Thanks all for the helpful insights. First, let me say that this has been an issue for several years and I've tried a variety of things to no avail. So, my responses are not trying to be "Debbie Downer-ish".
Thanks taking the time for such a through post (twice even!). I agree with all that you've said. I think getting the test kits needs to be my next step. That way I can get more data, look for trends and try to get this dialed in.
In the past I used just the two part (>2 years) and couldn't keep up with "demand" so I added the kalk in hopes of switching to just that. But after a week of just kalk the levels were crazy low (alk 6 and Ca in the low 300's). So, now I do both and still can't raise the levels. I started with a just little two part and eventually got back to original dosing levels.
As per the second post... I totally agree that I'm dosing too much alk but even with all I'm dosing I can't get the levels where I want them to be or maintain low levels without the current dosing regiment. That's what's so frustrating!
Third post, 50 gallon DT and 20 long refugium/sump. A good mixture of corals. Several large LPS
: baseball size favia, >8" diameter turbinaria, large Euphyllia, large caulastrea, Two Tridacna spp. ~8" each, a few SPS
: softball size pocillopora, few small montipora spp. (not been doing well lately due to Ca/alk) and a bunch of softies. Check out my Member's Tank thread, the link is in my signature. Wow, after that list I can see why demand might be on the high end.
Jim and Ray,
I do dose Mg
and last check (couple of weeks ago) the levels were in the proper range.
Thanks for the kalk and ATO advise. The separate dosing was a suggestion by the LFS, as they though that dosing the two parts one-after-the-other may have been causing them to precipitate rather than remain in solution. It has not helped that I can tell.
I agree that this much dosing should be raising the levels but it seems that the alk is building up/precipitation rather than staying in solution. I should also mention that build-up on plumbing, impellers, and bio-balls is also off the charts.
I'll get the Mg
tested soon. The levels are usually good but it still may be playing a role.