Ohio Reef

Reef Discussion => Water Chemistry => Topic started by: Reeferntraining on November 01, 2017, 17:05:53

Title: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 01, 2017, 17:05:53
Can anyone tell what, besides low magnesium, would cause a lot of calcium precipitate? I have had my magnesium under control for a little over a week now but my calcium is drastically all over the place. I was dosing up to 540mL CaChl after I noticed the Mg problem. By this past weekend, I was maintaining a 450 Calc reading so I slowly brought the dosing down to 320. The last couple days Iíve had to bump the Ca dosing up 40mL each day because itís hanging at 370-380. I can clearly see precipitation on my heater, skimmer and back glass. Am I missing something here or should I just keep increasing the Ca dosing until it levels off again??? Iím growing really frustrated....
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Humphrey on November 01, 2017, 18:04:37
High PH I think. Do you use Kalkwasser?

What is your ALK?

Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 01, 2017, 18:19:18
I use a CO2 scrubber. My daily pH swing is 8.09-8.4. I use BRS Soda ash; BRS Ca Chl; BRS 2 part Mg. I had a really stable system until 2 weeks ago when I hadnít tested my Mg for a while and it had dropped to 1080. I was dosing close to 600 mL Calc just to maintain 360 calcium. Iíve since started dosing Mg and have resolved the Mg issue but now have salinity issues. Iím wondering if my Mg dosing and adding top off water is directly lowering my Calc (by diluting the calcium ratio). Therefore I am going to have to dose more?
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 01, 2017, 18:25:29
I may be over the precipitation. I really have no way to gauge it as Iím new to understanding it. I cleaned my heater off today. Iíll see what it looks like tomorrow I guess.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Humphrey on November 01, 2017, 19:14:15
What's your current Alkalinity (DKH), magnesium, salinity, calcium? 

Randy Homes Farley has some good articles on the relationship of these elements and the tactics to bring them back into alignment.  I think in reefkeeper magazine. But regardless if you google him you might find the info you need.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 01, 2017, 19:22:32
1.026 9.6  Calc=380 Mg=1320
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Humphrey on November 01, 2017, 21:35:16
Those look good.  Sounds like youíre further along than I had assumed.

I was wondering if your ALK was low and holding up your calcium.  Your going to get some precipitate pushing the calcium up relative to your ALK from where you were. Wasted calcium and dusty heaters not a huge deal fortunately. You should be pretty close to the right proportional line now Iíd think.

May need to push it up a little more and then youíll be back to equal soda ash and calcium.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 02, 2017, 09:36:01
Are you dosing manually or with a pump? If manually dilute the dose in RO/DI water so when you add you don't see any precipitate when pouring it in. If dosing automatically have a small pump in the sump where it is dosing. Watch the dosing closely to be sure it isn't precipitating as it is dripping into sump. More often than not that is the cause in addition to the low mag.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 02, 2017, 18:13:37
Iím using the apex DOS. Out of curiosity, if the Calc solution is precipitating when it hits the water, what will it look like? I took some Calc solution out of my container and manually dripped 10mL in a lower flow area. I didnít see anything but a little of the ďheat on pavementĒ look of the solution mixing with the saltwater.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 02, 2017, 20:42:42
 My bad I was thinking alkalinity although you were talking about calcium.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 03, 2017, 07:45:05
No, Iím having trouble maintaining Calc. Since the Mg deficiency a couple weeks ago, Iíve had to dose almost double Calc solution. I am now up to 560mL/day just to maintain a 370 reading.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 03, 2017, 07:45:43
My alk dosing is steady at 360mL/day
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 03, 2017, 13:16:11
Can you share a full tank shot? That seems like an incredible amount for the coral mass you have. I would have expected it to be in the 100-150ml range. But I haven't seen a recent full tank shot.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 03, 2017, 14:44:15
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171103/c7af248f8e931f159339d668eb7271f1.jpg)

