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tike
01-01-2006, 01:58 PM
I have been having a problem with high calcium(600 the other day:eek: ) lately and can't seem to figure out why.........a little background.....

I have a 20 reg reef tank with a 6 gallon refugium it has been set up for over two years, two fish... clownfish and a basslet. Numerous lps,zoo's, a few shrooms. a couple of sps. I do 15% water changes weekly using instant ocean. As of yesterday my params: Ammonia 0: nitrite 0: nitrate 15-20: pH 7.8-8.1:alk 6dkh: calcium 450. I realize the alk is low and I am adding it but it still falls. I don't measure my magnessium since I do frequent water changes i feel it holds pretty stable.

I started dosing with c-balance 4 months ago. Once my calcium went wacky I quit adding the calcium(part A) altogetherand still add part B. The calcium still rises and the alk decreases.. Yesterday after the water change the calcium measured 375 and this morning it is up to 450!!:eek2: My test kits are about 1 month old.

my thoughts.....1)Do a 50% water change and stop adding supplements. 2) Don't know why (stab in the dark!) turn off the refugium. I have no reason to think this is the problem but i'm getting a little desperate here!

Just wanted to know if anyone out here has been thru this and if i am heading down the right road.

Thanks!!!
willie

steve-s
01-01-2006, 02:30 PM
What salinity do you mix the new water to and what salt do you use? Check your magenesium levels, you most likely need a few water changes to fix the Mg and rebalance the waters chem. Wildly uncontrolable Ca and supressed alk are usually linked to depleted Mg. As far as the cause, could be the saltmix is deficient or you do not do enough regular water changes to keep up. Could also be something in your fuge sucking up the Mg like mangrove?

As far as the C-balance, I use it myself so I don't think it's your cause. Although it could contribute if the levels are wonky from the get go. Once you do the water changes, get all the levels (alk, Ca, Mg) back into their respective ratios and then test your rate of depletion over a weeks time without any chem additions or water changes. That will give you a better idea of what amount (if any) of the C-balance is needed for daily maintenance. Someone can correct me on this but I believe the Mg is in the part A.

Cheers
Steve

Ed Hahn
01-01-2006, 02:41 PM
Willie,
One thing I did not see was Strontium. But I am curious what your Salinity levels are. I am pretty sure when one of your key elements are off if affects the others such as you are reporting. One thing you can do is try to let your tank balance itself out.
Another concern is that you are testing imediately after adding additives. You probably know this, but here it is for those that do not. You want to wait for your additives to mix properly. In other words you want to add your additives and wait at least 4 hours to test again.
This is my oppinion, I mean good and wish you luck.
Ed

tike
01-01-2006, 03:04 PM
steve.....I mix to a salinty of 1.023 at 75F. tank runs between 75-78F. Above i mentioned i use Instant Ocean. In the fuge is just the macro algae Chaetomorpha. Before i used the c -balance the tank was in pretty good shape water param wise. Thanks for the advise!

Ed.... never have tested for Strontium but will try it. Like you stated i test 3-4 hours after adding supplements.

Really appreciate the quick response! I think i will up the water change % for a few weeks and see if i can get things back in balance.

Ed Hahn
01-01-2006, 03:55 PM
steve.....I mix to a salinty of 1.023 at 75F. tank runs between 75-78F. Above i mentioned i use Instant Ocean. In the fuge is just the macro algae Chaetomorpha. Before i used the c -balance the tank was in pretty good shape water param wise. Thanks for the advise!

Ed.... never have tested for Strontium but will try it. Like you stated i test 3-4 hours after adding supplements.

Really appreciate the quick response! I think i will up the water change % for a few weeks and see if i can get things back in balance.

