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Q. Where are you located and how do I find you?

A. We are located just off College Parkway and US-41 a block or so behind the Olive Garden Restaurant. Click here for a map.


Q. How do you go about raising the PH and Hardness if both are low? Do you raise one and then test the other? If so…which one? Our tank is at about 7 dKH and the PH is about 8?
A. Raising pH and carbonate hardness can be done together or separately. They generally move together in lockstep, but they don’t have to.The conventional wisdom is that you should raise KH (carbonate hardness) by adding buffer (e.g. Reef Buffer, Marine Buffer, Superbuffer DKH, etc.) and that will raise the pH as the dKH goes up. Most of the time that is a good enough answer. Things get more complicated sometimes when dKH is already at an upper limit but pH is low. The proper range for dKH is 8 – 13 degrees. pH should range from 7.9 to 8.4 . You may find different numbers in some of the books, but in my experience this is the range you can get away with. Calcium was not mentioned in your question but it is intimately involved with carbonate so you always have to look at calcium if carbonate is out of range. Calcium should run between 350 – 550 ppm. A target of 400-500 is appropriate and attainable. If calcium is too high it will cause your buffer to precipitate (cloud the water and then fall out of solution).

Marine chemistry is a matrix that includes many interrelationships and it can become complicated if you let it. The most important thing to remember is that there is a reset button… just do a water change or 2 or 3 and things will go back toward where they belong. If that’s not good enough change to a different brand of salt. When I find my chemistry is out of whack and it doesn’t want to come around despite a water change or two I use TropicMarin salt and that usually turns it around.

For more complicated situations bring a water sample into the shop and we’ll work it out.

Q. How do I get with of red slime algae?

A. The basic instructions to rid your tank of Red Slime Algae are as follows:

Clean off as much red slime as you easily can before treatment.

Remove activated carbon, phosphate remover or other chemical media from filters and turn off protein skimmer (if you have one).

Put 1 tablet Erythromycian (200mg) per 30 gallons in the tank.

Wait 2 to 3 days and repeat the dosage. Wait another 3 days and repeat dosage again. Within three days of this last dose the Red Slime should be gone.

Four days after the last dose you may replace your activated carbon and restart your filters.

Turn your Protein Skimmer back on and set it at a very low setting. Note: If you turn your Protein Skimmer on too high it will quickly fill with foam. Gradually increase the setting back to a normal range over a number of days.

To prevent the return of Red Slime Algae we highly recommend that you run Chemi-Pure in the filter system.