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Old 11-01-2004, 01:52 PM   #1
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trying to understand Alk and Calcium 'balance'

Ok, so since I know that alkalinity needs to be in balance with calcium levels, I'm trying to find a chart for this.

i stumbled across this:
http://www.coralforum.com/reference38.html

Does that mean that if my alkalinity is 2.5 meq/l that my calcium should be close to, but not exceeding 410ppm?

Cuz currently my alk is indeed 2.5meq/l but my calcium is a mere 275ppm. I'd like to get more acceptable calcium levels, and to know if I'm reading that chart properly.
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Old 11-01-2004, 03:14 PM   #2
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For a good explanation of ca/alk balance check out:

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/index/

There are a few good articles that explain it very well.
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Old 11-01-2004, 04:16 PM   #3
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excellent stuff!
I need a new calcium supplement. This kent stuff is weak. Added 2 teaspoons yesterday and today my calcium is only up to 300ppm.
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Old 11-01-2004, 05:21 PM   #4
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Here are two web scripts I like to use. It helps keep things simplified....

http://www.andy-hipkiss.co.uk/cacalc.htm]Balanced Calculator[/url]

Reef Chemistry Calculator

Cheers
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Old 11-01-2004, 05:38 PM   #5
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and so I'm clear, 2.5meq/l is the low side of acceptable, but 300ppm is on the low side..I should shoot for 400ppm right?

all this is at a pH of 8.2

I just wanna make sure I should be focusing on calcium, not alkalinity AND calcium...
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Old 11-01-2004, 05:42 PM   #6
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No, no....you should be focussed on Ca AND Alk. They move together and are related. You need to move them BOTH upward, in a balanced way.

Use additives to achieve balance. Use Kalk or some other "balanced" system to try to increase both together.
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Old 11-01-2004, 06:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
Use additives to achieve balance. Use Kalk or some other "balanced" system to try to increase both together.
Agreed whole heartedly.
Just be sure they are balanced by raising only the Ca before you begin the regular dosing maintenance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
and so I'm clear, 2.5meq/l is the low side of acceptable, but 300ppm is on the low side..I should shoot for 400ppm right?
Your Ca is quite low but there is nothing wrong with the alk level. NSW is 1.5-3 mEq/l alkalinity and 380-420 ppm Ca. There is absolutely no reason or benefit to going beyond these levels. Keeping them in the higher range of those levels can be beneficial for a high demand tank. It helps keep the chemistry from bottoming out depending on the supplimentaion scheme.

Once you get the Ca in balance with the alk, maintaining them equaly as Brad suggested with a 2 part or kalk.

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Old 11-01-2004, 07:00 PM   #8
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Thanks Steve, and that's what I meant...right now I need to get Ca levels up, then use a 2 part system to keep them balanced.
Currently I'm using Kent Calcium, and Kent Superbuffer dKh, although really I'm only dosing the calcium. It seems rather weak...a teaspoon seems to add less than 20ppm of calcium.
Knowing I have a 1000g canister if the Superbuffer, what would you 'experienced' reef keepers suggest as a calcium supplement to go along with it?

I think I'm seeing the light at the end fo the tunnel!
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Old 11-01-2004, 10:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
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It seems rather weak...a teaspoon seems to add less than 20ppm of calcium.
Might seem so but if your using the Turbo Ca, it's actually an excellent stand alone additive. You can easily double that amount added daily. 2 tspn for a 40 gal won't harm anything. Just be mindful to check alk along the way. It does have a tendancy to fall off if Mg is not in the right range. I wouldn't adjust the alk upwards, just try to maintainm it.

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Old 11-02-2004, 10:12 AM   #10
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nope, its not the turbo calcium, its the plain Liquid Calcium: http://www.kentmarine.com/saltwater/lc.html
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