View Full Version : Cloudy water/chemistry probs

06/09/2007, 10:09 PM
I posted this in the new to hobby forum but I'm looking to get more precise input here. Yesterday I did my first dose of kalk on my 75g with 3 gallons (ro/di 1tsp of kalk per g, sat for 1 full day) via the drip method. Today the tank is pretty cloudy. Checked some of my water parameters pH went up to 8.6. Kh went down from 11* to 10*. Calcium levels seem to about 400. Is this normal for my first batch of kalk? Tank had no calcium in it before this. Also I have a pH buffer in the mail as well as a magnesium tester. I haven't started dosing magnesium yet. What do I need to do to get the parameters back into sink? Any help would be sweet.

06/10/2007, 01:07 AM
No it is not normal. I would first, cut back to 1/2 tsp per gallon if you are going to add 3 gallons a day.

8.6 is getting high but what was it before you started ?

You cannot have no calcium if you have salt water. There had to be some there.

Sorry you bought the pH buffer. Don't use it. These products should only be used if alk is really low. The initial pH rise is short lived and all you end up with is high alk.

I agree you should get a grip on what your mag level is.

What salt mix do you use ?

06/10/2007, 01:07 AM
Did you dose any of the precipitate into the tank? The pH seems rather high. I'd add more aeration or cut back on the lime.

06/10/2007, 07:58 AM
pH was 8.4 before I started. Calcium was about 60 before I dosed kalk. As for salt mix I was using Rea Sea coral pro salt. I read some debates around these boards and it seemed to me that choice of salt is a trivial matter. Bertoni what do you mean by aeration? In the MT? Thanks for the responses.

06/10/2007, 11:11 AM
You can aerate the sump. Doesn't matter. Your home air has Co2 in it so aerating your tank should drive down the pH.

06/10/2007, 03:34 PM
Calcium was 60 ppm? That seems rather low. Did you mean 360 ppm?

06/10/2007, 06:00 PM
No 60 ppm. Tank is almost 2 months old. This was my first dose of kalk. Possible my calcium tester is bunk?

06/10/2007, 06:15 PM
Today I tested everything again. Calcium is the same (no corals yet). Ph has gone back down to 8.4 but alk has dropped to 9. Does this make any sense to you guys? What kits would you suggest switching over to salifert based on these findings? Also I did a 3 gallon water change last night and water is still cloudy today.

06/10/2007, 09:01 PM
soccerman, is it possible you are reading the test results upside down and you really have 440 ppm instead of 60 ?

Re-read your instructions and let us know. It wouldn't be the first time. :)

06/10/2007, 10:36 PM
Lol. No I'm not reading it upsidedown hehe. I've got the aquarium pharm. Calcium test kit. You fill it up with tank water then add a drop shake. Add a drop shake. When it changes color you match the number of drops up with a chart. Originally it took 3 drops (60ppm) to change color. Now it takes 20 which is 400 ppm. salifert calcium test kits were sold out when I bought my kits.

06/10/2007, 10:53 PM
Something is very wrong with those numbers. I don't think we're likely to pin this down further, but I don't trust the test kit results at this point. Limewater adds calcium and alkalinity in a balanced ratio of 20 ppm Ca to 2.8 dKH.

06/10/2007, 10:59 PM
Man, you scared me for a minute. I've read this thread three times and I hope I understand now what you mean.

What I understand you to say is, your tank, without salt, was 60 ppm and now with salt is 400. ppm calcium . Is this correct ?

06/10/2007, 11:04 PM
No the tank has had the standard 1.026 level of salt for a while now. I went ahead and ordered salifert test kits for ph, calcium, and alk. Hopefully this will put some of these questions to rest and help figure out what current kits are bunk.

Edit: Also I think I'm beginning to understand everything. Correct me if I'm wrong. The calcium is in the salt mix. But corals use the calcium but not the salt. So to add more calcium you use suppliments? Limewater is an equal part mix but not all tanks use equal alk to calcium so to adgest you use a 2 part suppliment. So what i think you are getting at is there is no way I could have 60 ppm calcium with a salt mix that has 300-450 ppm. Looks like either my calcium kit is messed up or I used it wrong the first time.

06/10/2007, 11:43 PM

I think you got it buddy. :)

One more thing. I don't know what your budget is for this hobby, but if you could, I would invest in a Pinpoint pH monitor.

Saliferts pH kit is tough to read and get a good number on. If anything, I have found the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals test kit to be much more user friendly and accurate for a titration kit.

Come back and see us. :D