View Full Version : CA, MG, and ALK???

Bruce Wayne
06/24/2010, 04:40 PM
ok first this happened:

I bought a couple frags the other day, first livestock in the tank (tank cycled for 6 weeks, reg water changes, parameters good...) I put them in and they opened up instantly...they looked better and better for the next few hours...my lights were heating the tank up to 82 degrees so I placed a fan on the overflow...came back after trying to sleep and the fan was in the water...don't know how long it was in there but it was "twitching" when I got to it...I don't know if it electrocuted my zoas or what but they won't open anymore...and the days have been getting hotter, water gets up to 83 without the lights on...is there anything I can do? should I try to feed them mysis? give them less light? anything? please help...thanks in advance...

now when I test it (using brand new salifert tests) I get a reading of alk at 9-9.2, CA at 430-440, and my MG won't change color...the whole reacting agent goes in, and I tested several times...my ph probe on my aqua controller jr (just calibrated) reads 8.19

I have been out of the hobby for sometime but I do remember that I can't get an accurate reading of CA without my ALK and/or MG in order...just wondering what I should do to get my CA around 430, MG at 1350, and my ALK should be 10, right? thanks...

06/24/2010, 04:52 PM
A few thoughts:

If the fan dropped into the salt water and the winding were exposed, possibly copper may have been released, which can cause a negative response with coral.

Temperatures higher than 82 degrees are not liked much by many species of coral, this could cause a negative response.

The recommended level for alk is between 7 - 11 dKH, so your are fine.

You need to fill up another syringe full of the titrant and continue on til your mag test changes color. Then add the two together for your final reading.

To reduce your calcium level, you will either need to stop dosing a calcium supplement or if your not, then change to a lower calcium level salt mix. The recommended level for calcium is between 380 - 450 ppm, so your are fine. ;)

06/24/2010, 05:49 PM
I'd run a lot of fresh carbon and do some large (15%) water changes, maybe one or two per day, to remove anything that the fan might have added to the water. A PolyFilter might not be a bad idea, either.

Bruce Wayne
06/24/2010, 07:01 PM
I haven't dosed anything at all yet...What is a polyfilter?


06/24/2010, 07:26 PM
A PolyFilter is a chemical filter that will remove copper and other heavy metals, along with a few other contaminants.

Bruce Wayne
06/24/2010, 08:34 PM
doesn't carbon do that? Also, I have a 2 little fishies reactor with carbon in a sock in the reactor, should I take the sock out?

06/24/2010, 08:40 PM
Carbon will take up copper that's bound to an organic, which is the most common form of copper. The PolyFilter will bind ionic copper, and turns blue in the presence of copper, which is handy.

The sock should be fine in the reactor, as long as it's not interfering with getting good flow through the carbon.

Bruce Wayne
06/24/2010, 11:33 PM
none of my frags got better...I put them in a friend's tank and they instantly looked better, I ordered the poly filter, what else can I do to bring my tank back? thanks a lot...

06/25/2010, 07:26 AM
Like Jonathan said, it would be best to run a polyfilter to help remove any toxic form of copper in your tank water:



I would change out your carbon perhaps at least every two weeks also to help remove copper tied to the organic matter as well.

In addition, if your tank water temperature is higher than 82 degrees F., I would look into methods to reduce your temperature, such as using more fans.

06/25/2010, 02:08 PM
Well, if you don't mind the work, a 10-15% water change once a day for 4-5 days should help. I would change the carbon frequently, as well, and I might run as much as a cup per 20g of water, although I might ramp up to that level.

Hopefully, your tank should be fine in a bit. The water might be fine fairly soon, but the organisms might still take a while to recover.

Your frags looked better right away in a new tank? Hmm, that's a bad sign for the current water quality. :(