Kalk overdose

ReefMan692

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System has been running stable in the 9.5 dKH range but on saturday night a tragedy occurred. The ATO malfunctioned and when i brought it back online it dumped quite a lot of kalk into the system.

The system was already running near 8.4 pH but when this happened the ph spiked to above 8.7, slowly over the course of 6 hours the pH came down but i didnt really have eyes on the tank.

My apex alerted me my alk had plumeted to 5.6 (yikes) at midnight when trident took the test (6 hours after the "event").

So along with this calcium also dropped to 360 from 430.

White dusting everywhere basically but i got that cleaned up. The problem was, I couldn't seem to add anything to the water to raise the alkalinity! It would raise it accutely then fall back down.

On sunday after getting some rest I decided to pull a 40% water change (panic mode). The water change helped quite a bit and immediately brought the alk up to 7.2 (not great, but better!) And i was feeling pretty good like maybe I could turn this thing around.

The problem is now we are 48 hours from the time of the "event" and I cant get the alk to rise. I had it going up near 8 dkh which was exciting but now it appears to have dropped down again (7.2 again).

CA is up to around 435 and mg has risen a bit thru all this (1550) but why cant i get the alk to go up now? Its like its stuck.

Any insights would be very helpful thanks!
 
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Dennis Cartier

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The white dusting would indicate that some precipitation coincided with the PH spike. I am curious what your PH is now and also your salinity. An ATO accident will usually result in salinity dropping significantly and this can dilute the major elements and cause a lower alkalinity. However, you have since done a water change, so this should help to bring the salinity back inline (if it was low at that point), but what it is currently can help to gauge the behaviour of the alkalinity reading.

If your PH is still elevated, then precipitation could still be occurring, and that would also provide a ceiling for alkalinity. Though I am not sure what the exact corresponding relationship is to PH (E.g PH x.x -> Alk x.x - after precipitation). Randy could shed more light on that scenario.

Dennis
 
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ReefMan692

ReefMan692

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Salinity has remained pretty steady its at 35.2ppt.

Ph has been up and down since the "event" but it hasnt gone above 8.4 since. Its sitting at about 8.08 right now. Probably going up when i was trying to dos alk up but i cant get alk up it seems so ive backed off of all that. But im like in a catch 22 because i cant really back off my dosing with alk dropping like it is ugh -- i mean i guess i can. Not sure what options are!
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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All of the white precipitate is acting as seed crystals for more calcium carbonate precipitate. That will make it hard to boost alk for a while.

No need for a water change, IMO.

What is the alk now (if the water is clear, not cloudy still)

here's my limewater overdose advice generally:

The following important points should help in dealing with a limewater overdose:

1. Don't panic! These overdoses do not usually cause a tank to crash.

2. The primary concern is pH. If the pH is 8.6 or lower, you need not do anything. If the pH is above 8.6, then reducing the pH is the priority. Direct addition of vinegar or soda water is a good way to accomplish this goal. Either one mL of distilled white vinegar, or six mL of soda water, per gallon of tank water will give an initial pH drop of about 0.3 pH units. Add either to a high flow area that is away from organisms (e.g., a sump).

3. Do not bother to measure calcium or alkalinity while the tank is cloudy. The solid calcium carbonate particles will dissolve in an alkalinity test, and all of the carbonate in them will be counted as if it were in solution and part of "alkalinity." The same may happen to some extent with calcium tests. Wait until the water clears, and at that point, alkalinity is more likely to be low than high. Calcium will likely be mostly unchanged.

4. The particles themselves will typically settle out and disappear from view over a period of 1-4 days. They do not appear to cause long term detrimental effects to tank organisms.

5. Water changes are not necessarily beneficial or needed in response to a limewater overdose.
 
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ReefMan692

ReefMan692

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The water is clear now has been for around 24 hours or a little more. The alk is holding at just above 7 (7.25 this morning, a very slight increase since last night) but for the amount of soda ash i have been trying to add im not seeing the alk rise because ideally id like to get it back above 8.

I backed down on my soda ash dosing to notmal levels now tho i figure i should just let this ride for a couple of days and see what happens but im still worried about my corals and this nasty alk swing
 
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ReefMan692

ReefMan692

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Well thats good, because i dont appear to be able to anyways lol. I guess my thinking was oh **** get it back to its normal level as fast possible maybe the organisms wont notice what happened... bad idea i guess
 

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