Excess Demand for Alkalinity in Saltwater Reef Tank - Solution

In this video I talk about the issue of a reef tank consuming more alkalinity than it is getting while at the same time not using any calcium. The solution to this problem is not visible in that you can't simply add more ALK to remedy the problem. In fact, if you do this it makes the problem more pronounced in some cases. Im dosing equal 2 part ALK & CA, so normally we see a reduction in both ALK & CA. With the tank consuming more Alkalinity than calcium, I knew better than to change the settings on my Apex so that my dosing would add more alkalinity to supplement what I was loosing and then also reduce my calcium because I wasn't using as much. The reason you dont want to do this is that if you dose more of one supplement, and less of the other, you end up chasing numbers because adding more of one supplement (CA or ALK) reduces the other. This leads to great instability in a reef tank. ALWAYS dose equal parts of ALK and CA, no matter what, when dosing two part. If you have to make a correction in your levels, boost your levels in your tank with product to get your levels back into the ideal range, but always leave the dosing settings equal. (ppl who use kalkwasser dont have to worry about this because Klak is a balanced supplement.) The solution to my problem of the reef tank consuming more Alkalinity, and hardly consuming any Calcium, was that I needed to reduce my inflated levels of magnesium. Here is the article that talks about this issue: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-12/rhf/ Once my magnesium levels dropped to normal levels, the tank started to slowly fall back into stability. The tank was now using both alkalinity and calcium again.

Excess Demand for Alkalinity in Saltwater Reef Tank - Solution sentiment_very_dissatisfied 6

Reef tank 5 years ago 9,601 views

In this video I talk about the issue of a reef tank consuming more alkalinity than it is getting while at the same time not using any calcium. The solution to this problem is not visible in that you can't simply add more ALK to remedy the problem. In fact, if you do this it makes the problem more pronounced in some cases. Im dosing equal 2 part ALK & CA, so normally we see a reduction in both ALK & CA. With the tank consuming more Alkalinity than calcium, I knew better than to change the settings on my Apex so that my dosing would add more alkalinity to supplement what I was loosing and then also reduce my calcium because I wasn't using as much. The reason you dont want to do this is that if you dose more of one supplement, and less of the other, you end up chasing numbers because adding more of one supplement (CA or ALK) reduces the other. This leads to great instability in a reef tank. ALWAYS dose equal parts of ALK and CA, no matter what, when dosing two part. If you have to make a correction in your levels, boost your levels in your tank with product to get your levels back into the ideal range, but always leave the dosing settings equal. (ppl who use kalkwasser dont have to worry about this because Klak is a balanced supplement.) The solution to my problem of the reef tank consuming more Alkalinity, and hardly consuming any Calcium, was that I needed to reduce my inflated levels of magnesium. Here is the article that talks about this issue: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-12/rhf/ Once my magnesium levels dropped to normal levels, the tank started to slowly fall back into stability. The tank was now using both alkalinity and calcium again.

Show More

Advertising
ADVERTISING

Most popular comments
for Excess Demand for Alkalinity in Saltwater Reef Tank - Solution

