Kalk raising Cal too much?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by mdbostwick, Jan 27, 2015.

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  1. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    So I am running Kalk in my ato and have been for almost 2 months now. I am running it pretty low with only 1 teaspoon per gallon which keeps my Alk very stable doesn't deviate from 9.9 more than ~.1 so I am very pleased with this.

    On the other hand my Cal consumption is not as high as the Alk which makes it climb about 15 ppm everyday. I don't know if this is a problem or not. After my weekly WC it typically is right about 400 ppm and right now it tested at 465, so steadily climbs until the WC puts it back in check.

    My concern is, I don't know how much of a problem the Calcium creeping up like this may or may not cause. Is it an issue having the Cal raise like this as opposed to it being steady like my Alk is?

    I know it will be asked:
    Alk 9.9
    Cal 465
    Mag 1395
    PH 8.6
    Temp 79
    Nitrate .02
    Phosphate 0

    No other changes really. I have been working on stability over anything else recently due to the stability issues I had a couple months back which set back most of my coral. All my SPS are doing great at the moment. PE is really coming back and even on some frags that I hadn't seen PE on before, and a few of my frags had lost a lot of color as well which is beginning to come back, they are fluorescing under actinic again, which I am pretty excited about but I want to make sure if this is a problem that it gets corrected sooner rather than later.

    I appreciate any help 3Reef can give me and TIA!
     
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  3. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well thought out post.

    That is the problem with Kalk, it can be really hard to control. It's not something you can just add and you're good to go, you have to watch the numbers for several months when initially starting kalk.

    Your numbers look fine, yeah Ca is creeping up and that does need to be addressed. Either decrease your kalk concentration or decrease the introduction rate to the system, dose over a longer period of time at a decreased rate.

    Since your corals are responding favorably it sounds like you're in the hobbyist nirvana of dialed in for now, but might need to back off a little. It's so hard to resist the more is better urge, but less and slower with kalk is the way to go.
     
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  4. Kevin_E

    Kevin_E Giant Squid

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    I suggest replacing kalk with soda ash or baking soda.

    You can be more precise with it too and your equipment will be happier.
     
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  5. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    So at what point is the Calcium too high?
    If i go back to sodium carbonate I am basically going back to dosing 2 part which i was not able to keep very stable.
    What about dialing back the kalk a little to keep the calcium from getting too high?
    I am hoping that once my SPS start growing again this issue will resolve its self.
     
  6. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    Also could the Mag be the problem? It had been around ~1500 for a while but now is lowering. But it is right at 3:1 Cal:Mag
     
  7. Kevin_E

    Kevin_E Giant Squid

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    Anywhere north of 500 may begin to be too high, but I'm sure others have had it higher.

    As for the baking soda, I would just include it in your ATO. You need to figure out how much alk your tank consumes in the time that your ATO runs dry. Then you add the equivilant amount of backing soda to your ATO (Bulk Reef has a calculator).

    This will be so much more precise and stable, imo. If you reduce kalk and your alk is staying steady, then won't it begin dropping from cutting back?
     
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  9. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    Are you saying reduce kalk and add baking soda?
     
  10. Kevin_E

    Kevin_E Giant Squid

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    Nope. Stopping kalk and using just baking soda. I could never get anything stable using Kalk.
     
  11. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    So I retested my Calcium tonight. And took a little more care with it. I think last night when I checked the Cal the ato kicked on for a second between getting Alk test water and Cal test water.

    Today it is 440 which is still a creep up from when i did my WC last week. But not as much as it seemed it was rising yesterday.

    I know that Alk being stable is very important which right now i definitely have using the kalk in my ato.

    Does the Calcium not staying steady make a difference? I am not talking huge swings but 5-10 ppm increase a day?

    I am hoping that my coral will take off and start to utilize more calcium and resolve this issue but in the meantime I don't want anything getting out of control and doing harm, I have already had enough of that in the recent months.
     
  12. civiccars2003

    civiccars2003 Great Blue Whale

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    I think you're stressing (maybe note the right term) about numbers that are all within the acceptable range. Unless your tank looks bad, I wouldnt worry too much about it. Numbers will bounce around.
     
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