What is calcium?
Calcium is one of the critical building blocks for corals, clams, calcareous algae and many other marine organisms. After sodium and magnesium, calcium is the third-most abundant cation found in sea water and is vital for a balanced marine environment.
Why test for calcium?
Achieving the correct calcium concentration range is critical: too little can lead to poor coral health, while too much can result in depletion of carbonate hardness (KH). Testing for calcium allows you to ensure optimal conditions for your aquarium inhabitants and the stability of other significant water chemistry parameters.
What is the correct level of calcium?
The typical value of calcium found in seawater is 420 mg/l, but values in the aquarium vary from 380 mg/l to 450 mg/l, dependant on the method of running your aquarium.
What to do if the calcium level is wrong?
If the calcium level in your aquarium is wrong, partial water changes using a good quality reef salt is recommend to help re-establish the correct calcium concentration. It is also important to check the magnesium and KH as the three are correlated. If the calcium is incorrect, magnesium and KH are also likely to be wrong.
Q: Why do I run out of 1 reagent before the other(s)? A: NT Labs fill their test kit reagent bottles to a minimum amount before they are put through a vigorous QC regime. This means that the vast majority of bottles will in fact be overfilled by varying amounts meaning that the reagents may well run out at different rates but you should be able to carry out at least the number of tests stated on the packaging.
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