Originally Posted by sanderson417
Gents- I really do admire your coral growth. I have a few more questions for you on calcium and alkalinity. I do my weekly water changes, and my calc remains at 420 ppm
and my Alk
at 125 ppm
, which my research shows is correct. Would you mind advising me of what calc and Alk
levels you target for your reefs? I read somewhere that for optimum growth you could target above 125 ppm
. Is this true? I read 125-200 ppm
. I also read that if I dose Alk
separately, I could end up dropping my calc, is this true? Sorry for all the questions but I want to get this right. My zoas are extremely slow growers based on the growth rates you mentioned earlier. Thank you!
Be patient, I have had corals just hang on for months, then suddenly take off. Your levels are fine unless you are going for a lot of SPS
corals. Calcium and alkalinity balance with each other. In most cases it's hard to get calcium too high as it will just drop out of solution as white particles that can cause some tank cloudiness. I have had this happen more than once and the other side effect is explosive coralline algae growth to the point is it a pain in the a**.
Alkalinity I like in the 10-12 dKH
range. Almost all alkalinity solutions are either sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) that raises alkalinity without any major pH increase and sodium carbonate (soda ash) that also raises alkalinity but also increases Ph. If you have a older tank like mine that tends to be lower Ph, I use sodium carbonate.
But my main source of calcium (the two parts are good at maintaining cal and alk
levels, but really isn't so good at building them up) is old fashioned Kalkwasser. Some like automatic ph controlled calcium reactors for high coral loads, but I like simpler, so I use a old school method. I also dose magnesium, selenium and trace amounts of vitamins and iodine on automatic dosing pumps. Again, my coral load is very high.