Acropora SPS from local store

salthobby

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#1
I just got home with a Large Acropora from a well known reef store, I don't want to mention by name, but most on this forum have been there. When I got home I checked the Alkalinity of the water in the bag, I like to compare theirs to mine. I didn't check salinity. It was 4.5 DKH with my Hanna Checker. I called the owner to ask him what he thought. He told me that Alkalinity doesn't matter only salinity and temp. I don't agree with that but hopefully it survives.
 

gobyvin

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#2
What is the effect of closed bag on alkalinity? Just wondering if this is an expected reaction to closing an animal in a bag. I assume it might drop since live animals in closed bags drop pH and thus might use alk? Somebody can confirm...
 

gobyvin

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#3
Usually we tend to bag corals with scant water and less air than fish, from what I have experienced lately in this hobby. Not saying that is right, mind you.
 

dz6t

Acro Garden, BRS Sponsor
BRS Member
#4
Bagging has no impact on alkalinity, especially you are talking about a short ride from store to home.



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Jason_charlestown

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#6
What do they mean "Alkalinity doesn't matter only salinity and temp"? Are they talking about long term effects, or short term transfer? With regards to long term effects it's been well documented that Alkalinity has a dramatic effect on growth rate and even survival of corals, especially stony ones. For short term transfer most people will tell you that you can shock corals such as acros by changing Alk too quickly, though I'm not aware of any controlled studies on this. Can you please pm me the name of the store? I won't bug them, just want to know.
 

Cpage101

Corey- 2019 BRS BOD
BRS Member
Officer
#7
What do they mean "Alkalinity doesn't matter only salinity and temp"? Are they talking about long term effects, or short term transfer? With regards to long term effects it's been well documented that Alkalinity has a dramatic effect on growth rate and even survival of corals, especially stony ones. For short term transfer most people will tell you that you can shock corals such as acros by changing Alk too quickly, though I'm not aware of any controlled studies on this. Can you please pm me the name of the store? I won't bug them, just want to know.
me too


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Fishing

Always Learning - I'm Paulo
BRS Member
#11
I don't think that would go over well on here. Could be a mistake on my test but not on the advice.
I agree that anyone could make a mistake, even a store and we should give a chance. However if you said you tested and the owner said that you should not bother about alk, only salinity? That’s wrong and everyone should know his name. Now if he said, I’m sorry that was my mistake, that would be ok and give him of course a chance. But seems like is not the case.
 

salthobby

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#12
I agree that anyone could make a mistake, even a store and we should give a chance. However if you said you tested and the owner said that you should not bother about alk, only salinity? That’s wrong and everyone should know his name. Now if he said, I’m sorry that was my mistake, that would be ok and give him of course a chance. But seems like is not the case.
I agree he should of acted differently, even offered to make it right if the coral didn't survive, but sometimes people get protective when you call out a company.
 

dz6t

Acro Garden, BRS Sponsor
BRS Member
#14
The alkalinity we are talking about in this hobby as well as our test kits shown, is referred to as Total Alkalinity. It is not a simple substance like calcium.
Here is a equation that shows how many factors contribute to the Total Alkalinity (At)


In a simple way to understand Total Alkalinity, Total Alkalinity does two primary things:
1. Contribute to the stability of the water (such as resists pH change)
2. Provide bicarbonate for stony coral for its calcification process (growth)

When Alkalinity is low, tank water become less stable, coral grows slower or not growing at all.

In a LFS prospective, their goal is not growing coral, but to keep them alive for a short period of time before they got sold. Low Alkalinity is not lethal in a short period of time.

On the other hand, wrong temperature and salinity can kill the coral quickly.




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#15
Not to get off the ALK topic but what is a acceptable salinity change lets say in a 24 hour period that a acropora or any coral for that matter can tolerate. For example if your salinity is 1.026 and you put a coral in water that is 1.024 could that be enough to kill it? I know we acclimate for a brief while when adding corals however some say to just put them in a tank right away but is a change of .002 salinity lethal. It seems hydrometers can vary widely so I ask.
 

dz6t

Acro Garden, BRS Sponsor
BRS Member
#16
Salinity change is not a very big deal if the salinity is between 1.025 to 1.030.




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dz6t

Acro Garden, BRS Sponsor
BRS Member
#17
In terms of hydrometer, it is actually safer than an uncalibrated or a wrongly calibrated refractometer(such as using RODI to calibrate).




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Greg Hiller

BRS Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BRS Member
#18
Here's my 2 cents:

First of all, in the long term sense alkalinity is extremely important. It's the first thing I measure on my systems because it immediately gives me a readout on if my calcium reactor is keeping up on both calcium and alkalinity (both are delivered from the calcium reactor, and the level of calcium is acceptable in a wider range, so not as important to test as frequently, IMO/IME). Now...short term I'm not nearly as worried about alkalinity. Short term in a bag, probably not a big deal. Minor changes in salinity and temp I also don't worry that much about short term. Corals (IME/IMO) don't get shocked like fish and other inverts that have more sophisticated neural system, they don't freak when you turn on the lights suddenly. :)

Regarding the bag with a large coral in it. My understanding is that of course alkalinity is the measure of the ability of a sample of water to resist a change in pH. If you have a large coral, in the dark (or at least not light capable of powering photosynthesis), in a small body of water, that corals is continuing to respire. Remember the coral is an animal. It is the symbiotic algae within the tissues of the coral that takes up CO2 and makes O2 in the presence of light. When a coral is in the dark (or low light) it is respiring, and therefore producing CO2 and likely other acids which will reduce the alkalinity in the water (this is why the pH in your tank drops when the lights are out, everything is making CO2 and acids, both the fish, the corals, the bugs in the sand, etc. etc). How fast I'm not sure, never run the experiment, but it might be significant.

So the point is, measuring alk in the bag a big coral was in for some length of time might not be very meaningful.
 

Greg Hiller

BRS Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BRS Member
#19
Let me add one thing. Short term I'm not super worried about alkalinity, BUT if the light is strong and the alk is low I think that it a very bad situation, and corals (particularly fast growing high calcium users, read SPS) can suffer quickly under such conditions. In that case best (in a tank) to get alk back up quick with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda, 1 tsp per 20 gallons, pre-dissolved in fresh water).
 

Andy V

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#20
Another item worth considering is that many LFS run with their salinity very low. This could also be a contributing factor.
 

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