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Thread: alk and calcium

  1. #1
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    alk and calcium

    so my tanks been up since nov/dec and I was testing in the beginning but everything always was the same so I stopped testing for a little while. No corals, just 3 fishies. I've got a bit of hair algae on the sand only, I pulled as much as possible...its still coming back but not as much.
    Anyways, last week I noticed a little bit of the coralline algae turning white in a couple of spots on the rocks so I tested. Ph was 8.1 alk 2.5meq/l and Ca was 200. My coralline has pretty much stunted, not spreading anymore. It has not completely covered but there's some nice patches here and there.

    So I used a product called SeaBuffer (Aquarium Systems) and picked up Liquid Calcium (Kent). After a week, my alk is 4meq/l, PH is 8.2, and Ca 250mg/l. I've stopped the Seabuffer, but will continue the Liquid Calcium. My coralline is still white and it looks to be spreading (the white that is). i've noticed a few snails biting the bullet and have read that low alk will do that.

    Questions:
    1. Am I on the right track?
    2. Seeing as how I don't have any corals (yet), alk and Ca shouldn't be depleting much right?
    3. At what point should I be using a more balanced approach with regards to alk and Ca or should I even have to, ie. stick with just water changes.
    4. Anything I should be doing to get my coralline to start spreading?

    thanks!!
    thanks.
    thien

  2. #2
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    Questions:
    1. Am I on the right track?

    Yes..., in the sense that you have to get those parameters back up!!! Woah!! That's some low calcium!!!

    2. Seeing as how I don't have any corals (yet), alk and Ca shouldn't be depleting much right?

    Yes & no... as you've now seen for yourself, other things in your tank are depleteing it. LR, coralline, even lowly snails, and including any other inverts you have. It's getting used up only not as fast as if your tank was full of corals.

    3. At what point should I be using a more balanced approach with regards to alk and Ca or should I even have to, ie. stick with just water changes.

    I think you should start now to get into the habit of getting things balanced. The tank as a whole has to always be in balance if you want it to survive, irregardless of what corals you have/have not in there.
    I also personally think you should be using the Seachem products ( Reef Builder for Alkalinity and Reef Advantage Calcium for Calcium) as they are premixed into a balanced formula that keeps the Strontium and Magnesium in the right ratios. Many people also like and use the B Ionic product with good success. At the sametime, keep doing your regular water changes as this is very important and people all too often get lazy about it.


    4. Anything I should be doing to get my coralline to start spreading?

    Just get those parameters back up..., and don't forget to do it slowly and not rush things to shock whatever is currently in the tank. Scraping some of the existing coralline often helps it to spread the spores and regenrate quicker. Bottomline thouh is the water parameters have to be good enough or none will grow.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Fisherman's Avatar
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    my tank was setup in dec... and i have zero coraline algae growing except a few rocks turned light pink then white..

    and i had bad hair/cyno outbreak which im still fighting lol..

    but my parameters are

    ph 8.3
    cal 440-460
    SG 1.025
    amm: 0
    nitrite: 0
    nitrate 5-10ppm

    um i have silly question.. Were can i get a alk tester?

    i alway thought alk was ph lol.. kinda stupid aye!!

  4. #4
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    Fisherman...all test kit brands have an alk test.

    toutouche...sounds like a plan. The Seabuffer I think is strictly a PH and ALK booster...nothing else.
    I read that long term use of a Calcium Chloride like Kent Liquid Calcium is not good because of the accumulation of chlorine ions...is the Seachem product the same?
    thanks.
    thien

  5. #5
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Fisherman,

    Here you go: AquariaCanada sells Saifert test kits, reputed among the best testkits out there...

    http://aquariacanada.com/osCommerce/...roducts_id=295
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
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    Thien,

    I couldn't agree more with Toutouche on the products he recommended.
    I recently had to use both Seachem's ReefBuilder and Reef Advantage Calcium to bring my levels back in check, and I couldn't be happier with the product. Highly recommended.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    OK, so the idea of using a 2 part solution is because they are balanced additions, right?
    So if I use 2 Seachem products, how do I ensure I am adding it in a balanced way. How do I check that I am not throwing one of of whack? Or if I just put in the same amount of each, it will be balanced?

    just one more question...whatever I am putting in, I should be dissovling it in RO water first right? rather than dropping little at a time right in front of a powerhead, right? sorry for such a newbie question.


    thanks!!
    thanks.
    thien

  8. #8
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    I second that.

  9. #9
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    thien, if you have a sump, I would be dripping it there - not in the display tank. This lets it get diluted (mixed with more tank water) before it is pumped into the display tank. Less chance of something getting "burned" due to too high of a concentration.

    JMO

    Vickie

  10. #10
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    I have a small sump, and if this is your case too, be careful when you add it in your sump.

    If I drip it too close to the pump, I believe this was at least partly responsible for two pumps stopping on me during the same year. I am now adding this stuff in my sump, but very far away from my pump to give it time to dilute before hitting the impeller of my pump.

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