How does it work???

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by Annoying, 8 Dec 2011.

  1. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Hey

    Ok so I've been bored and have been reading around about coral structures and minerals in the water. A few days ago I read in another thread that if you leave a kalk slurry open to the air it will very slowly start turning the calcium into calcium carbonate which is insuluable(spelling) in water, but yet coral structures are built from calcium carbonate. Now I would like to know how does the coral change the calcium into a usable form of calcium carbonate?
     
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  3. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    OMG...

    No I am not going to write a book here. I suggests you read these in your spare time. LOL

    Books by Stephen Spotte. The Science & Technology one comes to mind.

    Books by Svein Fossa & Jacob Nilsen. There are four volumes . All good.

    Book by Delbeek & Sprung Science, Art, and Technology.

    Have a happy reading holidays.
     
  4. Annoying

    Annoying Thread Starter

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    Isn't there a summary:lol:
     
  5. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  6. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Nemos is getting lazy?
    The calcium in kalk is calcium hydroxide. It reacts with carbon dioxide to form insoluble calcium carbonate, which cannot be used by corals to build their skeletons. Corals use free calcium in the water, along with a host of other minerals, pH lowering etc etc, to form their skeleton. So corals forming calcium carbonate isnt really turning it into a useable form, but more like a step in growth.
    Does that make sense?
     
  7. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    I have reread your question. And there are two aspects.

    One is: how corals take up calcium.

    The other is: the way calcium hydroxide becomes calcium carbonate?

    The next Q will be : once it becomes carbonate how can I remove it or turne it back to hydroxide?
     
  8. brentch

    brentch

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    Taken up actively, via a proton pump (Ca^2+), along with into a single cell tissue layer called...... not too sure.... Mitochondria expel CO2 and H2O through respiration (check out krebbs cycle if you're brave) in and into this layer. These two form HCO3 ions and H protons. HCO3 ions are then pumped passively into the calcifying layer, by simple membrane exchange of negative and positive ions. Calcium ions are simultaneously transported to the calcifying layer through a proton pump, which uses the naked H proton from the formation of the carbonate ion. The carbonate and calcium ions then react (precipitate) to form calcium carbonate!!!!!!!!! This reaction also produces bare H protons which balance the equation. These protons are pumped back to the first layer, to keep pH high in the skeletal structure. All the active transport occurs with the use of H ions and ATP (an energy carrier if you want to call it that) courtesy of the coral's Zooaxanthellae.
     
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  9. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Explained in simple terms Exactly ;)

    :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: 8 Dec 2011
  10. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Quite a complicated process, but well put by brentch.

    My understanding, in laymens koraalkweker koos koos language as follows:

    The calcification process or biomineralization is controlled by an organic matrix, which requires calcium and bicarbonate.

    Before we get to the complicated biological process, let's first look at the major minerals present, i.e. Ca and HCO3 ( bicarbonate)
    Ca is elevated around coral reefs due to the following reasons: - coral reefs are located in shallow tropical water, and therefore exposed to intense heat and light. This inevitably causes a degree of evaporation (think about all the rain in tropics, that water had to come from somewhere...
    As it is only fresh water which evaporates, there is bound to be an increase in specific gravity, i.e. Dissolved minerals, salts, elements etc.
    The increased temp also decreases the solubility of CO2. With the increased lighting, we also have increased photosynthesis, which further removes carbon dioxide, consequently raising pH.
    All the above inevitably lead to a state of super-saturation of calcium and alkalinity, the perfect condition for calcification.

    The bicarbonate on the other hand, is simply CO2, dissolved in water, and due to the alkaline nature of seawater, the dissolved CO2 is converted to HCO3, or bicarbonate. This of course leaves very little CO2 available for photosynthesis, a function of the corals symbiotic zooxanthellae. To overcome this, HCO3 (bicarbonate) ions are used as a source of inorganic Carbon to fuel photosynthesis. Note the H ion in thre, which is of major importance in understanding Brentch's explanation above.
    Going slightly off topic, but it is suspected that the released H ions play an important role in nutrient uptake and consequent tissue (think popping colours) building, relative, but not for now....

