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View Full Version : Need help with cloudy glass panel, what can be the cause?


firerock
10/27/2006, 09:20 AM
I have been using Randy's homemade recipe since April and have been very happy with the results. I have never encountered any problems until recently some odd events have been happening.

First, since the beginning of this month, impellers of all 4 powerheads in my tank has been clogged up one after another with what looks like Calcium buildup, I had to soak them in vinegar for days in order to get them to work again.

Then, day after a 30% water 2 weeks ago, I started getting this cloudy white deposits on the glass, mostly on the back panel, started with areas I have scrapped during the WC then spread to others. The deposits are smooth to the touch, and are a pain to scrap off. As soon I scrapped them off, it will soon be covered again in even larger areas.

http://www.photodump.com/direct/firerock/problem02.jpg

http://www.photodump.com/direct/firerock/problem01.jpg

http://www.photodump.com/direct/firerock/problem03.jpg

http://www.photodump.com/direct/firerock/problem04.jpg

Finally, I have noticed that the last batch of ALK I have made with Baking soda seemed to be dissolved completely, the bottle looked clear and no visible deposits, however, when I dose it into the tank, they looked "flaky", but quickly got blown away by the powerhead.

I checked the parameters of my water, although some seems to be on the lower side, they seem to be within range. Calcium 400, ALk 2.5 meg/L, borate Alk 0.1 meg/L, Magnesium 1300, PH 8.15, no detectable phosphate and silicate. All checked with Seachem testkits, and all testkits were checked against reference for accuracy. Temperature are kept between 78 - 80 degress.

In the past 2 month, I have been dosing the tank with 180ml of each part of the homemade recipe, does this seem a lot for a 46 gallon mixed reef tank? Corals has shown some growth, and there's no visible signs of stress, except for a toadstool that has not been opening up for 3-4 days.

What can be the cause of this problem? Thanks for any help anyone can provide.

Boomer
10/27/2006, 09:35 AM
I have seen this before and usually can be cured with a water change. More than likely the water chem is out of balance.

smcnally
10/27/2006, 09:42 AM
You are overdosing the suppliment. The flakes you are seeing is actually the calcium and alkalinity clashing and causing the calcium to condensate and "Snow" in the tank. This will also cause your calcium level in your tank to drop when this happens.

firerock
10/27/2006, 09:46 AM
Oh.....I see. Thank you both. that's why my calcium and alk are so difficult to raise. I have been dose more trying to raise them but can't seem to get any response with the testkits.

Once I do another water change, how much should I cut back on the supplements?

TIA

smcnally
10/27/2006, 09:51 AM
Randy can aswer that one ;). It really is dependent on what you have in the tank. Usually you want to start with smaller doses and monitor the levels avery couple of days. Then you will notice whether or not you need to add more or stay with the current dose.

Boomer
10/27/2006, 09:54 AM
How much are you adding / dosing at a time when you do this ? How high does the Alk get and how long before it drops ?

firerock
10/27/2006, 09:57 AM
Thanks for the prompt reply. :thumbsup:

jman77
10/27/2006, 10:00 AM
"can't seem to get any response with the testkits."

you sure your test kits are still good ? For you to start seeing this kind of buildup , i'd say your levels are prob off the scales, and your kits are bad and not giving accurate readings, so you keep adding more..

firerock
10/27/2006, 10:02 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8426507#post8426507 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Boomer
How much are you adding / dosing at a time when you do this ? How high does the Alk get and how long before it drops ?

In the past 2 month, I have been dosing the tank with 180ml of each part of the homemade recipe daily. I dose 90ml each time, about 5 hours apart.

I have been trying to raise Calcium and ALK, since Calcium tends to fall down to 350 and ALK has always been close to 3 meg/L. So over a few month I have been dosing more and more, raising from 90ml to 180ml. :o

firerock
10/27/2006, 10:06 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8426564#post8426564 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jman77
"can't seem to get any response with the testkits."

you sure your test kits are still good ? For you to start seeing this kind of buildup , i'd say your levels are prob off the scales, and your kits are bad and not giving accurate readings, so you keep adding more..

I checked all the testkits with the references that's provided in each kit by Seachem. They are all good. I even ordered and opened new kits and the readings are the same.

Boomer
10/27/2006, 10:43 AM
Well, I hate to say this but you will need another large water change. At 90ml to 180 ml / day you are wayyyyyyy overdosed. Std is on the order of 0.3-.05 ml/gal / day x 46 gal = 14 - 24 mL/gal /day. You are 6- 10 x that amount.:eek2: Even if we went with a higher deamnd like 1 mL you are still over 2-4 x.

You may want to take a look at this.

An Improved Do-it-Yourself Two-Part
Calcium and Alkalinity Supplement System
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php

oldsaltman
10/27/2006, 11:07 AM
I had to stop dosing anything for two days when this happened to me. Same white buildup on my glass as yours I was way - way overdosing mine too. After two days mine cleared up and I went back to small additions again. ;)

Randy Holmes-Farley
10/27/2006, 11:31 AM
I have been using Randy's homemade recipe since April and have been very happy with the results. I have never encountered any problems until recently some odd events have been happening.

First, since the beginning of this month, impellers of all 4 powerheads in my tank has been clogged up one after another with what looks like Calcium buildup, I had to soak them in vinegar for days in order to get them to work again.


So nothing special changed?

Did you recently switch from air conditioning to having windows open, potentially driving up the ph?

