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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I've been going through this low calcium thing for a while now.

Tank is a 58 with 70 gallons of total water volume.

Calcium is at 330.
Alk is at 9 DKH.
PH is 8.3
Magnesium - 1100
Sal 1.025
Temp 80

I have tried these.

kalk - nothing.
B-Ionic - nothing but lowered my Alk ?
Trying turbo calcium now.

My Alk dropped to 5 DKH and I added Kent Superbuffer to get that back up. That took one dose and the ALK is back but the calcium is still low.

I have done 15 gallon water chnages once a week for a month then the last to changes have been 30 gallons each time.

I notice that the calcium has droppped when I switched from Coralife salt to IO salt.

Any ideas?

I am avoiding a calcium reactor but might have to make a purchase.
 

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How did you measure ca, alk and magnesium?

Did you also measure the alk and ca in the fresh IO salt mix?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Salifert Test Kits
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Did some more test tonight.

Freshly Mixed SW
Cal - 260
Alk - 11.65
Mag - 800

Tank

Cal -340
Alk - 11.65
Mag 1080

2 small forgspawns, wesophelia, sinularia, few shrooms and 3 1 inch SP frags
 

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First off, I'm no water chemistry expert. Far from it. But a couple things do come to mind based on what you've already reported.

First off, what's you salinity like, and how are you measuring it? If you're using one of those swing-arm plastic affairs or a floating "dip-stick", it could be that your salinity is lower than you think, and that would give you lower Ca & Mg all by itself.

Having said that, let's assume the Sp.G. is at 1.025 or a salinity of 35 ppm. That Mg is a bit low, and that's going to make it hard to get & keep Ca and Alk up in decent ranges. Sounds like your water changes haven't done much to improve the situation, and the values reported for your freshly mixed SW make me think a different mix might be in order. If you do change salt mixes, prudence dictates that you go slow.

Regards,
Bert
 

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Is the fresh SW IO?

If so then the bag might be a bad batch or something wrong with the kit or with the procedure used.

before we go and try to find out please let me know first if it is IO whatt you tested.

TIA
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
IO is what I have tested.

My salinity is 1.025 using a refractometer.
 

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Ok, I have seen that you have the same thread on two different forums on Reefcentral. There is perhaps no need to have the same thread in 3 differnt forums. :D

FWIW The mag and calc suggest the salinity is too low but the alk suggests it is too high if compared with "normal" IO values.

So something is IMO certainly wrong.

I would if possible some water to a LFS and have it tested there and/or take your kits over there and do sometesting with fresh IO SW if they have it.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The reason for 3 different forums is to get different opinions. All reefers do not read all 3 boards.

My LFS does not test for anything except PH, Amonia, and Nitrates.
 

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OK, so it's not a Sp.G. issue. That leaves either the IO or testing kit/technique. Can you take a sample to your LFS or another reefer and have them test for Ca, Mg, & Alk. ? If they get similar results, then you can be pretty sure its the mix.

FWIW, the last bag of IO I played with also showed low Ca & Mg that could be independently confirmed, which is why I don't use the stuff. But that's just me....

And no, I don't want to get involved in another episode of the "salt mix wars" :D

Regards,
Bert
 

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I did understand that. :D

If you did not contaminate the test kits and are using them correctly then the chance that two or more are bad can IMO be neglected. The ca and mg could give lower readings if you did not cap them properly after use so that water can evaporate.

OTOH if they are giving low values then the Coralife would contain quite alot of both calcium and magnesium.

Assuming you are doing it correct etc then I am inclined to suspect the IO batch you have.
 

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Rob_Reef_Keeper said:

I have tried these.

kalk - nothing.
B-Ionic - nothing but lowered my Alk ?
Trying turbo calcium now.

Having had these problems ;)

Kalk will not raise your calcium.

I never had luck with the B-Ionic but using one without the other for ex the Ca without the buffer will cause problems. Maybe you need more buffer as opposed to Ca or vise versa.

Turbo calk will work but be very careful it is exactly what it says TURBO. Go slow. Make sure you follow the directions exactly to the letter.

Personally what I did was change the water and started over. You dont have any huge ca users so I wouldn't get crazy. Bring all the param's up slow Alk and ca. From what I understand about Mag is it helps maintain Ca levels, keeps it from depleting if you will. I'd stop adding that till I got a handle on the levels.

Watch your PH alk readings and ca. Go slow you have time ;) just gotta stay on it. I was testing 2 and 3 times a day till I got it worked out.

Also keep in mind if you have changed salts and you are pre treating water that you are adding to the tank you are going to have shifts. Also if using two different mix's this should be done slowly over time ( like weeks ) 5% change new salt 10% change new salt etc.

If you pre treat your water to lets say 400ppm ca and your tank water is 400ppm that doesnt mean that once your water is changed and add'd it's going to be 400ppm in the tank. There will be a shift. Trying to compensate for that is difficult at best. I usually leave the water going in a few points lower and adjust accordingly.

Let us know how you make out.

Mike
 

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Longshot:

FWIW, the last bag of IO I played with also showed low Ca & Mg that could be independently confirmed

This is interesting. :)

Do you recall the values and how they were measured?

TIA. :)
 

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Rob,

Sorry, I posted after your last message. Sounds like the LFS isn't an option for confirming your measurements.

You might try this. Get some Coral Life salt mix and make up a batch, say 5 gal. of SW with it taking care to get the Sp.G. right at 1.025 @ 78 degrees F. Then check it for Ca & Mg. If you get a Ca of 400 - 500 and a Mg of 1300 or more, you can pretty well assume your test kits are telling the truth.

That last batch of IO I tested was tested with brand new Salifert kits on 3 separate occasions. The results were confirmed by my LFS using SeaChem test kits and another reef-keeping friend who also uses the Salifert kits.

BTW, I am definitely NOT recommending Coral Life as a SW mix for reefs, so put down the flame-thrower and back away sloooowly :)

Bert
 

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The IO I tested back in June averaged a Ca of 310 ppm with a Std Dev of 12 ppm over ten tests. The mean Mg was 1080 with a Std Dev of 28.over the same 10 tests.

Yeah, I know.... way too much time on my hands.

Bert
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am thinking of bringing my test kits to the LFS and test their water to verify. I might go but another set of kits as well.

I am out of Coralife so I will haev to get something else to do that test.

My 15 gallon nano has the same measurements.
 

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Bert:

That last batch of IO I tested was tested with brand new Salifert kits on 3 separate occasions. The results were confirmed by my LFS using SeaChem test kits and another reef-keeping friend who also uses the Salifert kits.

Thanks. :) But do you recall the measured values?

EDIT: Sorry, I missed the post in which you gave the values. A LOT of work doing so many tests. Thanks a lot. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I just got my new Salifert Calcium Test Kit.

Same results.

Since my new SW is low on everything, should I treat the new SW before adding it to the tank?

What Reactor should I look to get for my tank?
 

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If I may ask a question or two. I have read and re-read this post

I have tried these

kalk - nothing.
B-Ionic - nothing but lowered my Alk ?
Trying turbo calcium now.
.
How long ago did the problem originate?

How long did you do the above treatments?

How long in between these treatments before you started the new one?

Do you do water changes in between the treatments?

Have you thought of just stopping everything you are doing. Do a good size water change and let the tank settle down.

It's kinda like a human body. If you take too much of any type medication, your system can build a resistance to it. One or more of the treatments you are doing may be canceling the other out. These type of things you won't be able to fix. Your tank is (or should be) a biologically balanced system. Mess up the system and things just don't go right.

I would suggest you stop...don't add anything. Do a water change and be patient.
 
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