Corrected Carbonate Hardness and Calcium Levels in Reef

My carbonate hardness levels when i tested my water yesterday were too high. After doing quite a bit of research i found that the reason that they were is that i use Instant Ocean Sea Salt for my reef and it naturally has lots of carbonate (CO3 ^2-) and bicarbonate (HCO3).

Though these minerals are essential to stabalize calcium utilization as well as buffering, my levels were too high. What led to these high levels was that i dose Kent Marine 2 Part Nano Buffer and had been dosing it in equal parts. Part A is the part with Calcium and Trace minerals, and Part B is the part that contains the carbonate and bi carbonate. Since Instant Ocean Sea Salt already has a lot of the same stuff that is in Part B of the Kent Marine 2 Part Nano, my Carbonate Hardness (KH) levels were too high.

To remedy the situation i guessed that i would need to dose 5 times the amount of Part A Kent Marine Nano (the calcium) to lower the levels of KH in my tank. I normally drop 40 drops a day of the  Part A and my calcium levels have stayed between 380 and 400 (well within tolerances as i only have a star polyp, some clean up snails, a mithrax crab, a pincushion urchin, and a mushroom that would have any benefit of calcium.

Today when i tested my tank the KH level had come down to 232.700 translated into German measurement or dKH equivalent would be 13. I also found out how to convert the American KH measurement to German dKH and this is done by dividing your American reading by 17.9 (of course if going from German to US you would multiply your dKH by 17.9 to get KH)

The following chart shows how to convert from dKH to KH

(the last number which is followed by ppm is the KH equivalent)

7dkh=2.50meq/l=125ppm (125 is the KH)

In the end i am glad that my guess that dosing my tank at 5 times the normal strength of calcium would work to bring down the KH level. I also increased the salinity of my tank from 1.022 to 1.024 in order to make my Remora C skimmer work more efficiently in case i loose my Bubble Tipped Anemone. I have kept my tank at 1.022 salinity for a long time as i have read that Japanese reef keepers tend to keep their salinity here and lower and encounter far fewer fish pathogens than those of us in the West who typically keep our tanks at 1.025 salinity in an effort to match standard ocean water.

Tests today:

KH: 232.700/ dKH: 13

Calcium: 420 – 430


About thestackersreef

My name is Brandon Stacker and i am a hobbyist marine reef aquarium keeper from Lubbock, Texas. I go to school at Wayland Baptist University and am the happily married father of two.
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