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CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby bdare on Sat Jan 08, 2011 5:23 pm

A fellow member has been telling me some of the false information he's been receiving and it's driving me CRAZY. There are certain things I just assumed everyone who kept hard corals were aware of.

1) Just by dosing Alk you will NOT make Ca go down. (with the one exception that add too much or Mg is too low and you get precipitation)
2) Just by dosing Ca you will NOT make Alk go down. (with the one exception that you add too much or Mg is too low and you get precipitation)
3) Mg IS important and must be added to tanks with hard corals. Mg helps prevent precipitation in our tanks with elevated Ca and Alk levels.
4) Don't just add "some" to your tank. There are too many calculators out there now a days which will tell you EXACTLY how much of a supplement to add to achieve desired results.
5) SUPER BASIC - If you don't test for it... DON'T ADD IT!

The amount of false information out there is astounding. People use cliche they hear but can not explain why. Drives me crazy when I have to clean up other people's messes.
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Re: CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby Matt on Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:02 pm

Good post!
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Re: CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby SumThinhWong on Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:04 pm

its all about keeping a balance between the big 3. Hype is always going to be around, just make sure you do your own research before your implement anything
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Re: CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby bdare on Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:28 pm

SaltNewbie wrote:its all about keeping a balance between the big 3. Hype is always going to be around, just make sure you do your own research before your implement anything

Balance is also a myth. Just need to keep them in range.
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Re: CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby starscream on Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:12 am

bdare wrote:
SaltNewbie wrote:its all about keeping a balance between the big 3. Hype is always going to be around, just make sure you do your own research before your implement anything

Balance is also a myth. Just need to keep them in range.


Balance is no myth, it's a chemical reality. They can be controlled independently within certain ranges when a reef system is in ionic balance. Cal, Alk and Mag are tied to one another as clearly indicated by 1-3 on your starting post.
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Re: CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby debdp on Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:02 am

If you keep those three "within range" isn't that technically keeping it "balanced."
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Re: CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby bdare on Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:04 am

starscream wrote:
bdare wrote:
SaltNewbie wrote:its all about keeping a balance between the big 3. Hype is always going to be around, just make sure you do your own research before your implement anything

Balance is also a myth. Just need to keep them in range.


Balance is no myth, it's a chemical reality. They can be controlled independently within certain ranges when a reef system is in ionic balance. Cal, Alk and Mag are tied to one another as clearly indicated by 1-3 on your starting post.

They are tied to one another true. The "balance" I was referring to is because there are reefers out there who have mis-read RHF's articles. They will tell you that if Ca is X, then Alk MUST be Y or your system is "unbalanced". This clearly isn't true.
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Re: CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby starscream on Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:18 am

bdare wrote:They are tied to one another true. The "balance" I was referring to is because there are reefers out there who have mis-read RHF's articles. They will tell you that if Ca is X, then Alk MUST be Y or your system is "unbalanced". This clearly isn't true.


You are completely right in that sense. There is only an imbalance if one or more of the parameters are outside the acceptable range. I just got the sense that saltnewbie was just referring to balance in the grand scheme of things, not particularly an X, Y type of thing. Glad we clarified that.

I do share your general concern. There is a fundamental lack of emphasis and focus on regular, accurate testing especially when one enters the hobby. Running a reef system blind and dosing anything without a test kit is just asking for a system crash. Every system behaves differently and has particular depletion rates for each parameter. To further complicate things, there's a multitude of "balanced" additives available on the market which attempt to dynamically raise more than one parameter.

It takes time and experience to truly comprehend the complexities of a reef system which later appear to be obvious to experts. With the emergence of a variety of reliable online sources, I believe strongly that great forums such as this will eventually debunk the bad information out there. It is vital that those new to reefing find these forums to be a positive and accepting place to ask questions without the fear of being pounced for not knowing something.

Thou shalt test yo parameters and err... double check 'em cuz sometimes test kits get old, and the truth shall set you free!
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Re: CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby debdp on Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:42 pm

Totally agree there on the if CA is X then ALK should be Y. I got pointed in that direction and after a week of testing daily, calculating and dosing and CA and ALK never met the XY requirement I threw the concept out the window and went with keeping those three (CA,ALK, MG) "within accepted parameters".
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Re: CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby SumThinhWong on Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:18 pm

To be honest I don't put to much thought into where my parameters are. As you said range is more or less what should be aimed for. Like you said it doesn't have to be set at a certain number, sure that's the myth. Keeping an exact number is truly impossible and not needed. I've been keeping SPS for about 3 years and u really only test when I do water changes that's about it. I think the best thing is stability. Once you have a method that works fir you try to keep with it. A constant change will give you parameter swings and that's what will give you issues.
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Re: CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby bdare on Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:30 pm

SaltNewbie wrote:To be honest I don't put to much thought into where my parameters are. As you said range is more or less what should be aimed for. Like you said it doesn't have to be set at a certain number, sure that's the myth. Keeping an exact number is truly impossible and not needed. I've been keeping SPS for about 3 years and u really only test when I do water changes that's about it. I think the best thing is stability. Once you have a method that works fir you try to keep with it. A constant change will give you parameter swings and that's what will give you issues.

You certainly don't want swings either... that's also not good. As long as you have a method to maintain your parameters small swings within the acceptable ranges are fine. For me a Litermeter III keeps me dialed in. Only RARELY need to make adjustments.
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Re: CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby Firewolf4 on Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:10 pm

Make this a Sticky

As Many experienced reefkeepers have found, Reef Chemistry is critical to the wellbeing of any reef or mixed tank.
By refining the understanding of reef chemistry we can pass on to new generations of reefers our trials and errors and more importantly, what has worked. In time, even our findings will be changed for better results.
By dispelling the rumors and myths we can demystify Chemistry and bring it's basic understanding to those who dont understand it's importance.
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Re: CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby bimmerzs on Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:38 pm

Ok it's a sticky. [smilie=wink.gif] [smilie=clapping.gif]
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Re: CA / Alk Myths... and a few others.

Postby Lance on Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:58 am

Reading a good article about this also so I thought I would post this here

http://reefbuilders.com/2011/01/04/sree ... arko-haga/
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