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Some Startup Questions

691 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  nate-g
My tank is only two days old and doing well (for the most part). The temp is steady at 82 degrees, but I think that's a little high... my lighting it two pc 96 watt that are elevated from the glass hood by wooden blocks. I do not have a heater in the tank right now considering there is no need. Is there any way to lower the temperature?

I tested ffor my calium levels, and got a weird result, so I went to the LFS. According to the guy, my calcium is at 750 (wow) and my alk is down at 7.5. FYI he used the seachem kit. When I tested for alk, it was in the "normal" range according to my Red Sea test kit (it does not show specific number ranges, just a mixture of colors). Does anyone have a opinion of what I should do?

Thanks for your help in advance,
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Kayla, I would think about adding a pc fan or two. Blow them off of the water but you will need more make up water. This will bring it down.

Calcium seems too high, but use the kH kit in the REd sea and see if you get about 10-14 PPM or mg/l (I can't remember what it measures), The alk thing should be on the high side of normal. Ju

New Tank

If you just mixed up the salt, there is little that can be wrong with any of the values other than salinity/ specific gravity. You should be running the tank for several weeks before adding any animals so the temperature is of little concern, but the fans will help. For the next month the best thing to do is relax, read several books, and let the tank cycle the live rock. After the establishing the bacterial filter cycle you will worry about the algae bloom, but it is all part of a maturing system. If you want to grow hard corals your lights may prove inadequate but metal halides will be hotter.

At that point where the strong circulating pumps and lights make the water warmer than 80-82 deg, most folks crank up the Air Conditioning in the fish room and temper the water temp with a heater in the sump.

All the reading will separate the photosynthetic animals needing lots of light like acropora corals from the animals like softies and fish which require less illumination. For a tank your size, in the future after adding animals that use calcium, or coralline algae dominates your rock, you could use the two-part additives or a calcium reactor or Kalkwasser. Water changes alone will be sufficient for the next few months.

Welcome to the hobby where you always have something to learn and investigate.
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SOmething went way wrong w/ the calcium test.

You can't have 750. Long before that level the calcium would start comming out of solution as a white dusting all over everything.

Do not believe that test. Find somebody that lives near you and have them come over w/ their calcium test kit. Also most of the bigger test kits have a reference solution to check the kits reagents.
Hi Kayla,

I wouldn't be too concerned with a temp of 82 in the summer time. You certainly want to monitor it and watch for it to get any higher though. Fans work wonders for lowering the temperature but this is done through increased evaporation so keep an eye on that.

Are you adding anything to the water that could be causing the ca to be that high? I would think the water would be cloudy if it is in fact that high. I would double check that reading.
No, I am not adding anything right now to my water. It is crystal clear though. The reading came from the guy at the LFS. He used a brand new (I saw him open it) Seachem kit. Could the fact that the water was sitting in a bag in my car for an hour while I was waiting for the store to open be a factor? He also said my alk was @ 7.5 and too low. What should I do to raise it? Thanks again.


Also, my LR and sand came from an established tank, so technically I should not have to cycle. Could that e contributing to the extra-high calcium/ low alk?

My lights are supposed to have automatic fans that keep the temp cool.
I would retest the water before doing anything. The ca shouldn't be that high on freshly mixed SW. If it is in fact that high then you could add some buffer to raise the alk. The LR wouldn't have an effect on the ca reading.

It's not unusual to need extra fans blowing across the surface of the water to aid in cooling in hot weather.
You can not get a reading of 750 --- end of story.

You could not find a post on any of the reef BB's where somebody actually had a legitimate calcium level over about 600. It won't stay in solution and you'll either have cloudy water (like Rick said) or a dusting on the rocks (my previous post)

Either something went bad in your water or the guy screwed up the test (assuming the reagents were good). Useing a SeaChem calcium kit (ARC ownes a SeaChem Calcium kit) a single titration will only read up to 500 ppm. He would have had to fill the titration tube up a second time to continue reading beyond that.

Most likely he screwed up with the dilution water or the powder or something and the test is just wrong.

If he screwed up the Calcium test can you rely on him for the Alk test ??? And if he tried to actually say you had a level of 750 can you rely on him for anything ????

Forget those tests and move on. Get your water retested somewhere else for both Calcium and Alk and go from there. Try one of our sponsor stores. Explain what happened and see if they will retest a fresh sample. If it was one of our sponsor stores please e-mail me right away.
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Even if you got rock from an established tank, you could still go through a mini least until your filtration catches up ...with the bioload. I agree with the above....750 CA level would be snow in July. :D

I definitely wouldn't worry about the heat, but another fan blowing across the water surface will help...just remember to top off with fresh water for evaporation.
Well I have a clip-on fan running and the temp is down to 80. Wow, those little things really do work.

I think I'm going to buy a new calcium kit and also get a friend to test my water tomorrow to get this whole deal fixed up. Thankfully everything else seems to be going well at the moment. My salinity is steady at 1.022 so I haven't had to topoff yet. Ammonia and nitrites are at zero, and my nitrate has been at 2.5 ppm for awhile. That will probably change when I add fish... :funny:


Thanks again for all of your help!

Make sure when you add top off water that it is RO/DI water! You can buy it at publix for 25 cents a gallon. Just bring your own water juggs and fill up at the machine. It is just as easy as that. I visit the machine at least once a week.

Hope that helps
I wouldn't sweat it if your temp stays at 82. I'm sure you know that the important thing is to keep it constant (no more than a 1 degree swing). I typicaly run my tank at between 81 and 83 (I have Metal Halides). You might want a bit higher salinity than 1.022 though. Not that it will hurt anything, but I know alot of people seem to like to keep it at 1.025 or 1.026.

I recently had High calcium: 575 using the seachem reef status kit. It was causing precipitate to form a crust over everything. The LFS guy didn't run your test right. I had to titrate twice to get a reading over 500.

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