Alk - how high is too high?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Kelz88, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Kelz88

    Kelz88 Got Reef?

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    17 freaking dkh stopped counting cal after 600.

    Ugh i dont test my water a few months and all hell breaks loose. Been reading up on people having problems with instant ocean salt so I decided to test my water for the first time in a while.

    Dont add buffers or calcium or anything like that. Everything I read says a water change, but the levels in the mixing bucket are the same, Honestly at a loss for what too do. Worst part about this is that this is the last bag of a 200lb box so I assume its been this bad for a while.

    ...help me :(
     
    Kelz88, Dec 5, 2012
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  2. Kelz88

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Yikes! You know, since you have a fowlr, I don't think its that big of an issue that its so high, as long as your pH is in an okay range. Just to make sure, have you been topping off with RO? What is your salinity at? Have you tried rolling around the bag of salt before mixing it up? If everything else checks out and its still that high after rolling the bag of salt, then I might suggest getting a new bucket (which given the rest of our experiences will probably be on the low calc/alk side) and using some of the old, some of the new salt until you can get the levels better. If its been this way for a while and your fish/corals seem okay then you're likely fine while you get things situated!
     
    FishyReef, Dec 5, 2012
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  3. Kelz88

    Treezer8

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    That's strange..
    I did a little research earlier on why my alk and calc levels could be so low, and I had found this website

    </title> <link href="https://www.aqualifesupport.com/mainstyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="all"> </head> <center> <body bgcolor="#ffffff" link="#666666" vlink="#666666" alink="#666666" leftmargin="0" marginwidth="0" topmargin="0" mar

    They say that if one is high, then the other will be low, and vice-versa

    I'm so confused after seeing your problem lol

    But just as fishy said, are you using RO to top off? and to make your water?
     
    Treezer8, Dec 5, 2012
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  4. Kelz88

    Kelz88 Got Reef?

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    sadly I have both a fowlr and a reef tank, never bothered testing the fowlr. Was really only concerned with the reef tank.

    Ordered new salt but it wont be here til mid December, Damn fish store has none, wont get some til mid december (i wonder if we have the same supplier? lol) I hate living here, with all the best fish stores 5 hours away :/

    Always top up with distilled water and mix with it, always mix the salt well before adding it to the water. I really hope this is just a bad box. I honestly feel like a bad fish/coral mother. Just got new coral as well and they seem to be doing alright but still, 17. It just makes me mad.
     
    Kelz88, Dec 5, 2012
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  5. Kelz88

    Kelz88 Got Reef?

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    I may have muffed up the tests, but im not so sure. Ill test again first time using the API ones
     
    Kelz88, Dec 5, 2012
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  6. Kelz88

    Treezer8

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    What kind of test are you using for alkalinity?
    And if you're using the API test for calcium, make sure you cap and shake the tube between drops. I didn't read that part when I first started using it and got so confused lol
    Should be around 20-25 drops
     
    Treezer8, Dec 5, 2012
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  7. Kelz88

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Typically corals use carbonate alkalinity and calcium together to build their skeleton, which is what depletes alk/calc out of our tanks. If the levels are high or out of balance, it can be a result of the levels being out of whack in the salt mix itself, which is why folks recommend rolling your salt bucket around before mixing it with water. I've also heard (though don't know if this is true) that alk can be depleted by excess coralline growth. I'm guessing that Kelz's salt mix was a batch that had high alk/calc to start with.

    Kelz, how are the corals looking in your reef? How is your pH?
     
    FishyReef, Dec 5, 2012
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  8. Kelz88

    Treezer8

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    Yea, or else I don't know how the levels would get that high.
    Hopefully it's just the batch.
     
    Treezer8, Dec 5, 2012
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  9. Kelz88

    fastrd400 It wasn't me! Moderator

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    I have a feeling it is the test. Either not used correctly, or bad. I have never heard of alK getting in a range that high, and I am almost certain you would have seen signs that something was not right well in advance.
     
    fastrd400, Dec 5, 2012
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  10. Kelz88

    Kelz88 Got Reef?

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    Corals look good,

    17 drops = 17 dkh

    Calcium is 580

    The only thing I can think of is maybe i should be dividing by two and the instructions just dont say it?

    Tried to call API but I just got the answering machine.
     
    Kelz88, Dec 5, 2012
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  11. Kelz88

    Treezer8

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    What is the alkalinity test you're using?
    can you link us to the product
     
    Treezer8, Dec 5, 2012
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  12. Kelz88

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Any chance you have the API freshwater alk instead of marine alk kit?
     
    FishyReef, Dec 5, 2012
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  13. Kelz88

    little_fish Moderator

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    I would bet money your test kit is bad, the API calcium and Alk tests aren't very reliable in my experience
     
    little_fish, Dec 5, 2012
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  14. Kelz88

    Kelz88 Got Reef?

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    Ugh Nope the test is saltwater in the Essential for reefs kit. Just got off the phone with API and according to them 17dkh is fine if not normal..

    I think Im confused :/

    Any recommedations on a good alk kit?
     
    Kelz88, Dec 5, 2012
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  15. Kelz88

    Kelz88 Got Reef?

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    Reef Master Test Kit - API

    link. Bf thinks the test is fked, Corals look lovely just this damn test tells us its bad. Methinks im just not gonna worry about it.
     
    Kelz88, Dec 5, 2012
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  16. Kelz88

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    I use the Tropic Marin test, its low cost and its what my LFS uses. It also has a very easy color change, making it almost fool proof
     
    Northstar24, Dec 5, 2012
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  17. Kelz88

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    17dKH isn't normal - the person you spoke with must have had no clue what they were talking about! If your corals look fine then I'm inclined to agree that the test is bad!

    At this point I'm thinking about getting a Hanna Checker for alk and calcium. I'd be interested in hearing opinions on other test kits too. I've been using the seachem kit which is just far to complicated for calc and mag tests. The basic alk test is okay, but they also have a more advanced one that is a PITA too.
     
    FishyReef, Dec 5, 2012
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  18. Kelz88

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    I feel this way about the Seachem Mag test as well. It is so hard for me to get a decent reading from it. There are times where I perform the test two or three times before I can get a value that makes sense
     
    Northstar24, Dec 5, 2012
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  19. Kelz88

    Smitty

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    17 dKh is definitely not normal...but I think that the test kits might be bad. It doesn't seem to take them long to give false readings.
     
    Smitty, Dec 5, 2012
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  20. Kelz88

    fastrd400 It wasn't me! Moderator

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    They are grossly wrong. Natural sea water has a Kh value of 7-8, so 17 is more than double that. I would use Salifert test kits for Alk, Mag, and Calcium. They are simple to use, and seem to last longer than the API kits do.

    http://www.marinedepot.com/Salifert...ariums-Salifert-SF1123-FITKAL-vi.html#Manuals
     
    fastrd400, Dec 5, 2012
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