Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 51
  1. #1
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    5,821

    Calcium / Alkalinity issues.

    Over the passed several weeks, I've noticed that my calcium and alkalinity levels have been straying...

    water parameters as of tonight...

    temp: 79.1
    pH: 8.39
    SG: 1.0245
    ammo: 0.1
    nitrite: 0
    nitrate: 30
    alkalinity: 3.0 meq/L (8.4 dKH)
    Calcium: ~600-615 !!

    Water changes are 10gal on average every 10 days.

    I have been dosing kalk via a kalk reactor for over a year, and always had my calcium level in the 450 range, and alkalinity in the 11 dkh range.

    Surfing on the net, I found Randy Holmes write-up on Reef Chemistry here:
    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2002/chem.htm

    In it, he suggests that the use of baking soda will help get stabilize the calcium/alkalinity.

    How should I go about adding the baking soda to the tank? via the kalk reactor through topoff? directly to the sump? should I stop the addition of limewater in the meantime?

    I'll also go on to add that I haven't had to add kalk to my reactor for over a month. My pH has been between 8.25 - 8.40 during this whole time. Which I don't understand as well...
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    2,842
    firstly, this has nothing to do with it, but your nitrates seem pretty high tang-man why are they all the way up at 30? especially with regular water changes that you are doing? i am going to assume that this is causing you to have a lot of algae in your tank/sump - the algae can be what is raising your pH and keeping it that high. as far as the calcium, could it be that something you are adding contains inorganic calcium which is calcium that would register on a calcium test, but not calcium that would readily be used by your corals and therefore built up rather than being depleted? i am but a youngen when compared to you, but these are just my original thoughts which you or others may consider thoughtworthy.
    Albert
    My Photos

  3. #3
    Senior Member Toooloud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,191
    Well im sure you know your nitrates are too high, But thats not effecting your other levels.

    As for using Baking Soda... I have been reading about it for years.. lol.. The mixture you need to use is ..

    5 Parts Arm and Hammer Baking soda
    1 parts Arm and Hammer Washing Soda ( this i can't find in canada ) And they say only the Arm and Hammer brand.. THe washing soda is used to prevent the PH Spike that Baking soda would give you..

    WHen you have your 5-1 ratio then you add one teaspoon of that to each 25G's of water to raise the ALK 1dkh.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    5,821
    The nitrates are remnants from my crash earlier this year. That along with trace ammonia.

    I'm thinking that the bio-filter within my rock is dead.
    There isn't however any stray algea problems. a little cyano here and there, but that I am tackling.

    I need to tackle the calcium problem.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Toooloud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,191
    Cal and Alk work together.. When one is Too high the other will allways be too low.. there is a balancing act that needs to be done! ..

    What you need to do is stop adding any Sort of CAL additive.. and leave the tank fora little while!.. alow the tank to naturally use up the CAL.. and looking into a ALK Buffer.. I like Superbuffer DKH from Kents.. As your CAL levels start to come down.. slowly add the ALK buffer to bring it up.. till they are Balanced out.. again.. then go back to using the KALK..

  6. #6
    Senior Member tang_man_montreal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Posts
    5,821
    You know, sometimes it's the little things you overlook...

    I am now by-passing my kalk reactor temporarily until the levels come back in check. I'll look into the Kent superbuffer tomorrow.

    The worst thing is that I had installed a water line in order to bypass the kalk reactor for just this!!

    We'll see how it turns out.
    I am Homer of BORG... Prepare to be..OOOO!! DONUT!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Fishysan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    368
    Toooloud, you can buy the soda in canada.. I bought some at Sobeys and/or Loblaws. But I didn't trust it (was perfumed or something) so I didn't use it. I made my own by "baking" the baking soda for an hour at 350 or something, can't recall - saw that somewhere on the net. Turns it into what you need.

    Vince - you simply disolve the baking soda in some RO water, then add to your tank slowly. I gather you retested your CA and tested it with a different kit? Surprizing it's that high!! Especially with ALK that low. But your pH is very high, be careful adding the baking soda. You might want to use the "cooked" soda/washing soda in a higher mix ratio so your pH doesn't climb any higher.

    The bio filter in your rock's not dead, else you'd have nitrite and ammonia. Err, I see that you have .1 ammonia!! Doh! ERrrRr.. did you confirm that test kit too? I find that hard to beleive if you have shit livin' in there.

    Did you add some new live rock, or seed the system from another when you restarted the system? That might be a good idea.

    Also, to help reduce nitrates, have you seeded your sandbed? More water changes might help bring that inline - along with your Calcium levels. Make a couple of 40% water changes over a month.. ?

