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Old 03-21-2004, 10:25 PM   #1
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Calcium Reactors

I kinda want to get into the hard corals like brains, and other hard corals, I heard that the lps and sps require calcium reactors, is that true? If it is should I just stay soft corals?
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Old 03-21-2004, 10:26 PM   #2
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I wouldn't say you have to have a calcium reactor. Unless you have alot of sps that is draining your calcium supply in your tank. I have quit a bit of SPS LPS and a clam and i don't have a reactor. I just dose with B-ionic everyday and my calcium is at about 440
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Old 03-21-2004, 10:35 PM   #3
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You don't have to have a Ca reactor in order to keep SPS's and LPS's. Kalkwasser and two part additives will do just fine.

Ca reactors are more of a convenience than anything else. Although in larger tanks, Ca reactors are cheaper to run in the longer term as the cost of Kalkwasser and other two part additives will continue increase. So one could make the case that in very large systems, they are extremely beneficial as far as the monetary outlook is concerned.
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:05 PM   #4
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Well... I have sea chem calcium buffer, and an alkalinity buffer, will those do fine? The reason why I am asking is I dont want to buy sps or lps and have them dead because of kalk. Im not going to have many lps or sps probably a brain and a clam (Look at my signature see if my lights are good enough for a clam) Thanks for the advice
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Old 03-21-2004, 11:15 PM   #5
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I have sea chem calcium buffer, and an alkalinity buffer
You need to use a balanced additive eventually when keeping corals. Adding unbalanced chemicals like these to the tank can lead to problems down the road.

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I dont want to buy sps or lps and have them dead because of kalk.
As long as you "dump" kalk into the tank, you should have no problem. A simple drip system is what most people use (including me). I simply replace all my evaporated water from the tank with Kalk.

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Look at my signature see if my lights are good enough for a clam
You should be able to keep Dersa's and Squamosa's fine with that lighting. Might be able to keep Maxima's as well as long as they are placed high in the rock work.

I would stay away from Crocea's as that clam is the most light hungry of them all and would do better with a MH setup.
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Old 03-22-2004, 01:03 AM   #6
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Is kalk mixed with water when u do the evaporation drop method, and also how do u do it? I have a 55gal (dont want to mess anything up) is it a powder that mixes with water or anything? Thanks
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Old 03-22-2004, 08:43 AM   #7
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Is kalk mixed with water when u do the evaporation drop method, and also how do u do it? I have a 55gal (dont want to mess anything up) is it a powder that mixes with water or anything?
Kalkwasser comes in powder form. I have two one gallon containers I use for mixing. I simply dump 1-2 teaspoon's of Kalk in each container and then pour the water in and shake. I let it settle for 24 hours and then siphon the clear liquid out of the container and put it in my doser to be dripped into my sump.
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Old 03-22-2004, 10:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggen
You need to use a balanced additive eventually when keeping corals. Adding unbalanced chemicals like these to the tank can lead to problems down the road.
Why are they unbalanced chemicals? I add Kent turbo Calcium and Kent dKH buffer to my tank, are they balanced? If not what do you suggest? I'm finding it's hard to keep my levels stable just dripping Kalk.
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Old 03-22-2004, 10:54 AM   #9
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Randy-Holmes Farley can explain it much better than I could ever dream of doing:

Excerpts from CHEMISTRY AND THE AQUARIUM by RANDY HOLMES-FARLEY

Quote:
Moreover, the easiest way to ensure that things do not go seriously wrong in adding these to the tank is to use additives that have balanced amounts of calcium and alkalinity. 3, 4 For purposes of this article, a balanced calcium and alkalinity additive is one that provides calcium and alkalinity in proportions that match that used in calcification to form calcium carbonate. Using this type of additive typically prevents overdosing (or underdosing) of either of these two relative to the other.

