Calcium

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by Warr7207, 17 Feb 2008.

  1. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Is there a problem if my calcium levels get to 450mg/l (ppm) ?
     
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  3. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Not really, but you're starting to reach the limit there, ideally try to drop it down to between 400 - 420.
     
  4. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    What happens when you have elevated levels ?
     
  5. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Well if your calcium and alkalinity go a bit out of whack then you could end up with what's known as a "snowstorm" in your tank.

    Here are some excerpts from WWM and advanced aquarist...

    In troubled systems, the misapplication of calcium supplements (dosing suddenly or to excess) is known to cause a sudden precipitation of carbonates (the alkalinity falls/crashes) that is commonly referred to as a “snowstorm”. It is instigated by the influx of a large or rapid amount of calcium entering the system that spikes the pH immediately surrounding carbonate molecules and causes a crystalline precipitation (fallout).

    To safely avoid dangerous imbalances in the Ca-Alk dynamic, aquarists simply need to avoid pushing either component to an extreme end or both simultaneously high. Instead, think of the relationship as a Hi-Lo situation within the safe ranges. Within the accepted ranges (350-450 ppm Ca and 8-12 dKH Alk), one parameter can be pushed to a high end while the other is allowed to stray toward the middle or lower end. Any reasonably mix of the two will still provide more than enough of both elements for successful calcification. More importantly, consistent levels of both are far more supportive of growth in calcareous organisms than the inconsistent but high average of either component otherwise. Many aquarists enjoy phenomenal growth in their reef creatures with rather modest Ca and Alk levels. Indeed, consistency with all aspects of aquatic husbandry is more conducive to success than random high points.

    Consequently, limewater overdose, especially dosing of lime solids, is by far the most frequent cause of “snowstorm” events where calcium carbonate precipitates out all through the water column. In some cases, the tank can look like milk. The good news is that this event rarely causes lasting harm to tank inhabitants (at least that has been recorded to date), but it is nearly always upsetting to the aquarist.
     
  6. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    For more info on "snowstorms" google - calcium alkalinity snowstorm
     
  7. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    Ok, that's cool info. So I have the Hi-Lo situation calcium - 450 and Alk - 7dkh
     
  8. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Not really, you're still safe for now, but your calcium needs to be monitored, don't let it get any higher.

    If you are dosing kalkwasser I would recommend stopping for a while.
     
  9. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    OK, I have been dosing away merrily, not realising that when I was reading my test kit syringe I was reading from the actual reagent level rather than the syringe plunger level, and thinking my calcium was low started increasing my dosage.

    I have been using Calcuim Hydroxide and Calcium Supplements.
     
  10. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Ok, stop all calcium dosing for a few days, monitor your calcium until it gets to about 400, it might take a while as I don't think you have many calcium demanding creatures in your tank.

    Once it gets to 400 then measure how long it takes to get to 380, once it hits 380 then add your calcium supplement until it get's back up to 400. This is how I do it and it gives me a fairly good idea of my calcium demand so that I know fairly well how much calcium my tank consumes over a certain period of time. Although I have been fairly lazy and am only dosing calcium and alkalinity every weekend, but my usage is not high so the levels don't drop drastically.

    p.s. Do not add alkalinity and calcium supplements at the same time, I like to do them on alternate days.
     
  11. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    " Do not add alkalinity and calcium supplements at the same time, I like to do them on alternate days."

    In Alkalinity do you mean buffer. If so buffer is with top up's and calcium is alternated between calcium supplement and Ca(OH)2 every day, but dripped in separately to RO.

    Will stop Ca dosing and monitor the drop. Great idea :thumbup:

    I don't have much Ca creatures, 1 x bird's Nest 2 x LPS (not sure how much Ca they use.) 5 x Tube/Fan worms.
     
  12. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Your calcium consumption will be very little.

    What buffer are you using?
     
  13. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    Was using Tropic - triple buffer, now moved on to Baking Soda
     
  14. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Ok. Leave both for now, let the calcium drop a bit then check what your alkalinity reading is, if you need to up your alkalinity then do that, but do not pour it all in at once, take about 30 minutes to an hour to add the mixture to your tank.

    Any idea what your daytime and night-time pH readings are?
     
  15. Warr7207

    Warr7207 Thread Starter

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    Day - 8.4

    Night - 8.2
     
  16. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Just remember not to rush the dosing, you don't want to go from 7 to 12 dKH in one day. I am very happy with a reading of 8 and try to maintain mine there.
     
  17. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Ok, that's cool.
     
  18. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    did a test last week on my tank
    Ca 476
    Alk 8dkh
    both tropic marine test kits.all SPS still looking good
     
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