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  #1  
Old 01/07/2008, 03:02 AM
KniLLifer KniLLifer is offline
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When is it time for a Calcium Reactor!?

Hey Guys,

I have been dosing 2-part recipe #1 for over a year. In this time my SPS population has increased to be the majority of the tanks corals. In the last few months I have been having a hard time keeping my Calcium and Alkalinity in the "Zone"! I'm dosing 300mL of 2 part just to keep things at Cal=380 Alk=8. I have been increasing my dosage every week just to stay at those levels. At this rate I'm going through a gallon of 2-part every 13 days. This equals out to be about 28 gallons/year which will probably increase with time as the SPS colonies grow. Talking $ it equals to about 250 per year using 2partsolutions.com as the supplier at this going rate.

There are a few issues with dosing so much 2-part each day at one time as I do not have a dosing pump setup. One... when I dose the Alk, it participates into snow flakes immediately which I combat by diluting it with some RO/DI water. I dilute my Alk dose in about 1000mL of RO/DI water to stop it from participating in the tank. Two... I worry that since I dose one time per day the swing is affecting the corals negatively when all of a sudden the Alk and calcium get increased almost instantaneously when the 2-parts are added to the tank. I loose about 2~3 DHK in a 24 hour period based on my dosage and tank volume which by the way is about 135 gallons including the sump.

I guess... I started this thread to get some opinions and options to ether cut down on the 2-part dose or eliminate it with a calcium reactor. I have recently split my dose into 2 times per day (thanks baby) while I'm at work my wife helps me out, just to eliminate or get around the spike in Alk and Cal when it’s dosed. My SPS seem to be liking that more then the 1 time per day dose.

I have though about Kalk and Lime water but I have zero experience with dosing them, and I hear horror stories about both on reef central.

Please chime in and tell me your experiences on this subject! I'm open to anything. I need some direction. Do I dose more and just live with it, even at these volumes or is it time to invest in a calcium reactor that can handle my tanks needs?

Here is a pic of my tank just so that you get an idea of the SPS population. Its hard to tell but there are a few larger colonies but nothing crazy as most are just 3~4 moth old frags.



Thanks,

~Knil~
  #2  
Old 01/07/2008, 03:09 AM
SuperNerd SuperNerd is offline
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I used to worry about overdosing kalk too. If you get a doser that doses a certain amount then you won't need to worry as much about "overdosing" because the doser will be set to deliver however much you set it for, at the time you want the kalk delivered.

The calcium reactor by itself isn't always free of worries though- if you have trouble with low pH like me for example.

By the way what is that coral to the right of what looks like green star polyps and is that sand on the bottom of the tank or is that something else?
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  #3  
Old 01/07/2008, 03:11 AM
dadonoflaw dadonoflaw is offline
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kalk and lime water are the same thing. kalkwasser is the german word for it. it will help to maintain your cal and alk but will not add alot unless you get a huge one which can get cost prohibitive. if low ph is not an issue i would say go with that. two part is a good thing if you can find a cheap source of calcium but as those sources dry up a cal reactor is going to be your cheapest option for keeping up with these demands. i have about 220 gal of water volume with a tank full of hard corals and i dose about 1 and 1/4 cup of both each morning with an undersized kalk reactor. with that i am able to keep 440ppm and 10.5dkh with no precipitation. are you adding both parts in the same area? do you add them at the same time?
  #4  
Old 01/07/2008, 03:39 AM
KniLLifer KniLLifer is offline
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SuperNerd

Thanks for your input. The "thing" next to the GSP is a encrusting gorgonia, and it is sand that you see just bare in front of the glass because of the Tunze.



Dadonoflaw

Thanks for the input also, and if I'm going to spend the money on a Kalk reactor I might as well spend the money on a calcium reactor. PH has always been on the lower side for me also. Even so I dose so much of Recipe #1 I'm usually at about 8.0 ~ 8.1 MAX as far as PH. That's something that I have to keep in mind if I get a calcium reactor.

Man... I don't know what to do.

I dose the Alk in the display in a high flow area and usually dump the Calcium in the sump about 15 minutes later.

Thanks... I' going to look into a Kalk solution a little deeper, I guess the costs are not as high as a Calc reactor but it seems like there would be a lot more maintenance.

~KniL~
  #5  
Old 01/07/2008, 05:18 AM
dadonoflaw dadonoflaw is offline
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kalk reactor is easy to maintain. just keep it topped off with kalk and cleaned out. maybe you can by a smaller kalk reactor for some maintenance of ca and alk and a higher ph and add a properly sized ca rx for upkeep of te levels needed
  #6  
Old 01/07/2008, 09:15 PM
KniLLifer KniLLifer is offline
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I think I'm going to experiment with Lime. I will start with 1 tsp of Lime per gallon and see what effect this has on my Calcium / Alk & PH. This should cut down on the 2-part usage hopefully.

I can't dose lime with my Auto Top Off currently because my JBJ is not very sensitive therefore I would be adding too much at one time when the MaxiJet 400 turns ON.
I will premix a batch and use a 1 gallon jug on a DIY drip to start with and monitor the levels via testing.

Any suggestions or concerns on the above idea?
  #7  
Old 01/07/2008, 09:20 PM
bertoni bertoni is offline
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Just watch the first drip carefully. Limewater can spike the pH quite a bit.
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  #8  
Old 01/07/2008, 09:28 PM
KniLLifer KniLLifer is offline
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If this helps with my Calcium and Alk, I could propably switch to Recepie #2 Two-part, which is low in PH to offset the Limes' high PH value.

Thanks,

~KniL~
  #9  
Old 01/07/2008, 10:08 PM
twon8 twon8 is offline
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you don't need a kalk reactor, spend the money on a litermeter3 dosing pump and use a brute trash can that can hold 44 gallons of top off water, and your tank suddenly becomes a lot less maintenance.
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  #10  
Old 01/07/2008, 10:59 PM
KniLLifer KniLLifer is offline
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twan8,

That sounds really nice but with my tanks location in the house the 44 gallon trash pail would no look very good in the living room. I'm not even going to go there with the wife. I hope you understand. But I agree for someone with a fish room or a basement setup this would be optimal.

I'm looking into this more and more and it looks like 1 gallon of saturated lime water on my tank would only raise the Calcium by 6.5 ppm and DKH by about 1 in a 24 hour period. This does not seem like much, unless all of my evaporated water was Saturated Lime Water. I loose about 2.5 gallons per day on my tank which would bring those numbers closer to 16ppm Calcium and 2.3 dkH. Anything more I would have to be complimented by 2-part.

The worst thing about this is that this doesn’t make the process of dosing my tank any easier. Whether its limewater or two-part, it will require daily attention. Anyway... thanks for everyone’s comments and suggestions. Looks like there will be a Calcium reactor under the tank in the near future, but for the time being I will experiment a little bit with Lime water and see what happens.
 

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