Top Up water Additives ?

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This may have been covered before but I am not sure where, so here goes,
and there are a few questions to be answered here as well !

I am currently running a CaRx, it is all set up and working quite well (I hope).
I have the PH in the reactor set at 6.55 and the effluent drip rate is about 1 to 2 a second.
I do not have a KH test kit so I am using my Redsea test kit which only measure in Meq (I think) and the effluent is off the scale. The entire tube just turns blue so I am assuming that alk. in my tank is sorted out.

With the effluent coming out at a ph 6.55 will that not drop the overall Ph of the tank after some time.

Will the CaRx keep the calcium levels up in the tank ? or should I kalk as well

My tank is not that heavily stocked with SPS but it getting there.

Another question is my top up water. Should I buffer that to get the PH and Alk up ? If so what is the cheapest and easiest solution.


Thanks everyone !
 

viper357

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Another question is my top up water. Should I buffer that to get the PH and Alk up ? If so what is the cheapest and easiest solution.
If I recall correctly, I think Anthony Calfo said all you need to do is aerate the RO water, simple surface turbulence is fine or an airstone.

If you want to up the PH of your RO water, there is a product you can get from Pick 'n Pay, for the life of me I can't recall the name of it.
 

Mekaeel

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If I recall correctly, I think Anthony Calfo said all you need to do is aerate the RO water, simple surface turbulence is fine or an airstone.
i think i missed that point.so simply place an airstone in your RO reservoir?and is it ok if the reservoir is connected to a kalk stirrer?
 

Galibore

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My feeling is that unless you have very very high evaporation rates, it's not necessary.
 
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I go through about 15 litres every 2 days. So that is about 45 litres a week and on a 4ft tank that is a fair amount.
 
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Your RO unit even strips the water of co2. By running an air stone you reintroduce co2 which helps buffer. Do not run an airstone in your kalk. You will accelerate the precipitation of calcium by forming calcium carbonate.

With the effluent coming out at a ph 6.55 will that not drop the overall Ph of the tank after some time.
No... a healthy system will have enough buffer/alkalinity to cope. Besides, the reactor effluent is adding buffer/alkalinity in the form of calcium carbonate. Which in essence is the very thing that prevents the drop in pH. I frequently hear of people overdriving their reactors by stepping up the supply of co2. In a situation like this you could have a temporary drop in pH. ie excess co2. If you plan on doing this you should do this in tandem with a higher saturation of kalk.

Will the CaRx keep the calcium levels up in the tank ? or should I kalk as well.

My tank is not that heavily stocked with SPS but it getting there.
imo I would kalk as well. But using lower saturation levels. Calcium and alkalinity is a daily task that is the most frequently overlooked of all the disciplines. The fact that you have calcifying animals in the water, will change your water chemistry by removing the Carbonate family(the critical ones)The other elements that make up for total alkalinity will be added with your water changes. A heavily stocked sps tank is carbonate starved. Photosynthesis and Calcification are related to the amount of light. The more light the faster photosynthesis/calcification. The point here is that if you want to grow sps you need to measure /monitor your carbonates. Kalk is the easiest way of providing carbonates. Rather step up your kalk saturation than overdriving your reactor imo

Another question is my top up water. Should I buffer that to get the PH and Alk up ? If so what is the cheapest and easiest solution.
I have heard of this, but what on earth for... Kalk does this and more. And its dirt cheap... Keep it simple...add kalk to your top up water. Kalk stirrers are a waste of money and time, and should only be used if space is an issue.
 

Galibore

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I go through about 15 litres every 2 days. So that is about 45 litres a week and on a 4ft tank that is a fair amount.

That's 7.5 L/DAY on a 300+L setup (not counting sump etc.) Works out to about 2.5 L for every 100 L. Sound about the same as my evaporation.

Sorry i can't give you a definitive answer. All I can say is I have never used an airstone :)
 

Kanga

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I go through about 15 litres every 2 days. So that is about 45 litres a week and on a 4ft tank that is a fair amount.

Would depend on what the RH is your area, the more humid the less your evaporation.

so fair is a relative term;)
 
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Thanks for all the info guys. I stay in Assagay where there is little humidity but can get really warm. I am running a chiller and there is a lot of surface agitation on the tank so the evap. can be high on a hot day.

Sunburst, I decided to mix a heaped teaspoon of kalk to 5 litres of RO water, let it settle then added that to my top up water. Will that help any ?

I am not pushing the CaRx at all. The controller runs that quite efficiently. I have the bubble rate at about 2 bubble's per second when the solenoid turn opens. I have left my drip rate at about 1 to 2 per second for the time being.
 
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Sunburst, I decided to mix a heaped teaspoon of kalk to 5 litres of RO water, let it settle then added that to my top up water. Will that help any ?

I am not pushing the CaRx at all. The controller runs that quite efficiently. I have the bubble rate at about 2 bubble's per second when the solenoid turn opens. I have left my drip rate at about 1 to 2 per second for the time being.


Sorry Gavin forgot....The other important benefit of kalk is that it takes phosphate out of solution. Not noticeable in a younger tank, but as it ages you can see the difference in many ways. For one it slows calcification and stunts growth. Like a schoolboy smoking :)

There are many ways of going thru the motions of checking and correcting calcium/alkalinity. And all have merits. The one that i use is the one that requires the least work.

I am assuming your top up reservoir is 25 litres. On your tank i would go 2 rounded teaspoons, no mixing. Lift your top up pump out the water and pour in your 25 litres of ro. Wait 10 min for settling and then drop pump just below the surface ie your average daily consumption = 7.5 litres. This will prevent a deluge should your float switch jam, and also allow daily monitoring. Note: no mixing is necessary. Every four weeks rinse drum and start again.

The other point which i think others may want to debate is.....your bubble rate at two bubbles per second is way to fast. There is no way your media will absorb this without problems later. And there are potentially quiet a few. Drop the bubble count to one bubble in 3 - 5 seconds, Run for 6 hours and see what the pH stabilizers at. The idea is to try and establish an even Ph gradient in the reactor ie minimise the stop start function of the solenoid. Slowly increase your bubble count until 6.7 Later as your media gets older you can can squeeze a little harder by dropping the pH further. The only time i hand over pH control to my reactor is when i go away. The solenoid stays connected in case of power failures, but i set the controller so that it stays on 100% of the time, while i am at home.
 
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Thanks for the extra info, I will def. be doing that with my kalk. Why do you not use the ph probe to control the solenoid. I would have thought there would be extra benefits to this ?

I will slow the bubble rate tonight.

Should I raise the PH on the controller as it is set to 6.55, should I raise it to 6.70 ?
 
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Why do you not use the ph probe to control the solenoid. I would have thought there would be extra benefits to this ?
Controllers are worth their weight in gold, and a great investment. However i still think that by learning to tweek manually, will improve the overall performance of the reactor ie a more consistent pH. Before handing over the controls.


Should I raise the PH on the controller as it is set to 6.55, should I raise it to 6.70 ?
You can leave it at 6.55 however i think that you should manually set it at a consistent 6.6 - 6.7 and then set the controller. Steep pH valleys ie in your case 2 bubbles/sec can cause a lot of fines being released causing extra wear and tear , blockages,airlocks, complete failure even (burnt recirc pups) etc.
 
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Hmm, I have noticed the pump chopping up bubbles and things. I WILL make sure I sort this out tonight then !
I am worried about fiddling too much with the reactor in case my tank goes up in smoke (or a snow storm).
I suppose rather have too little Co2 than too much though.
 

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