Warning about Reef Crystals

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by sihaya, 12 Jan 2012.

  1. sihaya

    sihaya

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    I recently lost 3 fish after a routine 25% water change. When I tested my water immediately, my alkalinity had dropped in half (from what it had been right before the water change). Calcium was literally off the charts (higher than what my test kit could measure). There was nothing else note worthy about my water parameters. No nitrites or nitrates. No ammonia. Normal pH, salinity, etc.

    I recently did a Google search and talked to some friends and apparently, this isn't all that uncommon for Reef Crystals. Sometimes it's the other way around (with the alkalinity going through the roof).

    My buddy at the LFS said that sometimes the different components of the salt mix "settles out" in the bucket if the bucket has been sitting in one place for too long. I don't know if I believe that or not, but either way, if you use Reef Crystals, be sure to test it in a small batch of newly mixed water.

    Cheers
     
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  3. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    I know that it happens with seachem reef salt. The top half of the bucket will have a Ca of 400 and the bottom half a Ca of 500.. Thats why its best to mix the salt first, but I dont think anyone does that. Its not really cool to be choking on that salt dust.. Sorry to hear about your loss :(
     
  4. sihaya

    sihaya Thread Starter

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    Sure, but those measures aren't so alarming to me. Calcium of 400 to 500 is still within the vicinity of "normal." (IMO)

    In my case, my calcium went from about 450ppm to what I can only estimate was about 650ppm! And that was with a 20% water change. Think about how high the calcium in the new water must have been in order to raise the calcium of the whole tank by that much!
     
  5. belindamotion

    belindamotion Google Master

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    My Calcium was the same...650+, not to mention my MAG....Had a stand-in Salt when I couldn't get hold of my usual Salt....I've been doing about 25% water changes weekly, with my proper Salt,for almost 2 months and have now got the Calcium at 480..still high..my MAG is still off the Chart...but colour in Test tube is "almost" there...
     
  6. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    thanks for the headsup
     
  7. Sheena

    Sheena

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    is it the seachem salt? i cant get my calcium lower than 640. kh also stay low? should i use different salt?
     
  8. mytank

    mytank

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    Sorry to hear about your fish :( that is really not cool.

    I use Red Sea Pro salt, I noticed something really different from any other salt I have ever used.

    I have a heater small flow pump (like the ones used in little picos) and a air stone in each and every 25l drum that I use to mix salt. I usually mix around 4 drums a week for my weekly water changes. I make sure the salt mixes for 24 hours and I set the mix to 1026 salinity.

    1. ALL the equipment comes out those drums full of white chalk buildup on them. The heaters you can't even see writting or anything on them.

    2. If I look at the bottom of the drums I see white residue at the bottom.

    I now pour the 25l fresh salt water into a 20l open drum (which mixes the water well one last time and also goes all over the floor ;)).

    I then pump the water into the DT. I notice the tank stays cloudy for a good hour or two before clearing up.

    Touch wood no losses and the corals love their water change every weekend. I used Red Sea Pro as I did some research and they were rated top notch salt of 2011.

    So I am not sure if this is calc, or what it is but its def there... Its not alk cause when I test the water after 8 hours my alk is lower than what I usually run it at (I run really high levels of alk as I have three monster clams that drink alk out the tank!!) If anyone has an idea I would love to find out
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Apr 2016
  9. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    @Sheena, just mix the salt in the bucket and you will be fine. This happens with most salts. Ca, Kh and Mg are all related, so high Ca and low kh may be symptoms of a problem with Mg. Test your mg also
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  10. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    very true. Why dont you mix a small batch and test the Ca?
     
  11. Sheena

    Sheena

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    aaah thanks Tremayn, much appreciated will check
     
  12. rakabos

    rakabos

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    Yep same here with the white build up on Red Sea Coral Pro. Been using it for over a year , residue almost always there after mixing overnight. Never had an issue as a result so beats me what is and why it happens
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 11 Apr 2016
  13. cybervic

    cybervic

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    If it is slaked lime, it will drop your alkalinity if memory serves right. The more chemical ppl might be able to explain. I remember that alk and calcium work on a see saw base. So high calcium = lower alk. High alk = lower calcium
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2012
  14. deadmeat2016

    deadmeat2016 Wouter

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    its shocking to hear tht such an expensive salt causes problems, i collect my water from the two oceans and i work there aswell, absolutely no probs.
    If our water fluctuated, all our livestock would be dead but they are thriving......
     
  15. Sheena

    Sheena

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    hey deadmeat, can we also get water from the two oceans? would really like to go natural!
     
  16. Sheena

    Sheena

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    oh yes Tremayn thanks! you solved my problem KH has gone up:thumbup:
     
  17. finrott

    finrott

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    What i find helps with dealing with chalk build up is mix your salt with ambient room temp first, slowly add the desired amount of salt to your mixing drum of water (like half a cup every min) and make sure that there is sufficient surface agitation. This will make sure that Calcium does not combine too rapidly with carbonate ions to precipitate out as chalk... I never have an issue with a chalk bottom since I started doing this
     
  18. sihaya

    sihaya Thread Starter

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    I will from now on.
     
  19. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    then you can know for sure, what the parameters are. I have heard this before about reef crystals long ago
     
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