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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its a 100 gallon 60" tank with a 30 gallon refugium and a reef octopus skimmer.
Plenty of live rock with a mixture of zoa's, a few lps and sps.

I use salinity salt and I try to change 10 - 15 gallon's a week...
Sometimes I do miss a week so it just depends on how busy I am.
My test kits are Api other than my Mag kit is red sea...

So here is my parameters

Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
Calcium 340
Alkalinity 7
Mag 1220
Salinity 1.024

I do have B-ionic 2 part and Mag

Let me know what I should do and do I have to add equal amounts of the 2 part since the Alkalinity is not to bad or will that limit how well the 2 part will perform?
Also when would I add the Mag before or after?

Thanks

Shawn
 

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Here is a calculator that you can plug your info into and find out what you need to add to get levels up. Reef Chemistry Calculator Read this and any other article from randy you run into. he is the reef chemist guru. Chemistry And The Aquarium: Solving Calcium And Alkalinity Problems ? Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog.

as a savior of both your time and money get yourself some calcium chloride such as dow flake and some baking soda (NOT baking powder). i figured your system as 100 gallons with rock displacement and your sump making up some of the difference. you will have to tweak it as necessary. so a calcium of 340 would need 22.2 tsp of calcium chloride (dow flake) to reach 420. an alk of 7 could be raised to 9 with 4.8 tsp of baking soda. both products need to be dissolved and slowly added over time. I would correct calcium first then alk and finally mag. this should take days to weeks in a tank with animals in it. After it is correct use the calculator to figure how much tech a and b you should be using. as always be sure your test kits are giving factual results. good luck.
 

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See jay I disagree (respectfully) If it were me I would get my magnesium up since it plays a direct role with alk and cal.

Here's a very good discription worded better then I could.

The primary benefit of Mg is that it allow calcium and bicarbonate levels in the water to exist at supersaturated levels. In laymen's terms, having high Mg allows you to maintain higher Ca/Alk.

Because Ca and bicarbonate are supersaturated, they are always ready to fall out of solution. This is the abiotic precipitation that every talks about on heaters, pumps, and solid surfaces. As calcium carbonate forms on these surfaces, Mg is also able to bond with it. By doing so, Mg blocks Ca and bicarbonate from being able to attach, significantly slowing the rate of precipitation. If you let Mg drop, you have to pour in more and more Ca and Alk supplements, and precipitation becomes more and more of a factor.

Also I ask about ph as I would get ph stable first. Also you could up water changes more and frequent to not have to worry about levels dropping. And a free source of getting levels in check.
 

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See jay I disagree (respectfully) If it were me I would get my magnesium up since it plays a direct role with alk and cal.

Here's a very good discription worded better then I could.

The primary benefit of Mg is that it allow calcium and bicarbonate levels in the water to exist at supersaturated levels. In laymen's terms, having high Mg allows you to maintain higher Ca/Alk.
I agree. Mg is the limiting factor and you won't get Ca/Alk to where it needs to be unless you have sufficient Mg in the system.
 

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See jay I disagree (respectfully) If it were me I would get my magnesium up since it plays a direct role with alk and cal.
your right. it does. addition of Mg before or after adding the other two is neither here nor there. it can be corrected whenever you want. now add calcium to a system with a dkh of 7 without correcting for your buffer and you will see the dkh dip dangerously low and the ph fluctuate because of it. correct the Ca and dkh together and it will also correct and stabilize the ph. the thread you quoted from RC gets into this subject briefly. believe me i LOVE Mg but its direct effect on water stability takes a back seat to the others in question.

op, what do you use to check your salinity?
 

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I agree. Mg is the limiting factor and you won't get Ca/Alk to where it needs to be unless you have sufficient Mg in the system.
i can't say i agree. then again i don't have any data that proves this either way. i know that back in the 90's when we were running reefs calcium and alkalinity were both kept pretty high and we had no idea where our Mg level was. was the norm to see a dkh of 12 and a calcium of 400+. Mg testing for the aquarist is pretty new...
 

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PH hangs around 7.9 to 8.0 daily
this is acceptable, when it swings all over the place is when it becomes a problem. you can chase numbers forever in this hobby if you so choose. that dkh of 7 is just borderline low. i like mine at least at 8, but usually i get 9 and don't worry about it. its your alk that buffers your ph as well as stabilizes your free calcium.
 

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i can't say i agree. then again i don't have any data that proves this either way. i know that back in the 90's when we were running reefs calcium and alkalinity were both kept pretty high and we had no idea where our Mg level was. was the norm to see a dkh of 12 and a calcium of 400+. Mg testing for the aquarist is pretty new...
Just because you didn't test it in the past, doesn't mean it is not critical for proper water chemistry.

We keep our Calcium and bicarbonate (Alk) at supersaturated levels, and as such they are subject to precipitate (fall out of solution by turning to solid). Mg bonds with surfaces within the aquarium and calcium bicarbonate as it forms reducing the rate of precipitation. As Mg levels drop, precipitation of Ca and bicarbonate occur and make it difficult to maintain proper Ca and bicarbonate levels.
 

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Just because you didn't test it in the past, doesn't mean it is not critical for proper water chemistry.

