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Old 09/24/2007, 11:49 AM   #1
Jasontkd
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Help me with calcium Alk, and magnesium problems

Hey all, I am still having problems with my levels. I have been having this conversation on a local site, but I thought I would link it here to get some more eyes on it.

Here it is: http://www.fishheads.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=15701

That link is up to date. But, here we go:

I just bought a Nano Calcium reactor and wanted to get all my levels where they should be before i hook it up. Anyhow, I bought some salifert test kits, and got to testing. Here are the stats:

29 gallon SPS mainly mixed reef
20 gallon sump (35-40 gallon total system volume)
temp: 78-80
salinity: 1.025 (refreactometer)
Ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate ~5
Alk 9 - 9.3 (over last week and a half)
Ca 330-350 (over last week and a half)
Magnesium 700 - 750 (over last week and a half)

I was using all Instant ocean salt. Last weekend when I went to do my water change, I tested my freshly made saltwater, and my Calcium was 330, and my magnesium was 700.

So, I tried this week to do a 50/50 mix of instatnt ocean and oceanic. Tested the new water and Ca was 380 and mag was 660. I know this has to be wrong.

My corals are doing fine. After my water change yesterday (using 50/50) My SPS were really Furry (lots of PE). So, I have to think maybe my Magnesium test is bad, but I don't know.

Any ideas? I will test my system water wehn i get home from work tonight. Could these levels be right?


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Old 09/24/2007, 12:20 PM   #2
stingythingy45
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Nano Calcium reactor?
Wow,did you have that much calcium being used out of the system that you needed one?
Why would you think that mixing 50/50 salt mixes would change things?Most salt mixes are deficient in magnesium to begin with.


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Old 09/24/2007, 12:38 PM   #3
Jasontkd
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nano calcium reactor from aquatic systems design. My tank is 29 gallon getting to be heavily stocked with SPS. I have heard from several other people that a 50/50 oceanic instant ocean mix has pretty good levels.


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Old 09/24/2007, 01:13 PM   #4
davy182
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magnesium is way to low if I remember correctly natural seawater is like 1185 and most reefers try to aim for 1300+ for optimum growth.


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Old 09/24/2007, 01:23 PM   #5
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Sounds like you need to dose seprate Mg to bring it up to 1200-1300. Once that is fixed your Calc will fix itself.( through your normal dosing routine)

Low Mg lvls will result in calc issues.

When you dose Mg don't add the amount to bring you up to normal in one day, stretch it out over several days.


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Old 09/24/2007, 02:12 PM   #6
Jasontkd
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could my test kit be bad?


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Old 09/24/2007, 02:15 PM   #7
Craig Lambert
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You have to raise the magnesium level first. It is so low right now that it is interferring with your attempt to raise calcium. The simple way to raise it is by dosing a liquid magnesium suppliment like b-ionic magnesium. Once you adjust it up to 1200-1350 then raise your calcium level.

Here is a calculator to help you:

http://home.comcast.net/~jdieck1/chemcalc.html


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Old 09/24/2007, 02:19 PM   #8
Jasontkd
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what about seachem advanced reef calcium. It says it contains magnesium. I hate to dose magnesium, and then does a calcium supplement that also contains magnesium


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Old 09/24/2007, 02:21 PM   #9
Craig Lambert
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jasontkd
what about seachem advanced reef calcium. It says it contains magnesium. I hate to dose magnesium, and then does a calcium supplement that also contains magnesium
No, that won't do it. You'll need a magnesium suppliment. It takes a ton of magnesium suppliment to raise it by 500ppm. (Even in a smaller tank like yours).

IO salt is low in magnesium and most people add a mag suppliment everytime they mix a batch.


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Old 09/24/2007, 02:32 PM   #10
Jasontkd
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that is why I started the 50/50 mix with oceanic. Oceanic is supposed to have better trace element levels. I have a magnesium supplement to add, I just thought that it might be harmful to bump magnesium up a bunch, and then add a calcium with magnesium as well. I just thought I would try and bump my calcium, and then bump my magnesium, but I guess that might not be possible


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Old 09/24/2007, 03:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jasontkd
that is why I started the 50/50 mix with oceanic. Oceanic is supposed to have better trace element levels. I have a magnesium supplement to add, I just thought that it might be harmful to bump magnesium up a bunch, and then add a calcium with magnesium as well. I just thought I would try and bump my calcium, and then bump my magnesium, but I guess that might not be possible
No, you Have to get your Mg up first with dosing ( not all at once, over several days ). Sometimes manuel dosing is required to bring it in to check.

Once Mg is in check then your calc will not be hard to raise at all.


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Old 09/24/2007, 03:12 PM   #12
Jasontkd
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so what does freshly made saltwater register at? I have read on other boards that with the 50/50 mix, levels should read around 1000


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Old 09/24/2007, 03:45 PM   #13
Jasontkd
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is there a way to test my test kit. like take a cup of tank water, test it, add a specific amount of magnesium supplement, and test again?


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Old 09/24/2007, 04:22 PM   #14
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Jason, freshly mixed salt water depends on the brand of salt mix and what specific gravity you mix it at.

At 1.0264 Oceanic hits around 1650

Instant Ocean around 1100 ppm.

So I doubt the 50/50 mix will be 1000 unless one mixes much lower than 1.0264

Natural Seawater is about 1290 ppm.


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Old 09/24/2007, 04:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jasontkd
is there a way to test my test kit. like take a cup of tank water, test it, add a specific amount of magnesium supplement, and test again?
No but if you mix a gallon of IO at 1.0264 or 35ppt, and test it, it should be around 1100 ppm.


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Old 09/24/2007, 04:32 PM   #16
Jasontkd
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my salinity is 1.025


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Old 09/24/2007, 05:35 PM   #17
davidryder
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Just raise your Mg, then your Ca. There isn't a magic way to bring all your levels where you want them. Raise them individually then use the CaRx to keep them at those levels.

http://www.twopartsolution.com/

It will be a lot easier if you buy chemicals that affect only one level at a time.


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Old 09/24/2007, 06:25 PM   #18
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I've read that if you overdose the salt while mixing it, then have to add more water to bring it down, it precipitate's the calcium in that batch and makes it lower.

When I fresh mix a batch of instant ocean, its around 400 or a tad over.


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Old 09/24/2007, 11:17 PM   #19
aurora
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Jason,

First of all, you asked for the advice then question the advice that you received....typical.

Now, the convention is that if you have a low Mg, Alk and Ca level...you need to fix the Mg level FIRST before Alk and Ca can be raised and stabilized. If you think your test kit is in error, borrow one from a friend to test your water or bring it into a good LFS for a spot check. Most LFS will do it for free or you can offer to pay them for it.

If you don't fix your Mg and you try to raise your Alk , you will get what is called a snow storm...your tank start to precipitate Calcium carbonate and this will cause a precipitous drop in your Ca level. A Mg level of at least 1300 will help prevent this as you raise your Alk since Mg is critical in keeping everything in solution.

In your case, your alkalinity is where it needs to be but you need to raise your Mg to the right level before you can get your Ca level any higher or you risk a snow storm and killing everything in your tank.



Last edited by aurora; 09/24/2007 at 11:29 PM.
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