Efficiency of Nature

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Drakensberg, 29 Apr 2014.

  1. Drakensberg

    Drakensberg

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    Hi all,

    Time to introduce myself.

    Maybe not a new member, but new to posting. Though I've ran marine aquariums off-and-on for more than 20 years, the inevitable move forces a tear-down and siesta until you believe you'll be staying where you are foreva :p

    I'm driven by the efficiency of nature, and every time I set up a new tank I've improved on my previous set-up (with some inevitable constraints setting in every time since I've never been able to build a marine house to my specs. Maybe I'll win the lotto this time...)

    The most success I've had, and the method I employ since, is the Berlin/Miracle mud combo. I've also found the more lava rock you use, the better, without exception.

    My current tank is 500 liters, and the 100 liter capacity sump contains about 70 liters while operational. Best results from lighting has always been 10,000k MH.

    Now, with this base (which I know works very well) I then start experimenting.

    Here's where I need your input: Was at Northgate looking at the calcium reactors this morning and got an idea. Purchased 1 gallon course Aragonite calcium reactor media and placed it in an Eheim 2229 wet/dry canister I had lying around from a previous fresh water tank.

    From my observation (with a clear lack of knowledge), it seems the calcium reactor aims at disolving the medium using oxygen rick salt water, and I figure using water movement instead of water bubbles will work better. Am I wrong?
     
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  3. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    The calcium media will not dissolve into solution at normal tank pH of 8.

    Most calcium reactors inject CO2 to drop the pH to 5.5 - 6. This allows the Ca to dissolve into solution. The KH coming out of the reactor should be somewhere between 30-40.
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2014
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  4. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Calcium reactor uses carbon dioxide. This gas drops the pH of the water in the reactor, thus dissolving the media. The calcium carbonate requires the low pH to dissolve. More bubbles of carbon dioxide means more dissolving, not water movement.
     
  5. Drakensberg

    Drakensberg Thread Starter

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    Thanks!
     
  6. Drakensberg

    Drakensberg Thread Starter

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    What's up with Northgate and Animal Kingdom? Went round this morning after a number of years and was shocked by what I saw. Is this normal or are they just waiting for stock?
     
  7. Drakensberg

    Drakensberg Thread Starter

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    How can I replicate the low ph in a natural way without having to inject co2 and without effecting the ph of my tank? I'm currently considering having an incredibly low flow container.
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2014
  8. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Your container will turn into a denitrator if very slow flow through. The pH may drop due to no oxygen.
     
  9. Drakensberg

    Drakensberg Thread Starter

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    Thanks again. So I guess the best media for a deep sand bed will be fine calcium reactor media?

    I've never been very fond of deep sand beds since they're not very effective on an aquarium scale. Due to the lack of water movement to make them work you need a massive sand bed for it to actually make a meaningful difference. I've always found monster lave rock worked much better, but in this case and set up in this way it would serve a duel purpose.
     
  10. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    The calcium carbonate will clump in the lower layers of a DSB due to the low pH.

    Fine calcium carbonate needs to be fluidized in a Ca reactor. Course calcium carbonate does not clump and does not have to be fluidized.
     
  11. Drakensberg

    Drakensberg Thread Starter

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    Does anyone know who stocks Chaetomorpha macro algae in Gauteng?
     
  12. Dian6430

    Dian6430

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    Try pet stop sa i know he has a lot of different macro algaes
     
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  13. Drakensberg

    Drakensberg Thread Starter

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    Found at Exotic pets in Boksburg @ R150, but their coral stock too is very low and so too the quality of what they have. I even found a very nice live rock encrusted with Aiptasia, seriously? When I informed the manageres instructing her to remove and quarantine the rock until all traces of the pest has been destroyed she acted surprised.
     
  14. hansiemyburgh

    hansiemyburgh

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    The last time went to Exotic Pets they had little life stock and zero coral. After 8 weeks of dropping in and out the shop they still had nothing and every time the sales guys told me they were waiting for new stock. According to some of the sales guys they are moving away from live stock and are more focused on dry goods. Maybe Adam the shop owner could shed more light on this matter.
     
  15. Drakensberg

    Drakensberg Thread Starter

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    Tank has been running for 5 months now and decided to add some more life.

    01fbeef101ba12691a5269c47860ea589e244e70c3_2.jpg

    019a13115ef9fc4caae4c3469e3dcdef208883e674_2.jpg

    015220f8971f91d6503dd668e52a166083e7028c0c_2.jpg
     
  16. Drakensberg

    Drakensberg Thread Starter

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    And now the messy side of the cabinet:

    01568dd9f486c2eab60f561abffd20ded3cb0c7396_2.jpg
     
  17. Drakensberg

    Drakensberg Thread Starter

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    I still have a VERY long way to go :blush:

    Enjoying the journey though
     
  18. Drakensberg

    Drakensberg Thread Starter

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    Test my water last night:

    Ca = 300mg/l
    Alc = 11dkh
    Mg = 1300mg/l

    Figured my Sera test kit was wrong and retested with my Nutrafin test kit. Got the same results.

    Purchased a Red sea Ca test kit this morning and again, got 300mg/l, way too low. I was not able to test Sr since my Ca is too low.

    I've always used two parts Ca/Alc to dose, and I've always dosed via the top-up water container, so I tested the water there too, and got the same Alc/Ca readings. I only use RO water with the two part mix as top-up water.

    I'm now ever so slowly dosing Ca only, knowing I'll get a reduction in Alc due to precipitation, but I need to correct the balance.

    Any input welcome.
     
  19. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    What is your salinity?
     
  20. Drakensberg

    Drakensberg Thread Starter

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    I have two measuring units. The floating thermometer unit indicates 1.026 while the fuel gauge external desk top type unit indicates 1.022.
     
  21. Drakensberg

    Drakensberg Thread Starter

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    I use two Hydrometers. The floating thermometer type indicates 1.026 and the quick-read fuel gauge desktop type unit 1.022. When I mix salt water, using the manufacturer's recommended weigh for a specific salinity level the thermometer type proves to provide a more accurate reading.
     
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