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I just picked up an API calcium test kit, I havent been testing for calcium the entire time ive had my tank nor do i dose for it. I have a 90 gallon with mostly softies with some lps and sps scattered in. I tested my water and it says im at 440 ppm, i figured i screwed it up and tested again, same thing. Is it that the API test kit is not the best or could my calcium possibly be doing that well?
 

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I use Kalk in my ATO and do water changes every 2 weeks and every time I test I am at 440. In my experience its not to hard to achieve good calcium levels even in a well stock SPS system through a regular routine and maintenance.
 

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Yea i guess from what i read i was expecting it to be low because so many people dose to keep their calcium levels high. Everything I read was, oh you have to dose blah, blah,blah, your corals wont grow. I guess good for me tho right :victory:
 

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thing like this make me laugh. lucky you. i dose soooo much and all i have is softies and lps. i struggle to maintain my calcium and Kh. ( i think its that **** clam, just kidding i love that thing)

and for every one else out there, yes my Mg is perfect.
 

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Just make sure to maintain your alaklinity as well. If you have mostly softies, and not very many stony corals then water changes may do a good enough job of maintaining your levels for you. As you get more and more stonies, and they start getting bigger, you may have to dose to keep levels consistent. Every tank is different and this is why testing your tank is important.

BTW, there are quite a few salt mixes out there that mix up extremely high in calcium, (over 500). If you are using one of these mixes, then your tank is actually consuming a fair amount of calcium, but there is enough in the mix to keep it at a tolerable level.
 

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thing like this make me laugh. lucky you. i dose soooo much and all i have is softies and lps. i struggle to maintain my calcium and Kh. ( i think its that **** clam, just kidding i love that thing)

and for every one else out there, yes my Mg is perfect.
Lol! I am having the same problem!!!! My mg is perfect and I cannot get the other levels to raise, and I'm afraid to just dump a crap load in of supplement either!
 

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Yea i guess from what i read i was expecting it to be low because so many people dose to keep their calcium levels high. Everything I read was, oh you have to dose blah, blah,blah, your corals wont grow. I guess good for me tho right :victory:
No I was always told you ONLY need to dose if you don't do regular water changes or have Sps which consume a lot. What your seeing is normal for a tank with softies and Lps. I would have been concerned if you said you were planning on dosing, regardless of what your tests said, because there is no way you should need calc or alk. Trace minerals are different because they can be rapidly used up in a system, like iodine.
 

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dputt, I'm with you. I have to dose alk about 3 times per week. This is where it would be extremely helpful for me to either 1) get a controller to stay more/less constant or 2) add alk to my ato. Perhaps an easy way to do it would be to use the new Red Sea salt with super high alk and ca in the ATO (not always of course).

Question though... if you're using alk in the ATO, do you just shut off the ATO for a while if you have to dose Ca? I assume so.
 

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You adjust the amount of alk in your ato. So when you find a good concentration that works with your daily evaporation. You shouldnt need to dose anymore. Well i guess you do still dose, but to your ato.

Sent from my Samsung Smartphone using Tapatalk. When I should be doing something more productive.
 

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Dont forget its winter . And with closed windows come lower ph. With lower ph come low alkalinity. :( prolly why im struggling to keep at 8dkh. Im dosing about 4x what i do during the summer. Sometimes in the some i dont dose alk for weeks.

Sent from my Samsung Smartphone using Tapatalk. When I should be doing something more productive.
 

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Dont forget its winter . And with closed windows come lower ph. With lower ph come low alkalinity. :( prolly why im struggling to keep at 8dkh. Im dosing about 4x what i do during the summer. Sometimes in the some i dont dose alk for weeks.

Sent from my Samsung Smartphone using Tapatalk. When I should be doing something more productive.
Whoa be careful when you start opening windows again that alk is still in there its just not oxygenated well so your readings are lower. When the water is better oxygenated you might get a spike!
 

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Lower tank pH in the winter means you have more calcium saturated in the water via the greater acidity level caused by an increase in C02. This tends to drive down alk.

Not sure why people freak out about this. I'd rather have pH ride a little lower in the winter and be stable -vs- artificially high in the summer and bounce around causing precipitation issues. Most guys running reactors in big tanks ain't exactly up there in the pH charts.

This is also why I'm a bit skeptical of test kits for calcium taken at their face value because pH and salinity levels added in can make a reading of '440' mean entirely different things. Plus, if you use a salt mix that typically mixes around 500 for calcium, and add it to a tank that's depleted and has a higher pH, the calcium won't be available for corals.

Appreciate somebody mentioning that the amount of calcium in your top-off should be based on how fast your corals use it, not how fast your water evaporates. I'm surprised at how many reefers using ATOs use a fixed amount of calcium thinking it must evaporate like water does. We don't add salt water to ATO for the same reason. Calcium should only be added if corals are utilizing it, or it's precipitating out at higher pH levels. Sorry for the ramblin :3195:
 

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This always seems to be a topic of concern. Great point mentioned above. Personally, I open a window usually every other day for while depending on how cold it is outside just to let some fresh air in. If the air feels thick or like there isn't enough oxygen in the room, the window opens. Maybe, I'm just weird and can sense this stuff...lol but, I'm sure it helps with keeping the params in line. I do dose Kalk in my Top Off and 20ml of ESV 2 part Alk daily, and Calc every other day just to keep my Alk at 9 and my Calc at 440, PH sits about 8.3. I use Aqua Vitro Salinity for my salt mix and do 20% water changes every other week.
 

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agree with blasterman 100%. I think people put to much into targets. While 7-11 dKH is a ideal level slightly higher or lower is not the end of the world. I prefer mine actually lower because Alkalinity levels above natural seawater increase the non biological precipitation of calcium carbonate on equipment such as heaters and pump impellers. This precipitation not only wastes calcium and alkalinity that is being added, but it also increases equipment maintenance requirements removing the build up. That can be slightly countered by raising the MG levels to keep calcium from falling out of solution however when elevated alkalinity is driving this precipitation, it can also depress the calcium levels in your aquarium. A raised alkalinity level can therefore create undesirable consequences, stunting growth, effecting ph levels and not allowing your system to buffer itself. If your dosing a ton of alk or calcium on a daily bases with two part my suggestion would be to look at your salt mix or maybe do larger more frequent water changes. Topics like this is why I still think Klak is the easiest way balancing a system between water changes. I might once in awhile reach out for the two part but still been my best experience just adding kalk to my ATO.
 

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Personally, I open a window usually every other day for while depending on how cold it is outside just to let some fresh air in.
LOL Jesse, it's probably been t-shirt and shorts weather for you guys down there.

Alk is more likely to deplete than calcium, I too try and run nsw levels, with mag elevated. I use a calcium reactor and run kalk in my ato a few times a week.
 

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When i mentioned finding a concentration for the ato to match your evaporation you must have misunderstood me. The amount of evaporation controls the volume of ato water added to the system. You need a concentration of alk in your ato so that this daily volume of ato mix will replace alk that is used up. Thats what i meant. Pretty sure it was clear before, not rocket science.

Sent from my Samsung Smartphone using Tapatalk. When I should be doing something more productive.
 
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