No announcement yet.

High Calcium, what problems to expect?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • High Calcium, what problems to expect?

    As some of you may remember, I am doing a major tank remodel and removed all of my large colonies and fragged them all. One thing I didn't take into consideration was turning down my CA reactor. OOps. I checked the other night and Kh was at 9.6. No biggie, turn it down. Then I got to thinking it has been a long time since I CA and Mg, good thing I did.

    CA 495
    Kh 9.6
    Mg 1300
    P04 .02 (Hanna)

    I have shut down the reactor (C02 only) and am letting things drop naturally. One problem with this theory is that the Alk plummeted in 3 days to 6.8. I have been adding SeaChem dKH buffer over that time period and tested tonight to 7.8. Calcium remains at 495. I assume I need to dose enough of the SeaChem to maintain <8.0 dKH and just let the CA drop. Hasn't moved a bit in 3 days, so this could get expensive, also the Mg chips in the reactor are now out of play so I will have to supplement that as well. What kind of problems can I expect from having the CA/Alk balance out of whack? I have no idea how long they have been like this. Could this be part of my coloration problem? I use IO and Oceanic alternately (weekly 15% changes) instead of mixing them weekly. I have dosed nothing over the last several months as my CA reactor has kept up with demand. Why would the depletion rate of the Alk portion of the effluent be higher than the Calcium? Not terribly concerned, just more curious than anything else.

    I have always been told (with reactor) to keep the Alk in check and CA will follow. Doesn't seem to hold true in my case. Ok guys, check that Calcium too.

    265 gallon SPS tank. Bubble King 300 Internal, MRC CR-6 Calc Reactor. 3 400 watt 20k Helios. 90 gallon Frag tank plumbed into main display.

  • #2
    Water changes can help bring it down.
    If you want it to come down on it's own then it might be a good idea to slowly raise the KH level back up. Calcium needs Kh to bond with. If there isn't enough kh for the amount of calcium then the corals are expending energy looking for the kh when they move the ca to the outer parts of their skeletons.

    That probably sounds worse than it is. I wouldn't worry about any ill effects, but try lowering your ca (or raise kh) so that things are in balance again.


    • #3
      Hey Marshal,
      I am just working through a high KH ordeal and had some STN probs. KH levels above 8dkh can bring this on. I know I am not telling you anything you do not already know. If it were me I think I would do water changes to bring levels back in sync. Reefers Salt is kind of nice this way as you could mix a batch and not add the Ca. to help bring down Ca. levels. I can't remember what level the base salt mix brings Ca. to but I could do a batch and tell you in a few days.
      Take Care,


      • #4
        Hi Marshal, several thoughts here, as I agree with Chad, the KH must be <8 or TN will follow. Check the parms of freshly mixed Oceanic & IO, as Marc Daniels had a KH of 9 something with his Oceanic batch?? IIRC, the last time I checked my Oceanic it was 5.8 area dKH. Did you stir up your SB with the rescaping? or partially remove it? The bacterial action on the reef water is a acid-metabolic process, therefore the KH reduction at the expense of Ca. Less coral mass or fragging corals will interrupt Ca consummation for a time. Did you remove LR density in this rescape? If so, again Ca consummation is impaired for a time. For a time, you may not even need your CR until your parms are inline. Keep doding buffer to maintain inline KH until your Ca is ~430. I have found that I do not need Mg chips as the saltmixes keep the Mg >1300. HTH, Bob
        "There might be something to this ZEOvit"


        • #5
          As an update, I need to use 2 tablespoons of the SeaChem Reef buffer daily to maintain a dKH of 8. Calcium is dropping at a rate of 10 ppm a day, currently at 465. At this rate, 4 more days I can turn the reactor back on and work on getting it dialed in, again. Mg was brought to 1350 with 4 tablespoons of SeaChem mg. I have some more of the chips coming and will up the percentage in the reactor to hopefully maintain this level at the new, lower reactor settings.
          265 gallon SPS tank. Bubble King 300 Internal, MRC CR-6 Calc Reactor. 3 400 watt 20k Helios. 90 gallon Frag tank plumbed into main display.


          • #6
            Marshal looks good. Please attend, the reactor will need about 2 days until working with full power, so your levels can slow drop a little bit in this period. I run my system with a Mg level around 1250 – 1300 mg, works fine without any problems. The Mg concentration of NSW is 1270 mg.