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  #1  
Old 05-14-2018, 03:21 AM
dolphin_swim dolphin_swim 目前線上
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 3
Default Dosing potassium / K-Balance

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum and am hoping to get some experienced advice regarding potassium dosing as I am having sps tissue receding problems that is happening to almost all acroporas.

Current tank info/parameters are as follows:

Size: ~400L water volume
Corals: Mostly acropora. Others incl. seriatopora, pocillopora, stylophora. A few LPS incl lobophyllia, scolymia, acan lords, acanthrophyllia. Plus some zoas and a few leathers.
Fishes: 2 tangs, 1 rabbitfish, 3 anthias, 1 mitratus, 1 flameback angel, 3 clowns

As of 13 May:

KH: 8.75
Ca: 445
Mg: 1320
PO4: 0.03
NO3: 5
K: 360 - Specifically, the history of K went as attached.

Dosing: calcium chloride, Fauna Marin bicaronate mix, Red Sea NO3PO4-X, magnesium chloride hexahydrate as needed

KZ supplements that have all been stopped now: Amino, LPS Amino, Xtra Special, K-Balance, Flatworm Stop (there are no flatworms but I was mixing it with K Balance to dose)

History of events as follows:

- I had been dosing K Balance before 15 Apr following the instructions to dose 1ml/100L, i.e. 4ml/day. No negative effects since dosing this.

- Because of dosing K, I went ahead to get a Salifert test kit for K, and realized between 28 Feb to 15 Apr, the K dropped 10 ppm from 360 to 350 even though I had been dosing K Balance.

- So I decided to dose more K, following people's advice on other forums to not raise K by more than 10 ppm/day. I used the Fauna Marin Ultra Easy K for this as only the large K Balance Strong was available and was a bit expensive. Their instruction was "maximum Dosage 40 mg Pottasium/Liter/0,26gal". Note that I also tried to raise Mg and Ca at the same time as they were also low at 1095 and 390.

- Turns out I raised 40 ppm in just 2 days with that dosage, so I cut that back and now eventually stopped dosing.

- Since then I have lost about 40% of my acroporas from STN. Some that managed to stay in tact also began to STN today.

- One toadstool leather has no polyp extension anymore during the day with half extension towards the night. Montiporas, LPS, zoas seem to be unaffected, and show very good colors. Seriatopora lost color but not dead. Pectinia receded but seems to have stabilized now.

So my questions are:

1) Have I permanently damaged my corals? I managed to frag some of them, STN settled down for a week or so, but came back again today.

2) Should I continue to dose K? I am confused whether this current round of STN is due to the damage from before or the current reading at 360ppm.

It is rather stressful and depressing to watch the corals die day after day. Would be most grateful for your thoughts!!
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2018, 12:18 AM
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G.Alexander G.Alexander 目前離線
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Hi dolphin_swim



Really difficult to say over the distance what the problem is as you have done changes of the water parameters before the issues began it might have something to do with it.

A Mg level close to 1000 mg is really low and unusual for todays salt mixes. I do see two possibilities:

Low concentration in the salt mix
Issue with the test kit / result

I would recommend you to do a professional water test first to be sure your results are correct including K+ before doing anything else.

Corals do usually respond negative if the K+ level is increased to quick showing TN starting from the tips but not from the base. Anyways I do not know the product you have used to increase the level.

If you are able to fix the problem your corals might stop with the TN and start to recover.

Anything else you have changed since the problems started or do you have any kind of algae / cyanos present ?

G.Alexander
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  #3  
Old 05-15-2018, 05:07 AM
dolphin_swim dolphin_swim 目前線上
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Hi G.Alexander,

Thank you so much for the warm welcome and the lightspeed reply!

We get seawater into 85% of homes in HK for flushing so I haven't been mixing salt for some time. There are always debates locally about the impurities of this source but I have been using that for a year without any problems. Corals and fishes quite love it when I do water changes. Nevertheless, I do plan to get a test of this incoming water in the near future to find out for sure.

So that brings me to the issue of the low mg. If overdosing K+ usually cause tissue loss at tips then maybe I can rule that out as the issue loss are all from the base. I don't have experience with low mg and its effects (lucky newbie until now...), do you think this history might be more likely to have caused the problems? And maybe acroporas are generally more sensitive than montiporas?



Other than this, there are no other complains at the moment - no cyano or algae. In fact, the coloration of the LPS are great, even a dying pectinia (which was introduced during the low mg period now that I checked) seems to have stopped its tissue loss.
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  #4  
Old 05-16-2018, 12:00 AM
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G.Alexander G.Alexander 目前離線
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The low Mg level at a salinity of 35 ppt is really unusual for natural seawater, I would expect a higher level. Have you already ruled out any kind of problem with your Mg test kit by cross checking the level with a different kind ?

G.Alexander
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  #5  
Old 05-16-2018, 02:10 AM
dolphin_swim dolphin_swim 目前線上
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Location: Hong Kong
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No I haven't, will try to do that tonight.

Just this morning I checked for mg again though, and it was at 1275. So a depletion of 45 ppm since 13 May - 15 ppm/day, which seems not too crazy?
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  #6  
Old 05-16-2018, 11:48 PM
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G.Alexander G.Alexander 目前離線
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It depends, usually the consumption of Mg in a closed system is minimal from my experience. I for example never dosed this element it was just refreshed with the regular water changes using a good salt mix which had a concentration of about 1300 mg.

G.Alexander
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2018, 09:29 AM
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Clavius Clavius 目前離線
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Get some ultra-cheap PotassiumChloride. 500 grams will last for years. Measure your K and then calculate exactly how much KCL you need to dose to raise it to the desired level. Never guesstimate with your reeftank.
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  #8  
Old 05-17-2018, 12:40 PM
jacky jacky 目前離線
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Hi~, it's hard to say, my idea is to pull between elements, how to add elements? Time staggered with each other? Are you confident in your measured calcium, magnesium, and calcium? Is it stable? Is there any confidence in changing the quality of sea water? Sources of seawater? Lps can not accept that sps can accept, my suggestion is: use good salt to change water, 10% 10% 10%, pay attention to sg and temperature within a few days. Maybe the problem lies in this [Please note that I also tried to increase both magnesium and calcium because they are also low at 1095 and 390] and [KH:8.75
Ca:445
Mg: 1320 ] mg = 225ppm, ca = 55pm Operation Method, Add Method? Time? Mix?
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  #9  
Old 05-17-2018, 12:48 PM
jacky jacky 目前離線
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Normally, the mg value will not be so low, and the sea water will not be so low. Maybe there are problems with the technique. Maybe it's a problem with the test agent. Maybe it's a seawater problem. Maybe mg is a real value, but when you adjust the data, do you have to adjust magnesium first? Maybe it pulls like this, you need to really confirm first. Anyway, refresh the balance with good salt or good seawater first
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