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  • Calcium Reactor Levels Skewed

    Hey all, I have been running my reactor for a while now with good results (since October give or take).

    I decide to test my water yesterday and notice my Alk is through the floor (hovering around 7.1dkh) and my calcium is around 500ppm.. Last time I checked was March 18th (I should have been checking weekly but haven't). I haven't tested my mag yet, but I am assuming it is low so I am going to test and bump that later tonight.

    Only things that have happened recently is a small hiccup with my ATO and that modified the SG a bit down to 1.022.

    In the meantime, my reactor is running at a constant ph of 6.7-6.8, and tank is around 8.1.

    Should I be tweaking my bubble count rate up so I get more alk in the water? Or should I slow my drip rate instead? There haven't been any casualties so far in the system, but my anemones look a bit not bubbly as I would like.

    Any input is appreciated.

  • #2
    you can't really control each level individually. You can either control how fast the media is being dissolved (bubble rate) or how fast you add that media to your tank (drip rate).

    technically, the effluent will be added to your tank in it's (close to) natural ratio. Your salinity will drastically impact your tested calcium levels, so I would first get that to where it should.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by imcosmokramer View Post
      you can't really control each level individually. You can either control how fast the media is being dissolved (bubble rate) or how fast you add that media to your tank (drip rate).

      technically, the effluent will be added to your tank in it's (close to) natural ratio. Your salinity will drastically impact your tested calcium levels, so I would first get that to where it should.
      See that is what I had thought. It is more of a balanced additive and adds a set amount instead of a number you can tweak. This morning I was looking up info about CaRx and found Melev's Reef link on reactors, and found some contradicting info which threw me off. The info is towards the bottom of the page.

      http://www.melevsreef.com/calcium_reactor.html

      To increase alkalinity in the effluent, either slow the effluent rate even more, or increase bubbles per minute.
      To decrease alkalinity in the effluent, allow more effluent to exit, or decrease bubbles per minute.
      After some more digging I found this.

      http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-0...ture/index.php

      If the alkalinity level needs boosting, then sodium bicarbonate can be used. One gram will raise the alkalinity by 12 mEq/L (34 dKH) in 1 litre of water (3.2 mEq/L (9 dKH) in 1 gallon of water).

      Either way, this morning before I had a chance to look anything up, I decided to bump up my alk to 8.4dkh by dosing to be safe. Came home and tested out alright or now at 8.4dkh as well. I will bump my sg over the next few days with premixed ATO water. Thanks

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      • #4
        I don't see how increasing the bubbles per minute would increase ALK. It's just the rate or reducing pH in the reactor, which in turn would melt the media...

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        • #5
          I would trust the reefkeeping mag over melevs reef. That info could throw people off lol.

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          • #6
            agreed.

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            • #7
              Yeah, Marc prolly either got some bad information, or is communicating it badly..

              Alkalinity (and calcium) will go up, if you slow the effluent or increase the CO2.

              What he's probably alluding to is that you're better off testing alkalinity (generally) when dialing in a calcium reactor than calcium.

              Sometimes you get a batch of media that doesn't dissolve in the proper ratio.

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