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FAQs on Calcium Gluconate

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Calcium gluconate irritating polyps? -- 12/29/11
Hi wonderful experts!  I have a mystery, and I'd love to know if anyone has a thought on this.
<Let's see>
I have read here and elsewhere that calcium gluconate is a wonderful coraline algae stimulant,
<Mmm, can be... depends on the make-up of the system, water... not a "blank check" to boosting coraline, and does have its limits>

so I bought a bottle from a well known, highly respected maker of reef chemicals.  I recently set up a smallish tank containing only star polyps, Zoanthids, and a few mushrooms.
<These organisms are all strongly chemically allelopathogenic... best for you to search, read re on WWM>
 They are all thriving.  But several weeks ago, when I added a recommended does of calcium gluconate for the first time,
<How was this added? Should only be done in a dissolved state...>

all of the star polyps snapped shut and remained closed for the rest of the day.  A week later the same thing happened.  Yesterday I added the normal dose (my third time doing it, though now with some hesitation!).  Then I got stupid... my wife (her fault, of course!) asked me a question, I answered it, and without thinking I added a second spoonful to the tank, <As a solid; mistake>
thus giving it a double dose.  Well... the reaction was swift and violent. 
All star polyps snapped shut.  But this time, EVERY Zoanthid closed up also.  A half hour later, every mushroom had cupped up tight, showing only their undersides.  Today, a day later, everything is back to normal except for the star polyps, which are just beginning to open.  I'm strongly inclined to never use this stuff again.  Does anyone have a comment on this?  Thanks!
<Umm, irritating as added. Thoroughly dissolve before adding. Bob Fenner>
Re: Calcium gluconate irritating polyps? 12/29/11

Bob - Thanks for the quick reply!  Actually, it is in liquid form.  It is SeaChem Reef Calcium.
<Ahh, I see... best still to dilute, introduce let's say during water change-outs>
As for the allelopathogenic properties, my understanding is that the mushrooms are the worst, the star polyps are second, and small Zoanthids have very little potency (other than the palytoxin danger to animals).  Is this correct?
<Mmm, I'd rank the Clavulariids at the top, and Zoanthids and Corallimorpharians are quite variable... some innocuous, others, very toxic at times>
 In any case, most of these assorted corals are on individual smallish live rocks so that if any becomes a problem it will be easy to pull them out and either trim back or remove entirely.
<I see... again, there are means to alleviate a good deal of negative interaction. Do see my ppt on such posted on WWM>
But this violent reaction to the calcium gluconate solution is a real mystery.  It is absolutely repeatable and dramatic.  My star polyps remain closed for at least a day, sometimes two days, after I add that stuff. 
Other additions, such as water changes, Kalk, 2-part calcium/alkalinity boosters (which I almost never need), and iodine, do not impact them at all.

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