Solidification of Arragonite Substrate

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riemannp

spike
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
75
Location
North Seattle
Hello,

Like many, I occasionally fall behind with my reef water chemistry--including lapses in my manual 2-part dosing. I notice solid blocks of my substrate occur from time to time, including some pcs 4-6" long. I'd be grateful for an explanation as to what causes this. I know what the solution is: i.e. just stay on top of my water quality. Regardless, any feedback is greatly appreciated.
 

IPisces

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
6,455
Location
Hansville, WA
I am not really sure why it happens either. I was told many years ago when I bought the sand, that it will do that. I have not actually seen it happen though. unless it has to do with excrement from inverts, worms in the substrate that bond with the sand to make it solid. I dont really know, but thats my guess.
 

mfinn

Surgeonfish
Joined
May 31, 2004
Messages
6,901
Location
Olympia, WA
I remember this from my deep sand bed days.
Calcium in the water was binding to the aragonite sand causing it to clump, (sometimes large clumps)
Some said it was as hard as concrete.
 

riemannp

spike
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
75
Location
North Seattle
***Has anybody had their pumps start to freeze up do to calcium carbonate buildup?***

This "solidification" also increased a "caked" layer on my pumps, etc. In fact, my large skimmer stopped working property, until I soaked it with vinegar. I've maintained a reef aquarium for over 10 years, but can't recall such a strong case of calcium carbonate buildup--including the solidification in the substrate.
 
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