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Thread: Calcium test kit? And help needed!

  1. #1
    kerry's Avatar
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    Calcium test kit? And help needed!

    What test kit do you prefer to use? I currently have been using the API deal. Its cheap and comes with the whole kit so thats why I have it. I do not know how accurate it is, I am adding Kents Liquid Calcium reactor and the results do not seem to change. I had a pH crash due to my stupidity and days after correcting that we had a power outage for about 8 hours and the temp in the house got to under 50 degrees. My corals are dieing off slowly while my fish are just fine. Now for some reason my Calcium is down to about 250ish. I dose the Kents Iodine, mag/iron, liquid cal reactor (as needed), and strontium/molybdenum at half what the bottle says so I think they are ok. I do have test kits for those coming in the mail so I can be sure. I have done it for so long this way with great results that I never bought those test kits again when they ran out (I know, not a good idea). kH and gH are up to par but calcium wont move. Anyway, is this API calcium test at least in the ball park?? I can get a Red Sea cal test at my local. The API seemed to work in the past, I would dose the Kents and I could see it come up. Now I dose and its about the same with no real noticeable color change. I even took a huge swing at it which left white powdery residue behind and still there was no real color change in the test. Maybe the Kents calcium can go bad???? I am at a loss here. My fish are GREAT but, my corals are not so good. Oh, and my snails are not active, plus my bristol worms and little black stars are dieing to. Nutrients are all zero but the ammonia was up to almost .25 with all the stuff dieing. Any pointers or a push in a direction I am overlooking would be great. Also, the calcium tests where the same after two 30% water changes using instant ocean mix, I figured that would bring the calcium reading up???
    Sorry this is all over the road, I am working and the phone is ringing off the hook.
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a bad P test.

  3. #3
    kerry's Avatar
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    "P" test?? You think the phosphates are up? I have not checked those, they have been zero since the scrubber nipped that in the butt. I will check them when I get home to be sure. I check those about once or every other month so its been about 4 weeks ago.
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  4. #4
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    Whoops I meant Cal test.

    But, high P can cause calcium to precipitate.

  5. #5
    kerry's Avatar
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    I just checked the p its zero in that tank and just .5 in the other. My Cal test works, I mixed up some salt water and its 440 by my test so it tested it OK. This has happened since we lost power for 8 hours and the house temp got to under 50 degrees. I guess I am going to do a 60% change in my 10G and put all the corals in that tank until I work this out.
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  6. #6
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    You just had a lot of die off, that's all.

  7. #7
    kerry's Avatar
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    Thats for sure, most of my Bristol worms and little black stars died. My snails are not dead but do not move at ALL. I did that 60% change in my 10G and transferred everything so I hope not to lose any more. The weird thing is my fish are GREAT!!!
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  8. #8
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    I have had problems reading cal when my pH was gone south due to bad test kit. After I brought pH to norm I have found calcium very low.

  9. #9
    kerry's Avatar
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    Well the CAL API seems to be fairly accurate or at least in the ball park, took it to the local to check against theres. Now with all this death my ammonia was up to over .5, almost 1.0!!!!! Can anyone give my any info on Iodine test kits, I bought a seachem and am not impressed at all. I will also be buying a Mag and strontium kit, any suggestion on these as well????? I need something that is reasonably priced for the results it gives. I plan to spend in the area of 30-50 buck for each kit.
    150G. Reef/Mix
    125G. 3 Regular Oscars/1 Jack Dempsey
    75G. 20+ Africans
    40G. Fish/Reef. Algae Scrubbers on ALL my SW
    10G. SW Fish/Reef.
    10G. SW Hospital/new fish quarantine/pod breeder tank
    6 stage RO/DI system 200 GPD.

  10. #10
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    Fish are not fragile like corals.

    I would not worry about cal until the die-off cycles and the N and P peak and fall back down. Nothing going to grow anyway for a while.

    Just keep the ammonia low by scrubbing, water changes, or even additives.

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