Pumps clogged with calcium

Shouse94

New member
Hey I'm having a problem with my pumps clogging up with calcium.
I've found that the vinegar doesn't generally work too well. I've been using CLR on the stuff. It gets the pumps competely cleaned but they only get clogged again in about a month. Seem a little extreme to anyone else???
 

raddogz

Premium Member
What are you using to clog up the pumps to start with?

If you are dosing Kalk then you may be overdosing to the point of it precipitating out of the tank thereby causing the build up.

I use vinegar on my return and skimmer pumps without a problem. In some cases stronger solutions (very little dilution) as necessary. I do soak the pumps for a few hours at the least and overnight or longer if it's that bad.
 

Shouse94

New member
I'm dosing 2 part and kalkawasser. I'm finding I need a lot of both to keep my calcium/alk levels up. I'm even finding my poly filter bag solid from the build-up. I'm using Randys DIY 2-part and ESV kalkawasser.
 

Jefe12234

New member
If you have a lot of evaporation and replace it all with kalk then your pH may be rising causing a lot of precipitation. My sandbed used to develop solid chunks from the precipitation until I stopped dosing kalk. You could try reducing the concentration or amount of kalk dosed, or just switch entirely to two part. And if your ca/alk levels are too high that may be causing precipitation as well. As for cleaning the pumps, I buy muriatic acid from the hardware store. It can be found in the paint section usually. I just dilute that anywhere from 1:100 to 1:20. It works much faster than vinegar, but you have to be more careful handling it.
 

joshkennedy07

New member
I would think the 2-part would be sufficient, unless you have a serious amount of coral.

Make sure Mg levels are in line as well.
 

Insainoreefer

New member
I believe I've read somewhere that calcium carbonate building up on pumps was a sign of low magnesium. Please correct me if I'm wrong all you chemistry buffs out there! :)

I'd like to know the answer to this myself!
 

Jefe12234

New member
And precipitation can be caused by high pH, high calcium and/or alkalinity, low magnesium, and even heat from the pump itself. My guess is the kalk is boosting pH, but all of these things are worth checking.
 

60Cubed

Premium Member
Wait...stop. I have had this same issue ever since I have been in the hobby. I run a kalk reactor and a calcium reactor. My alk is around 10 and my calcium is around 380. My ph runs about 8.2-8.4. Are you telling me that dripping kalk 24/7 can do this?
 

Lutefisk

Premium Member
The reason you get more build up on your pumps (especially the impeller) is that they are warmer.

If the kalk is dosed slowly in an area of adequate flow without being directly sucked into the pump, kalk is no greater reason for the build up than any other method of supplementation.

Shouse94 - please post your Alk, Ca, and Mg levels when you get a chance together with what test kit you are using.

Paul
 
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