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Old 07-18-2004, 04:54 AM   #1
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calcium suddenly climbing?

our tank has been set up for about ayear and a half now and we check alot of water paramaters weekly. About 6 months ago I was dripping kalkwasser and having to use minor amounts of turbo calcium to keep the cal. levels around 425ppm. Now atleast 5 months have gone by without any suppliment other then food going in the tank and thats just frozen brine and nori and the cal. level has climbed 50ppm in the last month. What is the highest I can let it reach before doing something? What can I do about it anyway? there is one good thing though finaly I have small flecs of coraline on the glass woo-hoo.
water parameters for today are
p.h. 8.2
salinity 33ppm
nitrite 0
nitrate 0
amonia 0-.25 (very hard call)
alkalinity 9.8
temp. 81.8f
kh 8 ( if anyone cares about this one)
phosphate .02ppm
thats all we test for if theres another that would help I can have it tested at lfs.
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Old 07-18-2004, 01:27 PM   #2
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Ca can often be as high as 450 ppm or sometimes a hair higher but if/until it gets that high I wouldn't get overly concerned. Easiest way to stem the increase is skip a days drip if you use kalk daily or if done only a few times a week, add an extra day before you dose the kalk again. Water changes are the easiest way to bring levels back into range depending on how your saltmix tests out.

The only other suggestion is to be sure you keep tabs on the Mg as well. Your levels are already in the right balance but if Mg becomes low, alk will deplete much faster and Ca will rise uncontrollabley which is not what you are seeing. Your kalk additions are simpley exceeding what the tank needs...

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Old 07-19-2004, 01:48 PM   #3
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we quit dripping kalk atleast 4 months ago, we use ro/di water for top offs and use no calcium supliment of any kind. One other thing that we have done is switched to oceanic salt around 2 months ago could this be where the increase in cal. is coming from? Next time I mix some water I will test the cal. level before the water change.
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Old 07-19-2004, 04:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sw-addict
One other thing that we have done is switched to oceanic salt around 2 months ago could this be where the increase in cal. is coming from? Next time I mix some water I will test the cal. level before the water change.
The Oceanic could definately be a source for the climbing Ca. Please post the results of the newly mixed SW after it has had about 12-24 hrs to aerate.

I would also suggest getting the Mg tested for sure. If Ca has climbed on it's own, low Mg will definately be a contributor. Have you been adding buffer at all?

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Old 07-24-2004, 06:46 AM   #5
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no buffer at all of any kind in a few months. here are the results of oceanic salt mixed with ro/di water after 32 hrs being stirred by pump at 80.5 degrees.
salinity 33ppm
calcium 480ppm
alk. 5.6 dkh
kh 6
ph 8.4
amonia .25
nitrite 0
nitrate 0
temp 80.3
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Old 07-24-2004, 12:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sw-addict
calcium 480ppm
alk. 5.6 dkh
kh 6
Unless you meant to post the alkalinity as mEq/l, these numbers are way off. Please confirm the alk reading. If it was supposed to be mEq/l you most likely have an Mg deficiencey in the tank. Easily corrected though. Water changes are by far the more fool proof way, but you can also test the Mg and add a premade supp or my own preference being epsom salts.

Quote:
ammonia .25
I would suspect this to be either false or the result of a faulty test kit. If using RO water as you've indicated and only dry salt, there should be no ammonia reading of any kind. Is the RO unit yours or store bought water? If your's I'd check the age on the membranes just to be safe.

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Old 07-24-2004, 03:29 PM   #7
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after rechecking my math the number on the alk. is correct 5.6dkh the tank tests 9.8dkh. I'm betting that the amonia test kit is faulty after testing the new water, april was the 0 reading I had on our tank that had read 0 for over 6 months. the ro unit is at a lfs that just set it up in january of this year how long do the membranes last?
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Old 07-24-2004, 04:00 PM   #8
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You could easily have a bad batch of salt. I would suggest contacting the manufacturer with your results. The DKH after preparing your SW should be much much higher (double) with a Ca as high as that. They may request you send them a small sample but IMO they should replace your existing salt for free.

This could be part of your issue if regular water changes are being performed. The kalk drip is what would be helping the alk numbers but at the same time elevating an already high Ca depending on the CaCO3 demand in the tank. Getting things balanced would be the best direction at this point. Either fix the existing saltmix by buffering before it's used in the tank or get a new batch of salt.

I would still suggest you get the Mg tested or buy a test kit yourself to test both the saltwater and the tank water. I still strongly suspect that is a contributor as well. The Mg should be 1200-1400 ppm based on your salts Ca level.

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