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  #1  
Old 01/23/2007, 10:42 PM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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Location: Denton, TX
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Mag level, something isnt right...

I have a 40 gallon reef, I drip kalk 24/7 and use about 15ml of C-Balance each day to keep the ALK and CA up. I have been dosing the C-Balance for about a month and a half now as just dripping kalk alone was not keeping things where it was needed. Water testing this morning and tonight indicates the following:

pH 8.4
CA 320ppm
ALK 3.25 meq/l

I had been wondering about my mag levels so I bought a Red Sea test kit and a bottle of Tech M in case I needed to supplement. I did two tests today and both showed a mag level of around 2,750ppm!! That is far higher than I was expecting!

I don't put anything in the tank other than kalk and C-Balance. I use IO Reef Crystals and did a 10 gallon water change last night.

Should I suspect the test kit?
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  #2  
Old 01/23/2007, 10:44 PM
bertoni bertoni is offline
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I had a difficult time with my Red Sea test kits and ended up returning them. I'd get a second opinion for sure.
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  #3  
Old 01/23/2007, 10:46 PM
cyclops23 cyclops23 is offline
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try a salifert. i know they're expensive, but they're much easier to use and from what i hear more accurate. i won't buy any other kind, now that i've used them.
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  #4  
Old 01/24/2007, 07:34 AM
Randy Holmes-Farley Randy Holmes-Farley is offline
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Try measuring the magnesium in the new Reef Crystals mix. If it reads normal, the kit may be OK. If it reads really high, then either the kit is bad or the salt. I'd suspect the kit first.
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  #5  
Old 01/24/2007, 09:38 AM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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I retested my tank water and the IO RC salt mix this morning before the lights came on. This is what I got:

pH 8.4
CA 320ppm
ALK 3.25 meq/l
MAG - 1,500 ppm

Salt mix (has been brewing for a few days) - MAG = 2,500 ppm

I am going to ditch the test kit and get another, the results swing from test to test.
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  #6  
Old 01/24/2007, 10:30 AM
Randy Holmes-Farley Randy Holmes-Farley is offline
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OK, good luck and let us know how things work out.
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  #7  
Old 01/24/2007, 10:37 AM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Randy Holmes-Farley
OK, good luck and let us know how things work out.
Thanks, I just ordered a Salifert Magnesium and Ammonia test kit from Marine Depot.

The Red Sea test kit isn't complicated, just lots of steps and three reagents. However, I seem to get radically different readings each time I use it.

I should have known, a long time ago I had a Red Sea nitrate kit that continually told me I had 0 nitrates but I was having an algae problem. Just for kicks I got two more nitrate kits from different manufacturers and both of those told me I had 40ppm nitrate!
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  #8  
Old 01/24/2007, 12:52 PM
Randy Holmes-Farley Randy Holmes-Farley is offline
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That sounds like a fine plan.
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  #9  
Old 01/26/2007, 03:40 PM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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I got the Salifert mag test kit today and according to it my mag level is 1080. This is what I would have expected as I do not add any mag into the tank other than what might be in the C-Balance that I dose.
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  #10  
Old 01/26/2007, 04:00 PM
Randy Holmes-Farley Randy Holmes-Farley is offline
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I'd probably go ahead and boost it.

Do-It-Yourself Magnesium Supplements for the Reef Aquarium
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-07/rhf/index.php

Magnesium
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/oct2003/chem.htm
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  #11  
Old 01/26/2007, 09:29 PM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Randy Holmes-Farley
I'd probably go ahead and boost it.

Do-It-Yourself Magnesium Supplements for the Reef Aquarium
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-07/rhf/index.php

Magnesium
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/oct2003/chem.htm
Thanks, when I deplete my bottle of Tech M I will give it a try.

Would low mag levels be the reason I am having difficulty getting my CA up above 320ppm? My Alk is around 3.25 meq/L but my CA stays around 320 and is hard to get it above that level and maintain it.
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  #12  
Old 01/26/2007, 09:42 PM
dwculp dwculp is offline
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Nevermind, just read the article and it answered my question.
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  #13  
Old 01/27/2007, 08:59 AM
Randy Holmes-Farley Randy Holmes-Farley is offline
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Good luck.
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