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Old 01/24/2013, 03:06 PM   #51
Mark SF
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Good info thanks for taking the time.

I read in Coral magazine that the phosphates eventually with absorb into the substrate and the live rock. They recommend after a few years to actually remove the substrate and replace it section by section. It was also recommended to replace live rock as well because of this issue, based on a similar method of a little at a time.

I believe it was in the January edition, free for me on my iPad. Titled "Old Tank Syndrome"

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Old 01/27/2013, 12:48 AM   #52
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Down and dirty post. I read it about a year ago and enjoyed hitting it again.


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Old 01/28/2013, 01:06 AM   #53
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excellent write up. thanks for taking the time.


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Old 01/30/2013, 11:11 AM   #54
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nice!


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Old 02/09/2013, 10:54 PM   #55
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Quote:
The second reading is your Calcium level. It should be between 420 and 500. Below that---your snails' shells start dissolving. And your fish's bone and muscle suffer.
Sk8r, Natural sea water calcium concentration is between 380ppm and 420ppm depending on who you're reading ... I had no idea that my snails and fish were at risk through keeping my calcium levels in the range 400-450ppm. Do you have a source for these claims, please ? Randy "suggest[s] that aquarists maintain a calcium level between about 380 and 450 ppm." [source: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/rhf/index.php ]


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Old 02/11/2013, 11:38 AM   #56
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Parameters

Hello
I have a mixed reef. I am primarily SPS, but do have some LPS. I have lots of fish. I use tropic Marin Reef Pro and here are my parameters. I also run a calcium reactor.
Salinity 1.025
Ph 8.1
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite=0.2
Nitrate =0.5
Phosphate 0.5 ( Just switched from BRS GFO to Rowaphos yesterday)
Ca= 470
Alk = 11
Mag 1100

I am working on getting my phos down, I hope that the Rowaphos does a better job than the BRS GFO.

How do I go about getting my Alk down, I realize I need to work on getting my mag up to 1300
Overal my parameters are pretty good.


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Old 02/16/2013, 08:59 PM   #57
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Thanks for this

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Old 03/15/2013, 05:59 PM   #58
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Regarding snails: if you start getting much lower, you'll find holes in your snail shells. Clams and corals, snails, aragonite, all dissolve as the water balance gets wonkier. If you want stony corals to grow, keep the calcium at 420. If you don't have stony coral you can go lower, but keeping it at that level keeps it 'available' on call, and a feeding stony can take down an amazing amount of calcium in a single day, enough that it will stress other creatures in the tank and cause problems. Mg/cal/alk exist in a balance. If you keep the mg up and keep providing calcium at 420, the system will stay bulletproof for months.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge lps reef: 3 firefish, yellowhead jawfish, yellow watchman, 3 chromis, tailspot/starry blennies, pink margin fairy wrasse, mandarin, kalk, radion pro, gyre, Eshopps s-200 skimmer, basement sump.
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Old 03/15/2013, 06:01 PM   #59
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In my experience, re GFO, it just works, and I use Phosban when I need it. These others are good, too.
It may take several months, and some GFO media changes to get a bad load sopped up. Don't overdo. Many creatures besides algae rely on a little.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge lps reef: 3 firefish, yellowhead jawfish, yellow watchman, 3 chromis, tailspot/starry blennies, pink margin fairy wrasse, mandarin, kalk, radion pro, gyre, Eshopps s-200 skimmer, basement sump.
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Old 03/15/2013, 08:50 PM   #60
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"And the reason not to use conditioned tapwater? City water grows plants. Algae. A lot of it. The conditioners don't remove phosphate."

Just to be clear. RO water is ok. Your saying don't use tap water and then buy conditioners to fix it?


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Old 03/15/2013, 09:12 PM   #61
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Thanks for the great write-up!


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Old 04/08/2013, 02:04 PM   #62
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8r View Post
I'm going to start very slow, very basic, and work toward the lesser known things.

1. your salt mix is not just salt. It's dry seawater. And that means not only salt, it's calcium, magnesium, iodine, selenium, boron---read the label on your salt mix.

2. evaporation never evaporates the minerals. It only evaporates the water.

3. animals and plants suck up part of the minerals. So TWO actions unbalance your tank---evaporation increases the mineral concentration---and animals and plants take the minerals they need and leave what they don't. This means certain minerals run lower and lower and certain ones don't---they just pile up. As you add more fresh ro/di (water that's ONLY hydrogen and oxygen, with NO minerals) your tank gets no more minerals. And your shortage of what the animals and plants are using most gets bigger and bigger. Water changes, 20% a month, replenish the missing minerals, but they're alway playing catchup.

4. Salt mixes are NOT all the same. Reef salt contains a high amount of what corals need AND what fish need. Marine salt for fish-onlies is lower in calcium and other minerals. That's why the price difference.