StudioReef
StudioReef - 3 years ago
Your tank dropped 150ppm MG in 2 days without any waterchanges??? That seems crazy to me. mine is sitting at 1450 for weeks and i don´t even dose MG at the moment
StudioReef
StudioReef - 3 years ago
ya I´m going thru some of your older videos that i missed :D
So ya the mangrove trees explains a lot :)
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 3 years ago
StudioReef this is an old video but if I recall I think I had mangroves in the sump? Anyway, you’re correct, once mag is stabilized in the tank it generally lowers super slow.
Dinesh Maurya
Dinesh Maurya - 4 years ago
That was very helpful. ....thanks man
TheAntmonger
TheAntmonger - 4 years ago
I slacked off on my tank and it was bad
mg 1470. cal 550 kh 8.0 and so yesterday I started to look at my levels and now they are cal 530 mg1410 and kh 4.1!!!! soo I ended up here that you for posting this video
Piet Villarin
Piet Villarin - 3 years ago
how did you solve it?
Pop A Smurph
Pop A Smurph - 4 years ago
i was at my wits end trying to figure this out i was just dosing alk and not cal trying to lower cal and my log looks like yours with the cal not moving or even going up. thanks for the help this seems to be the only video discussing this matter and because of that im subscribing today
John Lucero
John Lucero - 4 years ago
Dose calcium and alk the exact same magnesium once a month
Jase Kevens
Jase Kevens - 4 years ago
Agreed, not much wrong with 8.5 DKH. If you're able to keep it 7.5-8 stable IME it is a sweet spot. If your ALK tends to drop because uneven Alk mix concentration or not enough time to test then your safer at 8.5. I usually test Alk every day for the first six months. Then once a week. But that's me. There is no time for swings in that regime.
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 4 years ago
The uneven Alk mix drive me CRAZY. Im considering moving over to a calcium reactor this year!
Jase Kevens
Jase Kevens - 4 years ago
There is rarely a need for Mg to be on a doser, when one of my tanks a 75 SPS was consuming 150ml 2-part daily, I could still have added the required amount of Mg by hand every few days. If I expand to say I care for many tanks with 26 years of reefing, this comment is still holds true. Good Idea reading RHF chemistry work, helpful stuff. Side note, perfect DKH is between 7.5-8. this for good growth and color also to avoid possible SPS burning should your nutrients drop too low.
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 4 years ago
I agree with you on the dosing MAG thing. Back then I had it on but then it got so that the tank was using so little that I got tired of adjusting the Apex and now I just manually add it. And Ive run my tank at 7.5 but its a little unnerving for me as that seems right up against the window of not so good things happening... I have noticed that my tank does good at 8.5 though. Great post - Happy Reefing!
Moe Kayed
Moe Kayed - 5 years ago
Researching today and found your video. I think my magnesium is too high but I am still getting alk percipitation in the tank. I read that when it is too low it will percipitate and one person said also that if you reach too high of a level when you put the alk in the water the magnesium will percipatate or something like that. I currently do not have a mag tester and will get one. My cal was at 400 today and my alk was at 7dkh. I add crap loads of mag at a time so I should have more than enough. So the question is if mag is too high will you get alk percipitation as you do when it is too low? My corals have stopped growing the passed few months. Thanks.
Moe Kayed
Moe Kayed - 5 years ago
+Klemmetsmo Reefing 30 gallons. I used salifert for magnesium test.
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+Moe Kayed
Don't add buffer. Use straight sodium carbonate (not bicarbonate). Better test kits would help a lot if you're using API. How many gallons is your tank btw?
Moe Kayed
Moe Kayed - 5 years ago
+Klemmetsmo Reefing I checked it over the weekend and I was at 1500 magnesium after a water change. calcium was at 400 and dkh of 7. Yet when I add the alkalinity buffer I still get precipitation. and it is added in a high flow area. salty at 1.025. something else seems to be at play. I am using seachem 2 part. I plan to switch to something else soon.
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
Magnesium is the element that binds Alk and Ca together, so having too much will not precipitate CA. Hi Mag can actually create other problems, so do you best to keep it in line.
Jacob Side
Jacob Side - 5 years ago
So question. If I'm dosing 230 ml Alk I should be dosing 230 ml Ca?
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
Absolutely YES!

