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Thread: calcium numbers

  1. #1
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    calcium numbers

    I don't test all that often but my ALK seems to stay at the normal level[light blue on test kit/or 8dkh. and my calcium is at 490. are these numbers decent? I use TURBO and started dripping KALK again.

  2. #2
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    490 may be a bit high in the CA numbers. It may be because of the Dkh of 8. Do you test for PH?
    NSW is around 8 Dkh but to sustain good coral growth most will up it to between 11 - 14. This will being your CA down. I would say a CA value of around 390 - 450 would be ideal for good coral growth.
    With a 490 number for CA if your PH dips and your Alk drops you may end up with calcification or it will appear your tank is snowing. CA calcifying in the water.


    I've been reading like crazy to get my head around the relationship between CA Alk and PH but I have a ways to go yet


    J

  3. #3
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    John,

    Normal Sea Water has an Alk level of 2.5 or 7 DKH. However, our tanks are not the ocean and they don't have the magical buffering capabilities of the ocean. There was another thread recently about this. In our tanks, 8 is acceptable BUT..., it would be better to keep it up higher around 10. 9 is good to, but 10 and some say even 11 is best. I'm happy around between 10 and 11. When you keep the Alk up at this point, it lets the tank have the capability to keep the PH and Cal. levels more stable with less fluctuations. I think it was ALHRA that pointed out that first you should get the ALk level up to the right point, THEN work on the Cal level.
    Too high is not good either, people often think that if a bit of something is good, then a lot would be better and is why people often go even higher. This also brings you closer to the upper threshhold where you can have a cal. precipitation if your numbers go out of whack. Ideally, you should shoot for a Cal reading of 450.

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    Sorry for not posting accurate information. As I said I'm trying to get my head around the relationship. I will refrain from posting until I have a better grasp.

    Again sorry

    J

  5. #5
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    Jakets,
    No needfor the "sorry" ... you basically said the samehting as I did.
    Another thing I just want to add is that when you have a Cal. level that is too high, your corals will tend to become brittle. This again solidifies ( o.k. no pun intended) the fact that more is not always better.
    The important thing to remember is that everything affects one another. You have to find that good balance.

  6. #6
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    thanks guys, I kinda thought 490 was high.[a little to hyper with the TURBO].

  7. #7
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    if using ESV B-ionic is there also a need to use the Calcium Hydroxide (Kalkwasser) as well?
    The way i think of it (please correct me as i am probably wrong) is that B-Ionic uses a balances amount of Calcium and Buffer in its 2 part system, while the Kalkwasser is just calcium but without buffer. from what i understand high calcium is not good and hard to sustain without high alkalinity. so is there some sort of buffer that should also be added when using kalkwasser? or is it a buffer in itself as well.
    any insights into the use of these at maintaining proper calcium and alkalinity levels would of course be greatly appreciated as this is one of the more important aspects of water chemistry us reef keepers spend our time on.
    Now that we understand what levels we are aiming for and the relationships, lets see how we can get our tanks to these ideal levels (outside of using calcium reactors)

  8. #8
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    aplha

    From what I under stand the 2part system is just fine. You will have the added benefit of keeping those numbers up there and precipitate out any phospates with the use of KALK. I only add buffer 1x a month and use TURBO without any swings in ph at all. Just my CA is a little high because I have added more than usual to my tank.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    I might also add, be sure to keep magnesium up at around 1350 to make it easier to maintain your calcium.

    kalk is a buffer? or is it calcium? and i always thought we are trying to avoid precipitation. especially phosphates, i feel that if it precipitates in my tank, it will always be there, i would rather it be in the water so that it can be absorbed out by my phosguard.

  10. #10
    Senior Member GoSUV's Avatar
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    Kalk is naturally balanced alk and calcium. Some people just drip kalk and have great results. Kalk is very cheap. But if your evaporation isn't high enough, you may not add enough kalk to your system to keep up with the calcium demand since kalk is a powder (caustic I might add) which needs to be dissolved in freshwater first. Also just use the clear liquid part. Kalk solution is also pretty high in pH (11 or so) therefore you must drip it slowly into the tank. Adding kalk will precipitate phosphate out of solution so it can be picked up by your skimmer or filtration system.

    Some people use kalk and 2-part balanced systems. It's perfectly ok that way too.
    If the authors of "Finding Nemo" knew anything about Clownfishes, Marlin would turn into a female and Nemo would become her new husband.

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