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The LFS guy told me to buy a Ca supplement


Mr. Fosi

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Sessile inverts: once small mushroom, a two head frogspawn frag, a couple colonies of Madracis, two zoa polyps, and a big halimeda plant in my 5.5g AGA (12lbs of LR). I don't have calcium or alkalinity test kits, so I took some water to the LFS for testing.

 

I brought some newly mixed SW and some water from my tank. The LFS guy used some bottles from a massive Hagen test kit to test for calcium and alkalinity and these were the results:

 

New SW (what are the units?)

Ca - 320 (ppm?)

Alk - 190 (ppm?)

 

Tank water

Ca - 300

Alk - 160

 

He told me that I should really have calcium in the range of 380-510 and alkalinity between 80-140, then proceeded to try and sell me the 2-part kent Ca/Alk system for $15. I didn't buy it.

 

My questions:

 

1) Did he give me good ranges?

2) Should I have my params in those ranges?

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harrison278

I say just keep up on your water changes and try some instant ocean reef crystals. or tropic marin pro reef.

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I forgot to mention that I use Instant Ocean salt.

 

Why do you advocate changing salts? Higher Ca/Alk content? Better balance?

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I say just keep up on your water changes and try some instant ocean reef crystals. or tropic marin pro reef.

I agree 100%^^ I think the ranges he gave you were OK--but the solution might not be the best approach.

 

I had a LFS guy tell me to dose my tank to get teh pH up (before I knew better) and it took me 3 weeks of water changes to bring the Alk parameters back up after I stopped (was almost a catastrophe).

 

For nanos I am becoming a firm believer in good salt and frequent water changes. JMO

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So far suggestions have been for a 'better' salt such as reef crystals or tropic marin pro reef.

 

How about Oceanic? And what do you think of agaramilk?

 

EDIT: And there are some believers that my Ca is low, a change may be in order...

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correct me if i am wrong, but I believe that tropic marin pro is only for tanks that already have ca reactors (which i am assuming is not the case since you are having ca issues). the alternative for non ca reactor equipped tanks is just plain old tropic marin salt.

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So we're gonna let this thread die and all I got was a recommendation to change salts?

 

Anyone want to weigh in on Oceanic or the value of aragamilk?

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ProFlatlander15

Never used either, but I was told to dose Ca no matter what salt you are using by a LFS employee tonight...I think it depends on what you are keeping. Mr. Fosi, so you have alot of SPS, clams, or a feather duster? I mean, if it were me, I would probably just switch salts and see where that takes you...

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So we're gonna let this thread die and all I got was a recommendation to change salts?

 

Anyone want to weigh in on Oceanic or the value of aragamilk?

I used Oceanic in a 10g last year - great on the calcium levels, but had to buffer to raise the alkalinity. I switched to Seachem Reef when I switched to 40 gallons, happy with that so far.

 

I've never used aragamilk.

 

Edit: maybe drop in one of those No. 28 blocks and see if that helps. Wouldn't hurt, anyway.

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I think it depends on what you are keeping... so you have alot of SPS, clams, or a feather duster?

 

 

Sessile inverts: once small mushroom, a two head frogspawn frag, a couple colonies of Madracis, two zoa polyps, and a big halimeda plant in my 5.5g AGA (12lbs of LR).

 

 

Maybe I'll pick up some Oceanic, Reef Crystals, or Seachem.

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ProFlatlander15

woops. I read that too. The halimeda plant may be sucking the calcium up. I just switched from reef crystals to tropic marin pro (today actually), although I never once experienced a problem with reef crystals.

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based on what you are currently keeping, i don't think that low calcium would be a huge deal. the only real consumer is the halimeda. you could try and raise it by changing salts, but i wouldn't run out and do it tomorrow. your ca should be up around 400, but low calcium isn't hurting anything you have.

 

if you decide to add calcium lovers like sps or a clam, then i would be more concerned about this.

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I use Oceanic. Ca is HIGH, like 700. Alkalinity is medium at about 9 dKH.

 

I just put baking soda in my top-off water, which keeps the alk up to the 8-10 range. When Ca drops to about 400, I change the water. (once a month or so.)

 

It's easy to supplement alk, so this system is working well for me. I plan to keep using Oceanic.

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fluidimagery

AndyKee: LOL, I just read the label on the Tropic Marin Pro Reef about being designed for use with CA Reactor. I've been using the pro reef salt since the start of the tank but no adverse effects. Next time around I'll go back to regular Tropic Marin once the bucket runs out. I still dose 10ml of B-Ionic Alk and Calc a day, and dose MG to get that up to 1300. So I guess basically the Pro Reef part is worthless.

 

Mr. Fosi: I would switch to Tropic Marin regular salt and dose ESV B-Ionic Alk and Calc. Your calc should be up around 450ppm and your alk should be 8 - 12dKH

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ProFlatlander15

Darn Ca reactors...I gotta finish my box now...yea Mr. Fosi I ditto what andykee and fluid said.

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fluidimagery

LOL, I was seriously thinking about it, but then spent my money on a Reef Keeper 2 + PH Probe and a 14k Pheonix

 

Maybe down the road but I have no room under my tank for anything else. Dosing seems to be working fine for now.

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Natural seawater values are 7dKH and 420ppm Ca. Many reefkeepers keep levels above this in case they flake out and miss a dose or water change. But biologically this is the environment that corals evolved in and are accustomed to.

 

In my opinion there's nothing wrong with Instant Ocean. Also in my opinion you should consider dosing if you have a huge Halimeda. Water changes are only adequate if the consumption equals your 10-20% (or whatever) water change/rate of addition. Rarely does consumption equal what you put in with water changes.

 

I'm of the opinion that water changes should be kept to a minimum. I'm a firm believer that conditioned, mature and healthy seawater at equilibrium with the tank's inhabitants, along with low bioload, is a good thing. Water changes mess up chemical equilibrium. They shouldn't be used to control nitrates, hardness or calcium levels. If you set up a tank according to biochemical considerations they should be rarely required. Again this is opinion and many disagree so take it with a grain of salt...

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fluidimagery

So you dont' believe in dosing anything MrAnderson? How do you compensate for consumption?

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My Ca levels were below what they should have been and as soon as I started dosing, I saw huge increase in growth. My corals were doing fine, but they were not thriving. Your situation may be different though. My rule is, don't add what you can't test for.

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