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Hello everyone.  Some time ago, I was having trouble getting my phosphate
level down.  The plants were not doing bad but I was having some trouble
with algae.  after reading your references to calcium and water test, I had
my wife pick up a chemical analysis of our water from the water company.
The analysis showed that the water was hard(400ppm); almost completely from
sodium bicorbonate.  Very little calcium.  I have been changing about 25%
evry 2 weeks (or less) and replacing with RO water.  I added enough crushed
coral to keep the alkalinity (measured with a Lamotte kit) to about 100ppm.
 I've adjusted my CO2 for a pH of ~7.  With these values, the plants are
doing well and I am finally getting my PMDD dosage right.  Iron is in the
right range(~.1ppm) and nitrate is below 10ppm.

The question is: What should the calcium level be?  With 100ppm alkalinity,
the calcium level measures about 30ppm.  I searched through the archives
and the only reference to an actual value I could find was the Plants
article.  It referenced the Optimum Aquarium and gave a value of 90ppm for
calcium.  Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

k5vkq at ix_netcom.com