We keep our Calcium and bicarbonate (Alk) at supersaturated levels, and as such they are subject to precipitate (fall out of solution by turning to solid). Mg bonds with calcium bicarbonate as it forms reducing the rate of precipitation. As Mg levels drop, precipitation of Ca and bicarbonate occur and make it difficult to maintain proper Ca and bicarbonate levels.[/QUOTE

you misquote me, i never said it wasn't proper to test and supplement for this. instead i said that the theory of Mg superseding calcium and alkalinity maintenance when the three are compared equally can be dismissed as priority number one based on years of successful aquaria before the advent of Mg testing. Further it has been documented by other aquarists that levels of Mg 900 and above have shown no negative impact on the calcium/alkalinity saturation levels in tank water. the op is well above that level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
your right. it does. addition of Mg before or after adding the other two is neither here nor there. it can be corrected whenever you want. now add calcium to a system with a dkh of 7 without correcting for your buffer and you will see the dkh dip dangerously low and the ph fluctuate because of it. correct the Ca and dkh together and it will also correct and stabilize the ph. the thread you quoted from RC gets into this subject briefly. believe me i LOVE Mg but its direct effect on water stability takes a back seat to the others in question.

op, what do you use to check your salinity?
I use a Refractometer and I calibrate it once a month and it seems to stay accurate..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There is a lot of good information on this post, so the question is what do I start with there is a good amount of difference answers on here. I am doing a 15 gallon water change today and I will run some more test on the Mag,Cal and Alk...
We will see where I am at...
 

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I use a Refractometer and I calibrate it once a month and it seems to stay accurate..
All of you have gotten my curiosity peaked about this salinity salt. Looks good, but i cannot get it out here.

OP i believe your low levels are due to your somewhat low salinity as compared to their promised minimum levels based on a salinity of 1.026. According to aquavitro running a salinity of 1.026 measured with a standard refractometer calibrated at 77 F and a tank temp between 74 and 81 F your minimum calcium should be 400, magnesium 1269 and alk 3.2 meg/l which is 8.96 dkh. You're low on salt mix man, according to the manufacturer, to achieve those levels initially without dosing.

via aquavitro's site.

NSW Min Max
pH 8.5 8.4 8.6
Alkalinity 3.5 meq/L 3.2 meq/L 3.8 meq/L
Calcium 422 400 443
Magnesium 1,336 1,269 1,403
Strontium 8.4 8.0 8.8
Bicarbonate 214 208 220
Borate 15 14.5 15.5
Bromide 65 63 67
Chloride 19,000 18,430 19,570
Iodide 0.06 0.0582 0.0618
Sulfate 2,655 2,575 2,735
Potassium 380 369 391
Sodium 10,500 10,185 10,815
Cobalt 0.0004 0.00039 0.00041
Copper 0.0003 0.00029 0.00031
Iron 0.01 0.0097 0.0103
Manganese 0.002 0.00194 0.00206
Molybdenum 0.01 0.0097 0.0103
Rubidium 0.12 0.1164 0.1236
Zinc 0.01 0.0097 0.0103
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
All of you have gotten my curiosity peaked about this salinity salt. Looks good, but i cannot get it out here.

OP i believe your low levels are due to your somewhat low salinity as compared to their promised minimum levels based on a salinity of 1.026. According to aquavitro running a salinity of 1.026 measured with a standard refractometer calibrated at 77 F and a tank temp between 74 and 81 F your minimum calcium should be 400, magnesium 1269 and alk 3.2 meg/l which is 8.96 dkh. You're low on salt mix man, according to the manufacturer, to achieve those levels initially without dosing.

via aquavitro's site.

NSW Min Max
pH 8.5 8.4 8.6
Alkalinity 3.5 meq/L 3.2 meq/L 3.8 meq/L
Calcium 422 400 443
Magnesium 1,336 1,269 1,403
Strontium 8.4 8.0 8.8
Bicarbonate 214 208 220
Borate 15 14.5 15.5
Bromide 65 63 67
Chloride 19,000 18,430 19,570
Iodide 0.06 0.0582 0.0618
Sulfate 2,655 2,575 2,735
Potassium 380 369 391
Sodium 10,500 10,185 10,815
Cobalt 0.0004 0.00039 0.00041
Copper 0.0003 0.00029 0.00031
Iron 0.01 0.0097 0.0103
Manganese 0.002 0.00194 0.00206
Molybdenum 0.01 0.0097 0.0103
Rubidium 0.12 0.1164 0.1236
Zinc 0.01 0.0097 0.0103
So should I mix my salt at 1.026 for my water change or should I just top of with salt water for a week or so to get it where I need to be?
 

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So should I mix my salt at 1.026 for my water change or should I just top of with salt water for a week or so to get it where I need to be?
Thats up to you. If you dont want to run a sg of 1.026 you dont have to. But you cannot expect the levels they promise. In fact there is no true guarantee you will get those levels with the higher salinity. topping off with saltwater will bring it up pretty quick. I personally dont run higher than 1.024 in my tank as the evaporation rate is high and with me working long hours it can elevate the sg quickly. i dont have an auto top off I trust so I stay at 24. But I supplement calcium and mg too. Your call.
 
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