calcium reactor

Discussion in 'ASAP' started by jline, Apr 30, 2004.

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  1. jline

    jline Astrea Snail

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    I have had a saltwater tank for over 10 years. It has been an up & down battle all 10. I recently decided to go for it and purchase some good equipment. New Hamilton protostar 4' light. 2 x 250w HQi & 2 96w 7100K power compacts. I made my own calcium reactor that is working quite well.(3"x20") I just added korlith media to it(removed old media) because I was getting such a high KH 28.8 PH 6.8 calcium 460 out of the reactor. Now, with the koralith, my KH is off the scale calcium 460 PH 6.7. I am using sailfert test kits, brand new. Bubble rate co2 1 every 4 seconds, drip rate 1 drop every 2 seconds CO2 shuts off with the lights . I have had trouble getting a consistent drip rate, any ideas on a good valve? I'm getting frustrated. From what I have read, there is no way that I should be getting these kind of numbers out of this set up. I have gotten the drip rate up, but the PH out of the reactor goes up to 7.0 or higher. Why is my KH off the scale? My tank PH is 8.1 during the day, 7.9 at night. I have new PH controller, regulator with solenoid valve. All of this equipment is new. The reactor is working great. It can pull the co2 all the way down through the pump. I have a couple of the SPS frags that are going down for the count. Others look good, but little if any growth. I have some LPS coral that are doing good, and My leathers are OK too! I do have some coraline popping up, most of my tank was void of it before I started the reactor. I have had troubles keeping the PH up. Things are better but this off the scale KH has me bothered. If the KH is this high, My PH should not be a problem? I think that I am also getting SNOW. White yuck laying around the tank. I change 4 Gallons of water every week to try & keep it under control. 70 gallon tank, 10 gallon sump, chiller set at 80* heater at 78*, protein skimmer, small NNR in the sump. My nitrates are zero, I quit testing it because it has been zero forever. RO/DI replacement water(new setup) Instant ocean 1.024 SG. What's up with my reactor?
    What should I do to drop the KH??

    Jeff
     
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  3. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey Jeff I feel your pain.
    Welcome to 3Reef.
    Those are very strange numbers. Are you adding any other supplements to your Water???

    What is the PH of you effluent water?

    With a CO2 drip rate and the Effluent drip rate as you have it I would think you would be running a little low on everything.
    Having a very high dKH is not a problem if you are able to maintain CA

    Let me know about the two Q? above and I'll see what we can do?

    J
     
  4. jline

    jline Astrea Snail

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    Well, I just got home and ran some fresh tests. For starters, I shut down the reactor Thursday night. After I looked at my SPS's closer, several were showing stress. I don't know if they will recover or not. The good news is that my tank KH is 7.6 AQ 2.74 calcium 370. I had even turned off the pump for the reactor to stop all additions to the tank. I have decided to turn on only the reactor pump for now and see what happens. Probably nothing without co2.
    Question?
    The co2 that I am using could be up to 2 years old. I tried a very cheep way once, and gave it up. Also, the tank was purchased form a welding shop back then. It is the steel type. Any chance that that could have anything to do with my weird readings?
    Jeff
     
  5. jline

    jline Astrea Snail

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    My tank PH is 8.3. That's the highest that I have recorded in the last couple of weeks.
     
  6. Boomer

    Boomer Feather Duster

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    No such thing as old CO2, CO2 is CO2, other than it may be less pure.

    high KH 28.8 PH 6.8 calcium 460 out of the reactor

    You most certainly can get those numbers and the best device to do that with is a reactor. Ca can get as high as 600 and 12 meq/ l ( 33 dKh) with a reactor. The low pH is caused by the excess CO2, which lowers the pH. CO2 can lower pH all by it self, it doesn't make any difference what the Alk is. You have what we call the "reactor cranked-up", so crank it down, less CO2. Low pH in single stage reactors is often a problem and is why some sup the tank with Kalk, as kalk eats up the excess CO2.

    CO2 + OH- ---> HCO3-


    Dual stage reactors make use of the excess CO2, so often it is not an issue.
     
  7. jline

    jline Astrea Snail

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    I understand what you are saying about the co2 effect on the PH. When I lowered the co2 rate, or increased the drip rate, the PH rose to 7.0 or higher out of the reactor. I just relized, just because the reactor out put is, lets say, 7.0, that does not mean that it could not be 6.7 INSIDE the reactor. I'm going to take it slow and steady when I turn on the co2 again. I am going to focus on the calcium and AK out put of the reactor. I'll check the PH, but, I am not going to let it dicktate my adjustments. I am going to mank a small 2nd chamber to try and use up that excess co2. Thanks for the input. I am always open for sugestions. I'll put up another post as it progresses. It's nice to get some input from people that understand the hobby. I get the dear in the headlights look from the people at work. Kinda like talking to a door.
     
