High calcium level

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Lemar, 12 Dec 2008.

  1. Lemar

    Lemar

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    Hallo Henny

    I've got a problem with my calcium level, its currently at 600. My tanks is approx 4 months old. 500 liter DT with 100l sump.
    Nitrite = 0
    Nitrate = 1
    Amm = 0
    Alk = 7
    PH = 8

    Can you please give me some information on how to ensure that i get the reading down to 450.
    I'm also experiencing a brown-out (for the last 2 to 3 weeks), and it's not improving. My zoa's and pollyps also does not want to open, which increases my concern

    I will appreciate any help or advice from you
    Thx
     
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  3. SIMS

    SIMS

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    what Ca suppliments are you dosing?
     
  4. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Nothing as yet, what should I be dosing?
     
  5. Raven

    Raven

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    Hi Lemar,
    What is the salinity of your tank? - as this will make a difference in your calcium value as well.
    And what test kit are you using?
    Are you sure that your test kit is still ok?
     
  6. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Salinity = 1022
    The test kit is a Nutrafin Ca test kit, and it's brand new.
    I'm a bit worried about my hydrometer, there could be a problem with my salinity levels (but this has never before been a problem) I ordered a refractometer today, will receive it tommorrow by courier.
     
  7. Shaun

    Shaun Retired Moderator

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    Strange.
     
  8. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Stop using the hydrometer and get a refractometer, they are much more accurate, what is your mag level? alk, ca and mag are very finely connected, if one reading is up or down it affects the others, so you need to know all 3 to ensure balance, also can you test your salt mix? make up a fresh batch of R/O and salt to see what levels you get there.
     
  9. Mtroboer

    Mtroboer

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    Which brand of salt do you use?
     
  10. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    ??
     
  11. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Real Ocean, and it's two different batches. bought 3 months apart
     
  12. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    I will receive my refractometer tomorrow, and then I will test salinity again. I do not have a Mag test, will have to buy one.

    Ok i will try the salt mix. What must I test then, alk and calcuim?

    let's say the problem lies with my hydrometer and my salinity is not correct, could this be the cause of the brown-out and the pollyps and zoa's not opening anymore? and also then the high calcium?
     
  13. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    How old is the tank? the brown out "could" be new tank syndrome, but lets work on the alk ca and mag, get them and the salinity right and we will be going down the right road.
     
  14. Shaun

    Shaun Retired Moderator

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    How many times did you test the Ca, try get a TM test kit. 1 the test kit is faulty or you made a mistake in doing the test you reading it. 2 The salt has high levels of Ca witch I doubt, if any thing it will be lower.
     
  15. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    almost 4 months, i live in lictenburg. I will not be able to get a magnesium test now.
    But i'm going to work on the alk and calcium as well as salinity
     
  16. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    In only tested once, almost emptied the bottle, used 30 drops!
    I will do it again, and use a friends test. I don't know if she has a tropic marine, will find out.
     
  17. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    work on your water quality, the ca will burn itself out and water changes will help, but wait till you get the refractometer - also check that your R/O is good
     
  18. Lemar

    Lemar Thread Starter

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    Ok will do..... must I use a TDS meter to test quality of R/O, or is there another test I can do. Do not have a TDS meter
    The R/O unit is 4 months old, I flush it regularly...
     
  19. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    A TDS meter would be handy, but if you flush the unit before using it, you are probably ok, but it is best to get the meter along with all the other test kits....
     
  20. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    OK, lets see... It is quite unlikely that the calcium level is actually so high, as calcium would start to precipitate at such a high level. Even if it IS so high, there is no reason to panic, though, as it will not be detrimental to the health of your inhabitants.

    Before we try to solve the "problem", let's first check the important parameters. Please test the calcium level again, preferably using another brand of test kit. Also, very importantly, please repeat the alkalinity (carbonate hardness...) test, as the calcium and alkalinity values are linked to some extent. It would be great if you could also test for magnesium, as this element also plays an important role in maintaining the calcium level.

    Depending on the alkalinity level you might have to add some buffer to the water to ensure a balanced calcium:carbonate ratio, but let's look at your results first before we rush into anything...

    It's quite normal for a new tank to experience a golden-brown (diatom) algae bloom after the tank has cycled. This bloom should decrease in 2-3 weeks time, and ithis should then be followed by an increase in green algae growth. If the diatom bloom does not dissipate it is an indication that there are too many nutrients in the water - this could be caused by incorrect filtration, overcrowding, RO filter not working properly, die-off in the tank (perhaps some critters decomposing deep inside your live rock...), bad quality salt, or even airborn dirt/dust entering the tank (a big problem here in the Free State with our dust storms...).

    Again, before we can make an accurate guess as to the cause of the problem, we need more information. what filtration system do you have, what skimmer, what bio-load is there in the tank (fish and corals and other critters...), what clean-up crew do you have (snails, etc.), how often do you do water changes, how much do you feed, do you add any additives or "invert food" to the tank - in short, describe everything you can think of :whistling:

    I would not be too concerned about the brown algae at this stage in your tank's progress - even though it does not look very nice, the algae are actually acting as a biological filter at the moment, removing things from the water which would otherwise have caused harm to the tank's inhabitants.

    Hennie
     
  21. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    OK, I've just read your tank thread, and that helps a bit...

    I see that you upgraded your sump recently, and that you're using play sand. Both are good, but both could also contribute to the diatom bloom, especially with your heavy bio-load:
    • the sand in the new sump needs some time before it can be successfully utilized as a biological filter. Also, a deep sanf bed is not a very effective biological filter if it does not contain sufficient "life" (both variety of species and quantity of each...) - I would suggest that you try to get some live sand from a fellow hobbyist, or even from one of the sponsors (you don't need much, a kg or two will suffice), to "inoculate" your sand bed.If that's not possible then place one or two pieces of live rock on the sand bed in the sump.
    • You state that you clean the tank regularly, and show a photo where half of the tank's sand is a nice white color. Unlike freshwater aquaria, you should never syphon/vacuum/clean a deep sand bed. Doing so just kills or disturbs the very life which makes the sand bed work (it is OK to clean a shallow sand bed, as that is only used for decoration, and not filtration). The only "cleaning" you should do is to clean the frone glass of the tank, and clean the pumps and other hardware.
    • If the play sand has not been adequately washed before you addd it to the tank there is a slight possibility that the very fine sand dest could have introduced some bio-available silica to the water. Diatome absolutely need silica to live (used to build their "skeletons", and the diatom bloom usually stops after a short while when the lack of silica becomes the limiting nutrient in their growth. Don't stress about this, though - the diatoms will soon use up all the silica, and then die back.If, however, your tap water contains a high amount of silica, there is a real possibility that your RO filter won't remove enough of this element, and then you could have a long-term diatom problem - I guess only time will tell if you have such a problem or not...
    Personally, I would reduce the fish load for the next few months, if possible. I would also import some life into the sump, add some lights to the sump, and start to grow some macro algae (Caulerpa would probably be the easyest to get and to keep alive, anthough Chaetomorpha would be better in the long run.)

    I hope this helps - please keep us updated with your progress towards a stunning reef tank :wave2:

    Hennie
     
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