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Old 03-11-2004, 05:16 PM   #1
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Calcium level low - how can I safely raise it ?

Hi All,
My calcium level is pretty low in my 55g - currently at about 335. The Alk is at (I hope I'm remembering the numbers right) 9.3. I've tried adding some 2 Little Fishies 2-part C-Balance but it seems to have little effect on the levels. I've noticed that part A of the C-Balance has some white clumps or precipitate of some kind in it. The salt I've been using is IO but I just purchased some Bio-Sea Marine Mix which I hope will help when I start water changes with it. Other levels are normal :

Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate all zero
Temp : 80
PH : 8.3
Salinity : 1.025

So here are my questions :

1. Is there a better way to raise the Ca/Alk levels than the C-Balance ?

2. When I start water changes with the new mix, at what rate should I do the changes ? How does 10% per week for a few weeks sound ?

thanks,
Brendan.

p.s. In my tank right now :

1 Maroon Clown
2 Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
Multiple snails (Nassarius, Super Nassarius, Astrea, Turbo, Nerite)
1 well-covered Mushroom rock
1 Green Ricordia
1 Green Star Polyp Rock
1 Short-tentacle Plate coral (This guy is not doing great at the moment but I changed his location yesterday and I'm hoping that will help. If not, I'll post some pics in a seperate thread and ask your advice)
Other than the plate all other livestock appear to be doing very well and the shrimp are molting approx every 2 weeks with little or no disappearing act ! I just wake up one morning to see a carapace stuck to the filter intake and one of the shrimp is a little larger
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Old 03-11-2004, 05:35 PM   #2
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Well, the good news is that none of your corals are highly dependant on the CA and Alk. The easiest way to raise it is through a 2 part additive like you were trying. I would caution that you invest in the good stuff though. Lets see if I can give you the short version...forgive me if i dont have the names of each of the levels just right.

1. common use. This is the difference in salt that you eat and salt that you throw on the side walk to melt the ice. The 2nd one is not as pure and is fine for common use.

2. Retail grade. In our hobby, the best example of this would be Kent. Good product...not the best. Their additives are usually about 95% pure. Thats pretty good right? What about the other 5%...what are they? Usually heavy metals and such. Those are the things we are wanting to remove when we do water changes. So why would you want to use something that you KNOW is going to add them if there is another option.

3. Research grade. This is literally what a scientist would use if he were using Calcium or some other chemical to preform an experiment. The fewer contaminants them more accurate his results will be. Same with our additives. I usually pay for the good stuff, Reef Pure, because they are as close to 100% pure as you can get.


Now...how to raise it safely but quickly. Take a normal weeks dose. Break it in to quarters...add one quarter in the morning..one at night. Repeat the next day. This should bring it up slow enough to not effect the fish, but relatively quickly. If its still not there...repeat the cycle.
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Old 03-11-2004, 05:42 PM   #3
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Re: Calcium level low - how can I safely raise it ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrendanH
1 Short-tentacle Plate coral (This guy is not doing great at the moment but I changed his location yesterday and I'm hoping that will help. If not, I'll post some pics in a seperate thread and ask your advice)
Make sure the plate coral is in the sand. They don't like being on rocks.
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Old 03-11-2004, 05:52 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice SquishyFish

BBReef - I know what you're saying and I have read that exact advice many times elsewhere and here on this board. So here's the weird thing - mine was on the sand and was deteriorating (I really should post some pics which will help). I went to an LFS which I trust (they ONLY do reef and seem to know what they're doing) to see what they would say. The owner showed me about 6 plates in his tanks and said that he has found that placing them a little higher in the tank, on the rocks has worked best. The proof as far as he was concerned was that the 2 that were on the substrate in his tanks were visibly not doing well but those higher in the tank on the rocks looked fantastic, fully extended, great coloring etc. I know - completely opposite what the literature says right ? But I figured it was worth a shot. Anyway, I'll post pics and start another thread on this probably tonight, but if you have any other thoughts in the meantime they would be greatly appreciated.......
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Old 03-11-2004, 05:57 PM   #5
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hmm that is odd, but you gotta do what works right maybe it has something to do with lighting not reaching the bottom or something. well anyways, post a pic of it, maybe we can help you out with it some more.
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Old 03-11-2004, 06:04 PM   #6
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Two part liquid additives will not fix an imbalanced chem. Each part (A/B) must be added to the tank for the chemical synergy to work. One will not be effective without the other. When only needing to augment one side of the equation, in this case CA, you need to get a product specifically for that. Personally I use Kent Turbo Ca but there are many more types available on the market including liquid forms. As suggested start off slowly and be sure to test before each addition.

Also ensure you monitor alkalinity along the way as continuous Ca additions will push down on the alk and cause it to fall some. Keep an eye on the magnesium if you have a test kit or can get one. If maintained in the 1200 ppm range (3x Ca Levels) it will help reduce the impact of Ca over alk.

Cheers
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Old 03-11-2004, 07:29 PM   #7
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Cool - thanks guys. I'll start a seperate thread re. the plate later tonight.
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