Alk too high?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by Dantitan, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Dantitan

    Dantitan

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    I just tested my Alkalinity. It was 15 dKH or 268.5 ppm KH. Is this number too high? The test booklet says it should be between 8 - 12 dKH. Could this be the reason that I lost my 2 fish earlier this week?
     
    Dantitan, Sep 14, 2010
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  2. Dantitan

    coolhandgoose

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    Wow that's really high are you using tap water?
     
    coolhandgoose, Sep 14, 2010
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  3. Dantitan

    Dantitan

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    No, I am using R/O water.
     
    Dantitan, Sep 14, 2010
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  4. Dantitan

    coolhandgoose

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    That seems really unusual, what are your other parameters like? The only way I know of lowering it is by bailing the water out and adding new stuff.
     
    coolhandgoose, Sep 14, 2010
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  5. Dantitan

    Dantitan

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    I changed 20 gallons of water out this past Saturday. And the results above are from about 15 minutes ago. Is it a possiblilty that this caused my 2 fish to die?
     
    Dantitan, Sep 14, 2010
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  6. Dantitan

    coolhandgoose

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    Well 12 DKH is about the upper limit you want so I can't see 15 being the culprit for killing fish though, IMO.
     
    coolhandgoose, Sep 14, 2010
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  7. Dantitan

    Dantitan

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    Thanks for the info 'Goose. I will continue with water changes until it is down to normal.
     
    Dantitan, Sep 14, 2010
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  8. Dantitan

    coolhandgoose

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    I think you may want to focus on why your dkh is so high though. Make sure you test your change water before adding it. It's bizarre that it's so high, I mean I have trouble just trying to keep mine around 7 or 8, I have to add supplement every few days to keep it higher.
    Like I said maybe try posting some of your other parameters like Ph, salinity, nitrate and maybe calcium since too high of dkh can cause percipitate in the tank.
     
    coolhandgoose, Sep 14, 2010
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  9. Dantitan

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Do you use any additives?
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 14, 2010
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  10. Dantitan

    Dantitan

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    The only additive that I use is Marine Buffer. I only use it when I do a water change, to keep the PH up. I will do another full water test, and then post all of my parameters on here tonight.
     
    Dantitan, Sep 14, 2010
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  11. Dantitan

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    I used to keep my alk. at 15 when I didn't know any better.While it is high,its not going to kill your fish.But it will affect most corals.SPS especially.
    If I'm guessing right,the alk. of your new water is already pretty high,so adding the buffer is just driving it up.
    When you do your water changes,the PH will equalize almost instantly unless your doing 75 or 100% water changes.
     
    yote, Sep 14, 2010
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  12. Dantitan

    ccCapt Reef Hacker Moderator

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    I think that's the problem. The buffer is baking soda and boron. The boron helps control the pH, but it also raises the borate level and it screws up the readings on most alk test kits. What brand test kit do you use for alk? Unless it's Seachems test kit, which they modified for use with high boron levels, chances are your test kit isn't giving a true reading.

    Check these articles out.
    Boron in a Reef Tank (and its effect on pH buffering)
    The Seachem Borate Alkalinity Test Kit
     
    ccCapt, Sep 14, 2010
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    koda_dad Mr. Paranoid

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    No chance it is a bad test? When I started my reef tank.... I had major issues with bum test kits.

    If it really is that high...just be careful not to bring it down too fast....
     
    koda_dad, Sep 14, 2010
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  14. Dantitan

    Dantitan

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    I use API.

    I plan on doing a 20 gallon water change every weekend for a while. What brand of test kits do you guys recomend? I would like something a little quicker and easier to use.
     
    Dantitan, Sep 15, 2010
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  15. Dantitan

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    API is about as quick and easy as it gets with test kits.And I use API kits for my regular testing.But I also keep Salifert kits on hand just in case I need a 2nd opinion.
     
    yote, Sep 15, 2010
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  16. Dantitan

    Rcpilot

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    It's DEFINITELY the Marine Buffer.

    I had the same issue when I got into dosing my tanks with that same product.

    NONE of those buffers will really correct the problem of low pH. All they do is jack the alkalinity way up. It gives you as good pH reading for 6 - 12hrs. Then your pH readings will be low again. You can test and watch the pH remain pretty much constant over a 2 week period - and the buffer cranks your alk up too high.

    The best thing to do is quit worrying about it. Stop dosing those buffers. Change 10% or 15% water weekly and just learn to live with it.

    A STABLE pH of 7.8 is MUCH MUCH MUCH better for your corals and fish than a pH that swings rapidly up and down from day to day - and an overly high alk level.

    Just get it stable. Stop dosing. The corals and fish will adapt and be happy as long as your pH isn't too far below 7.8 or 7.6 -- low pH is better than wildly swinging pH. Just keep it steady.
     
    Rcpilot, Sep 15, 2010
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  17. Dantitan

    Dantitan

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    I have read that low alk will cause the PH to swing up and down. Would it do the same thing if the alk is too high? :question:
     
    Dantitan, Sep 15, 2010
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  18. Dantitan

    Rcpilot

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    I don't know. Just take my advice and stop using buffers. They DO NOT work as advertised. PERIOD.

    You want a stable reef? Do weekly water changes. It WILL find a stable place on it's own.

    Remember, water STABILITY is more important than "textbook" water parameters. A stable pH of 7.8 is FINE.

    But dosing it up to 8.4 one day and then having it swing down to 7.8 the next day - and then dosing it up to 8.4 the next day - and then back down to 7.8 - and on and on and on and on and on and on and on ----- thats BAD for your reef.

    Just do the weekly water changes and live with it. Trust me. Been down that road. Slammed into every gawd damn tree in the way - busted some teeth out - none of it did a bit of good. Change the water weekly and forget about it. You'll be less stressed ............ and so will your corals.
     
    Rcpilot, Sep 16, 2010
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