10. comment for Excess Demand for Alkalinity in Saltwater Reef Tank - Solution

Jacob Side
Jacob Side - 5 years ago
This is the exact issue I'm having right now.
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
Right on! What a great feeling to find that solution! Happy Reefing
Ash
Ash - 5 years ago
Wow great insight man..i have been watching your videos and indeed you nail the topics that not lot of people talk about. This high calcium issue is I believe what most people go through and they couldn't figure out the issue is elevated levels of magnesium. I keep my Magnesium levels at 1500 or close however I don't dose it like you instead I add it once a month so over the month it gets depleted keeping my levels in check...many thanks for the video. I subbed.
Ash
Ash - 5 years ago
very true..i have been in this hobby for 3+ years and believe me I just started understanding how the water chemistry works since the fall of 2015...since than the tanks been doing great..i have not done a video in months but soon...
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
Hey thanks man. And I agree, it seems like once you understand the water chemistry you move into the successful reefer category. It is a tricky thing to understand though, so I understand how people get frustrated and give up. Thanks for the sub and happy reefing!
sbazain
sbazain - 5 years ago
my cal is new I use salifert and also use api both give me the same reading
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
That's good but personally I find it difficult to read the api colors to accurately predict levels... Stick to salifert.
sbazain
sbazain - 5 years ago
you know i got my mag to 1350 my alk is at 8.6 where i usually have it but my calcium won't come down
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
How high is it? What's the number?
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
How old is your CA test kit?
Steve Brady
Steve Brady - 5 years ago
makes sense. let us know how your corals react. growth shots! :)
Steve Brady
Steve Brady - 5 years ago
I didn't think a drop of 8.4 to 8.2 was a huge deal?
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+Steve Brady
Generally you want to keep your DKh as tight as possible, and you are correct - 8.2 to 8.4 is not a huge swing. But I think what you are not seeing is that the tank slid all the way from DKH 9. At 8.2 I felt it was time to take action.
CityReefer
CityReefer - 5 years ago
Nice video and some great information.
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+CityReefer
Thanks! Glad it helped. This stuff is tricky sometimes.
sbazain
sbazain - 5 years ago
great info am having the same problem my alk is at 9 but my calcium is taking to long to come down from 480 i just need to get a magnesium tester
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
I think your tank is going to be much happier after you make the correction. things really perk up.
eric olsen
eric olsen - 5 years ago
which test kits do you use for checking cal. alk and mag. Also, it looks like you create your own log my drawing your own little spreadsheet right? I have looked for a log book but cannot find one.
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
Also, Hanna tester for phosphate and Salifert for Nitrate.
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+eric olsen
You're correct. The Log book is basically a "business journal" I found at Staples. It has lines running left to right and I just add the vertical lines for how many columns I need.
I use Salifert Tests for the Magnesium and Calcium and a Hanna tester for the Alkalinity. I find the Hanna tester for the Alk vastly easier that anything Ive found and I feel its reliable. I was thinking of getting the Hanna calcium tester but it got bad reviews, so Ive stuck with the Salifert kit.
John’s Reef
John’s Reef - 5 years ago
Thanks for the Vid. Learning everything I can.
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+John Stanfill No prob :)

