Help with Levels

Sacohen

New member
Below are my levels from last week 3/9/13 and this week 3/17/13.

Date 3/9/2013 3/17/2013
Salinity 1.026 1.026
Amonia 0 ppm 0 ppm
Ph 7.8 7.8
Nitrites 0 ppm 0 ppm
Nitrates 0 ppm 0 ppm
Phosphates 0.03 ppm 0.08 ppm
Calcium 450 ppm 500 ppm
Alkalinity 9.0 dKH 9.8 dKH
Magnesium 1360 ppm 1440 ppm


I have not added anything to my tank in terms of trace elements, Liquid Calcium.
The only thing I did was a 10% water change on 3/10 with natural sea water from my LFS.

Would that be enough to raise my Calcium, Alk and Mag?
I know the Mag was at the high end of the suggested limited at 1360 so 1400 is not to good.

Any help is appreciated.
 

blanden.adam

Team RC
Well, it all depends on what the levels in the water used for the water change are. If it was very high in calcium and magnesium, than sure it could. Out of curiosity, what test kits are you using and how many times did you test for each value?

That said, those levels are fine. They are higher than the average natural sea water levels, but that doesn't mean they aren't reasonable for an aquariu. 500 ppm for calcium is about as high as I'd be comfortable with it, but not scary. 1360 ppm is not the upper limit of magnesium, 1440 is perfectly acceptable and even desirable. People have even brought it up to 1500, 1600 and greater with no negative effects. IMO, no corrective action necessary.

But, next time you go to do a water change, test the water. That should give you an idea of where your ions are coming from.
 

Sacohen

New member
Levels were tested with.

Salinity 1.026 via Deep Six Hydrometer
Amonia 0 ppm via API Master Test Kit
Ph 7.8 via API Master Test Kit
Nitrites 0 ppm via API Master Test Kit
Nitrates 0 ppm via API Master Test Kit
Phosphates 0.08 ppm via API Hannah Checker
Calcium 500 ppm via Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro Multi Test Kit (Ca,Alk,Mg)
Alkalinity 9.8 dKH via Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro Multi Test Kit (Ca,Alk,Mg)
Magnesium 1440 ppm via Red Sea Reef Foundation Pro Multi Test Kit (Ca,Alk,Mg)

I added some SeaChem Marine Buffer to raise the pH because 7.8 is too low.
 

downbeach

New member
Did you check the param's of the make up water from the LFS? Do you know if it's "natural", or something they make up and re-sell? Ultimately, I think you'd be better served to get an RO/DI unit, and a decent grade of salt mix to make your own. I would also get a decent refractometer, along with some calibration solution to keep it accurate. I'm not crazy about API test kits, and wouldn't chase the pH level around. Your lower pH, although its OK, is primarily due to excess amounts of CO2 in the household atmosphere, any time of year the windows and doors are closed due to hot/cold weather. The use of pH buffer will also add to your alkalinity, and ultimately with the CO2 issue won't keep your pH up anyway.
 

Sacohen

New member
Did you check the param's of the make up water from the LFS? Do you know if it's "natural", or something they make up and re-sell? Ultimately, I think you'd be better served to get an RO/DI unit, and a decent grade of salt mix to make your own. I would also get a decent refractometer, along with some calibration solution to keep it accurate. I'm not crazy about API test kits, and wouldn't chase the pH level around. Your lower pH, although its OK, is primarily due to excess amounts of CO2 in the household atmosphere, any time of year the windows and doors are closed due to hot/cold weather. The use of pH buffer will also add to your alkalinity, and ultimately with the CO2 issue won't keep your pH up anyway.

I did not check the params of the NSW, but I know it is NSW and not stuff they made up, There are only 2 places I get NSW from and I've seen the deliveries.

I trust they very much and pretty much only buy from either of them in terms of water and livestock.

Equipment I will get from where ever I can find what I want at the lowest cost.

A Hannah Phosphate checker is the same piece of equipment no matter where I purchase it from (as long as it is a reputable dealer, online or local) and if I can save some money why not.

I do plan on getting a refracometer when funds are available. I as plan on replacing the API master test kit with another brand (I'm not sure what yet) when the tests are empty and funds are available.

In South FL doors and windows are closed 99% of the time because it's usually to hot and when we get a cold from come thru it get's too cold to have them open. There are very few perfect open the doors and windows days. I think I've done it once this year.

Thanks.
 

downbeach

New member
Were you ever adding any type of Ca, Mg or Alk supplements, other than the pH buffer? The reason I'm asking is because those elements in NSW are somewhat lower, i.e. Ca @ 420ppm, Mg @ 1280ppm, and alk @ 125ppm (7dKH). And, assuming your system must be using some of it as well, your readings don't seem in line, if all you are doing is WC's with NSW.
As far as your pH is concerned, if your readings are accurate, and you can get your Ca and Alk down a bit, you could start using some kalk in your top off water, which will in turn utilize some of the CO2 in your system, and help to elevate it.
 

blanden.adam

Team RC
All of those test results should be reasonably reliable. I'd just test the next batch of salt to see where the levels are. Also, how confident are you in your testing skills? I only ask because if we don't know we can get precise answers every time, changes in parameters can look larger than they actually are just because of the combined error intrinsic to the test kit and our own technique. But still, at this point all is well. The levels are fine.

With regard to the pH, I second the sentiments above -- a pH of 7.8 is on the low range of acceptable, but still OK. And it's almost never a good idea to add buffer to deal with a pH issue. pH and alkalinity are related, but not in such a direct manner, so unless you really understand the chemistry at work it's almost better to think of them as entirely separate entities. The issue is one of CO2, so you should go after that :)

If you can't open your doors or windows, even for a little while, you could look into running an airline from your skimmer intake to outside -- that should help. You could also look into a CO2 scrubber. Idk how effective they are in different situations, but some people say they work for them. You could also continually drip kalkwasser as your form of calcium and alkalinity supplementation. Kalk sometimes will help an aquarium that has excess CO2 (e.g. those running calcium reactors). At the end of the day, CO2 is the ultimate arbiter of aquarium pH and CO2 problems are very common. Gotta find what will work in your individual situation.

Good luck!
 

bertoni

Premium Member
I agree that those levels all are fine. Fresher air might help with the pH, as has been said, but I wouldn't worry. There are lots of Tanks of the Month with the pH in that range.
 
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