cant get my alkalinity to rise

Beemo

Moved On
my alk number are low, 1.7 meg/l
ive been adding seachems reef builder every day for the past few days, it only got it raised by a tiny bit, about 1.9 meg/l

should i double the dose? or will this little bit in time raise it to about 4.0 meg/l ?

my calcium is 480 test is aqua pharm.
ph is 8.3 and steady
i use instant ocean salt
alk test is red sea

i tested the IO salt that i mixed in a water change bucket and it had the same 1.7 meg/l reading.
so is IO low in alk?
i then did another test on my new one week old 55 gallon and i got the same alk reading of 1.7 meg/l
i used 2 different bags from different stores on each tank, so i know the bags cant be faulty.

also when and if i finally get my alk higher, how would i go about changing the water if the alk straight from a freshly sw mix is alk 1.7 meg/l ??
can i add the reef builder to the sea water mix? or wait until after the water change to balance things out??
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Test magnesium in your tank. It should be 1200-1300. If it's low, you won't be able to raise alk. If you use something like Kent's mg supplement----I don't know what the result might be if you've been frontloading alk buffer and then bring the mg. up too suddenly.

Anybody?
 

Beemo

Moved On
ohh i dont have a mag test kit
i added some reef advantage calicium the other day, it says it has mag in it.
i checked seachem reef builder ingredients and it too has magnesium...not sure if this makes a difference in my case though
 

jdieck

New member
Although Magnesium level shall be at 1250 to 1300 ppm for more stable Calcium making precipitation less likely, magnesium does very little to boost either Calcium or Alkalinity.

I will start by verifying the alkalinity measure. IO is usually 3.5 to 3.7 meq/lt which makes me doubt the test.

If the low alkalinity is confirmed you need to increase the amount of supplement taking care not to exceed PH more than 0.2 or higher than 8.4 in each application
If Reefbuilder increases your PH too much then use plain good old Bakins Soda.
use the chemistry calculator to determine the amount to add:
http://jdieck1.home.comcast.net/chem_calc3.html

Also check your Calcium level and use a calcium supplement if required (Calcium Chloride Kent's Turbocalcium, ESV Ca Chloride or such)
Tech-M as stated above will be a good mean to only increase Magnesium
 

jdieck

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7532670#post7532670 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Beemo
ohh i dont have a mag test kit
i added some reef advantage calicium the other day, it says it has mag in it.
i checked seachem reef builder ingredients and it too has magnesium...not sure if this makes a difference in my case though
The amount of magnesium in those produce it is very little, just usually maintenance levels to make a significant change but if you can test for it the better.

In any case, your Calcium level is perfect if not a little high so I would not bother about Calcium or Magnesium for the time being. Verify your Alkalinity level and adjust as mentioned above.

Once the Calcium and Alkalinity are at acceptable level try selecting a balanced additive for maintenance purpose. Two part additives, Kalk dripping or Randy's formula will be some examples.

You will also need a Magnesium kit.
 

Beemo

Moved On
thnx
so IO does have a decent alk level
i have a feeling its this test
i will order a new one tonight (dif brand) and i wont add anything else to my tank until i get another reading
ill re-post sometime next week with my new reading (pray its not the same)
all the stores here just sell red sea, and from what ive been reading about red sea seems like they arent very good or accurate
 

jdieck

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7532722#post7532722 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Beemo
thnx
so IO does have a decent alk level
i have a feeling its this test
i will order a new one tonight (dif brand) and i wont add anything else to my tank until i get another reading
ill re-post sometime next week with my new reading (pray its not the same)
all the stores here just sell red sea, and from what ive been reading about red sea seems like they arent very good or accurate
A week might be too long to wait if your alkalinity is really that low. I will suggest take a water sample to be tested at your local fish store.
Salifert or LaMotte are good kits for Alkalinity, Salifert for Calcium and Magnesium will be my choices.
IO is usually low in Calcium and Magnesium but not Alkalinity. You can boost the levels of the newly mixed water before you add it to the aquarium.
 

Beemo

Moved On
i did the calculator and it says i need
0.9 tsps; 5.4 grms; 0.1 oz

now im really bad at math lol i have no clue what 0.9 tsps would be
ive been adding 1/8 tsp everyday for the past 3 days, yesterday i added 1/4 tsp in the morning, tested and still got 1.7
then last night i added another 1/4 tsp and got a slightly higher reading about 1.8 or 1.9 meq/l

for fun i sprinkled some reef builder in the test tube to see what it read, and yep turned a nice blue reading about 3.0
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
You may have just been adding too little.

How much would that 0.9 teaspoon boost alkalinity for you?

You may still have a bad test kit, but if the calculated boost is to about 2.5-3 meq/L, I'd dissolve 1 teaspoon buffer in some fresh water and add it all at once.

Then measure alkalinity 1 hour later.
 

Beemo

Moved On
oh im sorry i forgot to add that part, the desired would be 3.5 meq/l

so adding a full tsp wont harm my inverts or fish?
it says it doesnt alter ph so thats good in a way i think
i didnt notice any ill effects the past few days while i was adding this product, infact i think the corals looked more perky, they became more erect especially my star polyps
 

Beemo

Moved On
okee i just added half tsp and i got the reading up to 2.8 meq/l
yippee thats a start
i was a bit afraid to add the whole tsp at once so is it ok if i add the second half tomorrow? will that raise it higher??
i added it before i read this post other wise i would have went with the full tsp
it clouded the tank for about 15 mins no biggy tho, its nice and clear again
im just so happy i finally got an increase!
i re-tested my ph and calk, the calk is the same 480ppm the ph went up slightly to 8.5, still decent tho
:)
 

jdieck

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7535870#post7535870 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Beemo
it clouded the tank for about 15 mins no biggy tho, its nice and clear again

You can add the rest tomorrow. Just in case you did not, insure is well disolved in some RO/DI water and add it to a high flow area of the tank. Do not add the powder to the aquarium water.
 

Beemo

Moved On
thnx
yep i added it to a cup of RO water, i let it sit for a few minutes, then i added it to the high flow area little by little over the course of 10-15 minutes
:)
i ordered an iodide test kit too, and seachems iodide. i cant wait to see what this brings lol
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

Reef Chemist
Premium Member
okee i just added half tsp and i got the reading up to 2.8 meq/l
yippee thats a start
i was a bit afraid to add the whole tsp at once so is it ok if i add the second half tomorrow? will that raise it higher??


Sounds good. Yes, you can add all that you need. :)

I'm not a fan of adding iodine as I do not believe it is useful. These articles have more:

Iodine in Marine Aquaria: Part I
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/mar2003/chem.htm

Iodine in Reef Tanks 2: Effects on Macroalgae Growth
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/april2003/chem.htm
 

Beemo

Moved On
im a bit confused by iodine and iodide. seachems iodide claims
"This is a concentrated stabilized potassium iodide source of iodide that will not convert to toxic free iodine under storage or reef conditions"
my mushroom corals look crappy, and i read here and there that they perk up using this product.
my other corals look great its just mushrooms i have trouble with and i cant figure out why
 

Sk8r

Staff member
RC Mod
Beemo, your mushrooms will look a lot happier when you get that alkalinity where it needs to be. For them, current conditions are like you bathing in lemon juice: not pleasant and a bit acid.
 
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