There are a total of 57 frags in the tank. Probably 35 SPS, 10 LPS and the rest Zoas or softies.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 03, 2017, 15:23:22
My dosing was a lot lower before adding the CO2 Scrubber and leaving the window cracked. It has increased drastically over the last month and a half.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 03, 2017, 16:43:33
So, my Calc reading yesterday was 370. So I bumped the dosing up 100 mL to 560mL/day. Came home today and tested at the same time and the Calc reading was 380. I am going to bump it up another 100 to 660mL. There is still no precipitate on the heater that I cleaned off the other day. Iím at a loss.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 03, 2017, 19:18:17
Do you have a pump where your dosing? If not you may want to try that. Can you check a corner or two in your display tank to see if they sand is hard?
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 03, 2017, 21:06:37
I dose alk into the overflow chamber where there is high flow. I dose Calc into the return chamber.

Yes, the sand clumped in a few spots when my Mg was low. It hasnít been clumping since I started testing/regulating my Mg. The Calc doesnít appear to be precipitating anymore. As evidenced from me cleaning the heater off 3 days ago and have not seen the precipitate come back to that area. Will it just take some extra dosing for a while before the Calc consumption comes back to normal?
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 03, 2017, 22:23:46
There is defintley massive precipitation going on. The dosing is 3x-4x what it should be. As far as showing on your heaters, that doesnt show overnight. Takes months
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 03, 2017, 22:37:06
How long does it take after you get the Mg stable? Itís been two weeks. I just took my skimmer apart and it was a mess.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 03, 2017, 23:45:15
When the precipitation stops the amount required to maintain proper levels would drop immediatley. Until that drop occurs the problem causing it is still present.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 03, 2017, 23:52:56
Any ideas? Iíve been doing full tests every day for two weeks. Everything is stable but the Calc.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 04, 2017, 10:02:43
 Yes, add a pump where your dosing.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 04, 2017, 16:18:03
500 GPH circulation pump added to my 8X18 return/dosing chamber at 3pm. Fingers crossed 🤞
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 04, 2017, 20:41:04
Fingers and toes crossed
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 05, 2017, 10:15:35
Unfortunately, nothing has changed. Still dosing 660 mL. Calc at 410 Mg at 1320.

The only conclusion I can come to is this batch of BRS CaChl is not full strength
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Wall_Tank on November 05, 2017, 10:23:27
Bad/contaminated Test kit?
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 05, 2017, 10:27:39
I took my kit to Brianís yesterday. Test kits were ok.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Wall_Tank on November 05, 2017, 11:52:09
How do you mix you two part?   What is the calcium chloride to water ratio?

Iíve Not looked into the DOS,  how does it add the two part?  Do the both feed at the same time?  What is the feed rate?   Have you verified the feed rate vs the actual output?
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 05, 2017, 12:00:49
Adding the pump was more for alkalinity percepation. Regarding strength, your using the powder to mix it yourself at 2.5 cups per gallOn? If yes no strength issue. I would wait another day to see if any change in alk. If not take the co2 scrubbers offline to see if that is issue. If it is then consider bring it back online with less media and only one of them.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 05, 2017, 12:18:34
How do you mix you two part?   What is the calcium chloride to water ratio?

Iíve Not looked into the DOS,  how does it add the two part?  Do the both feed at the same time?  What is the feed rate?   Have you verified the feed rate vs the actual output?
The BRS CaChl tells you to mix 2.5 cups into 1g if water. I use distilled.

The DOS is basically 2 separate pumps in one unit. You have a Fusion interface that allows to to set interval times. You tell it how much you want it to dose in that interval and it calculates how many mLís it will dose and it what time frame. Like every 12 minutes it will dose XXmLís. I was wondering if the dosing was off so I took a medicine cup and put it under the dosing tube and checked a couple times. It was dead on...

