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Author Topic: Alk fluctation  (Read 499 times)

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Offline Reeferntraining

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Alk fluctation
« on: May 30, 2017, 18:34:58 »
For those of you I spoke with at the meeting, this is why I am hesitant to shift to an auto doser. For the last two months, I have added just a hair under 3/4 tsp Baking Soda every day to maintain my alk at 9.75-10. I noticed my salinity was a little low Saturday so I topped off with 1g salt water at 1.025, to bring the tank up to 1.026. That evening, my alk was 10.6, so only added 1/4 tsp BS. For the last 3 days I've only dosed 1/4. Again today, my alk was 9.96 and yesterday it was 10.02. So it would seem that my tank is now using less alk out of nowhere. Calc has maintained at 430. Is this normal?

Offline Lazylivin

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Re: Alk fluctation
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2017, 22:22:00 »
I think you will find that using a doser and dosing hourly your alk will be more stable then what you can aquire by hand dosing. As long as you are testing every few days initially it wont increase or decrease enough before you notice. Increasing salinity also increases alk

the alk numbers your posting is within the percent of testing accuracy. You are dosing enough to warrant a auto dosing system. Manually dosing daily your creating a sudden uptick in alk and it is falling over 24 hours then a spike again. Dosing every hour or every 30 minutes the rise and fall flattens out. Eventually when your dosing more the swings get to be to much for corals to handle.

Based on your post i think your concern is what happens when consumption changes causing a  increase or decrease like your seeing this week.  consumption rate is fairly consistent however changes will occur the same regardless of your dosing method. So even if auto dosing alk testing is still required. It allows you to catch the change before it causes problem. I also recomend testing Alk more often for a while  after a system change. Lighting, water change, new corals etc... those are some things that can affect consumption. I also see changes in consumption based on coral health. When corals are healthy and growing vs something is amiss and not growing. I see that first based on alk consumption before i notice a change in the coral. Weekly or biweekly testing will catch that. an apex or something similar is a very important tool when it comes to maintaining proper alk. The ph of the system can give you an early indicator that alk may be creeping up or down. For example right now (10:00pm) my ac is on, windows are shut, lights turned off an hr ago, and my ph is 8.20. I know that is about what i would expect to see at this time. By 11:30 it will likely be down to 8.15 and continue to fall through the night. If my PH was 7.9 right now i would know that something is off with alk which would trigger me to test. If it was 8am and ph was 7.9 it wouldnt be any concern because i would expect it to be there at that time. You can over time get to know these things and  set alerts to text you.


Offline Keith92

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Re: Alk fluctation
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 09:42:45 »
I think you will find that using a doser and dosing hourly your alk will be more stable then what you can aquire by hand dosing. As long as you are testing every few days initially it wont increase or decrease enough before you notice. Increasing salinity also increases alk

the alk numbers your posting is within the percent of testing accuracy. You are dosing enough to warrant a auto dosing system. Manually dosing daily your creating a sudden uptick in alk and it is falling over 24 hours then a spike again. Dosing every hour or every 30 minutes the rise and fall flattens out. Eventually when your dosing more the swings get to be to much for corals to handle.

Based on your post i think your concern is what happens when consumption changes causing a  increase or decrease like your seeing this week.  consumption rate is fairly consistent however changes will occur the same regardless of your dosing method. So even if auto dosing alk testing is still required. It allows you to catch the change before it causes problem. I also recomend testing Alk more often for a while  after a system change. Lighting, water change, new corals etc... those are some things that can affect consumption. I also see changes in consumption based on coral health. When corals are healthy and growing vs something is amiss and not growing. I see that first based on alk consumption before i notice a change in the coral. Weekly or biweekly testing will catch that. an apex or something similar is a very important tool when it comes to maintaining proper alk. The ph of the system can give you an early indicator that alk may be creeping up or down. For example right now (10:00pm) my ac is on, windows are shut, lights turned off an hr ago, and my ph is 8.20. I know that is about what i would expect to see at this time. By 11:30 it will likely be down to 8.15 and continue to fall through the night. If my PH was 7.9 right now i would know that something is off with alk which would trigger me to test. If it was 8am and ph was 7.9 it wouldnt be any concern because i would expect it to be there at that time. You can over time get to know these things and  set alerts to text you.
Great information Brian. Also,  without auto dosing it is difficult to go away for more than two days.

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Offline Reeferntraining

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Re: Alk fluctation
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 12:31:00 »
Thank you for that insightful write up. Its kind of a more elaborate explanation of what we talked about last time I visited and I appreciate it! I do get it. I'm just not sure I am quite ready to jump into it. But you have definitely explained the need for it. I will have to discuss my apprehensions with you the next time I am over. The biggest being the wifi/LAN.

So if I am understanding correctly, you are saying that something may be off in the water chemistry that would be causing the corals to consume less alk?

Offline Lazylivin

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Re: Alk fluctation
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 13:55:14 »
The raise in salinity increased the available alkalinity. That is why you saw the temporary increased alkalinity level. I wont comment just yet on the current decrease in consumption as i would juat be guessing


Offline Reeferntraining

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Re: Alk fluctation
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2017, 13:59:31 »
The raise in salinity increased the available alkalinity. That is why you saw the temporary increased alkalinity level. I wont comment just yet on the current decrease in consumption as i would juat be guessing

That is what I thought too after the first day, but then 2 and 3 days after I'm dosing less than half what I have been dosing to stay at dKh=10. Maybe I am just too tuned into the numbers...,

Offline Reeferntraining

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Re: Alk fluctation
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2017, 16:56:06 »
It must have stunted something when I added the 1g salt mix. Either that, or the alk was through the roof on that batch of mix. I'll be testing the alk of the mix during the next water change. It was normal today when I got home....

Offline Humphrey

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Re: Alk fluctation
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2017, 17:44:39 »
Regular instant ocean was about 9 last I checked.  I had been using reef crystals which had been coming in at 11, but  hadn't checked it frequently.  I have heard the Red Sea mixes up very close to its stated values. 

Offline Reeferntraining

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Re: Alk fluctation
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2017, 21:24:38 »
Regular instant ocean was about 9 last I checked.  I had been using reef crystals which had been coming in at 11, but  hadn't checked it frequently.  I have heard the Red Sea mixes up very close to its stated values.
That's what I use. RS Coral Pro. I have had some drastic swings in alk and calcium from the top of the bucket to the bottom of the bucket. The last bucket I had, the salt at the top mixed to 11.5 alk and 360 Calc at 1.026. The bottom of the bucket was mixing to 10 alk and 400 calcium. Normally I test it before doing my water change. I just forgot last time. I will test it before tomorrow's WC though for sure.

 

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