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Chemistry And The Aquarium: Solving Calcium And Alkalinity Problems

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by jahmic, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. jahmic

    jahmic Shark M.A.S.C Club Member

    For many reefkeepers, correcting undesirable calcium 1 and alkalinity 2 values can be among the most vexing of the chemical problems encountered in maintaining a reef tank. Most reefkeepers know that if these parameters are not maintained appropriately, corals and other organisms may have difficulty 3 in depositing calcium carbonate skeletons. Understanding how to solve such problems, however, proves more elusive. Unfortunately, it is often not as simple as adding more of whatever is depleted.

    Calcium and Alkalinity Problems

    If your tank falls outside of these ranges for either or both of these measurements, then how you need to go about correcting them does indeed depend on the relationship between the two. It is this aspect of calcium and alkalinity maintenance that causes problems for many aquarists.
    Figure 1. A graph showing possible values for calcium and alkalinity in marine aquaria. The red zone is the recommended target, and the blue dot represents values in natural seawater. Each numbered zone outside of the target area has a specific set of directions to get back to the target.

    Figure 1 shows a graph of calcium and alkalinity for marine tanks. The red zone in the middle represents the desired range for both parameters. The blue dot represents the values present in natural seawater. We will use this figure to determine a course of action for each of the four numbered zones outside of the red target area....

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2014

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