Chemical questions

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MzWeazelle

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I am using Calxmax calcium / alkalinity buffer and Reef Builder additives for my tank. How long after adding such chemicals should I wait to test and see what kind of effect they have had?

Also, I am having trouble getting the calcium level up and keeping it up because the Calxmax also raises the ph level. I've been told that most people have trouble keeping the ph up, but for most of the 9 months since we set up the tank I've had trouble keeping it down in a healthy range. Any suggestions?

MzWeazelle
 

plumber_bob

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I'm not a big fan of Calxmax because it seems very diluted. I like Tropic Marin Bio-Calcium I've been using that for over a year and have noticed the best sps polyp extension and coral growth. It is available at any LFS, I usually just go to Saltwater City and pick it up.
 

mattseattle

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for alk i think you should wait an hour or so. for calcium i would wait a few hours and re-test.

for pH tests i think they suggest waiting 12 - 24 hours or something like that.

i am using the WM Calxmax additives. I am also having trouble keeping my calcium levels up using this product as well as my magnesium levels. i was told that the CalxMax additives were deficient in magnesium and that i should use the WM magnesium to raise my levels. i thought this was a one stop shop type additive. i'm now planning on purchasing a calcium reactor and hopefully this will solve the additive issue :)

as far high pH isn't that usually a sign of lack of aeration of the water?

maybe someone else knows more about the pH issue.
 

mattseattle

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yeah the WM does seem diluted and it's really expensive. it is suppose to have analytical grade chemicals in it though and that is the reason i've been using it.
 

plumber_bob

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I know a big can of Tropic Marin Bio-Calcium is 29.99 it also maintains a magnesium at about 1350ish and has 70 different trace elements in the powder. It is not recommended to dissolve the chemical in fresh water it states on the bottle, "add directly to the tank (I add it to the sump). A jug at 29.99 will last a few good months for my 120. Awesome product I highly recommend it.
 

mattseattle

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maybe i'll give that a try next time i am buying supplies. i just bought some Calxmax so it'll last me a month or so.

thanks for the recommendation.
 

mojoreef

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Two part additives such as calcmax are more for getting your levels to where they need to be, from thier you should go with only the additives that your tank needs replacing with. when you try to maintain with 2 parters you are adding elements that do not need to be replenished. doing this will through your water chemistry out of wack. I would say that biocalcium probibly does the same thing. The concept is to bring the levels of all elements up to thier natural levels and in a balanced state. from here your critters will begin to use certain elements (cal, alk and mag) being the ones used the most. trace elements get used also but thier are such a very very tiny percent of the overall mix.
Matt I would sugest getting your levels to where they need to be however you can. once you get to the mark stop all additives for three days, then retest, this will tell you exactly what your tank strips out of the water over the coarse of those three days, now all you have to do is to only replace the elements that have been stripped out, this is setting up a mintence scheme.

MzWeazelle tell us what your levels are.

Mike
 

mattseattle

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I'm curious then as to why on the WM CalxMax bottles it says that 'This product is used to maintain calcium and buffer levels' ans says add every other day. That doesn't sound to me like it's used to 'get levels up' but to maintain them. i used turbo calcium and reef buffer to get my calc and alk up to where they should be then i use CalxMax to 'try' to maintain them up. but Mike sounds like you are telling me what I am doing is backwards?
 

mojoreef

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Yep Matt. 2 part additives have all the elements in them in a balanced manner, but in concetration. so you will ave sodium, cloride, sulfate, magnesium, calcium, carbonate and a host of trace elements. Now your tank critter will stripe your tank of certain things, but not others. so the cal, mg, alk, and trace will take a hit, but the sodium, cloride, and sulfate wont. Now when you use a 2 part you are adding all regardless if they have been used up or not. the result is normal levels of the used elements and elevated levels of those that dont get used up. Now since your salinity is only allows for a certain ammount of ions to be present (35000 if you run at 1.027) this means your are going to displace something of of the elements by adding to much of the other. either that or your salinity will go up.

Sorry matt its hard for me to explain.


Mike
 

mattseattle

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naw, it makes perfect sense to me. thanks for the input. i just thought we used the 2 part additives like WM says on the label. you should get Jon to change his label then.
 

MzWeazelle

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Levels of what, exactly, are you asking about?

Other than general tests (ph, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, spec grav) I have been testing KH - currently 12.8, Alk - currently 4.57. and Ca - currently 340. PH is 8.2, but I've only added the Calxmax 3 times this month and I know it would skyrocket if I put more in. The other general tests are WNL, except that I'd like to get the nitrates down a bit more (who wouldn't).

Obviously there are a lot of other tests out there but I haven't gotten that far into things yet.

MzWeazelle
 

mojoreef

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you seem a little out of wack on the chemistry mzweazelle. your calcium is to low for where your alk is sitting. what is your spec gravity? also you dont happen to have a magnesium test do you??

MIke
 

mattseattle

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how are you testing the pH? maybe that test is out of whack and that is why you are getting high readings. i've not had any issues with pH using the CalxMax additives.
 

MzWeazelle

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WA State
Okay, here goes ...

My spec grav is 1.0235, and is fairly stable, usually hovering right around 1.023 +/- 0.005.
The KH & Alk are up due to the Reef Builder I've been using. The readings DO drop if I don't add it regularly.
I do not have a magnesium test.

I use a Saltwater Master test kit for the standard tests. I have recently been told that it is possible the kit may be getting old and the results suspect. However, when I first started using the Calxmax my test was fairly new and I noticed the ph problem then, too.

We don't have a whole lot in the tank yet, but what is there seems to be fairly healthy. We added a Mandarin about 4 months after start-up, and he's fat & sassy - got one that will take some frozen food. We have half a dozen or so other fish - tang, clowns, blenny, gobies, betta. We have a nice mushroom colony, and yellow polyps, a bubble coral, cup coral and two brain corals that we have added from the store. The brain corals were "rescue" pieces so I don't know if their lack of progress is due to the tank or their original condition. The tank is also growing an abundance of small filter feeders, a few larger feather dusters, a patch of what I've been told is an encrusting sponge and plenty of coralline algea, both flat and spiky sorts.

I do seem to be having trouble getting the macroalgae in my sump to thrive, although I've been told that it can actually become a bother and overgrow the tank. I've been adding iodine regularly for the last 3 - 4 weeks trying to help that.

Okay - someone else's turn. :)

MzWeazelle
 

MzWeazelle

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WA State
Oh, we just added a bubble tip anemone about a week ago. Seems to be doing fine, but it's been there such a short time I don't know if it likes the tank yet or not.

MzWeazelle
 
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