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Old 12/28/2017, 06:55 PM   #1
jsteinmeyer
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Depleted Alkalinity; Off the Charts Calcium?

Hoping to get some help understanding on what to do here. I have a mixed reef (No fish currently) doing well but my routine tests had me trumped today. My Alkalinity was practically depleted, less than the low 5.3 dkh on the Red Sea test kit. Only .25ml of the Alk titrant was used in the test and was tested twice.

Meanwhile calcium, which I understand isn't likely related to my depleted alkalinity, used an entire syringe plus an additional 0.4ml for a total reading well over the 500ppm for a full 1ml of titrant! I must note my pH is lower than I'd prefer, wavering from 7.8 to 8.0.

Can anyone help explain what might be going on? How can I slightly increase pH and Alk and potentially decrease what's going on with the Ca?

Other tank specs:
~40 gallon total system, 7 months old
Currently running Bio-Balls that helped reduce nitrates (Could this be my issue?)
Running Kalkwasser in top off
All other levels in check including Mg, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphates


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Old 12/28/2017, 07:06 PM   #2
bertoni
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A bit of baking soda will fix the alkalinity problem. I'd dry dosing 1 dKH in the morning, and then checking the dKH in the evening. The tank might consume up to 2-3 dKH per day, so raising the level might require some large doses. This calculator will help with the amount:

http://reef.diesyst.com/chemcalc/chemcalc.html

I'd be careful about large doses if the tank has any touchy stony corals. They might get cranky.

With respect to the calcium level, I'd check the levels in some freshly-mixed saltwater. Some mixes come with very high levels, and then there's issues with bad batches of salt. The calcium level is very unlikely to cause problems. You can use two syringes and add the results if you'd like a firm number for the level.


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Old 12/28/2017, 07:07 PM   #3
josephxsxn
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So I don't use bioballs so I can't speak for if your problem is the same overall root cause or not. I run a sulfur denitrantor and it consumes ALK at an unbalanced rate to the amount of Calcium added with Kalk. I only use Kalk for calcium addition today, and evently I'll get calcium to 500 and ALK to 7. Once this happens I just use seachem reef builder in place of my Kalk solution and boost only ALK while not adding calcium...


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Old 12/28/2017, 08:03 PM   #4
bertoni
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Sorry, I missed the question about the bio-balls. They will not consume alkalinity directly, but water changes that remove nitrate also remove some alkalinity. The effect overall should be fairly small:

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-12/rhf/index.htm

Most likely, you're just seeing normal consumption. Many tanks consume 2-3 dKH per day.


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Old 12/29/2017, 05:26 AM   #5
timnem70
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Dumb question but I did the same when I got the Red Sea a long time ago. You used 10ml of tank water for the Test right? Make sure that's not the problem before dosing. It would still be low but in the 5-6 dkh range with your result. Just thinking aloud. Other than that, what is your Magnesium level? Getting that stable will go a long way in the other falling in line. The others questions are also important to consider

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Old 12/29/2017, 06:41 AM   #6
josephxsxn
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I keep my mag around 1400-1500 typically using the RedSea Mag Pro test, but also have done some ICP to confirm my battery of tests. Every once in a while I'll end up with a week of dosing mag to raise it back.

Stability is king, so long as your test keeps giving you the same number you can use it as a guide so long as its not to dramatically far off. For example my RedSea kit is always about 50-100ppm lower in mag readings then the ICP test.. Not enough to matter to baddly in this case so long as I keep trying to hold it around 1450.

I keep my Alk now a days between 7-9...


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