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  9. jline

    jline Astrea Snail

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    Well, as of yesterday,tank readings,calcium 380,kh10.2,mag 1440,alk 3.66,ph 8.2. I have added a second chamber to the calcium reactor. I just recently got a magnesium test kit. I thought that it could have been holding down my calcium, but it has tested in at a good level. My coral growth has been almost zero. Some have died, some have turned brown. Their polops come out very little, if at all. I want to get my calcium level up, but when I try to raise the output, my ph starts to drop and the alk goes up. I'm still playing with it. Any ideas on whats up with my sps corals? I only have 2 small fish, and I only fed them about once a week. I have some marine snow that I started to feed in the last week or so. I have increased the feeding rate of the fish to once a day, thinking that I could have been starving the system of food. Yep, my algae is liking it. I just added 100 b/l crabs, 100 snails, 2 emerald crabs on top of what I already had in the tank. They went right to work. I also purchased a tds meter. My r/o di water is zero. My old r/o unit was wore out. I did notice that, before I increased my feeding, that the tank was getting cleaner on its own. Thats also was when my sps's started to get sick, I had added the calcium reactor at the same time. Ask me some questions if needed. I'm not certain of which way to go. For now, I'm trying to get my calcium up without my alk giong through the roof. I suspect that the high alk that I had a couple of weeks ago started my sps problem.
     
  10. Land_Fish

    Land_Fish Guest

    I don't have a reactor but it sounds like you are on the right path and would agree that the corals are sick from the high alk.

    UV filter?

    Good luck and karma coming your way.
    Keep us posted.
     
  11. jline

    jline Astrea Snail

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    No, I do not have a UV filter. I am reluctant to us one because it would kill both good & bad bacteria & micro organisms
     
  12. Land_Fish

    Land_Fish Guest

    [quote author=jline link=board=ASAP;num=1083327510;start=0#8 date=05/16/04 at 04:34:07] No, I do not have a UV filter. I am reluctant to us one because it would kill both good & bad bacteria & micro organisms[/quote]

    I just got mine and also thought as you do.

    Mojoreef said

    Actually UV sterilizers are very effective at removing algae from a system.UV exposure for waterborne algae is 22,000 µW-sec/cm2 is very attainable on most models of hobby grade UV's.

    It will kill both free floating algae and the spores released by all macro's, its also a great tool in the battle against diatoms to.

    If yu couple that with the fact that it will kill pathogenic bacteria, protozoa's and a whole host of viruses. for me anyway its a big plus for any system.

    NUGIO I guess that is the part folks seem to be torn bewteen. The what about the good stuff.
    I will give you my opinion, for whatever it may be worth. In the world of bacteria, most of what we know as beneficial bacteria are going to be associated with various environments within the tank.

    All of your denitrifying bacteria will be in the anaerobic zones within either your sand bed or your live rock, so they will not be affected by any UV. Your nitrifing bacteria will be in the shallow depths and surfaces of your live rock and live sand.

    These bacteria are usually held in place by the enzymes and the microbial bonds they create with the surfaces they inhabit. Now if you have detritus/organics floating through your system they will also be covered with this type of bacteria and it happens to pass through the UV they will be killed.

    But now if you really think about that, that is a great method of exportation. The bacteria are removing nutrients such as phosphate and nitrogen from the detritus/organics and their removal from the system is a positive step in exportation instead of allowing them just to die eventually in the tank releasing everything back in. Pods worms and other similar size creatures will not be killed by a UV sterilizer. So no worries with them.

    Most of your larva, protozoa, zooplankton stay within the confines of the sand or live rock, as moving from these locations is certain death by preditation, so again the possibility is there but probably not very likely.
    A UV sterilizer will kill most microscopic life forms that happened to be floating in water column, this would include an amount of planktonic life, some protozoa's (a alot of these are infectious), some larva that may have broken away from their refuge and have not been eaten by a predator yet, free-floating algae such as phytoplankton, free-floating algal spores, parasites, parasitic protozoa and a few others.

    I think Nugio if you really break it down and have an understanding of the environments that most beneficial creatures have it tends to tip the scales toward the use of UV. This becomes quite a reality when your corals get a bacterial infection, or jelly type diseases, or algae blooms, or the fish get ICH, or velvet or other similar diseases.

    For me anyway the small sacrifice of losing a few of the good does not away the safety of a Texteradicating the many bad. Anyway I just wanted to give you a look from a slightly different angle on the use of a UV sterilizer.

    Take care

    Mike

    here it the thread if you would like to read everything that was said...

    http://www.3reef.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=General;action=display;num=1081106473