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One of the biggest challenges in the modern reef tank is to keep a balanced ratio between calcium and alkalinity. When we dose buffer (sodium bicarbonate) it’s effects our calcium level that is decreasing slightly and when the alkalinity is decreasing than the calcium will raise slightly. Monitoring the alkalinity levels 2-3 times a week is very important since Alkalinity will be the most challenging to keep consistent. Alkalinity is salt water’s ability to buffer the pH against acids which try to lower the pH. Generally, natural seawater contains an alkalinity level of 7 dKH. And in our tank, we’d like to have a constant level of between 9-11. This value is much depending at our salt, Our Royal nature advanced pro formula salt or its advanced brother the Ion Balanced Pro salt, will help you to keep your alkalinity in these levels.
However – the relationship between calcium and alkalinity is an important one, and the numbers need to be balanced for optimal absorption by the corals and other life, or we may experiment with elevating the alkalinity level beyond the balanced ratio trying to increase coral growth. An alkalinity level of up to 12-14 dKH is considered safe, and possibly beneficial for the corals. If we do need to increase our alkalinity levels – then it’s highly recommended to use our Royal Sodium bicarbonate. Since Royal Nature use only High-purity chemicals we can provide a complete product line for the best and easy supplementation of calcium, magnesium and carbonates.
Adding calcium and alkalinity is important but lower or higher levels of carbonates will force us to keep an eye on the precipitation as this becomes a waste of our calcium and alkalinity dosing efforts. Low alkalinity can also be one of the factors of nuisance algae growth. Both low and high alkalinity levels can cause precipitation of calcium. Low alkalinity causes precipitation in the water, while high alkalinity causes precipitation on heat sources like heaters and powerhead impellers.
Suggested Balanced Calcium and Alkalinity
350 ppm to 1.5 dKH
375 ppm to 2.0 dKH
400 ppm to 5.5 dKH
425 ppm to 9.0 dKH
450 ppm to 12.5 dKH
475 ppm to 16.0 dKH