Calcium 290 Alk 12 is this even possible?

mfs1855

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Ok so I tested this morning after not testing for several months (I know not good).
ph 8.2 and Magnesium 1480


60 Gallon Cube, very few corals with virtually no growth (except coraline algae)

  • I tested calcium twice with my Red Sea Coral Pro Kit and came up with the same results.
  • I dose BRS 2 part 24 ML per day each of Calc and Alk (I spread them out 6 ml at a time over the day and don't do calc and alk at the same time).
  • I use Kent salt which already has elevated calk and alk.

I thought that if you dose the same amount of calc and alk at the very lease they would be in balance?

If anyone has some idea as to what I should do, I'm open to anything.
 
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theMeat

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should bring water sample to fellow reefer, or lfs, to check you'r testing. what's your magnesium level?

Depends what your set up is like, and what life you have in the tank. Dif things consume at dif rates, and will often vary depending on lighting and placement. Coraline, for example, consumes much more calcium than alk. Macros consume lots of magnesium, and with low magnesium most coral can't effectively consume calcium, and a bigger problem is calcium and alk will swing around making it impossible to keep stable.

In a set up like yours, should does kalkwasser in an auto top off instead of two part. Much cheaper, easier, and stable.
 

apercival

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I have had this problem in the past and assuming your test kits, MG, and PH are right it's easy to fix but you will need to test every day and write down your numbers. If possible I would also hold off on water changes or get a water change out of the way as it will add another variable to the mix while you are trying to stabilize your alk and CA.

If you stop dosing your Alk (most likely your sol 1) and let your Alk gradually fall to about 8 or 9, your CA will rise as it will not longer be displaced by your elevated Alkalinity.You should be able to dose calcium at half the level you are doing today and see if it drops, maintains, or increases from day to day. I say dose half the amount of calcium because the gradual drop in Alk could make your CA increase faster than you or your corals would want them to. It's important to adjust your numbers but you also want everything to happen gradually for the health of your tank. Based on your daily readings you can ramp up of down your CA dose.

As you test your water (same time everyday prior to adding 2 part) note the amount of solution you are adding so you can adjust accordingly.

When you get your CA to the lower end of an acceptable level you can start dosing Alk again but I would do half the amount at first to see if this causes an increase or if it simply maintains the range from the day before.

The important part is to get both Alk and CA in an acceptable range and then dose an equal amount of 2 part going forward. Continue to test daily and if one number starts creeping out of proportion to the other then you can let the level of the CA or Alk drift back down and lower the equal amount of 2 part dosage until both numbers are in a good range.

A good way to conceptualize it is like this: For your tank to have a an Alk reading of 12 the CA needs to be 290. For your tank to be at a more typical ALk range of 8,9, or 10 then my CA needs to be "X" . And basically you need to find out what that "X" is as you can't arbitrarily decide what it is going to be. When you find out what the balanced level is for both CA and Alk you eventually will be able to test this just weekly, then monthly.
 

reefer4eva

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To start if you only have a few corals in the tank why dose?secondly if your using kent salt mix that is already high in calcium why not switch salt mixes that have a lower calcium.if I was you I would would switch salt mix and do a hefty water change and stop dosing till you know your corals are actually consuming the calcium and alkalinity..test on a regular basis so you can measure the consumption then you will know when and what to dose.for now I would only do weekly or bi-weekly waterchanges to get your tank back on track
 

mfs1855

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thanks for the advice, and I agree it seems strange that I need to add much or anything to the tank, but the tank is not in balance and i can see my corals are strained and dying from other super low 290 calcium number.

Someone suggested that my low calcium number in conjunction with the high Alk could be caused by the fact that I dosed a significant amount of ph buffer at one point.
 

theMeat

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Ph buffer isn't a good idea, should figure and fix the problem rather than put a band aid. But once in a while shouldn't be a problem, and it's effects only last a month or so.

High alk will certainly cause cal to drop
 

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