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Old 11-21-2013, 12:41 PM   #1
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Using auto top of to dose...

Every once in a while I learn a lesson, when I do I like to share...

I was getting tired of manually dosing my alk in my reef. I'd have to mix RO water with the sodium bicarbonate everyday and it was time consuming. I had the brilliant idea to just add it to my ATO bucket and let it dose that way.

Things went smooth for a couple fo weeks and I felt like this was going to work.........wrong.......

Of course this had to happen when I went a way for the weekend. For some reason my ATO stuck on. Usually it tops off for a few seconds ands shuts itself off only adding a bit of water and alk. This time it got stuck so it was blasting the tank with alk. WAY TOO MUCH got in the tank. Now my ATO is set to turn off at a maximum of 3 minutes so it can't overflow the tank, I'm happy for that but what the extreme alk dose did was create this calcification effect like I've never seen.

I came home sunday and couldn't see in the tank. The glass was pure white with calcium everywhere. I started the process of cleaning it off the glass but what this did was suck it into my skimmer pump and my canister.

Since this disaster I've had all 3 of my wave pumps seize up. My skimmer pump stop working and my canister filter sieze up, basically anything with moving parts has been clogged with rock hard calcium.

The good news is no loss what so ever. All coral and fish are fine but my equipment took a beating.

I now have a controler and real dosing pumps, lesson learned.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:43 PM   #2
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That's a ballwhacker give your pumps a soak in a vinegar bath (24-48 hrs) it will soften the calcium making things easier to clean
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:47 PM   #3
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Oh my house has smelled like vinegar for a week...lol My 3 wave pumps are all looking like new and my skimmers back. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the canester filter though, the entire thing inside is solid calcium. The 4 sponges are like rock, its the wierdest thing. I guess I just soak the parts and see how it works out...
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Old 11-22-2013, 12:48 AM   #4
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Question - when you soak something with vinegar to clean up the calcium deposits do you have to use pure white vinegar to dilute it with water?
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:06 PM   #5
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Yes you should use white vinegar
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:46 PM   #6
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It doesn't matter. You are simply using a mild acid to clean the pumps. It easily rinses off and leaves no residue. I use whatever vinegar i have available, and you can use it full strength, or dilute it..
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