cant seem to get my CAL below 580


Premium Member
for 3+ weeks my Cal has been very high. it was off the charts and now its finally in range to read but it has taken so long to drop. i've been doing 5g+ water changes in the tank every week. here are my readings...

46g bow front with a moderate coral load.

Cal 580
alk 12 - this was running 5 3 weeks ago but i've raised it since.
ph 8.3 - steady everytime i test

no perceptitation in the water.. mag levels were fine when i checked 2 weeks ago but cant remember the reading. to double check i took a water sample to MS and it was the same..

I'm not dosing anything except to keep my alk up and coral vital which i too thought was a snake oil but the corals keep looking better and better since i started dosing so it must be good for something..

maybe my only shot is to do several water changes over a week or so.
thats what i forgot to post. oceanic salt. I hate to switch cause the container is almost full. since i started this new tank i've used oceanic. i use to only use reef crystals which i loved but i'm not even sure where to get them around here.
Test your mix. If you mix it to NSW of 1.025-1.026 i.e. 35 ppt it will be over 600. So the more water change the farther away from nsw you will be. That's one of the problems with oceanic. Coralife will even put you over 500 many times and other times at 480 but those too are way out of nsw range.
How high is too high to have your salt level? What will happen to the tank if its too high? I have a 12 gal. nano reef going and I have one yellow clown gobie and a scooter blenny plus crabs and snails. The tank looks beautiful, but my salt level is up to 26-28. Help,,, thanks
generally 1.025-26 is where i run mine. are you topping off with fresh water? remember the salt doesnt evap like the water does so you only need add fresh water. if its to high you can just add fresh till its where you want it.
your calcium will be ok, if you keep your alk up and don't let it drop.
I run a 1500 gallon system, and calcium is at 900 ppm, no prob as long as the alk is good.

I will try topping it off with just fresh water,,, I thought you had to add some salt. Thanks for the info. I have one more question about water changes. I read that you should mix your salt water 24 hrs. ahead of the water change and that you should only add a tablespoon salt per gallon of water in your changes.. Is this right? I haven't been doing that.. I put 1/2 c. per gallon of water.. Maybe thats my problem??? Thanks again.. Any help is appreciated.
On water changes mix it to the exact salinity. On topoff for evaporation just add water. It's good to let it mix and aerate for 24 hours although in water loss emergencies I think just about everyone has rushed the process. If the water loss is due to skimmer massive overflow/ water leaks, etc. then add it just like a waterchange. In the skimmer overflow situation, check your tank salinity and see first.

Ol'Salty, I would go with some IO for a change or two to try to get that calcium down IMO.
FWIW alot of people in the past have been using a mixture of Instant Ocean and Oceanic, Instant Ocean is known for its low calcium levels.
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=6987040#post6987040 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by shaw
your calcium will be ok, if you keep your alk up and don't let it drop.
I run a 1500 gallon system, and calcium is at 900 ppm, no prob as long as the alk is good.


I think I'd buy another test kit. :D
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=6989049#post6989049 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by dphinsx2
What's considered low?

Depends what kind of tank.... Reef I would keep above 380......FO not as critical.....420 to 450 seems like what most are striving for.
Sorry, I was wondering what the low level is on instant ocean salt, not for the actual tank.