Calcium Levels and Other Tank Issues


Reefing newb
Wow, I finally got around to testing my calcium levels on my tank and they were at a dismal 300, so I dosed my tank with Aaraga Milk hopeing to bring it back up over 400. I also ordered some kalk and a doser like Brandons setup. I figured this was the cheapest way to keep my calcium levels right. :Cheers:

Second, I have been having a light brown algea (not a mat) slowly growing on my sand bed, (phospates are at 0, and all levels other than calcium are exceptable) I was hoping to gain some opinions from some other folks on here on how to correct the problem. Do you think it could be something as simple as needed more clean up crew? :question:

Third, on my Fish Only Tank is it ok to run with low calcium rates, say in the 300 area. P.S. for those who were at the meeting and saw my black algea growths in the FO tanks, its because my phospates are running at 2.5. I am brewing up some water for a water change and threw my phosban reactor on the sump. :shock:
would respond on the brown alga if I knew what kind it was. is it one of these? Dictyota - flattened Y shaped branches, Lobopbora and Pseudolitboderma - ruffled lettuce or potato chip like clusters, or, circular crusts, Sargassum - leaf like appendages and gas filled bladders, Hincksia - filamentous cotton candy like tufts.
Well I used 2 large doses of Aaragamilk... one last night and one this morning, this evening I tested the calcium levels in the water and its still hanging at 300. Good thing I order the Kalk.

Second... I put the phosban reactor on the fish only tank and over night phospates have dropped to 1 from 2.5. Go 2 Little Fish!
Here is a picture of the brown algea on the bottom...


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looks like a bloom of some type. too far away to tell but recommend adjusting cirulation to better move water in the locations with the worse outbreak, and in order for the stuff to grow you need 3 things to happen, light, food, temperature. I do not believe that what you have is a higher order of brown alga, you have possibly a diatom breakout. silicates?, something is out of balance, and also remember that you have just set up your systems again so some settling in will be expected. clean and vacuum as much as you can and see if it does not help. what is your refuge doing?. I will post some articles on alga this week end. are you adding anything other than aragamilk?. also if your bio load is low you should not have a low calcium level unless something is wrong, makeup, etc. or bad test kit. if what you have were trully a brown alga it would be good for water conditions, but the pic shows a neusance alga developing. cut back on food and additives liquid food etc and work on the water parameters, ill bet once all in back in balance your problem will fix itself. nitrates?. something has to be feeding the stuff.
take a pump/turkey baster etc, and blow off rocks, substrait like a storm just before water change, has anything died in the tank? add some substrait stirrers, what do you have for alga cleanup? add a few more snails or herbivorous crabs.. increase water circulation in the lower areas and wait to see if it clears itself up.
Make sure your alkalinity is not too high, and hardness is within range. you may be precipitating calcium out of the water collum. just a thought
Thats the wild thing, everything except calcium tests fine. No nitrates or phospates. Alk and Ph are right in line. Its not a real fast growing algea, maybe I should just add more of a clean up crew. Im not sure how many snails etc I need for a 125 gallon tank. There are very few fish and I run 2 protien skimmers. I will go today and purchase more snails maybe they will help.
It is very normal foe a new tank to have a diatom bloom. I know these were set up before the new place, but this could be a contributor. More of a cleanup crew could help. I say give it a week or two and it should burn itself out.

As far as the calcium goes, IMO the 300 range is fine for the fowlr tank. Why go through the hassle of dripping and buying product if the coral that needs it, wont be in there? Your calcium will stay where it is needed with a regular water change....

The sand and coral on the bottom of the tank are new and so is the refuge, I figured patients was my best bet. There are 2 corals in it now and if we ever get your order rolling there will be a third, I just want to get it set up. The Kalk drip is cheap.