    Now to the complicated biological process, the one with big names for things like tissue, stomach, polyps, mouth and vains....
    Inside the polyp, zooxanthellae photosynthesize in the presence of light. Calcification ( the "removal" of CaCO3) which happens on the outer tips( think white growth tips) creates/releases CO2, which is transported to the zooxanthellae. Brent explained this better, sort of...:blush:

    How exactly calcium calcium, carbonates and CO2 are moved around to and from the calcification site is where it gets really "interesting!" Current studies refer to the presence of low molecular weight proteins and bone morphogenetic proteins within the calicoblastic ectoderm, as well as the molecular mechanisms of Ca+ transport and the role of calcium ATP-ase. However, that's the point where I realise my gps aint gonna get my mind outta this maze and I take a walk to my tank and go stare in awe at these intiguing little korale that koos is trying to kweek!
     
  11. Annoying

    Annoying Thread Starter

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    It's times like these that I'm very glad I have Biology as a subject:lol:. Thanks for the replies guys got a lot more then I bargained on.
     
  12. brentch

    brentch

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    Sorry:biggrin: I had a simple schematic I drew in my 2nd year when I was doing a module called marine ecophysiology, but can't find it anywhere now. That's all I can really remember from it, it is a bit more complicated. Google it, i'm sure there's an explanation somewhere other than in journal articles (for a laymens interpretation). I'll draw up a schematic and post it this afternoon after work:)
     
  13. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Great explanation nonetheless Brent. The schematic would be helpful, especially with the intepretation.:thumbup:
    Its just that there is so much more involved. Its the digestion thereof and how to relate it to improving calcification and colouration in our systems.
    Interesting article which I was refferred to the other day was a study on "transference" of flourescent pigments between scleractinians...... For the life of me I can't find the link!!!!
    Huge implications for us fragaholics!
     
  14. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    O dear lord, having jus got my BSc in geology, this question scares me, its very complex and all lies down to the Ph, at 8.3 calcium carbonate is stable and insoluble to a certain extent. There really is no simple answer, getting a degree in coral biology might help :)
     
  15. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Not having the degree is half the fun
    :p
     
  16. brentch

    brentch

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    Calcium carbonate will dissolve into water if there is carbon dioxide in the water... Once in the water it can dissociate into it's free Ca+ ion and a bi/carbonate anion. Ca+ can then be actively taken up by corals:) What's interesting is that corals can precipitate calcium carbonate easier because they occur in warm water. Calcium carbonate's solubility increases inversely to sea temperature.

    Now this is for our geologist (I also took some geol modules at uni. Geologists drink. Alot. :1:)... Why do we find carbonaceous ooze only in warm shallow seas? And Diotomaceous/silaceous ooze in temperate seas?

    What can these sediments form if heated and/or compacted?
     
  17. brentch

    brentch

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    CO2 can also dissolve with other acids in water, but in the ocean, this is the major chem. pathway for Ca into the ocean... CO2 forms a weak acid when dissociated into water (anyone who has learnt how blood dissolves CO2 and liberates it out of solution will know this pretty well. It's all got to do with pH).

    Oh ya, no Googling @deadmeat2016, that's cheating:biggrin: I'm not a geologist (alcoholic:1:) but I know this and so you should know this too:tt2:.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  18. Nur

    Nur Starz

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    this was all explained @Perky pets superstore on saturdy by the Red Sea Rep. was very informative.
    i would suggest you go to a presentation when held in your area.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
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  19. brentch

    brentch

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    Okay, to summarize in a few sentences. The two raw materials needed are Ca+ and CO3^2-. To get these, Corals have to be living in warm water with CO2 in it (along with a few others:eek:). This allows for Ca to be present in it's ionic form and for carbonate ions to be present.

    The CO2 dissolves in water to form H2CO3. Ignoring how it got into or formed in the cell, it can be reversibly changed to H+ and HCO3-. HCO3- is reversibly converted to H+ and CO3^2-. All this is catalyzed by the carbonic anhydrase enzyme (an enzyme is a biological catalyst). Ca+ and CO3^2- is then transported to the area of skeletal growth and automatically combine to precipitate (liquid to solid) CaCO3...
     
  20. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Ok

    What is the difference detween . Organic carbons and inorganic carbons?
     
  21. brentch

    brentch

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    Organic compounds are those that contain carbon, and hydrogen... The simplest is Methane, CH4. They can also have other elements such as N, S, O and Si. These guys are the ones that form chains and/or rings like sugar (C12H22O11) plastics and Petrol.

    Inorganic carbon is a carbon compound without H; Like CO2 and graphite.

    Someone please correct me if i'm wrong??
     
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