20. comment for Excess Demand for Alkalinity in Saltwater Reef Tank - Solution

Build a Reef Aquatics
Build a Reef Aquatics - 5 years ago
Crazy!! You sent me here and before I even watched this I had tested yesterday and my calcium was @500! I usually keep it at 420 and my alk was @8!! Makes sense now!! Thank you. It's crazy how everything happens man. I never would've ever found a solution or if I did I probably would have researched a lot to figure it out.
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+Carlos Ledesma
Glad to help man! I love making the videos that no one else seems to cover. Typically, though, they seem to be difficult subjects LOL. I have a feeling my Saltwater Chemistry videos are going to increase in the near future. -Cheers
CJ'S AQUARIUMS
CJ'S AQUARIUMS - 5 years ago
great vid ill def read that article.. just making sure i didn't miss something. the reason your mag never dropped to self correct this issue was because u were auto dosing mag right? can you foresee this happening in a situation like me.. where i just use kalk in my ATO and use water changes to replenish mag? Ill have to start charting like you.. I usually go off the noggin from my last water test.. but gets hard to remember the last 4-5 test... great topic man.. I subbed! if u haven't seen my channel feel free to check out my reef tank... be easy!
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+CJ'S AQUARIUMS
Whats up CJ. Ive watched several of your videos - good stuff. You're correct - the reason the mag never dropped is because I auto dose. In fact, in the middle of the dkh fall, I actually boosted the MAG back up into the problem zone. That boosting kept the problem going, but it allowed me to discover the problem in the end.
Dosing Kalkwasser in the auto top off is a great, simple, way to maintain levels in a small tank or a tank that doesn't have a lot of coral in it. Kalk is a balanced supplement in that it gives the tank equal parts of Alk & Ca. The only way that you would get into an issue like this, where you have inflated MAG levels, is if the salt mix you are using to do water changes has higher levels of MAG than you tank uses.
Charting.... Soft and LPS corals are very forgiving when it comes to fluctuations in water parameters. From the looks of it, it appears that you have a handle on the levels. Keeping a log is good, but it really doesn't become necessary until you start keeping SPS because the parameters have to be kept tight. Not only that, but keeping a log lets you see trends in your tank. Had I not kept a log, its doubtful that I would have seen this issue.
Thanks for the question - happy to help. - Cheers
MileHighReefers
MileHighReefers - 5 years ago
Wow! that is some calcium ALk chemistry that I was not aware of. Very cool thanks for sharing.
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+MileHighReefers Hey thanks Scott. Glad you liked the video. Happy Testing (I mean reefing) lol.
Steve Diaz
Steve Diaz - 5 years ago
great video i was having a similar problem this helps us out a lot thanks
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+Steve Diaz
No problem @ all and really glad it helped you. It took me a long time to learn that lesson.
915Mang
915Mang - 5 years ago
Hey good video man, Usually Mag stays wheres its at, im glad you have been testing your levels since you got all that sps. Good information!
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+915Mang
Oh man, thats one of my biggest gripes about testing = how fast the test kits go stale... I dont ever make it to the expiration as I typically test weekly, but I do notice that about two months after opening Hanna Reagent or Salifert kits they start to give off fluctuating results. So use it or loose it with testing kits LOL. Go get some man. I think they had a price drop on Amazon for the Salifert kits...
915Mang
915Mang - 5 years ago
+Klemmetsmo Reefing Hey Man I enjoyed the video, good stuff. I gotta get some test kits! I had some but I got lazy and they expired
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+915Mang
I hear ya, 915Mang, Magnesium is usually used really slowly. Last year though, I added some Mangroves in the sump and they seemed to suck up the magnesium. It was then that the consumption of Mag increased in the tank. Who knows, maybe back then is when this problem started to form...
casino007007
casino007007 - 5 years ago
Great video :)
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+casino007007 Thanks bud! Appreciate the comment :D Happy Reefing
Wil Santiago Reefing
Wil Santiago Reefing - 5 years ago
Great video and information! I have a question I can't find an answer for. How often are you dosing magnesium and how much. I have a doser that is only adding alkalinity and calcium right now. I dose magnesium manually right now and have read only to dose once a month. My magnesium is around 1450 and have calcium pretty high (500) not by choice though. I think after watching your video I need to lower my magnesium levels.Thanks again!
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+Wil Santiago
I think you're starting to see the light now - very exciting isn't it. It wont be long before you start moving into SPS.
Wil Santiago Reefing
Wil Santiago Reefing - 5 years ago
+Klemmetsmo Reefing That reef calculator gave me more insight as to what balanced levels should look like. Great stuff!
Wil Santiago Reefing
Wil Santiago Reefing - 5 years ago
Thank you so much for taking the time to explain this in detail for me. I will check out the video and calculator. I have cut back my calcium dosing from 8x to 6x a day. It has been coming down slowly. Hopefully it keeps going down. Thanks again!!
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+Wil Santiago
Hey Wil. In most cases, Magnesium is used very slowly in a saltwater tank. This is because the Magnesium is primarily used as a buffer that keeps calcium and carbonate from binding together and precipitating out of the tank. With that said, most people do not find a need to auto dose magnesium in their tanks. The amount of Magnesium that you will dose will depend on many factors, but the main factor will be how many total gallons of water you have. Here is a great little online calculator for figuring out how much to dose into your tank: http://reef.diesyst.com/chemcalc/chemcalc.html
For me, and why I auto dose Mag, was because I added Mangroves to the sump and they typically use a lot of Mag out of a tank.
So, while dosing magnesium once a month may be enough for some people, it may not be enough for you. At this point though, with your Mag level at 1450, you should not dose any Mag. Reduce the Mag level so that it gets down into the sweet spot between 1250-1350. Also, your calcium is hi as well. You hi magnesium most likely has saved you some precipitation issues with regards to your Hi calcium in this case. You should reduce your calcium as well to more normal levels of between 380-450. Here is a simple, silly, video I did on the roles of magnesium, calcium and carbonate in the reef tank: https://youtu.be/vLe4I6D1Sqk?list=PLy2ZwPZp7oyNtGvtVGHAQK_Dhm87Z-Txp
A final piece of advice here, one that is difficult for me, is to be patient when making additions or reductions. Pay attention to your alk levels and avoid rapid fluctuations in it.
Thanks for the question - happy to help. -Cheers
Manny Santana
Manny Santana - 5 years ago
that was some very great info vid brother. i was going to say that makes total sense . ive encounter the same issue in the past like 4-5yrs ago except never did a video, but im glad you did as im sure many have enciunter this yet do not know what to do so what ends up happening is huge water changes, rappid parameters changes causing other sorts of problems like over night death of fish or even bleaching corals.... thanks brotha
Klem Reefing
Klem Reefing - 5 years ago
+Manny Santana

