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chriscolumbus 02-05-2008 12:15 AM

need help with calcium and carbonate hardness..
trying to get the balance of carbonate hardness and calcium levels down.. I raise my carbonate hardness, the calcium falls.. I raise my calcium the carbonate hardness falls.. this is so funny cause the PH is changing slightly stays 8.1-8.3 any given time..

Im trying to get coraline to grow better.. how should i go about getting eveything stabalized?? temp 80, amon 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 20.. I also cannot get my nitrate below 20, I do 5 gallon water changes but seems like i just start battleing the Kh, calcium thing again after I change it.. I have taken the bio-balls outta my sump to try this.. I have a fuge with mangroves in and cheta in it.. some rock and 3" DSB..

Should I raise the Carbonate Hardness 1st and then slowly add calcium??? anyone with ideas?? I know if you raise you calcium too fast, it will lower your Kh calcium fallout from what I am told.. I am using superbuffer to raise the KH.. Should I raise it everyday to 12dkh then start raising the calcium?? right now calcium is 300ppm and KH is 6.. Last week was running calcium 350 and KH 8.. tried to raise KH higher and now they have both fallen

bettababy 02-05-2008 10:56 PM

You will need to check the magnesium levels before anything else. If you can get it tested, it should be at least 1280 - 1500 ppm. It is very likely you simply need to add a magnesium suppliment, but very important to get it tested before tampering with it.
If you need more help, let me know!

chriscolumbus 02-06-2008 05:44 AM

Thanks Betta.. I will try to get it tested and post the results

chriscolumbus 02-07-2008 07:02 PM

Betta I tested MG and its at 1300... Yesterday I added more buffer now at 9dkh and today added 5ml of purple up.. will test in 1-2 hours to check for differences..

chriscolumbus 02-07-2008 07:41 PM

running results

dkh 6
calcium 300
added buffer according to directions...

mag 1300
dkh 9
calcium 300
added 5ml purple up
dkh 9 steady
calcium 350ppm

seems to be working with the slow add

when I do eventually get dkh around 11 and calcium 400-420 will a kalkwasser drip MAINTAIN my alk and calcium levels??

bettababy 02-09-2008 12:01 AM

Hello, this is Betta's husband. She asked if I could answer this one for you.
You are on the right track. Keep using the Purple Up (great stuff!) to bring up the calcium and maintain the carbonates. Once the calcium gets up above 400ppm you can go ahead and start dripping Kalkwasser. The Kalk will help keep up the caclium levels, but may not keep up the carbonates. It will depend on a lot of different aspects of the aquariums chemistry. Keep an eye on the carbonates to make sure that they do not start to drop. If they do, then simply add carbonate buffers to keep the dKH up where you want it. Don't try to keep it strictly at 11 dKH as it will fluctuate. As long as you can keep it between 9 and 12 dKH you will be fine. If you're dripping the kalk then dilute the carbonate buffer with aquarium water before adding it to your sump or tank (for example, you can take about a gallon of water from the tank and mix the buffer into it, stir it up and add it to the system).
You may notice that your coraline algae will start to grow quickly.
When it does, keep an eye on your magnesium levels as well. If the magnesium levels drop below 1280ppm it will impede the solubility of calcium and you may have problems keeping the calcium up where you want it.

Good luck.

chriscolumbus 02-10-2008 12:07 AM

thank you..

I came home today and checked paramaters..

dkh went back down to 6 and calcium to 300ppm.. mag still at 1300.. I cannot figure out what is going on.. I do have a lot of hard green algae(now turning red/pink/purple) so im pretty sure its coraline algae growth all over my rocks.. Its a 30 gallon tank with roughly 45lbs of live rock, 5 small fish coral banded shrimp.. could this be using up my carbonate hardness and calcium everyday like this???

bettababy 02-10-2008 12:13 AM

When I consulted Rob about this he did warn that yes, it could be doing just that. With rapid coraline growth, that is highly likely. Have you considered adding a calcium reactor to your system?

chriscolumbus 02-10-2008 02:10 AM

I though about it.. however.. afraid to add a co2 canister in the apartment.. I am thinking about adding some crushed coral to the top of my sand bed in my sump and refugium.. Im wondering if that would help in raising some.... like i stated in last post.. I do believe that the "dark and light green growth is start of coraline..its all over my rocks.. even one of my first LFS LR that was covered in coraline "bleached" then turned dark green over the last few weeks and now looks like its turning purple again..all the rock that have the dark green now had red/purple spots, however none noticed on glass... its def not regular algae.. when the snails go over it, it never disappears.. its very hard.. no hair algae anywhere, few diatoms (brown) on the front of the aquarium sandbed.. im sure from lack of movement in the very front center.. i need one more powerhead to make sure its being blown in front.. just cannot figure out whats going on..

now it seems that my liquid calcium is not even raising the calcium levels at all.. could i have a co2 problem?? I am using Kent superbuffer, Kent Liqud calcium, Kent essential elements and purple up..

bettababy 02-10-2008 10:44 AM

I have to ask, before anything else.... how often are you dosing the tank? So tanks will require daily dosing until things are into safe/normal range, and then some of those will allow you to back off a bit later, others will continue to demand the daily suppliments.
Once we know how often you are adding these things, how often you're changing water, and how much of each thing you're adding we can go from there.

As for adding the crushed coral to your sump, don't waste your time. That simply isn't going to do it. Can I ask why the fear of running CO2 in the apartment? CO2 is safe to's not something that is explosive or toxic, there should be no problem in running it... the calcium reactor could be your long term answer here.

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