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Old 07-04-2012, 02:43 AM   #1
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Calcium Reactors

Yesterday, bad news hit me

Usually, I test all my parameters my self, keeping everything in check and all. But my testing kit was a little old, and so I took it to my LFS. While there, I checked my calcium, phosphates, and pH. Phosphates and pH were in check, but the shock came from my calcium. After testing it over 3 times, I found out my calcium was only at 220, HALF of what it should be.

After this, I changed out my salt and calcium supplementation to Brightwell Aquatics (I was using Instant Ocean and Kent, for money's sake). But on with the question, would adding a calcium reactor help in routine checking and balancing for the calcium and alkalinity. And has anyone had success with Two Little Fishes PhosBan Reactor?

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Old 07-04-2012, 06:56 AM   #2
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A calcium level at 220 is very questionable and unless you were only dosing alkalinity for an extended period of time, it's pretty much impossible to get that low. When calcification occurs, as in coralline algae growing, corals forming their hard skeletons or abiotic precipitation, a defined amount of calcium, alkalinity and magnesium is used. That rate is aprox. 20ppm calcium to 2.7dKH alk and 2ppm mag. Now lets assume your water was in the normal ranges of 420 calcium, 10 dKH alk and 1350 mag. For your calcium to drop 200ppm, your alkalinity would need to drop 27 dKH, but there isn't that much alkalinity in the water. The only way it's even remotely possible for calcium to be that low is you either have a very high demand for calcium (either thru hard corals growing, lots of coralline growing or some precipitation events) and only dosed alkalinity or the test result is faulty. Also keep in mind once calcium drops below around 360ppm it becomes very hard for calcification to occur which would slow the demand for calcium.

A calcium reactor is a fine way to maintain calcium and alk if you have a tank with lots of stoney corals and a high demand for calcium and alk. It is, however, somewhat expensive in start up costs being you need the reactor, co2 bottle, regulator and pH controller and is somewhat hard to dial in when you start it up.

PhosBan reactors work fine for running either GFO or carbon.

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Old 07-04-2012, 11:03 AM   #3
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I think it is best to dose daily amounts. I use brs 2 part. I add 25 - 50 ml daily of both alk and cal. Then test for them every Friday.
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Old 07-05-2012, 10:07 AM   #4
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ccCapt that was thorough man. Felt like I was back in college chemistry.

I have the phosban reactor 150....running for years w phosban. Works how it should. I believe you can put various types of media in it....doesn't necessarily need to be phosphate media.
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