Calcium mystery

Discussion in 'SPS & LPS' started by Jim, Dec 7, 2017 at 1:22 AM.

  1. Jim

    Jim Member

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    Im having a confusing battle with my parameters; so thought I would describe the situation and see if any thoughts on what is going on. I'll list the tank details at the bottom of the post.

    I returned from the TG holiday after being away 4 days and found that my Ca had suddenly dropped to about 275. Not even measurable on the Red Sea test. It had been locked in at 425 for at least the past few months (test weekly and add ABC powder daily). In the weeks that have followed I have continued and stepped up the dosing but I am still measuring at that same low. I can't seem move the needle. Meanwhile Mg and KH are steady at good levels.

    Well, there were two dramatic changes to the system that happened at about the same time of that infamous weekend when this all came about;
    One was that while I was away my topoff sensor failed. The water level ran down so low that I came home to find the display tank full of microbubbles from air the return pump was taking in. I must have got home literally just in time; although perhaps not really because I also lost a fish which I haven't found yet. Im not sure if those two events are linked but its the first fish I've lost in this system and they all looked normal/healthy when I left (kept telling me to go have fun and don't even worry about a thing).

    Well that same day in order to make myself feel better I decided to start up the new pico tank as I was only waiting on the sand and it arrived while I was away. And I had too much left over sand to discard so I decided to add sand to the frag tank in my main system. Now I am thinking that its the adding live sand that might have thrown my Ca for a loop, but I don't read any online material to suggest this cause and effect. I'd really like to understand that especially because I was planning on also adding more live sand to a fuge area in the sump but not if that is overly risky.
     
  2. njtiger24 aquariums

    njtiger24 aquariums SECRETARY Board of Directors NJRC Member

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    Are you using the same kit or have you tried a different/new cal test kit? Maybe something is up with the kit itself
     
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  3. Jim

    Jim Member

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    oh forgot the tank details:
    40G DT, 10G frag tank, ~65G TWV
    6 months old tank. 1" sandbed and reefrock 2.1. Fuge not stocked yet, carbon in the reactor, small (useless) UV, and scrubber
    5 fish (now 4), cleaner, pistol, and standard CUC
    Soft corals have been fast growing. LPS and SPS not so much (but that for another thread)
     
  4. Jim

    Jim Member

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    yea been contemplating that too, although its the same kit and chems Ive used since the get go
     
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  5. njtiger24 aquariums

    njtiger24 aquariums SECRETARY Board of Directors NJRC Member

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    I would try a different kit just to rule that out.
     
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  6. trio91

    trio91 Director at Large Board of Directors NJRC Member

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    Where's your alkalinity at? Also what are you dosing? Maybe that fluid is outta wack
     
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  7. Jim

    Jim Member

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    Only been using the red sea foundation stuff. All-in-1 powder based on Ca and additional liquid buffer supplement. Hm I did happen to reload that liquid in the doser at just around then
    KH was tricky finally got it rising steady only in the past 4 weeks. 11.2 now up from 9.0
     
  8. Mrx7899x

    Mrx7899x Active Member NJRC Member

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    Maybe you're adding too much calcium and its precipitating out that's why it's not increasing. If the tank is mostly soft corals and a few Stony corals the calcium demand shouldn't be that high and alk of 11 is kind of high most people shoot for around 7 to 9.
     
  9. Jim

    Jim Member

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    that makes some sense when you say it that way, does sorta feel like high treatment for a system that shouldn't really have much of a demand yet
     

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