How do calcium reactors automatically keep up with coral growth?

Discussion in 'Filters, Pumps, etc..' started by Matt Rogers, Oct 2, 2010.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    How do calcium reactors automatically keep up with coral growth?

    This is something I've never understood. Can someone explain how that works?

    I had one, knew how to calibrate it, but don't recall the explanation on the above...

    matt
     
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  3. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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  4. blackraven1425

    blackraven1425 Giant Squid

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    Well, a calcium reactor can only bring the water up to the saturation point at the pH inside the reactor. That pH is low, something like 6.5, which has a much higher saturation point than the tank water. The tank water ends up saturated with calcium and alk at all times.
     
  5. NASAGeek

    NASAGeek Eyelash Blennie

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    Similar to blackraven's post, I thought that because the Calc reactor was triggering off pH as its control parameter essentially that if the coral consumed some calc the pH would change and the reactor would automatically seek to balance the pH again.... thus balancing the Calc/Alk...

    I think I got that right... ish...?

    M
     
  6. blackraven1425

    blackraven1425 Giant Squid

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    Well, I'm fairly sure that's not the case, NASAGeek. The pH in the reactor is supposed to say constant around that 6.5 number. I think it's a matter of saturation, where it won't dissolve any more aragonite until the water is no longer saturated. The reactor could dump huge amounts of calcium and alk into the tank, but doesn't dump any unless the water is already under the saturation level.
     
  7. NASAGeek

    NASAGeek Eyelash Blennie

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    I'll go with your explanation....as usual. :)
    I think I am understanding, because I am agreeing with what you are writing. I'm probably not stating my thoughts clearly this morning... didn't sleep last night. September 30 was the end of the government fiscal year. Given the administrations policies, we had to layoff hundreds last week.... hundreds of friends that I've known for years that have done great work... haven't been sleeping well at all.

    M
     
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  9. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Interesting. Thanks! Can anyone elaborate on this?

    matt
     
  10. wfb2270

    wfb2270 Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

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    i want to dig this back up cause i hope someone knows the answer.

    I understand the "controlled" low pH inside the reactor to keep the media dissolving at a constant rate. and as far as i can tell this is where the ph probes and controllers come into play. i have a pretty good grasp on that part

    The part i have a hard time wraping my head around is that i have heard claims that a ca reactor will automaticly keep up with the calcium demand of the tank. Like growth. or say i go nuts one weekend and bring home a bunch of new coral. From what i have read the reactor somehow "knows" the tank is consuming more calcium and adjusts accordingly.
     
  11. doylef4i

    doylef4i Bubble Tip Anemone

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    Thanks for bringing this back up.I'll be tagging along also.
    Daniel
     
  12. blackraven1425

    blackraven1425 Giant Squid

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    At the low pH, the water gets saturated with calcium and alk. At that point, nor more can dissolve anyway. As pH changes back, some precipitates out, but you're going to always have both at saturation level while running a calcium reactor.

    Dingo might have a bit better insight than I do, though.
     
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