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Do I Need a Calcium Reactor Yet?

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Do I Need a Calcium Reactor Yet?

Post by bruceandtabby on Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:09 pm

Hi Everyone...First Post.. I set up a new tank 24 days ago. Its a 115 gal w/20gal sump. My girlfriend and I decided to go reef with it. The last owner had a beautiful reef set up with it ,so I figured it has the appropriate lighting. 4 vho's anyhow. We've added 2- 4" flower pots, a 3.5" orange sponge, a 6" torch coral, 4" sun polyp frag, a lollipop tunicate w/9 tops( bout 2" long), a 3" plate mushroom lps, a large zoanthid colony w/100 or so zoanthids, a medium kenya tree softy 6"x6", and a small medusa softy 1.5 in. A few days ago I purchased a calcium reactor for it because ive heard great things about having one. There's alot more to them now that ive been researching. I don't know if I even have enough corals yet to use the amount of calcium the reactor is going to produce. It doesn't have an adjustment for the effluent flow on it and it puts out approx 145 drips a minute. To get the ph coming out of the effluent to 6.9 (ive read between 6.5-6.7 ph is best to break down the aragonite) I had to turn the co2 up to 90 drips a minute.That seems like alot from what I've been reading. I have dip strips to test alkalinity but I 'm not sure if I'm reading them right. It looks like its at about 200 ppm/4MEQ/11.2 dkh. the tank ph is at 8.4 (w/digital reader) calcium seems to be 500 ppm or more.(seperate ca profi test) nitrate at 20ppm, nitrite 0ppm. Thanks ahead for any advice you have.
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Re: Do I Need a Calcium Reactor Yet?

Post by snooopidydoo on Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:26 pm

Everything looks in check.
500 ppm should be plenty of CA for a reef tank. Alk looks about right i think thats between 9-10 dhk which is about right. Do you have a magnesium test kit?
I think youre fine right now. i think you need alot of SPS to need a CA reactor.
In my experience i believe you have good params, however i'm new to SPS so maybe reefboy, epicenter, or Gabe can give more advice.
Why are your nitrates up?
Was this Jays corner tank?

Good luck!!!
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Re: Do I Need a Calcium Reactor Yet?

Post by snooopidydoo on Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:29 pm

Sorry re-read your post and your alk is a little higher than i thaught but thats fine, as long as it stays stable.
And you must have nitrates because your on day 24, end of cycle?

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Re: Do I Need a Calcium Reactor Yet?

Post by bruceandtabby on Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:06 am

snooopidydoo wrote:Sorry re-read your post and your alk is a little higher than i thaught but thats fine, as long as it stays stable.
And you must have nitrates because your on day 24, end of cycle?

Ya I do have Nitrates at 20-25 ppm right now. But Nitrites are at 0. I used Bio Spira to start my tank out so I never really got any high spikes. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't over doing it by having a Calcium Reator so soon. I have been monitoring stats in tank closely right now. I'm getting concerned that my PH is on the rise. It started out at 8.2 when I got the digital reader and has risen .1 point daily since I cranked up the CO2 to get the PH down to 6.9 at the effluent. PH is currently at 8.5 this morning. up .1 from just last night. I know that a Calcium Reactor is supposed to do the opposite,... so I'm not sure why mine seems to be on the rise. Any Ideas?
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Re: Do I Need a Calcium Reactor Yet?

Post by snooopidydoo on Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:54 pm

I have no experience with this equipment i'm sorry.
Someday when my wife allows i will have some good equipment! :-)
Good luck!!
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Re: Do I Need a Calcium Reactor Yet?

Post by bruceandtabby on Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:20 am

To anyone who might comment on this. I am still curious about needing a Reactor or not, but some of tank stats I posted earlier were way off thanks to my new digital PH reader. I went to the lfs and told them about my PH climbing way up and Ray suggested checking the calibration with a PH solution. 7.01 and 10.01 so I did and much to my surprise, it was way off (by .6) so my real PH now is 6.7 at the effluent and 8.0 in the tank. What a relief! I had the effluent down to 6.4 so I was able to turn the CO2 down a bit. 90 drips a minute seemed way too much. Its still at 60 but my drip rate at the effluent is a little fast. No adjustment valve and gravity feed though. cyclops
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Re: Do I Need a Calcium Reactor Yet?

Post by bruceandtabby on Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:27 am

Thanks for your honesty snoopideedoo at least you made a comment. And I think your right about needing sps in my tank to have a calcium reactor. I thought I had some, but my understanding of sps and lps were wrong. I do have 3 lps though. but mostly softies. I'm learning as I go. Im pretty green at this coral stuff. alien
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Re: Do I Need a Calcium Reactor Yet?

Post by bruceandtabby on Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:29 am

I spelled your name wrong. I was guessing, sorry.
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Re: Do I Need a Calcium Reactor Yet?

Post by epicenter on Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:47 am

A reactor is efficient in a sps tank or a tank with clams, animals that use a great deal of calcium to produce their skeletons/shells. Regular water changes will help replenish ca. 500 is getting up there I would suggest a target range of 400 to 450. 25 ppm nitrates is not bad with softies but will tear down a sps tank quick. I just learned my top off water is at 20 ppm & my tank looks terrible. My problem was in the filters I kinda spaced out how long it has been since last changing them, your tank is young & should start to process nitrates down to zero. Jody (Reefboy) or Ray at reef tech are the experts with these issues, that is who I turn to when all else fails.
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Re: Do I Need a Calcium Reactor Yet?

Post by SaltisLife on Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:42 am

i use a BRS 2-stage GFO & CARBON reactor which i recently bought over at reef tech, it works pretty well i had the same kindof issue with high nitrates in my tank, overrall it has improved my water params but there was modifications that i had to do to the reactor in order for it to run properly, these are great reactors from BRS for the money compared to similar ones that cost hundreds more, also you can run pretty much any media through these. check it out
http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/store/dual-brs-gfo-and-carbon-reactor.html
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Re: Do I Need a Calcium Reactor Yet?

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