With all things stable and the required dosing to maintain Calc so high, Iím wondering if the BRS CaChl powder is not diluted somehow. That is really the only thing left that makes sense at this point. I have a new container of CaChl and just mixed a new batch. Iím going to add it today and then monitor Calc over the next day to see if anything changes.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 05, 2017, 12:19:39
Adding the pump was more for alkalinity percepation. Regarding strength, your using the powder to mix it yourself at 2.5 cups per gallOn? If yes no strength issue. I would wait another day to see if any change in alk. If not take the co2 scrubbers offline to see if that is issue. If it is then consider bring it back online with less media and only one of them.
Alk dosing has not changed either since adding the pump.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 05, 2017, 14:33:59
 itís pharmaceutical grade calcium chloride.  So thereís no dilution, pure calcium. What we do know is itís precipitating due to multuple damage pumps, hard sand and carbonate buildup on equipment.  At this point I am leaning toward higher pH  from CO2 scrubbers as the likely culprit. Taking them offline for a week or two would be a good test.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Wall_Tank on November 05, 2017, 15:58:02
The addition of the Ca part, should not cause precipitation. Do you see white cloudiness when the Ca solution is added? Ca precipitation is normally caused by high localized pH when the Alk portion is added. What is your pH running?  If you have high pH, then Soda Ash is not what you want to be dosing, you should be dosing Baking Powder based product.

How are you burning up pumps? Are your lines becoming blocked? You do have the output of the dosing lines above water.....dripping into the sump.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 05, 2017, 18:32:47
The addition of the Ca part, should not cause precipitation. Do you see white cloudiness when the Ca solution is added? Ca precipitation is normally caused by high localized pH when the Alk portion is added. What is your pH running?  If you have high pH, then Soda Ash is not what you want to be dosing, you should be dosing Baking Powder based product.

How are you burning up pumps? Are your lines becoming blocked? You do have the output of the dosing lines above water.....dripping into the sump.
No. There is no white cloudiness when I dose Ca.
My pH daily swing is 8.05 - 8.4 during the week and lower on the weekends when everyone is home.
I believe the pumps got clogged when my Mg dropped to 1000. It could have been low for a couple weeks. I noticed a gradual increase in the amount of Ca I had to dose to keep it at 380-400. I was only testing Mg about every 2 weeks at that time. The precip built up really bad on a return pump and on the inside of my flow pumps. Causing the impeller to stick inside the spindle therefore causing the pumps to overheat and burn out/motor freeze. Luckily my skimmer is a beast and powered right through it. I took it apart Friday and cleaned it. There was calcite build up everywhere. Iíve been keeping my eye on the heater, skimmer and Iím not seeing any Ca buildup. Also, the sand is not clumping anymore. So, I am assuming that I am past that type of Ca precipitation.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Agame43 on November 05, 2017, 21:03:20


" Ca precipitation is normally caused by high localized pH when the Alk portion is added" (Wall Tank) - Interesting, I run high pH as well but the only place I see precipitation is at the air inlet hose to my skimmer and the air inlet hose is plumbed to a window for fresh air. I need to clean the skimmer inlet once a month for B/U. I run the ESV 2 Part in my system.

  Following
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 05, 2017, 21:34:33
Your high ph system was the first thing I thought about when WT mentioned that. Iím glad you popped in with your experience.

As Brian suggested earlier, I think Iím gonna take the Scrubber offline for a bit to see what happens. I have to wait until next weekend though because I know my dosing is going to change drastically and I want to be home to monitor it.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Humphrey on November 06, 2017, 21:45:33
Is that a 75 gal?  Your tank is beautiful, but 360 ml is 6 DKH/day ALK-  highest Iíve ever heard of is 5/day though I am sure there are much higher in the world.  Maybe Lazyís 125?

I definitely not a chemist, but I think itís too much ALK and calcium together.  Both together at these levels are precipitating each other with your relatively high PH an consequential lowered supersaturation?

Donít want to subscribe to something that would screw up your tank, but what would your tank fall in a day if you didnít dose for a day?  This should be your maintenance amount employing the BRS reef calculator (google).  Put in your desired level and current level and dose both parts at the same amount.