Have you been using the magnesium part?

firerock
10/27/2006, 11:55 AM
No, nothing special has changed. In regards to AC vs. windows, during July AC was on most of the time, but not after $1,600 electricity bill thanks to S.C. Edison. The tank is in the room where the windows are kept closed all the time (dining room), the room hardly gets any air circulation at all and keeps temperature constant. PH of my tank usually stays at 8.1 - 8.15, no big swings detected.

I have been using the magnesium part, mixed with Epsom salt only. I mix up the Epsom salt and usually dose 152.5 ml every time I finish 1/4 gallon of two-part. Lately, I have tried 152.5 ml mixed with RO water up to 1/4 gallon and dose with the two-part altogether in equal amounts. It seems to work well.

If I scrap all the mineral deposit off, will it change/increase calcium & alk levels?

firerock
10/27/2006, 12:02 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8426863#post8426863 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Boomer
Well, I hate to say this but you will need another large water change. At 90ml to 180 ml / day you are wayyyyyyy overdosed. Std is on the order of 0.3-.05 ml/gal / day x 46 gal = 14 - 24 mL/gal /day. You are 6- 10 x that amount.:eek2: Even if we went with a higher deamnd like 1 mL you are still over 2-4 x.

You may want to take a look at this.

An Improved Do-it-Yourself Two-Part
Calcium and Alkalinity Supplement System
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php

Thanks, looks like a large water change is on schedule this weekend. :rollface:

firerock
10/27/2006, 12:06 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8427033#post8427033 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by SA057
I had to stop dosing anything for two days when this happened to me. Same white buildup on my glass as yours I was way - way overdosing mine too. After two days mine cleared up and I went back to small additions again. ;)

So you didn't have to scrap them off? Did the deposit just disappeared on its own after 2 days of non-dosing?

I hate to scrap the deposit, they are much more difficult to get off then the toughest coralline algae. :mad:

oldsaltman
10/27/2006, 12:16 PM
YES I did scrape it off everyday, but when I stopped dosing the two part and stopped the 24/7 kalk it didn't come back. After about two days I started with the kalk again. ;) I haven't had it again. I know I was way overdosing and my cal and alk would just drop everyday. I didn't know it was all just precipiting away untill it fogged the glass.:rolleyes:

firerock
10/27/2006, 12:28 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8427447#post8427447 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by SA057
YES I did scrape it off everyday

Oh, well.....looks like some elbow grease is just unavoidable. Thanks for the info. ;)

Randy Holmes-Farley
10/27/2006, 12:30 PM
The solids that are scrapped off will just settle out somewhere and not hurt anything.

firerock
10/27/2006, 12:33 PM
Great, thanks Randy and all of you that have assisted me in this matter. You guys are the greatest. :thumbsup:

firerock
10/27/2006, 04:10 PM
One more question, if I was extremely overdosing the supplements, then how come I didn't see both Calcium and ALK off the testkit charts? Instead they remained kinda low, with Calcium usually at 350 - 375 and ALK at 3 meg/L, then one day they just covered the glass with deposits.

Thanks.

Randy Holmes-Farley
10/28/2006, 06:29 AM
If you start at 360 ppm calcium and 3 meq/L, and you add balanced calcium and alkalinity supplements, you see a rise of 1 meq/L of alkalinity for each 20 ppm of calcium.

So:

360 ppm 3 meq/L
380 ppm 4 meq/L
400 ppm 5 meq/L
420 ppm 6 meq/L
440 ppm 7 meq/L
460 ppm 8 meq/L

So alkalinity rises proportionally much faster.

This article has more:

When Do Calcium and Alkalinity Demand Not Exactly Balance?
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-12/rhf/index.htm

firerock
10/28/2006, 06:45 AM
Ah, I see. Thanks, Randy. :thumbsup:

Randy Holmes-Farley
10/28/2006, 08:29 AM
:thumbsup:

Happy Reefing. :)

firerock
11/02/2006, 12:01 AM
6 days ago when I checked the water parameters this is what I have, Calcium 400, ALk 2.5 meg/L, PH 8.15.

After non-dosing for 6 days of any supplements, I have checked the parameters and these are the results, Cal 300, Alk 2.5, PH 8.1.

I checked the Reef Chemistry Calculator, and input water volume of 40 gallons, in order to raise calcium from 300 to 400 with Recipe 1 Calcium Part I get Product Required of 409.4 ml.

Also, in order to raise Alk from 2.5 to 3.5 with Recipe 1 Alk Part I get Product Required of 80 ml.

Am I doing the calculations right? The number for the calcium looks a little overwhelming. If this is indeed how much I need, should I dose all of these all at once in a day? Once I have reached desired levels, then how do I find out just how much should I dose daily to keep the parameters at the desired levels? Thanks.

Randy Holmes-Farley
11/02/2006, 08:27 AM
Are you using tap water for evaporation replacement? The calcium shouldn't be able to drop like that if there is no alkalinity being added.

firerock
11/02/2006, 04:47 PM
No, I use RO water. TDS has always been around 3.

I just remembered that 3 days ago I did add 1 teaspoon of Reef Buffer to increase PH by 0.1, I think the instruction says that it'll also increase ALk by 0.5 meg/L. I added the buffer because the PH was at 8.0. Did this affect the other parameters as well? Although from the results I have gotten, PH and Alk has not increased significantly.

Thanks.

Randy Holmes-Farley
11/03/2006, 11:06 AM
Not enough to explain that calcium drop, so it is almost certainly testing error.