5. Now---the nitty gritty of chemical balance in your tank. First, the balance is set by your salt brand. The more you mess with that, the worse your water. Translation: don't go dumping supplements into your tank unless you've got the corresponding test. They don't sell these things together because they don't run out at the same rate, but your lfs should stress, with every supplement---you need a test. And you need a logbook. If you turn up a shortage, you dose until you put the RIGHT amount into your tank, with a little leeway; and you test again next week to figure out how fast that's running low. And you dose to stay in the 'good zone', NOT as make-up after your water's gone wonky. Dose to the TREND of the numbers, the way when you're balancing something in your hands, you don't let it swing way to one side before you correct it back to center. There is NO one answer to these things. Every tank is different. And staying in the center of a 'good numbers' zone is best: that gives you a little leeway in either direction.

6. THREE readings go in 'lock' to keep your water good. These three are: the alkalinity of your water, the amount of calcium in your water, and the amount of magnesium in your water. Those of you with freshwater experience are used to tracking PH. Alkalinity is the thing most reefers track. Get it between 8.3 and 9.3 on the KH scale, and don't angst over the ph.
The second reading is your Calcium level. It should be between 420 and 500. Below that---your snails' shells start dissolving. And your fish's bone and muscle suffer. The third reading is Magnesium. All you people who want coralline to grow---just keep this one at 1300. But it does a lot more than supply coralline. It LOCKS the other two readings in a 3-way balance. Keeping everything in that relationship will make everything happy.

7. Remember that business about plants and animals using up minerals? Calcium and magnesium are the ones animals use bigtime. Plants---use phosphate and nitrate. Yes, even those chemicals are useful. Plants grow like mad with phosphate. Grow them in your sump, divide the mass in half periodically and get rid of it, and you've just tossed a lot of phosphate and nitrate. That's what a fuge does. And the reason not to use conditioned tapwater? City water grows plants. Algae. A lot of it. The conditioners don't remove phosphate.

8. Dosing: you must dose to keep your calcium supply up if you have stony coral OR clams. Hand-dosing is just fine if you don't. You should be able to keep up with the mineral consumption problem if you have fish and softies, including anemones. Just stay in the target range, and do your water changes.

If you have, or want to have, stony coral, you need to get onto that calcium situation the minute you put them in the tank. They come in 'asleep'. Given good lighting (a requirement for stony coral) and correct chemistry---they'll put out a finger to feel the water. And they'll start waking up. Hungry---because they've not eaten in a while. And what they want is calcium. A lot of it. They'll suck it right out of your salt mix, until your snail shells start dissolving. So you have to put it in. 3 little coral frags can take heaping teaspoons worth of calcium supplement---daily---and at nearly twenty dollars a jar, this could get ruinously expensive. But there ARE cheap ways to give them what they need. Kalk drips are the cheapest. They can fully supply a 50-60 gallon packed reef. Above that you get into calcium reactors, which can supply much larger reefs. There is also the Balling method. And the 2-Part. Tank size and coral load will determine what you need.

9. aging tank: reading all this should tell you that the older a tank gets, the more little imbalances and shortages it accumulates. Age has benefits, but it also has problems. I recommend, at least every couple of years, an aggressive program of semi-weekly 20% water changes, so you can sort of re-set the balance. It's my own notion, but I think it does a bit to replenish the things far down the list of reef-salt ingredients.



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Old 04/08/2013, 02:04 PM   #63
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Very helpful.thx


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Old 04/11/2013, 07:10 PM   #64
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Awesome write up! You just explained a reason for a few problems that recently turned up. Thanks, K


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Old 05/27/2013, 08:42 PM   #65
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This made things easier. I like when people put things easy just makes it easy to follow and understand. Hint Im a newbie lol


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Old 05/28/2013, 11:51 AM   #66
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I wish someone had provided me this concise summary years ago. Thank you for sharing, this is very helpful.


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Old 06/11/2013, 11:39 AM   #67
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Thats good pointers.


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Old 06/19/2013, 10:05 PM   #68
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Great read. Thanks!!!


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Old 07/19/2013, 09:36 AM   #69
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Nice write up. So theoretically, if I only have a few soft corals, I shouldn't have to dose if I keep up on my water changes with a good reef salt, right?


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Old 07/30/2013, 06:26 PM   #70
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You know, this article made me look at things in a different way. I've had reefs for 18mo and specialised in water chemistry at university but this is, by far, the best explanation of a reef tank!


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Old 08/04/2013, 08:32 AM   #71
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Thanks for the thread i knew the parameters but not all the reasons and the very simple facts you've described , very good read. Will make my reefing easyer now and even more enjoyable. Thanks for all your good threads by the way.


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Old 08/13/2013, 01:01 AM   #72
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To OP:
What is your view on ORP? I've noticed that keeping it level has been more beneficial than anything. When other parameters are good and something looks off it is usually my ORP reading that is out of whack.
(First post on the first thread I read.)


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Old 08/18/2013, 10:46 PM   #73
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Great info! Before reading this, I would fuss over 7.8-8.0 pH readings and was concerned that using baking soda to slowly raise my low Alk would drop pH out of range but guess I should not worry too much if Alk is good.


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Old 08/24/2013, 08:27 AM   #74
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Thanks for the reminder!


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Old 09/05/2013, 12:39 AM   #75
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Not that you need one more, but thank you for taking the time to share this information. It will probably be for some time, something simple and stable to refer to.


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