Independent (unbalanced) additions of calcium and alkalinity do have significant uses in reef tanks. These uses include correcting existing imbalances5 between calcium and alkalinity and in “fixing” a starting salt mix that might not fit the calcium and alkalinity values that an aquarist desires. While the regular use of such additives can work well, it frequently results in substantial imbalances between calcium and alkalinity. In a perfect world, with perfect test kits used perfectly and frequently by every aquarist, such additions would work out fine. More typically, however, they lead to imbalances.
You can read the full article here:
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/feb2003/chem.htm

I use Kalk and B-Ionic. When I make up my new water for water changes, I actually have to dose the Alk component of my B-Ionic as the Ca is extremely high with Oceanic salt, but the Alk is low and not balanced with it. So using unbalanced additives (or one half of balanced additives) aren't bad, but as the article points outs it would be nearly impossible to use a separate buffer and a separate Ca additive to keep them in the check all the time.

If you are having trouble keeping up Ca and Alk levels with Kalk only, you could supplement with another 2 part additive like I do.
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Old 03-22-2004, 11:46 AM   #10
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Sound great! My alk stays around 3-3.5 but I can never seem to get my CA levels above 375. I'll have to pick up some 2 part today or tomorrow.
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Old 03-22-2004, 11:57 AM   #11
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Sound great! My alk stays around 3-3.5 but I can never seem to get my CA levels above 375. I'll have to pick up some 2 part today or tomorrow.
With an Alk of 3-3.5 meq/l you should have a Ca level of around ~420 ppm. So your Alk is good, its just that your Ca is low. You just need to dose more of the Turbo Ca bring the Ca level up.

Here is a good article to help solving Ca/Alk issues:
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2002/chem.htm
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Old 03-22-2004, 05:31 PM   #12
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Well, I use oceanic so will I not need calcium supplements? I am going to do water change today if trates are high. If the oceanic salt provides enough calcium will I just need to get the alk b-ionic? I heard b-ionic is better than kalk and its easier than dri method cuz if u do the drip method some things an seriously go wrong.
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Old 03-22-2004, 05:37 PM   #13
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If the oceanic salt provides enough calcium will I just need to get the alk b-ionic?
Depends on the rate of Ca depletion of the tank. Probably not though. When coralline really gets going, it can put a huge drain on Alk and Ca. Then adding in corals will further drain the Ca and Alk levels. You also must remember that with every 1 DKH of decrease, Ca also drops by about ~26 ppm. If you don't add those levels back to the tank, soon your Alk will be high and your Ca will be low. This is why balanced additives are a must.

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I heard b-ionic is better than kalk and its easier than dri method cuz if u do the drip method some things an seriously go wrong
Um, no... Overdosing the Alk portion of B-Ionic can have the same affect as overdosing Kalk: pH through the roof and abiotic precipitation of Ca and Alk.
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Old 03-22-2004, 05:40 PM   #14
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I also dont know my levels so will I need to buy tests or will the b-ionic not require it
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Old 03-22-2004, 05:53 PM   #15
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I also dont know my levels so will I need to buy tests or will the b-ionic not require it
One of the cardinal rules of reef keeping is to always test before dosing chemicals. So, Yes!! You need Alk and Ca test kits. I suggest Salifert kits.
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Old 03-22-2004, 06:15 PM   #16
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ok, and if i get both ca and alk b-ionics dont I add every other day?
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Old 03-22-2004, 06:20 PM   #17
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You add acording to what you need based on the amount used up..Some people use it daily some use it every other day..etc...But you must test to see what your needs are..
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Old 03-22-2004, 10:10 PM   #18
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I"m considerint getting a pH monitor. I"m worried that my pH might be fluctuating too much when dripping kalk or using other additives.
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Old 03-22-2004, 10:16 PM   #19
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teen wrote:

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ok, and if i get both ca and alk b-ionics dont I add every other day?
Like Don said, it depends on what your needs are. If you begin dosing and notice that your Ca and Alk parameters are going too high, you need to cut back on the amount. Its trial and error for a little while before you know what your tank needs.

jamal-188 wrote:

Quote:
I"m considerint getting a pH monitor. I"m worried that my pH might be fluctuating too much when dripping kalk or using other additives.
Getting a pH monitor is never a bad idea. They are much more accurate than those darn test kits and much easier to use. Dare I say its fun to test the pH with a pH pin or monitor?

8)
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Old 03-22-2004, 10:40 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Biggen



Getting a pH monitor is never a bad idea. They are much more accurate than those darn test kits and much easier to use. Dare I say its fun to test the pH with a pH pin or monitor?

8)
LOL, all the pH test kits I've had are pretty difficult to get an exact match.
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