Why is my sand clumping??

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by Klems, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Klems

    Klems Supporting Member

    Started the tank earlier this year with some large size live sand. Have been dosing BRS 2 part...and now sections of my sand are clumping together in large almost rock like formations. Is there a way to fix this? Some pieces have solidified under the rock structure...need advice on how to fix or deal with it.

    Bad picture with all the blue, but my finger is where the rock ends and it's literally 2-3 inches past the edge of the rock...


    Attached Files:

  2. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Check you magnesium levels.

    What are you alk and ca levels?

    How much alk n ca are you dosing?

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  3. As Vincent noted -- probably calcifying due too to much calcium.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  4. Klems

    Klems Supporting Member

    If I can reduce my dosing, will that fix the sand clumping over time...or do I need to manually break it up or replace it?

    I do have 3 or 4 nassarius snails and a fighting conch to move the sandbed...
  5. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I had that problem in a big way a few years back. Had to basically chisel it out with a chunk of plastic.
    As above, keep CA reasonable, Mg up, and add more sand moving critters.
    Replace it.
  6. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Can’t help you unless you give us those numbers.

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  7. euod

    euod Supporting Member

    Ca level would confirm that.
    My Ca is really high and I don't see that.
    Increase flow may help or stiring sand slightly before doing water change
  8. Klems

    Klems Supporting Member

    ALK= 9.1
    CA= 440
    MAG= 1460

    Using the Reefkeeper I was dosing ~5.5ml of CA and ALK(soda ash) 10 times throughout the day...

    Should I reduce it down to 3.3ml's every 2 hrs?
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
  9. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    How much 2 part are you dosing?

    The mag is not too bad but if you are dosing a lot that could cause the issue.

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  10. Klems

    Klems Supporting Member

    What other critters should I get? More nassarius and fighting conch....or something different?
  11. Klems

    Klems Supporting Member

    Have tried to break up the clumps of sand I can get to...most of it in the back against the overflow is not accessible. But I was able to get most of the other pieces ground up... hopefully it will allow the nassarius and conch better access
  12. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    That just solves the symptoms not fix the cause.

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  13. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit Vice President

    Calcium is not as freely soluble as the other major elements in NSW. It’s solubility will depend significantly on alk and pH. If you’re pH is high, it would definitely start to crash out. I would remove the clumps since they will not dissolve at reef pH levels. Then I would lower your target Ca++ levels by just a bit.

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  14. Klems

    Klems Supporting Member

    My pH hovers around 8.2-8.33 daily
  15. Klems

    Klems Supporting Member

    I reduced my calcium by 20ml's over the course of the day and after checking it today it is still around 460...so should I keep checking for the next week, and if it stays the same does that conclude why the sand was clumping?

    I did notice my ALK has dropped from ~9 to ~8.....can I increase my ALK dose up a bit or should I keep it exactly the same as the CA?
  16. Klems

    Klems Supporting Member

    The CA was at 420 today and ALK at 8.5. Also, added another fighting conch I picked up at Neptune's.

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