If itís too scary to break for a day, since calcium now 400, consider going to 2 ALK points per day (100ml in 75 each calcium and ALK) or something more conservative.

Iíve done a lot of everything with successes and failures so Iíd certainly welcome so other input here but that 360ml ALK seems too high too.

Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 07, 2017, 10:02:20
Is that a 75 gal?  Your tank is beautiful, but 360 ml is 6 DKH/day ALK-  highest Iíve ever heard of is 5/day though I am sure there are much higher in the world.  Maybe Lazyís 125?

I definitely not a chemist, but I think itís too much ALK and calcium together.  Both together at these levels are precipitating each other with your relatively high PH an consequential lowered supersaturation?

Donít want to subscribe to something that would screw up your tank, but what would your tank fall in a day if you didnít dose for a day?  This should be your maintenance amount employing the BRS reef calculator (google).  Put in your desired level and current level and dose both parts at the same amount.

If itís too scary to break for a day, since calcium now 400, consider going to 2 ALK points per day (100ml in 75 each calcium and ALK) or something more conservative.

Iíve done a lot of everything with successes and failures so Iíd certainly welcome so other input here but that 360ml ALK seems too high too.
Humphrey, I appreciate your insight and your compliment on the DT.
I donít know if Iím the only one using a CO2 scrubber but Iíd like to know if someone else has experienced high Ďpresumedí consumption while having one online. I will say that just prior to adding the Scrubber, my consumption was roughly 40-50 mL/day. When I added the Scrubber (and probably 15 more SPS) the dosing just gradually went up and up. I was stable right before the Mg drop that caused all the problems. My max pH is only 8.4 and I only get it that high maybe once a week. Most of the time itís around 8.32 max. Comparing that to Agames daily 8.4 only adds more confusion. Unless there is an unintended consequence with the CO2 media. However, I have not read that anywhere. I do know that my pH will drop to approximately 7.75-8.0 daily swing when I do. Weíll know more this weekend when I take it offline.

As far as taking the dosing offline, I am too afraid of the alk/Calc drop and messing things up even more...
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Humphrey on November 07, 2017, 12:58:26
Slow is almost always best anyway :).  Best do one thing at a time anyway.

It will be interesting to see when you take the scrubber off-line. 

If it doesn't work you can always try something else, and I don't think there's any harm with the precep other than a more frequent vinegar bath for your mechanicals.

There is a "where is my precipitation coming from" by Randy Homes Farley somewhere out there, and he's got some threads in R2R for high calcium uses.


Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 07, 2017, 14:41:18
I read some forums that he posted on today. Once I understood that precipitation cannot escape into the atmosphere (thanks Brian) but will always attack heaters and pumps, I am anxious to get the pH lowered. RHF said significant coral growth and significant precipitate occur at pH 8.4 and above. I do not want to be replacing $300 worth of pumps for the little bit of growth I may gain.

When I get home, Iím turning the skimmer off. I also have undetectable nutrients so this will kill two birds with one stone. Iíll turn it back on when I go to bed and turn it off again when I leave for work. We will see what happens to consumption/precip tomorrow
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Agame43 on November 07, 2017, 22:35:14


If moving slow is what we are suppose to be good at would you just reduce your media in the scrubber by say 1/2 - 2/3 and wait that change out to get an idea of maybe where this may end? Taking it all off line seems abrupt to some extent? My pH peak average this past week has been 8.45 daily. Keep us posted, good luck!!!
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 08, 2017, 10:00:55
I did. I took 1 canister that was almost spent offline. Other canister is still full. I left my window cracked as it has been for a couple months and I only turned the skimmer off overnight. It will be on until I get home and check alk/calc.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 08, 2017, 19:38:07
Update:
Skimmer only on from 6:30a-4p
pH topped out at 8.31

