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Old 12-30-2003, 05:13 PM   #1
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Kalk/Ca Reactor...same?

So, I'm confused. I was a little scared of using kalk, because I don't want to screw anything up. But, I've decided that it doesn't really matter, I need to use it for the benefit of my tank. So my questions are these:
1) Does having a calcium reactor (aragonite substrate-based) replace the need for dosing with kalk?
2) If they do the same thing, is one better than the other, and why?
3) (The rogue off-subject question) If I want an all-out reef tank, what tests do you recommend? So far I've seen Ca, Mg, and Alk. I currently have pH, Alk, NH3/NH4, NO2, NO3, Ca, PO4, NO4 ... and the kit came with some sample supplements: Calcium, Molbybdenum, Trace elements, Strontium, Iodine, and "Green" (which is nutrients for marine algae).

Thanks! =]

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Old 12-30-2003, 05:32 PM   #2
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1.) Yes, in theory it is dosing everything that the crushed coral originally absorbed.

2.) As I said before, it is suppose to dose anything the original coral absorbed. It does have the down side of using C02 which can leach into the tank fueling algae. Kalk is great because it keeps the ph up, balances the calcium and alkalinity and precipitates phosphates.

3.) I recommend to test for ph, Calcium, Alkalinity, Ammonia, Nitrites, Nitrates and Salinity. I do not test for phosphates because I have never had a problem, but some would recommend it. You should also test for anything that you dose. (Strontium, Iodine, Magnesium)

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Old 12-30-2003, 08:43 PM   #3
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I'll add just a bit here, since we use both (Calcium reactor and Nilsen [kalk] reactor) ...

I like dripping Kalk (Nilsen reactor) for a couple reasons - not only is it a balanced ca/alk additive, but kalk precipitates phosphates, and also helps raise pH. This is a good counter to the Calcium reactor, which by nature, lowers pH.

Why not just drip kalk, then? Well, in some instances, you certainly can. In our situation, our system is too big - we don't have enough evaporation to drip enough kalk to keep up with calcium depletion. So, we run the calcium reactor.

They are a good compliment to each-other -- both stabilize and maintain ca/alk, but the calcium reactor will lower pH, whereas the Nilsen reactor (kalk) will raise it.

Typically, people drip kalk at night, since pH typically drops during darkness. We run ours 24/7 (easier for us), and our pH really doesn't fluctuate all that much.

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Old 12-30-2003, 11:18 PM   #4
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I have a 120gal...
How would you drip kalk all the time? Is there any way to setup a float-valve for top-off, but somehow mix the kalk in? Like a float-vavle in the mixing bin (small rubbermaid, perhaps?) coming from the RO/DI...then as I notice the water in the mixing bin becoming more and more depleted, add a bit more kalk, and stir? I'd have the drip tube coming out of the rubbermaid (slightly off the bottom, to leave behind sediment/what's left) and heading towards the sump. I wouldn't mix a lot of kalk at once, as I've read this is not good. I'd probably get a small container. It'd probably be easier once I found the level my tank consumed Ca...but if I was diligent enough to plot it so that I knew a certain schedule so-to-speak...could you setup something like this, or is it asking for trouble? Or do they sell (inexpensive, but not cheap) kalk dosers? Thanks for the help! I'm going to want some LPS, sps, soft, and a clam or two...so I'm sure once I get my tank going full speed, Ca depletion will certainly hit overdrive.
125 gallon saltwater: 55gal sump, 4 Blue-Green Chromis, Purple Tang, True Perc, Firefish, Royal Gramma, 5 Ricordea, Bubble Coral, 15 Pulsing Xenia, Green Star Polyps, Deresa clam, Green-Tip Torch Coral (about 11 "heads"!), Orange Montipora Cap, Purple M. Digitata, Green Slimer Acro. Yongei, 3 Orange M. Digitata, Pink&Green Acro. Millepora
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