Calcium reactor help please

Discussion in 'Test Kits, Controllers, Reactors and Dosers' started by gaboon, 31 Dec 2008.

  1. gaboon

    gaboon

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    Finally hooked up my calcium reactor 2 days ago. Calcium level prior was 350 and alk was 7. Tanks daytime pH is 8.4 (all TM test kits).

    Tested now and calcium has dropped to 320 and alk and pH still the same.

    LFS recommended I should get a 40 KH and 6.2 pH reading from the reactor. The lowest reading on TM pH test kit is 7.2 but the colour I get is lighter than that on the colour chart so I think its about right. When I do the KH test, after 25 drops it goes a muddy brown so not too sure on that.

    Reactor is running 1 hour before lights on till 1 hour before lights off. Will automate as soon as probes are ready.

    Drip rate is between 50-60 a minute.

    Is it too early to get an increase in calcium and KH? Am I doing something wrong?

    My probes have a few more days to soak in tank water so have to work with the pH test kit for now.

    Thanks
     
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  3. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Gaboon, what reactor is it?
    The alk of the reactor should be between 17-30 DKH.
    Ph of the reactor should be between 6.5-6.6.(Nothing lower than 6.5)
    Do you have a Ph Controller or ph monitor?
    A test kit is no good for testing the ph of a reactor.
    Your drip rate is a bit too fast. Decrease it to about 30 drops per second. How many bubbles per second is entering the reactor?
     
    Last edited: 31 Dec 2008
  4. gaboon

    gaboon Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the reply Mek, I need to soak my ph probes for a few more days before I calibrate them and hook them up to an aquatronica controller. Got my bubbles to exactly 60 a minute. Is that too high? Will reduce drip rate. What happens if the pH is lower than 6.5? Will go test my alk again now. I have been keeping track of the tanks pH, 8.4
     
  5. gaboon

    gaboon Thread Starter

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    Reactors alk is 38. Too high? Seeing that my calcium is too low currently is it ok to run the alk higher to get the calcium level up quicker?
     
  6. Reef Inmate

    Reef Inmate

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    CARX set up

    Some info on CARX setup

    Two adjustments will affect the reactor effluent. C02 bubbles per minute (BPM) and the effluent drip rate. Increasing the BPM will raise the effluent alkalinity and lower the effluent pH. Increasing the effluent drip rate will raise the effluent pH and lower the effluent alkalinity.
    Before dialing in the reactor you will want the target values for your aquarium in place.

    Manually adjust these values with the appropriate buffers. You should record the values to be able to track the effects of your adjustments during dial in. There is no set rule for BPM/min vs aquarium volume as each system demand is different and your reactor will be tuned to suit specific system demand. A starting point of 50ml/min (not drops) and 30 BPM is recommended.

    It is always better to raise the values than start to high and attempt to reduce values. Let the reactor run for 12/24 hrs between each adjustment and test to determine the results. After the initial setup you should see an increase in the effluent alkalinity and a decrease in the effluent pH. If the aquariums values have dropped increase the BPM. If the values have remained constant or increased allow the reactor to run on unchanged and then re-check the values at a later stage. Do not increase the BPM by more than 10 at a time. As you are testing and adjusting the BPM you will want keep track of the effluent pH and do not allow it to drop below 6 for a long period of time. Below a pH of 6 the media will dissolve to fast and turn into a mushy useless sludge. Once this happens flow through the reactor is drastically slowed and the performance will greatly affected. If you notice a effluent pH below 6 make adjustment to the drip rate, increasing as needed. As a general rule the effluent alkalinity will be between 2 and 3 times that of your aquarium.
     
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  7. Bob the (reef)builder

    Bob the (reef)builder

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    If your effluent ph is about right I would increase the driprate out of the reactor, as well as the bubble count. Do this in small steps, to ensure that you don't overdo it.

    The reason I say this is that your tank is showing no effect (if your pH kit is to be trusted) on its pH. You should see a small decline in pH with the use of the reactor. One way to monitor it is to dial it up a bit, as I said above, until you are seeing a 0.1 or 0.2 decrease from your normal pH readings.

    If you do this, do it carefully. Otherwise, be patient and wait for your pH probes and controller to do it for you.
     
  8. gaboon

    gaboon Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the excellent replies!
     
  9. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Hey Gaboon, sorry for the late reply but the boys have handled your questions ;)
    Yip the bubble rate is too high. Have it at a bubble every 2-3 seconds.
    A very low ph in the reactor will cause the media to turn to mush in no time.(Fast dissolving)
     
    Last edited: 4 Jan 2009
  10. gaboon

    gaboon Thread Starter

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    Thanks Mek, is this correct?
     
  11. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Oops :p Thanks for spotting that I meant a bubble every 2-3 seconds.
     
  12. gaboon

    gaboon Thread Starter

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    pH probes are hooked up now.

    Tanks pH: 8.34 (did get down to 8.2 but I added Kent's Super DKH to up my KH to tackle my bryopsis problem, should rather have added Reef Builder as it does not affect pH)

    Calcium reactors pH: 6.24 :nono:

    Readings were taken 30 minutes ago. have reduced the bpm but have turned solenoid off for the evening. In the morning I'll program the controller to automate it.

    Is it ok running the pump permanently or should it turn off when the solenoid turns off?

    Calcium level has remained constant at 350, why can I not get it up?
     
  13. gaboon

    gaboon Thread Starter

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    Anyone?
     
  14. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Your tanks Ph is perfect!
    Are you running a ph controller or just a meter on the reactor?
    The pumps on the reactor should run al the time.
    Ca @ 350, whats your Alk? Try and reduce your drip rate, it well increase Ca dosage and decrease alk a bit.
     
  15. Shaun

    Shaun Retired Moderator

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    The pump must stay on or the PH will stay the same in the reactor. Just turn the solenoid on and off.
     
  16. gaboon

    gaboon Thread Starter

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    Alk is 11, wont reducing the drip rate drop the reactors pH even further? I'll reduce the bpm as well to get the pH to 6.5.

    Reactors pH this morning is 6.43 with pump running permanently. Will program the controller this morning.
     
  17. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Drop your tanks Alk to 6.5-8 DKH by reducing the driprate,this will increase Ca dosage.
    By reducing the drip rate, it will help raise the Ph of the reactor less Co2= higher ph.
    Yip sort out you controller, it will make life much easier. Let the ph of the reactor play between 6.55-6.60.
     
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  18. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Gaboon, you come right. I had loads of ****e with mine when I started. If you need advise, I can come around and help :)
     
  19. gaboon

    gaboon Thread Starter

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    Thanks Warr, I turned the Co2 off at 6 last night and reactors pH as of now is 6.34. Takes forever! Once I get it above 6.5 I'll start again.
     
  20. sunburst

    sunburst

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    :whoohoo:Congratulations
    Now you can start to live again:)

    As Miki has mentioned, allow your alkalinity to drop to 8. Use calcium chloride to raise the calcium to the levels you wish to maintain.

    Depending on calcium demand you can also use (carx) simultaneously with kalk. This will help minimize the drop in pH as well as help by binding to phosphate and removing from solution


    I would not stop start a reactor day and night. Unnecessary. Leave it running 24hrs
     
  21. gaboon

    gaboon Thread Starter

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    After leaving Co2 off for 3 days to get the pH above 6.5 I'm going to start it again tomorrow. Stupid question, but should I have flushed it and replaced with fresh salt water? I don't know how long it would take for the media to become mush with the pH at 6.2.

    Have I gone about this the wrong way?
     
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