Crushed Coral Rock

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by Pads, 21 Sep 2009.

  1. Pads

    Pads

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    I'm sure that there are a few reefers out there that bought a nice sized bag of crushed coral when setting up there first marine tank but then soon came to realize that as a substrate it was an absolute detritus trap. I too an one of these poor sods with a bag of unwanted crushed coral in the store room.

    My question is this. Would it not be possible to add the crushed coral to a cement mixture of sort to create one's own bio rock. Would this not fulfill the same purpose as Biorock but with the added benefit of help with the Alk and Ph buffering? And what cement would be reef safe?

    Any thoughts?
     
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  3. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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  4. Tony

    Tony

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    I know a guy who does that but he uses the very large coral pieces
     
  5. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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  6. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I chucked mine into the rubbish bin... Best place for it. Was dirty as green pea soup.
     
  7. FransSny

    FransSny

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    PADS my brother did this...to quite good effect. PM vis for instructions on what he did
     
  8. Pads

    Pads Thread Starter

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    Well I've got the larger crushed coral, more like coral chips 5mm - 10mm sort of size

    You're a legend, I've checked it out looks good.

    Thx ;)

    You know, you and my wife have something in common :razz: I do remember spending like R250 or R300 bucks on them so I was hoping to put it to good use. I'll sell u some once I've got it right :whistling:
     
  9. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Pads - I have ONE good use of these pieces of coral, for you: SOURCE MATERIAL FOR A CALCIUM REACTOR....

    I have it - and it works a REAL CHARM!

    I have really decent coral growth, and Ca output from the effluent of my reactor.... And I use crushed coral pieces - like what you describe..... OK - my coral pieces are a wee bit larger though..... ;)
     
  10. Pads

    Pads Thread Starter

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    Not a bad idea as well, did you make your reactor or buy one? What do they cost, roughly...
     
  11. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Pads I know they go for +/- 2800 excluding Ph probe etc
     
  12. Pads

    Pads Thread Starter

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    Yusssssss :shocked: I think I'll make my rock and leave that reactor for another day.
     
  13. FransSny

    FransSny

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    LOL Pads...my reaction as well
     
  14. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    LOL guys - I got a "WeiPro" calcium reactor. So far, the medium has lasted me about 6 months.... and there is a HUGE amount left.
    Frans - no - I did not get the pH probe. Do not need it.

    I paid R1300 for my reactor, and another R680 for the CO2 bottle and regulator.
    A CO2 refill costs about R60/R70 here in Cape Town....
     
  15. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Cool thanx for the info JB..was looking into them but had the idea the ph probe was a "must have" see how the LFS's puts the wool over our eyes :)
     
  16. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    This extract from the D-D aquarium solutions web on Calcium reactors explains how to set up a CRAX. The principle is the same for most makes.

    In fact we find that you get better results if you do not use a pH controller.
    Calcium reactors work by reducing the acidity, pH of the water passing through it using CO2 until it dissolves the calcium carbonate which is held inside. This breaks down the media into calcium ions and carbonate ions both of which are required for growth of corals and buffering of the water.
    Setting up the Reactor
    Having installed the equipment according to the instructions you will need to balance the reactor to the demands of your aquarium.
    The reactor balances 3 parameters which are interlinked and all affect the calcium output from the reactor.
    1. Water flow rate through the reactor.
    2. CO2 bubble rate.
    3. Operation time for the reactor.
    For smaller reactors such as the PF509 start with a drip rate through the reactor of approximately 1 drip per second. Match this with a CO2 bubble rate through the reactor of 1 bubble per second. These levels should be increased in relation to the size of the reactor and amount of media that the reactor holds as you go up in the series up to a constant unbroken dribble from the PF1001.
    After running at the starting level for 1-2 hours use an accurate test kit to measure the Dkh of the water flowing out of the reactor as this gives a relative measurement of the calcium level of the water. Deltec reactors can achieve a dkh of up to 80 when set up and operating at their max however we would recommend that you start with a level of 45-50.
    Test kits like those by Salifert will only measure up to 16 Dkh from the contents of one syringe. Add a second and so on to read 32 and 48 from this test.
    If the Dkh is lower than 45-50 then increase the CO2 bubble rate and leave the reactor to stand for another 2 hours before re-testing. The reactor is now running as it should be and the third adjustable parameter comes in to play.
    During the day, whilst the lights are on, the algae within the corals use CO2 from the water for photosynthesis which naturally raises the pH. Use of a calcium reactor lowers the pH due to CO2 addition and therefore the best time to use it is whilst the lights are on to reduce this effect.
    The ideal time for the reactor to run is therefore 9-12 hours per day whilst the lights are on. Set the solenoid on your CO2 set to switch the gas on and off for the relevent period of time - do not change the flow of water through the reactor.
    Check the Dkh and calcium within your aquarium on a daily basis. If this is tending to rise then you can further reduce the period that the CO2 is switched on.
    If it is tending to fall then you can either increase the time that the CO2 runs or increase the amount of water passing through the reactor. This second option would be recommended for the reasons explained above but means going back to the first steps where you increase and adjust the CO2 until the Dkh comes back into line at 45-50.
    As the corals grow you will find that you need to adjust the 3 parameters accordingly to maintain a balance.
    Topping up the Reactor
    Remember that the only difference between the various increasing models of calcium reactor is the volume of media that each holds. It therefore makes no sense to allow the level in the reactor to fall too far before you top it back up again.
     
  17. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Thanx ...cool info there Nemo :thumbup:
     
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