Carbon dosing - method testing started

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by steve wright, Mar 24, 2011.

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  1. malac0da13

    malac0da13 Torch Coral

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    Hey Steve. What type of parameters are you running on your tank in the way of alk calc and may? I'm dosing vodka at the moment and my alk is just under 7dkh and my calcium is 330. Just seems like calcium is low. I just got my calcium reactor dialed in to keep my alk stable so I figure my calcium should also be stable...just seems low.

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  3. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Sacul - funny really, the algae forum is full of people wanting ideas / solutions on how to get rid of it, and here is me thinking "I'll have it"

    Thank you nanomania

    Thank you sticksmith
    the good news is my power heads now have green beards, so with a few snips of that allowed to drift around, it should take over in the very near future

    thank you heidimi
    the pellet reactor after set up, is as simple as it gets IMO - nothing to do except a quick glance to make sure everything is still working

    I think many people have already done a good job of that exactlyobp - many great threads on here and elsewhere with good records of bio pellet experience , I was not convinced before I tried them, and was pleasantly surprised by the results

    proreefer , I just want to repeat them , so if you have any spare GHA , send it my way

    Thank you Thor, I am claiming bad luck on the lack of GHA and also poor judgement , I should have bit the bullet and put all new uncured live rock in at the restart , I would have a forrest by now.

    Hi malac0da
    on my reef, I am running 430 - 450 Calcium, with 8- 8.3 DHK with a Mag level 1440 - 1460 (all Salifert tests)

    I have no direct experience with Calcium reactors, but I believe, like Kalkwasser they deliver Ca and Alk in balanced amounts, so there is no way to increase one without affecting the other

    7 dkh , providing you can maintain it , is OK
    330 calcium as you say is low

    if you want to increase Calc , without affecting DHK, you need to supplement with a Calcium additive, and once you have desired level, the reactor should keep up with demand (I suspect your levels where low when you put reactor on line, but are reluctant to increase the output, due to your desire to maintain the 7DHK whilst Carbon dosing? just for interest - I have had no Alk burn since Vodka dosing with a level of 8 - 8.3 and I know m2434 has had no issues with 9 - we both feed our corals and that may be a contributor as the thinking is
    Alk/ Calcium will increase growth of the calcium skeleton, but if the water is to starved of nutrients then the flesh has nothing to eat, and the skeleton grows through it, leading to the white tips which are commonly known as Alk burn


    if it where me, I would get a calcium supplement
    and also measure my Magnesium, and if required, increase it to 1400 - 1450 ( no more that 100ppm per day increase)

    Then increase Calc from 330 - 370 day 1
    and increase from 370 - 410 on day 2

    check your Mag level before making these additions , as if your mag is low, then keeping these additional ions in solution is not garaunteed, and you may then be increasing your calcium at the detriment of your Alk , which at 7 is not something you want to decrease

    410 and 7 - would be acceptable if the reactor then keeps up with demand and maintains it


    Hope that helps
    Steve
     
  4. malac0da13

    malac0da13 Torch Coral

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    Thanks Steve that reinforces exactly what I thought I should do. I think I might increase my alk a little to but I gotta get some calcium supplement first and check my mag before I do anything. I have finally learned why my sps looked so bleached out before and its because I was carbon dosing and trying to keep alk way to high lol. Thanks for the help.

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  5. mati_L

    mati_L Fire Shrimp

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    well this seems like the right place to post my question, im setting up a new tank and im not sure which route to take. I read the post and it seems bio pellets are what function the best vs a carbon reactor..now the question is, running pellets or carbo in my fluval 405 from the sump water isnt the same is it ? a reactor will function better?
     
  6. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The 2 things you mention do different things Mati L

    the pellet reactor , provides a carbon source that encourages additional bacteria to exist and these bacteria process the wastes/ nutrients in the tank

    carbon on the other hand, removes other impurities that can discolour water, and in addition remove certain chemicals that are released by corals etc

    Carbon polishes the water and helps with water quality via chemical means
    Pellets help maintain water quality via biological means

    if your setting up a new tank IME, you dont need any of them for a couple of months

    Carbon is a great addition anyway, as it does help make the water sparkle IME
    and carbon is fine in a cannister filter, in a mesh pouch

    Rowaphos - a brand of GFO works OK in fine mesh pouches in cannister filters also
    I am sure other brands are equally effective
    not as efficient as running in a reactor, but IMHE, better than not running them at all



    I would add the carbon and GFO to your cannister in seperate pouches after its been set up for a couple of months as a 1st step
    then see how your tank develops from there, before deciding on the need for any additional equipement
     
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  7. mati_L

    mati_L Fire Shrimp

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    Thanks steve that sums it up all in a nut shell for me
     
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  9. Mr. Bill

    Mr. Bill Native Floridian

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    Any new updates? How's the algae growth coming, Steve?
     
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  10. fischkid2

    fischkid2 Dirty Filter Sock

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    Wow, steve my cat and I have spent the last 2 or so hours reading every comment on this amazing thread. This has helped me immensely, not only with understanding the different schools of filtration (for the lack of a better word) but has also expanded my limited knowledge on the life cycles of aquariums and their reactions to a given additive.
    So thank you steve and m2434 and many others for their thoughtful contribution to this detailed experiment that I am sure has aided a many a reefer especially this one.
    Tagging along for the next season of tests.
    K+ is an understatement for this.
     
  11. sticksmith23

    sticksmith23 Giant Squid

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    Steve, do you have any updates for us? I'm really curious to see if the pellets pull through again as showing the best results.
     
  12. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    slowly but surely now Mr.Bill

    Thank you Fischkid 2

    finally an update for you sticksmith23
    the introduction of the new rock pieces followed by a switch around
    and the daily abuse of the tanks (half a dozen pellets, 16 hours of lighting etc ) has created the early stages of a GHA takeover
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    the torch corals have been moved out
    tank was in back bedroom, and temps peaked over 85 degrees during the months of August and September, so I removed the corals rather than air condition a room just to reduce these test tank temps

    set up moved now into the main living room ( my wife is tolerant to say the least)

    as you can seem GHA has started to take over the power heads
    and I periodically break this off and let it drift around tank and it is now finally starting to form elsewhere