Alk stable with no change needed to dosing. Daily still 340 mL

Calc 470. Backed dosing off 60mL again to total daily of 440mL

Mg at 1290-dosed 4oz 2part

I am going to leave the skimmer off through tonight as well. One positive in this is my phos was up to .08 today.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: docsky on November 10, 2017, 10:40:59
Not sure if it adds any value but I run a 400g SPS system loaded with corals most colonies are larger than a basketball. I also have 3 5"-7" clams and i run around 180 Mils of each of both ALK and Cal a day.
My 2 part is mixed to the BRS standard strength.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 10, 2017, 11:05:48
Not sure if it adds any value but I run a 400g SPS system loaded with corals most colonies are larger than a basketball. I also have 3 5"-7" clams and i run around 180 Mils of each of both ALK and Cal a day.
My 2 part is mixed to the BRS standard strength.
What is your daily pH swing?
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: docsky on November 10, 2017, 12:10:05
8.01 to 8.47 average is 8.23. I will note that i haven't calibrated my probe in a very long time. I also don't run a heater on my tank so my temp swing day to day is from 76 to max 82 average is 79.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 10, 2017, 12:36:19
Thanks for your info.

Trust me, Iím perplexed and frustrated with this issue. I really cannot figure out what is driving the excess consumption/precip. My pH is not high enough to cause it, Mg has been spot on for 3 weeks now.....I just donít know
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: docsky on November 10, 2017, 13:39:35
If you stop dosing for 1 day.... lets say you test a 6pm today and then test tomorrow at 6pm. How much does each level drop? That should be how much your daily dose needs to be.

Way back when i was first adding two part i was hand dosing a 1/2 gallon of each a day. It wasn't until i got a doser and started to use the BRS calculators before i really got a handle on what the tank was actually using. Prior to that i think it was just binding with its self and making "sand" plus i was going through a lot of pumps the extra 2 part forms on the heated motors and shafts causing issues.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 10, 2017, 15:16:19
I whole heartedly agree with that. The calculators are how I mix and initially started manually dosing 9 months ago. Then I purchased the Apex and DOS. Then I seen how low my pH was. Then I installed the CO2 scrubber and cracked a window. Then my dosing started going up rapidly and then topping out. Then my Mg dropped to 1,000 and screwed everything up.

Iím trying to get the dosing down to the ďnormalĒ range but I donít want to do anything too rapidly. This morning I closed the window and Iím taking the Scrubber offline tonight in order to lower the pH some more and see what that does to consumption/precip.

I canít just stop dosing. The numbers would fall too quickly and potentially kill the Corals. Iím just not willing to take that chance right now.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 10, 2017, 19:16:16
I have been brainstorming on everyoneís suggestions and my thoughts are below. Please comment if I am missing something.
1. I am currently dosing 340 mL of BRS alk soda ash. Everyone agrees that is excessive for my 65g water volume.
2. When I make a 20mL adjustment up or down to this dosing regimen, I automatically see a corresponding change in my dKh the next day. Vice versa with Calc dosing. If I am precipitating all the solution over ďX mLĒ, why do I still see a change in my test numbers?
3. What are some thoughts on trying a 2 part cut in dosing. Say 50mL cut to each. Will I just see alk/Calc drop relatively?
4. Doc said he has a 400g tank and only doses 180mL. Wouldnít that make sense because he has so much more water volume. With my relatively small water volume versus the amount of coral I have, Iím thinking that my consumption would be more drastic and feed the need to dose more.

Thoughts appreciated.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Heinbaughb on November 11, 2017, 10:31:43
Iím not an expert at all but would a large maybe 50% or greater water change be an option? That would allow  all of your levels to reset and come back to a natural balance? Then proceed to figure out a modified dosing schedule from there.


120 gallon mixed reef.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 11, 2017, 15:40:00
I did a 20% last weekend. I keep my parameters in line with my salt mix. So, no noticeable change other than the Mg going up by about 50 points. Dosing requirements stayed the same.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 11, 2017, 20:09:44
Update:
Finally seen some significant changes today and this evening after having the Scrubber offline.
Max pH was 8.2.
Even though I backed the alk dosing off by 20mL yesterday, it still tested 10.02 today. Calc was still 450. So, I backed of 40 mL of each. That puts my alk at 290mL & Calc at 400mL. Mg was up to 1380. So, it looks like Iím headed in the direction I was expecting, finally.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: jjoos99 on November 11, 2017, 21:29:07
If you stop dosing for 1 day.... lets say you test a 6pm today and then test tomorrow at 6pm. How much does each level drop? That should be how much your daily dose needs to be.