Hey thanks man. Really appreciate the vote of confidence. I wasn't sure if I should even make this video because its kinda complex and I wanted to be able to describe it as simply as possible for everyone. Surely tons of us Reefers have to learn this lesson the hard way, and I'm hoping this helps people as I didn't find anything on YouTube when I was looking into this. Thanks again - Happy Reefing :D

Similar videos
for Excess Demand for Alkalinity in Saltwater Reef Tank - Solution

Raww fishing

FOUND KOI IN SALTWATER (ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL)

15,905 likes 2,146,782 views 3 years ago

Please support MY FAMILY BLAKE HAD HIS WHOLE Tortoise collection taken away by Lightning!!...

Surf

Surf NYC (4K resolution)

1,586 likes 1,127,314 views 11 years ago

Surf NYC: A 4K short for YouTube. Director: Adam Neustadter Director of Photography: James Henry Assistant...

Tropical fishing

EASY Way to Catch Saltwater Fish!!

3,033 likes 977,150 views 5 years ago

A tough day at the Destin jetties turns into a fun day of fishing after I switch to a very basic fishing technique!...

Tropical fishing

Saltwater Fishing gets me HYPED!!! Beach...

7,334 likes 856,269 views 5 years ago

I travel to Nassau, Paradise Island in the Bahamas! While other vacationers are relaxing on the beach, you can bet...

Tropical fishing

UNBOXING THE MOST EXPENSIVE RARE FISH IVE EVER...

21,348 likes 831,606 views 3 years ago

FINALLY! These are my dream fish! I can't believe they're mine! My online store: http://www.thatlittlecompany.com...

Reef tank

How to set up a Saltwater Aquarium

2,726 likes 671,958 views 8 years ago

From buying the tank to filing it up with water, its a how to video of setting up a foundation for any saltwater tank.

Related videos
to Excess Demand for Alkalinity in Saltwater Reef Tank - Solution

Reef tank

How to set up a Saltwater Aquarium

2,726 likes 671,958 views 8 years ago

From buying the tank to filing it up with water, its a how to video of setting up a foundation for any saltwater tank.

Reef tank

How to set up a saltwater aquarium - Episode 1:...

2,006 likes 657,040 views 10 years ago

http://www.bulkreefsupply.com Today we are going to start a series of videos on starting a saltwater aquarium. The...

Reef tank

How To Set Up A Saltwater Fish Tank / Aquarium

3,617 likes 520,663 views 6 years ago

This video will show you step by step how to setup a saltwater fish tank. If you are a beginner and are looking for a...

Reef tank

Adding a Sump and overflows to our Reef Tank --...

1,607 likes 460,798 views 9 years ago

http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/ In today's episode we are going to add a sump to our aquarium, upgrade skimmers and...

Reef tank

How To Set Up A Saltwater Tank Step by Step

613 likes 296,121 views 8 years ago

Please Visit http://mafishguy.com/ For Aquarium and fish information as well as information on breeding fish. Thank...

Reef tank

LPS SALTWATER TANK REEF AQUARIUM

1,367 likes 285,723 views 7 years ago

This's a first video 11/01/2014 Light : AI Hydra *3

About Excess Demand for Alkalinity in Saltwater Reef Tank - Solution

The "Excess Demand for Alkalinity in Saltwater Reef Tank - Solution" video is part of the reef tank, salt water category, which contains similar videos like this one.

Subscribe hot viral Aquatic videos!