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Old 01/09/2008, 03:39 PM   #1
Sk8r
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The Frankenkalkreactor lives: an update...

Background: After killing two kalk stirrers, I decided to go more basic.

I dumped half a cannister of kalk into my 32g Rubbermaid Brute trashcan ro/di reservoir.

I cut a disc of eggcrate lighting grid to hold my topoff pump about halfway up the Brute trashcan, as a permeable floor.

I used a locline typical 2-ended connector jammed into a half-inch hose for the maxijet, with a hose clamp holding it in place, and connected 1/4" locline tubing sufficient to reach my sump. IE, I reduced the half inch outflow hose to a 1/4" so as to have more drip and less gush into my sump.

I set the Maxijet 1200 topoff pump on the grid disc, jammed on the half inch hose, plugged it into my topoff switch, [autotopoff.com dual float switch rig] jammed the lid down over the tubing and the power cord to limit air access, and let 'er run.

Two weeks on:
My calc is around 450, my alk is around 9.3, my ph is 8.3, my mg is about 1375 [where I set it], and my corals are ecstatic at having no interruptions in calcium flow. This has freed me of fussing with that aspect of my tank so I can now do my scheduled water changes weekly, and life is good. My lps are starting to divide again, aggressively, and the lps extension is huge. The one surviving sps [montipora] is putting up growth points, about 5-8 of them.

Frankenreactor isn't pretty, but it is working. I do get a little 'skin' on it, but it hasn't seemed to hurt anything, and there have been no glitches.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.

Last edited by Sk8r; 01/09/2008 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 01/09/2008, 03:47 PM   #2
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Yeah, the skin is normal, so I wouldn't worry. So basically you are topping off your tank with limewater? I had good results with that method too.

How much Kalk are you adding (per gallon) to your reactor?

Glad to see that this is working out for you after all the problems you have been having!


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Old 01/09/2008, 04:00 PM   #3
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I figure with 25g of ro/di, topped off now and again with 10 ro/di gallons, anything that sinks to the bottom will just get stirred up and mixed eventually. So I just put in about a pound, and will wash out the tub periodically. Hope there will be no problem with this imprecision. It is hard to be precise with a garbage can.

The grid floor holds my topoff pump up and well away from the slurry in the bottom, and a Brute has a 2x2" depressed ring around the outside base, so that is where the slurry tends to be. So only the filmy stuff can get up through the grid [about 15" up] to reach the topoff pump.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 01/09/2008, 04:11 PM   #4
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It sounds fine. I was more thinking about what level of kalk was being supplied to support the very nice calcium, alk, and mg numbers (although the mg isn't being helped at all by the kalk).


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Current Tank Info: To be set up 44g corner pentagon
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Old 01/09/2008, 04:27 PM   #5
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hey sk8r...I was wanting to do this idea but everyone tells me I was being lazy....so I never followed it thru..but likewise Im curious what your using as your lime? Is it just standard pickling lime?


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Old 01/09/2008, 04:34 PM   #6
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This is exactly the same method I am using and it's been working great for about 3 years now. I use a peristaltic pump though which is a little different than your design but basically the same.

You can add as much kalk as you want because it can only saturate the water so much and the rest will go to the bottom. The "skin" (sounds so gross) is a good thing to have.

I had a problem with large chunks of lime eventually building up in the line but that's what I get for not cleaning the can out for 3 years! Somthing to keep in mind though.

I still plan to go to a kalk reactor eventually though.

Cheers!


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Old 01/09/2008, 04:46 PM   #7
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Another thing that is a good idea is to drill a hole near the top of the can and install a float valve so that when you are refilling it with ro you don't flood your house if (and when) you forget the water is on.

I've done this 2 times now and I'm loosing girlfriend tank approval rating (also known as GTAR) every time this happens. I still have to get around to putting it in though =)

http://www.aquariumlighting.com/Whol...oat_Valve_.jpg


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Old 01/09/2008, 05:01 PM   #8
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Good idea, waxxiemann---I do it the hand-method: ie, I'm not connected to the city water supply: I have another 32 g barrel on rollers that I fill with ro/di, and leave the kitchen timer going.

Jade, I'm just using Mrs. Wages' Pickling Lime. A pound will do me about 3-4 weeks. Comes 2 lbs per cannister. I don't measure, just dump.

What held me off doing this in the first place was how to keep slurry out of the tank, but the gridwork floor of eggcrate was a moment's inspiration that actually worked. No way the MJ1200 ever gets pure slurry, just properly filmy water...and that's better than my high-priced kalk reactor did on two occasions.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, chromis, royal gramma basslet, tailspot blenny, ocellaris clown, yellow watchman, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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