Way back when i was first adding two part i was hand dosing a 1/2 gallon of each a day. It wasn't until i got a doser and started to use the BRS calculators before i really got a handle on what the tank was actually using. Prior to that i think it was just binding with its self and making "sand" plus i was going through a lot of pumps the extra 2 part forms on the heated motors and shafts causing issues.
I think at your current levels of alk and cal you would be fine to not dose for a day.  My tank was getting alittle bit high for me with my alk at 10 and I shut off my co2 reactor for 24 hours last night and my level only dropped to 9.3 and I have alot of sps.
Jeff
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 11, 2017, 22:21:42
 When youíre doing your calculations for how much to reduce or add with the BRS calculator. Do you use 65 gallon?
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 12, 2017, 09:47:10
Yes, 65g is my approximate water volume. However, I only used the calculator when I first started dosing. Now, I make adjustments based on what my testing shows.
Example.... since the alk was at 10 due to the low pH yesterday, I decided that a 30mL drop in dosing should bring me down to the 8.5-9.0 range today.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 12, 2017, 12:38:13
 Anxious to see changes. Hopefully itcontinues to go in the right direction. I did look up the gas furnaces after we talked last night and I guess they commonly have air intake from outside.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 12, 2017, 13:10:29
I appreciate you brainstorming with me yesterday. I think things are looking in the right direction. Iím watching the Corals closely to see what effect the lower pH might have. Iím thinking I might just run the Scrubber on the weekends when everyone is home.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 12, 2017, 21:32:11
Update:
Very big change today.
Todayís testing (after dropping the dosing yesterday) was still
10.74 Alk
500 Calc
1360 Mg
The pH maxed out at only 8.15 today. That is a lot lower than I want to see it. The Corals weíre a little subdued with polyp extension but the colors still look good. So I dropped the alk dosing by 40 to 250 and dropped the Calc dosing 80 to 300.
Iím only using the skimmer for 8 hours a day.
Iím going to see what happens through the week and possibly just use the Scrubber on the weekends.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 12, 2017, 22:51:00
Based on the numbers consider pausing dosing alk:ca allowing them to fall back to your set range.  It may take 12-24 hours.  After getting your levels to normal consider starting with 100ml alk and calcium and going up/down from there.

Can you set up your CO2 scrubber to only kick on when pH is less than 8.1?
Maybe that allow you to get a more consistent pH, address your low pH concern, and avoid any precipitation.  Maybe do it like a heater so itís not kicking on and off constantly. For example on at 8.05, off at 8.1.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 13, 2017, 09:28:30
So you donít think the quicker change would have a negative effect on the corals?

Yes Iíve considered doing that with the skimmer. My only reservation is something getting in the pump and it turns on and damages the pump when Iím not there. I may make a sponge for the intake to eliminate that possibility. For now, I think Iíll continue using the skimmer from 6:30a-4p. I actually hooked the Scrubber up before work this morning just to try to get a little bit better pH this afternoon. Thank you for the input!
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 13, 2017, 09:40:50
When my alk, Cal or Mag level creeps up I stop dosing to let it slowly and naturally fall back down. You mentioned putting the scrubber back on-line today to increase PH but when it was offline for past couple days it had begun correcting the issues. Just trying to understand the reason for that. Are you saying your okay with the precipitation and willing to accept the issues that come along with it for the higher PH? If your not then consider taking it offline and keeping it offline until your issue is completely corrected for a couple weeks. Then begin to plan how you can incorporate the scrubber to increase the low end of the PH without affecting the high end PH where the precipitation occurs. For example with an inexpensive solenoid valve that will let you switch between room air vs scrubbed air.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 13, 2017, 10:56:35
Ok. Iíll shut the dosing down right now.

