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CA, ALK, Mg=WTH?


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  1. #1
    MizTanks - Reefkeeper
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    Default CA, ALK, Mg=WTH?

    Well for the past 2yrs I've been using the API to do all my testing. I've been dosing ESV 2 part daily at 7.5ml. Have never dosed Mag. ( I do have some though) With the API my Ca=440~Alk=7.8~Ph=8.2

    I finally broke down and bought a new kit. RedSea Pro. A little more detailed for sure. Hopefully I'm reading the results right. If I am then my CA 500~alk 6.4~Mag 1100. Not anything like what the API test was telling me.

    I stopped dosing for a couple of days~did 5g WC. Tested again with same results. So 3 days ago I started dosing ESV Alk (only) at 10ml to slowly raise it. Testing everyday~As of tonight Alk still hasn't raised above 6.4. Tonight I also started to dose Mag at 20ml.

    What I was to know is...Am I dosing right amount to raise the Alk and Mag. And can the API really be that far off from the RedSea Pro?
    Last edited by MizTanks; 12-10-2011 at 10:03 PM.
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  2. #2
    EMUreef - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by MizTanks View Post
    Well for the past 2yrs I've been using the API to do all my testing. I've been dosing ESV 2 part daily at 7.5ml. Have never dosed Mag. ( I do have some though) With the API my Ca=440~Alk=7.8~Ph=8.2

    I finally broke down and bought a new kit. RedSea Pro. A little more detailed for sure. Hopefully I'm reading the results right. If I am then my CA 500~alk 6.4~Mag 1100. Not anything like what the API test was telling me.

    I stopped dosing for a couple of days~did 5g WC. Tested again with same results. So 3 days ago I started dosing ESV Alk (only) at 10ml to slowly raise it. Testing everyday~As of tonight Alk still hasn't raised above 6.4. Tonight I also started to dose Mag at 20ml.

    What I was to know is...Am I dosing right amount to raise the Alk and Mag. And can the API really be that far off from the RedSea Pro?
    -With your mag that low its hard to keep calc and alk where you want it, all three work in tandem together. So dosing alk is gonna really do you no good untill your mag is at a normal level. as far as how much to dose and what the right dose is, is hard to say. i would kick up mag to maybe 40ml, you can really dose up to 100ml of mag but with your size tank might just raise it really high really fast so 40ml might be good.

    -Can your test kits be that different? yes, the api test could be bad/old. API has been known for having very sub par test kits.

  3. #3
    MyNemesis - Reefkeeper
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    I agree with EMU Reef. Keeping magnesium a little high helps to keep the calcium where it needs to be which is essentially a "supersaturated" solution and helps to keep the carbonate hardness where it belongs. It is a delicate balance, so when you have the dosing regimen down, stick to it religiously. Magnesium should be 1100 - 1300 ppm (I keep mine at 1450 or so) and the Tech M helps control some nuisance algaes. Calcium between 350 to 450 ppm and 8 to 11 on the dKH. I also agree with your approach to bringing up your dKH. Dosing a little extra magnesium should help you get where you want more quickly.

  4. #4
    MizTanks - Reefkeeper
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    Even though I was off reading the results...I wasn't off by much aside from the Ca which is actually 420~ My Alk is at 6.4. and Mag is 1320. So from what you's have said I actually don't need to dose Mag and continue to dose Alk at 10ml?
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  5. #5
    MyNemesis - Reefkeeper
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    Sounds like a plan, Jamie. It's too bad you don't have a local fish store like Preuss here in Lansing that does water testing for free. It is great to have a double check on test results and I am afraid I'm a bit spoiled. Most of the time I just go there for testing. Some of those tests are so hard to read anyway.
    Likes MizTanks liked this post

  6. #6
    MizTanks - Reefkeeper
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyNemesis View Post
    Sounds like a plan, Jamie. It's too bad you don't have a local fish store like Preuss here in Lansing that does water testing for free. It is great to have a double check on test results and I am afraid I'm a bit spoiled. Most of the time I just go there for testing. Some of those tests are so hard to read anyway.
    Well I finally found an awesome sight where a guy does the test step by step and show's how to read them!! I've got it down pat now Our LFS us the API
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  7. #7
    bluwc - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    I just wish rk our someone would invent accurate probes for monitoring alk, ca, mg, sg, ph, etc....would make it just a lot easier on everyone. Hook them up to dosing pumps....ah how sweet that would be
    Likes Tom Toro, Sir Patrick, MizTanks liked this post

  8. #8
    MyNemesis - Reefkeeper
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    I think Hanna has an alkalinity test like the digital phosphate deal. Costs a little more cause you have to pay for the vial of reagent but a digital readout is great when you are trying to figure out how much blue there is or how purple something is.

  9. #9
    Sir Patrick - Reefkeeper A2 Club Coordinator
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyNemesis View Post
    I think Hanna has an alkalinity test like the digital phosphate deal. Costs a little more cause you have to pay for the vial of reagent but a digital readout is great when you are trying to figure out how much blue there is or how purple something is.
    Its true- and about as close to simple as it gets!

    ---------- Post added at 01:30 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:28 AM ----------

    Jaime-

    It is unclear, after reading, what you are trying to do.

    What alk and mag levels are you trying to maintain?

    Dont worry about your calc levels right now, as long as they are in an acceptable level.

  10. #10
    binford4000 - Reefkeeper
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    Good advice John,I would get that mag up in the 1400 to 1500.Increaseing your mag will not hurt your corals and it helps keep your two part seperated for easier absorbtion for your corals,I would bring the alk up slowly.Alk is the measurement of the ability of the Ph to buffer so it's important to keep it up in atleast the 8 dkh area.I try to keep mine at the posted level of the salt mix so it will perform as advertised,Once ya get things leveled out resume your normal doaseing habits. Andrew Calfo writes allot about the test kit issue you experienced and it is very common to find extreme diffrences in the brands and how quickly they go bad.I find his recomendation of looking at the habitants and comparing the results to their apperance and behavior.If both are positive indicators stay with that brand I like the idea of the digitals tho and plan to get some to try em out.They work by measuring the clarity of the water sample after the reagent is added,So it has a base of the sample before and after so it should be more accurate then my old eyes LOL
    Likes MizTanks liked this post

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