CaRX, Kalk stirrer or Kalk reactor?

Discussion in 'Test Kits, Controllers, Reactors and Dosers' started by lIghty, 15 Feb 2009.

  1. lIghty

    lIghty

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    HI all

    I've got a CaRX and not sure if I should use it or a kalkstirrer, and if so, should I use a kalk stirrer or kalk reactor?

    I know the difference in the equipment, but a CaRX and a Kalk reactor are basically the same and the kalk stirrer being differnt, not using a recirc pump but a "paddle" to keep the kalkwasser powder suspended.

    So what should I use, and if a kalk reactor, could I not just use my CaRX as a kalk reactor?
     
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  3. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    It really depends on your Calcium demand.

    If you have loads of SPS and Clams then the CaRX is the only way to go.

    Also there are loads of systems that run both Ca and Kalk reactors. CaRx for Calcium and Kalk to keep the pH levels stable, due to the CaRx increasing Alk levels.
     
  4. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    Ca demand not that high currently, but battling with Alk.

    but wats the difference between a kalk stirrer and a reactor?
     
  5. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Well the reactor is when you have a container with your kalk solution connected to your auto-top up and drips into the tank slowly.

    Reactor is not really the right word as there isn't really any reaction (other than when you first put in kalk and vinegar). Reactor just sounds cool ;)
     
  6. Shaun

    Shaun Retired Moderator

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    If your Ca demand is not high just put slake lime in your auto topup. I run that was with my 1 tank and the alk says constant.
     
  7. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    You could even dose Bicarb when alk gets too low.

    Agree with Shaun, auto-up route works great. And when you get to the stage where it can't keep up then look at the reactors.

    My tank use to get all it's Ca from the top-up, 6-months down the line, I had to start dosing separate containers of kalk solution just to keep the Ca (4 litres a day), this became way too much PT, and signalled the entrance of the CaRx.
     
  8. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    What are your current Ca and Alk levels lighty? And ditto what Shaun said.
     
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2009
  9. Monti

    Monti

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    The difference is that a kalk reactor runs with a pump (think the reef octopus kalk reactor- KR 100 and KR 140.). The pump runs for a minute every few hours.

    A kalk stirrer has a paddle in the chamber(Aquamedic do one), which stirs the solution.

    I hope that clarifies
     
  10. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    Thx Monti, I do understand the difference in the equipment, but does the one have any benifits over the other?
     
  11. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    Ca: 400-450
    Alk runs about 5-7 dKh.

    I've used SucessCalk by Redsea, but can't say I see any difference......:(
     
  12. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Stop dosing the what you are currently dosing. Increase evaporation and go this route.....
    Monitor you Ca and Alk demands from here....
     
  13. Shaun

    Shaun Retired Moderator

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    Manually dose bi carb till you get it to what you want and then run slake lime in auto topup, after a couple of days test alk if to low add more slake lime to auto top up, but first dose to get it were you want.

    My2c.:biggrin:
     
  14. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    1. How quickly can I increase the Alk?

    2. Slake lime = Alk + Ca?
     
  15. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    1. Increase with bicarb (just to get levels up)
    2. Yes slake lime = Alk aswell as Ca. By doing it via the top up method it should will both in check depending on the consumption of Ca and Alk. Like I said, increase evaporation therefore it will increase the dosage of your saturated kalk solution.
     
  16. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    Cool, but the bicarb, can I just "gooi" it in or must I dose slowly?
     
  17. Mekaeel

    Mekaeel Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Mix in RO and "gooi" This is how I do it on my system in case of emergency.
     
  18. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    thx Meks
     
  19. lIghty

    lIghty Thread Starter

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    The calculator spits out just over 10 tsp. will dose tonight.
     
  20. Tony

    Tony

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    OK, here goes.

    A calcium reactor is beneficial for the following. Maintaining alkalinity, supplying the corals with CO2 during the day for respiration, supplying calcium, strontium and magnesium to the tank. The cons: it will have little influence on the p.H of the tank as the p.H monitor is to ensure the CO2 doesn't drop teh p.H too much. A CARX should not be used at night as the p.H drop can be too high when animals give off CO2.A CARX is just a glorified alkalinity meter and not really necessary. The are inhibitively expensive.

    A kalkstirrer on the other hand should be used at night for the following reasons, to maintain the p.H when animals give off CO2, maintian the calcium levels of the tank and maintain alkalinity to a certain degree. Calcium hydroxide contains the highest concentration of calcium (51%) than any other additive, it will precipitate phosphates out of solution to be skimmed out. The cons are either manually dosing of alkalinity in a system with high calcium consumption.

    I personally only use a Nilson reactor or kalkstirrer and manually dose alkalinity. I have an SPS dominated tank with over 23 colonies. The trick is to find your consumption and dose it on a daily basis.

    Bicarb can be used as a buffer but bear in mind that you have to do regular water changes to counter the sodium imbalance. Another good alternative is sodium carbonate or the pool soda ash. Just make sure that the product contains only sodium carbonate and start by adding a teaspoon to a litre of water and drip it slowly. The cons of sodium carbonate is that you will have to clean your pumps and heaters like mad but the coral growth is phenomenal.
     
  21. Monti

    Monti

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    The one other con I would add to the kalk stirrer is that if your ATO fails, you can have some serious issues in terms of a whole lot of solution being added to your tank. Also, kalk stirrers arent the most "scientific forms" off dosing calcium in that a lot of the time the addition of the kalk depends on your evaporation levels, which vary daily (luckily kalk doesnt add too much calcium- its better to undershoot than overshoot as you can always topup manually). Thats why I agree with using a kalk stirrer along with manual dosing where necessary to get the right levels.
     
    Last edited: 18 Feb 2009
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