and then dose----so to state a clear question to you:
If ph alk ca and mg are stable----do they remain stable for the week (taking into consideration that the two tanks I mentioned above are 10 and 8 months old)

I prefer my substrates stirred but not shaken

Current Tank Info: 150gal long mixed reef, 90gal sump, 60 gal refugium with 200 lbs live rock
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