Low alk

lnevo

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I finally got my lazy *** in gear and tested my params again. It seems my alk is low at 6.2. Cal was at 450 and Mag at 1560. My pH also runs a bit low between 7.9-8.1

I'm going to test again later this week before/after my next WC to see what the usage, new water and post WC look like.

I have my dosers setup (with RO right now) and have the BRS starter packs. Should I be get the alk in check seperately before moving forward? Or just work at maintaining it at current levels?
 

Jaftica

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Where do you normally maintain alk at? Also your ph is fine, don't chase the ph, if you normally run alk a little higher you can bump it up with 2 part over a couple days. Then maintain with your dosing pump.
 

lnevo

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I finally got my lazy *** in gear and tested my params again. It seems my alk is low at 6.2. Cal was at 450 and Mag at 1560. My pH also runs a bit low between 7.9-8.1

I'm going to test again later this week before/after my next WC to see what the usage, new water and post WC look like.

I have my dosers setup (with RO right now) and have the BRS starter packs. Should I be get the alk in check seperately before moving forward? Or just work at maintaining it at current levels?
I have not started any maintenance yet...my routine consists of weekly 20% WC which obviously wrongly assumed would keep levels in check and maybe is doing so for Calcium and Mag.

I'm not looking to chase pH but i thought it relevant as there is a relationship between alk and pH and thought ot may be relevant.

I brought up the two part since I have it and am ready for dosing, just haven't been diligent enough testing to be comfortable starting..

I am getting good growth on all my corals so I'm sure it's time to start supplementing, but the low alk had me concerned.
 

arnaldolex

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I've been using baking soda to maintain my alk for over 12 years I aim between 10-11 its very simple go into google and type in reef chemistry calvulator put in your gallons where your at where u wanna be what u wanna use and wala I haven't bought suppliments since question mark put me onto this
 

lnevo

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My plan right now is to wait till Wed when i do my next WC test before, after, and the new saltwater. The main concern i have is that i measured 6.7 in mid July as well AND i just did a roughly 40% change last Wednesday...

have my BRS 2 part solutions all mixed and ready to go. As soon as I'm done testing, I'll be ready for whatever the action plan is.

Anyway, I'll post again when I have more data.
 

lnevo

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Well, out of time right now to do the WC... but here's the measurements i have so far..

New Saltwater (Reef Crystals)

Salinity 35ppt
Magnesium 1540ppm
Cal 450ppm
Alk 9.5dkh

My water... pre WC

Magnesium 1540ppm
Cal 450ppm
Alk 5.6dkh

Should I be concerned with my alk this low? It seems surprisingly low especially considering I did a ~35gallon WC last Wednesday (usually ~17g/week)

I would think the usage .15 / day is not terrible... calcium did not seem to drop any though.. is that normal?
 

lnevo

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Ok, water change is done. 18-20g of water. Alk is now at 6.3.

So next step, based on BRS calculator to dose 35ml of Alk to get to a target of 7. I figure with the usage that I recorded, I'd end up ~6.85 tomorrow night, and then I can keep it going from there.

Any thoughts before I start? does that sound right to you guys?
 

oh207

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I'm tagging along to learn more. I have a 4 month old 65g that has a similar issue with low pH and low alk. I've been doing a 20g water change every 2 weeks since the 2nd month. I'm hoping to learn more about dosing.
 

lnevo

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oh207

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All great articles. Thanks for sharing. I'm reluctant to start dosing. I figured the bi-weekly water change should be enough to replace whats depleted. But I believe now that I need to take this more seriously and learn about dosing quickly.
Good luck to you.
 

lnevo

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Could definitely be a test kit issue, but my readings have at least been consistent. I guess i could test with my API kit (shudder) as well to see what it says at least as a comparison. These measurements are with a red sea pro kit.

My goal right now is to raise it to the levels of my fresh SW so there's no swing during a WC. I dosed 20ml of alk twice today. I'll measure a little bit later to see where it ended up. My goal is to raise it slowly over the next 4 days.
 

lnevo

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So after 40ml (20ml +20ml) yesterday and another 40ml today, I went from the initial 6.3 to 6.7 and now 7.0. I'm happy with the gradual increase. Let's see what it's at by Sunday. pH has also moved up to a better "reef" range. Instead of the 7.9-8.1 that I had before, it looks like I'm now moving into the 8-8.2 range.

I know the pH buffering is temporary, how long will it last though? or if I get to the point where I'm maintaining the alk through dosing, will the ph stay stable at this new higher range?
 

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