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Old 03/15/2013, 08:58 PM   #1
HeadleesSon
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Will high calcium hurt much?

My dad always filled tanks with tap water and seemed to keep coral just fine. I have started my large tanks with the local tap water, just for the cycling and while I get DI/RO installed. I have run them for 2 months. Zoas, shrooms, sarcophyton and kenya are all very happy. I do run into a few softies that fail to thrive. I am switching over to 100 ri/do soon, but do any of you honestly feel naturally hard/alkaline water may be the cause of about 1 in 5 leathers failing to adapt and open?
Any one know for a fact if high calcium/alk is dangerous for some coral?


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Old 03/15/2013, 10:03 PM   #2
tmz
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I dont think that alkainity or calcium is an issue in acceptable ranges , ie, 7 to 11 dkh for alk and 350 to 450 or higher for calcium. Salt mix adds these at variable levels depnding on which mix you use. So if you water is high in them pick a slat mix that is relatively low.
Of course to answer better I'd have to know what you mean by "high"

Tap water may have free copper or other toxic impurities in it that can harm corals. Chloromine and ammonia may also cause issues along with phospahte and nitraate.


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Current Tank Info: Tank of the Month , November 2011 : 600gal integrated system: 3 display tanks (120 g, 90g, 89g),several frag/grow out tanks, macroalgae refugia, cryptic zones. 40+ fish, seahorses, sps,lps,leathers, zoanthidae and non photosynthetic corals.
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Old 03/15/2013, 10:11 PM   #3
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Can you use tap? Yes. Should you? Not if RO/DI is available.
It's a wise investment to install a RO/DI station.
Before using tap I would say go to a local store and purchase water from the machines that are outside. Buy one gallon and test it, if it's not good, go to another store.




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Old 03/15/2013, 10:25 PM   #4
HeadleesSon
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The calcium is off the charts. Lol. I am switching to do/ro but maybe free copper or something is affecting the few coral that are unhappy. The calcium is well over 600 but I can not think how that could harm. That is what I was wondering, could the hardness be a problem, but maybe it is something like copper.


Oh well. Time to get off my butt and finish my ro set up.


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Old 03/15/2013, 11:42 PM   #5
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600 is pretty high but I don't ee how it would harm. I've run 550ppm or so without problems.Wha tis the alkainity?


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Current Tank Info: Tank of the Month , November 2011 : 600gal integrated system: 3 display tanks (120 g, 90g, 89g),several frag/grow out tanks, macroalgae refugia, cryptic zones. 40+ fish, seahorses, sps,lps,leathers, zoanthidae and non photosynthetic corals.
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Old 03/16/2013, 01:05 PM   #6
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The alk is about 14


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Old 03/16/2013, 05:28 PM   #7
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What's your magnesium level? And what test kits are you using? are you confident of your test results?

Does your house have copper pipes or joints? Fresh water does not dissolve copper too aggressively, but water that's sat in copper pipes can stay there long enough to be a problem.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, yellow tang, sailfin blenny,royal gramma, ocellaris clown pair, yellow watchman, 100 microceriths, 25 tiny hermits, a 4" conch, 1" nassarius, recovering from 2 year hiatus with daily water change of 10%.
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Old 03/16/2013, 06:19 PM   #8
HeadleesSon
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The test are just the cheap API kits and did not include mag. The lps tested and got the same results. There is very little copper plumbing and the water would not have sat in the pipes as I used our often used bath tub faucet.

Maybe I am just getting some finicky leathers. I will slowly replace all the water with do/ro within a week or so.


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Old 03/16/2013, 10:55 PM   #9
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Alk at 14 and calcium at 600plus is likely to be causing precipitation of calicium carbonate. That could be irrtating the leathers. They generally use less calcium and alkalinity than stony corals in any case. I'd stop dosing for a while if you are dosing anything or aif not go to a salt mix with low alk and calcium. Let the leels fall back to acceptable ranges:ie, calcium 350ppm to 450 ppm and alkalinity 7 to 11dkh.


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Current Tank Info: Tank of the Month , November 2011 : 600gal integrated system: 3 display tanks (120 g, 90g, 89g),several frag/grow out tanks, macroalgae refugia, cryptic zones. 40+ fish, seahorses, sps,lps,leathers, zoanthidae and non photosynthetic corals.
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Old 03/16/2013, 11:17 PM   #10
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Ive been told that when the cal an alk precipitate after beig too high, that it can cause a reaction that uses up all the cal an alk and crashes everything. The guy who told me about it referred to it as a snowstorm. Is this correct?


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Old 03/17/2013, 12:16 AM   #11
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A biotic precipitation will use up alot of alkalinity and calcium but not all of it. It sometimes appears as a snowstorm of particulate calcium carbonate but often just accumulates on heaters, pumps substrate etc.


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Current Tank Info: Tank of the Month , November 2011 : 600gal integrated system: 3 display tanks (120 g, 90g, 89g),several frag/grow out tanks, macroalgae refugia, cryptic zones. 40+ fish, seahorses, sps,lps,leathers, zoanthidae and non photosynthetic corals.
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Old 03/17/2013, 08:04 AM   #12
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Have you checked your SG using some type of calibrated instrument, i.e. refractometer, etc. If you're using something to check your SG that is not properly calibrated, or a swing arm type of hydrometer, it may mislead you into adding too much salt mix, which by extension is adding too much Ca, Mg, and alk.


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Old 03/17/2013, 12:12 PM   #13
HeadleesSon
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I only have the swing arm type. I will add getting better testing equipment to my list. So I guess I will do 20% water changes every third day with do/ro for awhile, plus get a set of higher quality testing tools. I will hold off putting any new things in until I can get it straightened out.


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Old 03/17/2013, 12:27 PM   #14
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If you know someone nearby who uses a properly calibrated refractometer, I'd get a second opinion on the SG before doing anything else.


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Old 03/18/2013, 11:34 PM   #15
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Checking the SG result sounds like a good idea to me, too, although that's mostly out of caution. The levels should be safe enough as is for the short term. I'd let the alkalinity drop on its own. What is the alkalinity of the tap water? Your kit should be fine for measuring that.

There are a number of dangerous chemicals that might come from tap water. Personally, I'd add a RO/DI filter, but we all have different risk tolerances.


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