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  1. #1
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    Should I begin dosing calcium?

    Hello,

    I am hoping someone can give me some advice about my calcium situation.

    My tank have been up for about two months (12 gallons), but honestly, it feels like it has been a year. Anyway, the tank will be a soft coral dominated tank with a couple of LPS. No SPS foreseeable. I have no fish.

    Current stock:
    • pulsing xenia (very small colony)
    • gsp (very small colony)
    • zoa frags (1, soon to be 2)
    • platygyra frag
    • mushroom frag



    My magnesium is 1350, I have only tested for this one time, today. My alk usually runs around 11, but it can vary between 10-12. I think this is because I have been in the process of switching salts (much happier with new salt), but not sure. Today, the alk was 10. My calcium is always low. It has been a steady 320 since I started my tank, however, since I recently switched salts and have done large water changes, it is now between 340 & 360 (I think is it at 350).


    My questions:

    1) Before I decide/do anything, should I wait to test the magnesium again, after this weekend's cleaning and water change?

    2) Should I continue do large water changes to bring the calcium up (is that reasonable)? Or should I begin to consider dosing?


    I have been reading about the relationship between calcium, alk, and magnesium since I saw my calcium was so low. I have also been reading about solutions. My hope is that I will not have to begin dosing, but I will if it is necessary.


    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Supporting Member Diesel's Avatar
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    12 gallons.................. no need to dose at all.
    Just a 10 to 15 % water change it's all you need.
    Cal at 320?
    What test kit you have?
    If you do your regular water change CAL can never be at 320.
    I don't regret the things I did wrong............ I regret the good things I did for the wrong people.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel View Post
    12 gallons.................. no need to dose at all.
    Just a 10 to 15 % water change it's all you need.
    Cal at 320?
    What test kit you have?
    If you do your regular water change CAL can never be at 320.
    I thought it was too small to need to dose, but the calcium is so low. I do weekly water changes. Never less than 10%, but usually 20%. However, lately I have been doing larger because I was dealing with nitrate issues. For the calcium test, I use API. For most tests I have API. If I don't need to dose, I don't know what to do And my platygyra does not seem very happy.

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  5. #4
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    My first guess is your test kit is inaccurate. API test kits are junk. Get the Salifert. Like Diesel said, if you are doing regular water changes, it is highly unlikely your Calcium is 320. For a tank that size, you shouldn't need to dose if doing weekly 10% water changes. But Alk is way high relative to your Calcium. Should be more like 8.2dKh/420 Ca. Get some better kits, retest, and report back.

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by webster1234 View Post
    My first guess is your test kit is inaccurate. API test kits are junk. Get the Salifert. Like Diesel said, if you are doing regular water changes, it is highly unlikely your Calcium is 320. For a tank that size, you shouldn't need to dose if doing weekly 10% water changes. But Alk is way high relative to your Calcium. Should be more like 8.2dKh/420 Ca. Get some better kits, retest, and report back.

    OK. Will do. Thanks!

  8. #6
    Super Moderator Tnconcept's Avatar
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    I don't think those soft coral will consume much. You won't need to dose at all. Just some water changes will do. I got a nano tank at my parents house with no water changes in 5 years and a mushrooms is growing big!! Lol no joke I can post a picture if request...
    Tony Nguyen-(Youtube) here

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    Cheers!

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  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tnconcept View Post
    I don't think those soft coral will consume much. You won't need to dose at all. Just some water changes will do. I got a nano tank at my parents house with no water changes in 5 years and a mushrooms is growing big!! Lol no joke I can post a picture if request...

    I would love to see your nano, if you don't mind! I am mostly worried about the platygyra. For now, I will continue large water changes and test with some new kits. Hopefully that is all that will be needed.


    Thanks!

  11. #8
    Super Moderator Tnconcept's Avatar
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    Okay, I'll try to get a shot for you once I visit my parents.

    Cheers!
    Tony Nguyen-(Youtube) here

    March here Oct here

    John 3:16
    Cheers!

  12. #9
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    Hello again!

    I got a Salifert calcium test and the result is 435! I tested twice. I am so happy =) Thank y'all for the push to get a different calcium test. What a difference! I definitely trust the Salifert's results and am happy there is no calcium deficiency.

    On the 12th, I tested the magnesium- 1320 and alk- 11.8ish. pH has been consistent at 8.2. I'm going to test the magnesium again this weekend, because the other time I tested it, it was 1350... not sure why it would drop like that. I'll actually be running all my tests again this weekend. If the alk is still high, do I just let it be? Will it work itself out?

  13. #10
    Supporting Member Diesel's Avatar
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    Testing is good to habit to get into.
    9 on the 10 hobbyist are lacking in testing as they think it will be ok.
    CAL and MAG aren't that important to test as ALK.
    You can drop a gallon of that stuff in your tank and it will upset your corals only, now drop a gallon of ALK in youtr tank and you got a crash on your hand.
    I test ALK everyday at the same time at 5 in the morning as also the No3 at that time as that's the only time I have I spend on my tank (don't know why I have a tank anymore)
    Weekly on the big three just cause I have the test kits.

    If your ALK is still high just let it come down by it self.
    I don't regret the things I did wrong............ I regret the good things I did for the wrong people.

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