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Old 03-27-2012, 06:36 PM   #1
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Solving calcium issue?????

Just set up my tank 2 wks ago, day 3 tested w/ API all parameters were normal for cycling tank except calcium-560. I have tested daily since and my calcium has steadily gone up to 620-today. Does anybody know why this is happening, should I worry and I would ask if I should let it precipitate out but its going the other direction?????

Parameters today
Ammonia-0.25
Nitrate-20
Alk-8
Phos-0.25
Cal-620
Salinity-1.023

The ONLY things in my tank
40 lbs crushed coral
20 lbs carib live sand
20 lbs dry base rock
10 lbs cured LR.
RO/DI and Tunze lab salt-80 gallons

I am NOT dosing anything at all, the only thing I added was a thawed shrimp from the grocery store to the start cycle. The end of the 1st week I did notice 2 bristle worms a peanut worm and the awful red turf algae taking off-I know correlation doesn't equal causation but I figured I would mention just in case these have anything to do with it.
I appreciate any I can get with this
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Old 03-27-2012, 06:50 PM   #2
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First, wait until your cycle is complete and retest your parameters. Second, the API test kit is very variable in regards to it's calcium test. I'd suggest getting a 2nd opinion at your LFS (provided they use a different test kit). Either way you'll probably want to buy a better reef test kit down the line if you intend on keeping corals. Red Sea and Salifert make good test kits for this.

Few other thoughts:

Are you keeping your lights on during the cycle? If so, turn them off. It's not needed right now and only promotes algae growth.

Are you sure you want crushed coral in your tank? If not cleaned properly, this stuff becomes a nitrate factory and keeps decaying organic compounds.

I'd also also recommend increasing your salinity to 1.026. It's the salinity of natural sea water and will be best for your future fish/corals.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:24 PM   #3
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Thanks for helping me. Already ahead of you on getting a better kit, I ordered the Red Sea yesterday. So you think it is most likely the API test-false reading?
I don't have lighting set up for the tank yet, I figured I would have a month to figure out what lighting I wanted, so should I just cover the tank during during the day?
Oh my bad on the crushed coral, its kind of stuck in my head for no reason-its actually dry aragonite and live sand-is the aragonite just as bad though?
On the salinity, my Tunze salt actually comes out to that exactly but the bag was only for 63 gallons so it got diluted as I needed to make extra for the sump-guess it's good after all.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:53 PM   #4
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Yep. API's calcium test kit is about worthless. Salifert is a decent brand, as is Elos. I've never tried Red Sea's kit.

Rick is correct about the salinity.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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I knew I should have looked into the API before I bought-lesson learned
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carinea View Post
Thanks for helping me. Already ahead of you on getting a better kit, I ordered the Red Sea yesterday. So you think it is most likely the API test-false reading?
I don't have lighting set up for the tank yet, I figured I would have a month to figure out what lighting I wanted, so should I just cover the tank during during the day?
Oh my bad on the crushed coral, its kind of stuck in my head for no reason-its actually dry aragonite and live sand-is the aragonite just as bad though?
On the salinity, my Tunze salt actually comes out to that exactly but the bag was only for 63 gallons so it got diluted as I needed to make extra for the sump-guess it's good after all.
No need to cover the tank during the day; just don't add extra light. Not sure what you mean by dry aragonite....do you mean dry aragonite sand? If so, then yes; this is fine. It'll become "live" over time.
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