When I got up this morning (5:40a) the pH was 7.8. Remember, I only run the skimmer 6:30a-4p. Well before my pH is over 8.2. But, with our current investigation ongoing, I get what youíre saying and I will shut the skimmer/Scrubber down right now as well. That low pH just makes my stomach turn...
Thanks Brian. Iíll post numbers later this evening.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 13, 2017, 13:53:39
hahaha I know you want perfection. I think you will get there and in the process we are all going to learn how to stabilize our PH.  :) What time do your lights come on/off?
Does the scrubber connect to the air intake of skimmer? Or is there an air pump that you use to push air through the scrubber? I am not familiar with C02 scrubbers.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 13, 2017, 16:27:17
Lights start their ramp at 9a. Full power 10:30a-7p. Ramp down to 9:30p. The peak pH is usually at 7:30p.

Scrubber output is connected to skimmer air intake. Basically the same as running your skimmer air line out the window. From what I have observed, fresh air works better and faster than the Scrubber. I believe the media still allows CO2 to pass through. 

Now my test results today, as Iím not sure what I should do going forward.

pH has flatlined at 8.03 since I turned the skimmer/scubber off this morning
Alk=9.24
Ca=450
Mg=1410

Dosing is still offline. What do you suggest I do at this point?
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 13, 2017, 21:25:15
Perfect, turn dosing back on now at a rate of 150ml over 24 hours for both alk and calcium. You can adjust from there tomorrow night once you see where levels are. You can power down magnesium for 24 hours and check tomorrow night to see if itís ready to go back online.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: docsky on November 14, 2017, 10:35:42
This might be a silly question but did you calibrate your doser?  What i am wondering is if you doser says its pumping 150 mils but in reality it might only be dosing 70 mils or something. One way to test this is to get a measuring cup and fill it and see if the amount in the cup matches what the doser is set to.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: docsky on November 14, 2017, 10:36:49
Never mind I see that was the first thing you tested for in your first post!
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 14, 2017, 21:15:40
Update:
My alk was dropping so fast yesterday that by 6:30p, I had to make a decision before getting a response here on the forum.
Alk was down to 8.45. So, I turned the dosing back on at 150mL/day both alk & calc. Skimmer was off all night. I was thinking about what Lazy said about leveling pH so I decided to turn the skimmer/Scrubber on at 6:30a. I monitored the pH while I was at work and at 1:30p the pH hit 8.1 so I turned it off. Got home and did my testing at the normal time....
8.45    430      1350
Nice numbers for ball parking the dosing at 150mL. With that being said, my pH maxed at 7pm at 8.2. Perfect number I was trying to hit. The alk is a little lower than I like so I bumped the alk up 10mL to 160mL/day. I am going to follow the exact routine tonight and tomorrow and hopefully this will be dialed in to where I want it all to be.....
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 14, 2017, 23:10:18
Thatís great to hear :)
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Reeferntraining on November 15, 2017, 20:45:20
Last Update:
Came home and everything tested exactly where I want it.
Alk 9.01
Ca. 430
Mg 1280 (dosed Mg up)
pH maxed out at exactly 8.2

In summary, the high pH was definitely what was causing the precip/higher consumption. Iíve put my skimmer/Scrubber on a schedule so that I can get a consistent 8.2 daily pH with the lower end only falling to 7.9.

I want to give a big thanks to Brian for working closely with me through this. Humphrey and Wall Tank, thank you for your suggestions and brainstorming. All of your comments really got my brain working. Thanks to everyone else for their curiousity and comments!

Case closed....
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Agame43 on November 15, 2017, 21:09:51


  great to see that you worked through this, I think maybe we all learned something, thanks for posting your information.
Title: Re: Calcium precipitation
Post by: Lazylivin on November 15, 2017, 23:15:57
Good deal glad it worked out. :)