    Good luck!
    Fishysan ><>
    ---
    180g display main floor, 150g trough, 75g, 20g in basement
    SPS, LPS, softies, many clams & 14 fish
    main: 250w AB DE HQI x 3, 5' x 3 VHO actinic - trough: 400w venki

  8. #8
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    2,842
    another thing you need to keep in mind is that amonia gets more and more toxic as the pH rises. this is why amonia in a salt tank is much more toxic than amonia in a freshwater tank which is typically maintained at a lower pH. so be careful from raising your pH higher b/c while everything may be living fine now, at a slightly higher pH the amonia will be a lot more toxic and may begin to push some of your life over the edge.
    you mention that your bio-filtration in your rock is dead. i dont see how this is possible. the bacteria will naturally multiply wherever they can. you just need to give it time to cycle out again. but you shouldnt leave your tank with the nitrates so high. have you changed the flow in your tank at all since the crash? perhaps more aggresive water changes may be in order? do you grow macroalgae in your sump to remove the nutrients? have you tried cutting back on your feedings a little?
    Albert
    My Photos

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    5,122
    Alrha,
    He basically tore down the tank and redid it completely when he had the crash. The only thing he kept is the rock which he cleaned up before placing back in the tank.
    Vince & Fishysan,
    Yes, you can DIY washing soda by baking it in the oven for about an hour at 350 deg.
    Vince,
    To understand the whole Alk/ Ca relationship. Picture a bowl that holds exactly only 2000marbles. 1000 are red ( Alk and 1000 are blue ( Calc). If you want to raise the number of red marbles by 100, you have to remove 100 blue marbles otherwise you'd have an overflow from the bowl ( precipitation).

    You might want to try Seachem's "Reef Builder" for your Alk. It also contains the right NSW ratio of Strontium and and Magnesium. It won't affect your PH levels either. For Calcium, you can use either "Reef Complete" which is in liquid form and also contains the NSW ratios of Sr. and Mg. or the "Reef Advantage" which is a more concentrated powder form of the Reef Complete ( therefore more cost effective to buy). The more important thing is to naturally let your Calcium levels drop down a bit but DON'T disregard your Alk. The Alk is more important to keep at the right levels. I hope your not about to get what I've just gone through. You might simply have an ionic imbalance in your tank as Matt suggested to me and the only thing that helped me get back on track was a mega major waterchange. I changed over 100 gallons in one shot on my system, then did 2 or 3 more regular ones every couple days after that. The corals actually responded positively to it and opened up fuller.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ABahn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    448

    Re: Calcium / Alkalinity issues.

    Originally posted by tang_man_montreal
    Over the passed several weeks, I've noticed that my calcium and alkalinity levels have been straying...

    water parameters as of tonight...

    temp: 79.1
    pH: 8.39
    SG: 1.0245
    ammo: 0.1
    nitrite: 0
    nitrate: 30
    alkalinity: 3.0 meq/L (8.4 dKH)
    Calcium: ~600-615 !!

    Water changes are 10gal on average every 10 days.

    I have been dosing kalk via a kalk reactor for over a year, and always had my calcium level in the 450 range, and alkalinity in the 11 dkh range.

    should I stop the addition of limewater in the meantime?

    I'll also go on to add that I haven't had to add kalk to my reactor for over a month. My pH has been between 8.25 - 8.40 during this whole time. Which I don't understand as well...
    Seems to me that your tank has gone off the typical ionic balance (i.e. proporational cal/alk). Something is causing this. I would look to the root cause.

    1) Check your salt mix, kalk mix.

    2) Check your test kits!

    3) If your kalk mix is o.k., do not stop it.

    4) Next check your magnesium and strontium levels.

    5) If these are out of whack, then plan for a rather large water change over a period of several days.

    Not a major problem, and no doubt you'll figure it out.

    Keep us posted!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Otto

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Calcium, Alkalinity and Magnesium problems
    By northernboy in forum Just Getting Started
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-26-2006, 04:01 PM
  2. Calcium Alkalinity w Ca reactor again
    By fishmonger in forum Reef Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-01-2004, 02:17 AM
  3. Calcium/Alkalinity - Confusion
    By Hendu in forum Reef Discussion
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 10-30-2003, 04:03 PM
  4. Interesting Calcium Alkalinity links...
    By tang_man_montreal in forum Reef Discussion
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-29-2003, 07:38 AM
  5. Calcium and Alkalinity
    By ijo in forum Just Getting Started
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-05-2003, 09:13 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •