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Old 03-21-2006, 05:05 PM   #1
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calcium too high?? sickly starfish??

hello everyone! i haven't posted on here in a loooong time, but i always search the forums whenever i have any concerns. so, i have a few questions. i have a 60 gallon tank that has been established for about 3 years or so. i have a blue tang, percula clown, rose bta, two peppermint shrimp, and various snails and crabs (including my favorite guy - "bluey" - an electric blue hermit). i am setting up my qt in preparation for a new fish addition, so i checked my water parameters today:

ammonia = 0
ates = 10
ites = 0.3
silicates = 1.16 ppm
kh = 7.7
alk = 2.74

and the odd reading (which has been the same since back in december):
calcium = >500 ppm

is this reading too high? i am using a salifert test kit. i don't have any corals (tried a few awhile back, but they never did well).

one more thing - i have an orange sea star that has been doing well since i first introduced him on 2/12/06. i dripped him for around 5 hours and tried my very best not to touch him or expose him to air. i haven't supplemented his feeding but, like i said, he has seemed to be doing fine until a few days ago. i found him curled up and the bottom of the tank and thought that was the end - but i didn't want to remove him just in case. good thing i didn't because two days later he was back up and moving on the glass. the only thing that concerns me is the tips of his legs are slightly curled and whitish in color. any ideas?

sorry for the long post. tia!
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Old 03-21-2006, 05:29 PM   #2
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Your water tests concern me. You should never have a nitrIte reading greater than 0. Any amount of nitrite can be toxic. This could be one of the reasons your starfish is showing signs of disintegration.

You CA seems high, but i dont think that would be a cause for concern, depending on exactly what you mean by >500.
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:37 PM   #3
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well, for my NH3, ates, ites, and pH i have the fastest test kits - which i know are not completely precise and accurate. the other kits i have are salifert.

i just re-tested the nitrates, and i got a reading of <10 - which i think is the normal reading i've always had with the tank. the water compared to the color chip is not completely clear (which would indicate a 0 reading, correct?) however, for the 2-3 years that i have been using this kit i have always gotten a slight color when reading the results.

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Old 03-22-2006, 02:04 PM   #4
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nitrAtes or nitrItes?

some level of nitrates is normal and not harmful.

Any level of nitrItes is a sign of something out of balance.

has anything changed about your system recently?
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