Willie,
Salifert makes a strontium test kit that test your strontium and calcium in one test kit.
hope this helps,
Ed

tike
01-10-2006, 09:27 PM
Okay....... I tried doing a 80% water change this last weekend. After the water change: salinty: 1.024, temp: 79F, alk:8.6dkh, Cal 380ppm. I turned off the refugium,again I have no REAL reason for doing this other then desperation.
Monday sal 1.024, temp 80F, alk 8 dkh, cal 425ppm.....I added nothing to the tank

Tuesday(today) sal 1.024, temp 80F, alk 7, cal 480ppm!!! still adding no supplements

I am pulling my hair out on this one! I still need to wait until tomorrow to get a magnesium test kit, hopefully that will tell me something. This is just the weirdest thing the tank has been stable for years then this. I will keep all posted. If anything maybe documenting this out here can eventually help someone else.

willie:cry: :(

Electrokate
01-10-2006, 10:19 PM
What brand test kit are you using? Some definitely are really inaccurate.
Kate

tike
01-10-2006, 10:28 PM
Aquarium systems......they are what i have always used and these were bought 1 week ago. I know that doesn't mean much cuz you don't know how long the kits sat on the shelf...but looking at the progression i would have to say they are pretty safe and fairly accurate.

Electrokate
01-10-2006, 10:52 PM
See if you can borrow a reputable kit from someone else to doublecheck the results. I had the same problem, calcium tested at 600-750 and nitrate at 200+ and it turned out to be the test kits!
Kate

tike
01-10-2006, 11:14 PM
Well....I'm in south tacoma and you're........right down the road! LOL:) :) :)

See if you can borrow a reputable kit from someone else to doublecheck the results. I had the same problem, calcium tested at 600-750 and nitrate at 200+ and it turned out to be the test kits!
Kate

tony2005
01-10-2006, 11:32 PM
bring in a sample of your water to your lfs,i'm sure they will do the test for free.it's weired how your cal goes up and ur not dosing anything,if anything it should be going down.:confused: with the a and b if i recall u should be dosing both a and b not just a.it could be ur over dosing more of the a than the b.maybe thats why alk is low and ur cal up.

but then again i could be wrong:eek:

tony

Electrokate
01-11-2006, 12:08 AM
Indoor Reef probably would do this. I only have about 1 or 2 tests left in my Salifert kit so can't do it... stupid test always leaks out of the first bottle. I don't like Salifert anymore, think I will try LaMotte next. Those two are supposedly the best. Normally I would be glad to help though!
Kate

MikeS
01-11-2006, 01:17 AM
Yeah, verify these numbers first before you try to correct them....and as Steve mentioned, check the Mg....

If you get a big imbalance in Ca/Alk, it can be difficult to correct, the marbles in the bucket analogy...:D . Once one value is significantly out of balance with the other, adding the deficiant item usually does no good at all. You mentioned you did a large (80%) water change....what were the Ca/Alk values of the new water before going into the tank?

MikeS

steve-s
01-11-2006, 10:44 AM
what were the Ca/Alk values of the new water before going into the tank?
I'd start here as well, along with getting the LFS to verify the readings. Depending on how accurate the hydrometer reading was @ 1.024, your new SW chemistry is probabley somewhere in the range you tested above (380 ppm Ca). IO needs to be at 35 ppt just to get upwards of 400 ppm Ca so it will often need "tweeking" to bring it up a bit higher (420 ppm). When Ca climbs independantly it's almost a guarantee Mg is low. I would do another batch of SW and take a smaple of that as well to the LFS so they can test it for you. There is also the possibility you got a bum batch of salt. Make sure they test alk, Ca and Mg for both samples.

What salinity did the tank end up at after the water change?

Cheers
Steve

tike
01-11-2006, 05:33 PM
Hmmmm....didn't think to measure the values before I put the water in the tank. I will have to do that this week. BTW I use Instant ocean.


Yeah, verify these numbers first before you try to correct them....and as Steve mentioned, check the Mg....

If you get a big imbalance in Ca/Alk, it can be difficult to correct, the marbles in the bucket analogy...:D . Once one value is significantly out of balance with the other, adding the deficiant item usually does no good at all. You mentioned you did a large (80%) water change....what were the Ca/Alk values of the new water before going into the tank?

MikeS