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Old 09-03-2008, 03:24 PM   #1
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issue with calcium

folks, need some help please...I have a 265G tank in which I dose kalk using a drip system of about 2 drops per second, this maintains my pH at around 8.15 (night) to 8.20 (day) but it seems I'm not able to raise my calcium levels past 370-380, I have checked my magnesium levels and they were low, 960, so I raised it over several days to 1300 but I'm still having issues maintaining high calcium, my questions:

BTW, I use a Salifert test to test magnesium.


So:

1. does magnesium go down overnight/weekly - is this something that I should be testing daily and/or dosing daily/weekly?

2. am I not dripping enough kalk (when I meausure the saturated solution it measures at 1500+ on the calcium and 12.89 in pH - I have digital meters for both, they are new and calibrated - chemical tests show the same results)....? should I be dosing more?

3. if I were dosing too much kalk, which I don't think based on the size of tank and drip speed, but if I were, would that bring my calcium and magnesium down?

oh yea, and alk is at 3.75 meq/l - using an Instant Ocean test kit along with a NatuReef test kit.

I have being doing lots of reading from advancedaquarist and reefkeeping.....but I just can not make sense as to why I can not bring this up and keep it there...


other values:

temperature - 79 degrees
salinity 1.021 - measured using refratometer and digital meter
phosphates - 0
nitrites - 0 - measured used nutrfin kit and also instant ocean
nitrates 10 - measured using nutrafin kit and also have digital meter
lights on for 8 hours a day

any help would be immensly appreciated!
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:13 PM   #2
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I don't use kalk, but from what I remember dripping kalk won't *increase* your calcium, but keep it and your alk stable. If you want to increase your Ca levels, you need to do that separately (like using TurboCalcium or the like) and then once you have the ca/alk levels where you want them, start the drip.

Maybe someone that drips kalk can confirm/deny this!
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:57 PM   #3
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I think you are have the same issue I had when I was only dripping kalk. I don't know how you make you kalk mix, but I think (it's been a few years) I used 2 tbsp of Mrs Wages to a gal of water and that was my top off. The problem was my tank was using more than I could supply by dripping. I switched to using the DIY 2-Part solutions.

To answer your other questions:
1- mag is used by up proportionately along with calcium and alk. I don't know the exact ratio, but for example, something like 5 parts ca, 3 parts alk, 1 part mag. That is what makes the 2 part solutions so nice. They are made so you add equal amounts and they maintain the proportions used.

2- You can probably drip as much as you evaporate, but see my reply above.

3- If you were dripping too much, you would see precipitation. Either a snow storm in the tank or a calcium carbonate crust building up on the pumps, heaters, sump wall, etc.

Your reading seem pretty typical for IO. Calcium is usually about 320-340 so the kalk is raising it. Your alk seems a little low tho. IO usually has pretty high alk. Mag sounds about right. You need to dose IO to get it up.
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:36 PM   #4
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dose IO?

sorry I'm having a brain fart here.
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Old 09-03-2008, 05:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Mag sounds about right. You need to dose IO to get it up.
You magnesium levels looks good. You need to dose Instant Ocean with magnesium to get the levels up to an acceptable range.
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:41 AM   #6
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Just kind of a curious question here partially for my benefit. You have this in the fish only section. Do you have corals? I'm not sure if your calcium and mg levels matter as much if its fish only? Will it stress fish if your CA/MG levels get to low?
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:19 PM   #7
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Pat, good catch. This probably belongs in the reef section. Levels would have get really low to bother fish.
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