Installing my CA reactor... good bye 2part!

Discussion in 'Filters, Pumps, etc..' started by Thatgrimguy, Jun 15, 2012.

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  1. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    Yeah, comes with having never seen one before I guess. I have read a lot, but still missed quite a few things. I'm glad I called Geo. Most important lessen learned is to stay on top of it at first. Had I not been paying attention to it all day, disaster could have happened.


    Now everything is going excellent. I'm ready to start dialing in the reactor now.
     
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  3. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    Ok, as of today, PH control in both the tank and in the reactor has been no problem. I want to make the drop happen slower so there is less to no time with the reactor off, I want a smooth steady and consistent amount of co2 being fed into the reactor for as much stability as possible.


    I will test alk tonight and see where I am now. I know I lost a lot of dkh by having my dosing off for 2 days and not getting much of anything out of the reactor.

    I found this calculator that anyone setting up a Ca Reactor must see. It's amazing.
    http://reef.diesyst.com/reactor/reactor.html
     
  4. Inertiatic

    Inertiatic Bubble Tip Anemone

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    Nicely done. That thing is a beast.
     
  5. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    I adjusted back to 10.5 yesterday and after 18 hours, it's still stable at 10.5! I'm going to test again tonight and every 12 hours, but I'm not going to adjust my effluent or my PH values in the controller until I see a change.

    I am going to adjust my pressure and bubble count to try and slow down the drop of PH between my named values. I want it to take a few hours to drop from 6.8 to 6.3 (my current set points) Currently it takes half an hour.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2012
  6. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    Daily update. My alk was creeping up (could even be noise in the test kit though) But I decided to go from 6.62/6.67 to 6.64/6.69 on my ph controller.

    I have been backing the co2 bubble rate back every 12 hours. I'm up to about 25minutes for it to go from 6.67 to 6.62. I want to make that take even longer and I'll probably shorten the pH gap when I get it to a few hours.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  7. Soggytoes

    Soggytoes Flamingo Tongue

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    Is this a pretty advanced step in reef keeping or something we should be doing? I am still in the planning stage and have not even heard of or considered one of these lol
     
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  9. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    It's more of an advanced piece of equipment. You shouldn't start with one. It's a method of providing calcium and alkalinity (and a small amount other minor elements.) There benefits are increased stability and cheaper and less often having to replace media. For smaller tanks and especially new tanks there is no need. 2 part or even just regular water changes is all most people need. Larger more hard coral based tanks may want Calcium reactors.

    My setup is particularly advanced. There are simpler setups that may work just as well in the end with a little more maintenance.
     
  10. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    I'm tightening my range. I was losing a bit of alk so I went down to 6.65/6.67

    I'm consistently getting 10.2-10.5 though. I have been working my calcium back in line. Got my new salifert calcium test in and went to lfs to confirm on red sea as well. Apparently my cal test was bad. My cal tested yesterday at 350!! So I'm running my doser for a full 40 hours straight to dose it back to 450. Then I'll cut it off. (this is based on the BRS calculator) The reactor should compensate for any consumed amount so I just need to add the amount to get it where I want it.

    From the article: Chemistry And The Aquarium: Solving Calcium And Alkalinity Problems — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog

    For the info of anyone reading. Kalk, 2part and calcium reactors all provide 20 calcium to every 2.8 DKH (1meq/L) alk. This is largely consumed by formation of calcium carbonate. This happens biologically in corals, coralline algae, mollusks, and a variety of other organisms and is the primary place (by an extreme margin) that our calcium and alk goes.
     
  11. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    Ok, I have been holding consistent so I brought all my numbers in range. My cal was low and I had to adjust it, in the process my alk dropped.

    Now my readings are:
    Cal - 440
    Alk - 9dkh
    Mag - 1400

    These are my personal target numbers and are stable for a week now... I'm going to drop from 2 times daily alk testing to every couple days and probably weekly very soon! The tank is doing great through it all! I haven't run my alk doser once since turning on the system and only run the cal one to bring my cal back in line over the last 2 days!!

    The calcium reactor seems to be fully installed and operational!
     
  12. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a good solution in very large aquariums of very heavily stocked reefs. And I agree it is an advanced solution.