Carbo-Calcium TM support

sneekapeek

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I currently use all for reef from tropic Marin and I am having issues of clogged dosing lines due to crystallization. I’m hoping by switching to carbo-calcium it will be better not clogging from not being a fully saturated solution.

Has anyone had issues with carbo-calcium crystallizing on their doser? Any experience would be greatly appreciated. I can’t rely on afr at this moment, but it’s all I got right now. Wanted to hear peoples thoughts on the matter!
 
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sneekapeek

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Commercial and home made, both having issue over time! I even changed out my lines as well as cleaning everything. I think the solution is to saturated. That’s why I was thinking of going with carbo-calcium to hopefully remedy this issue.
The inlet and outlet of the eco tech versa pumps is relatively small. All it takes is one crystallized ball to form to clog the coupler.
 

Pod_01

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Commercial and home made, both having issue over time! I even changed out my lines as well as cleaning everything. I think the solution is to saturated. That’s why I was thinking of going with carbo-calcium to hopefully remedy this issue.
The inlet and outlet of the eco tech versa pumps is relatively small. All it takes is one crystallized ball to form to clog the coupler.
Just a suggestion, I submerge the end of the line in the sump and no issues. Not the most elegant solution but no issue either. I used both AFR and Carbo calcium in powder form and both seem to be same strength only difference is AFR has trace elements and some Mg. Perhaps the pre mix is stronger.
 

GMay

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I have used All For Reef for a the three or so years and found the same problem. You will also have the same issue with Carbocalcium alone. It is the primary ingredient in AFR. I found that it made more sense to dose it every few days by hand in the end. I have tried dosing with a Bubble Magus doser and a Versa, you still get some clogging at the outlet. One thing you could try is to place the line right at the surface or just below the line of the water. I had not tried this and just returned to manual dosing.

Let us know if you try this other outlet position.
 
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sneekapeek

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I have used All For Reef for a the three or so years and found the same problem. You will also have the same issue with Carbocalcium alone. It is the primary ingredient in AFR. I found that it made more sense to dose it every few days by hand in the end. I have tried dosing with a Bubble Magus doser and a Versa, you still get some clogging at the outlet. One thing you could try is to place the line right at the surface or just below the line of the water. I had not tried this and just returned to manual dosing.

Let us know if you try this other outlet position.
I get this tiny ball to form in the stretch line inside the peristaltic pump where the barb fitting on the versa opening is so small. The tiniest pieces form and covers the pinhole sized opening either slowing flow or completely stopping it. I don’t get it on the outlet where it drops from. I’m not sure why it occurs for me there and not the exposed part, but I figured I could perhaps make a batch of carbo-calcium that is half the diluted amount dosed twice as much to compensate. I’m tired of dealing with it and seems like a nightmare waiting to happen if I don’t catch it in time.
 

GMay

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I get this tiny ball to form in the stretch line inside the peristaltic pump where the barb fitting on the versa opening is so small. The tiniest pieces form and covers the pinhole sized opening either slowing flow or completely stopping it. I don’t get it on the outlet where it drops from. I’m not sure why it occurs for me there and not the exposed part, but I figured I could perhaps make a batch of carbo-calcium that is half the diluted amount dosed twice as much to compensate. I’m tired of dealing with it and seems like a nightmare waiting to happen if I don’t catch it in time.
Ha. I use larger tubing that fits the push lock fitting. Think it it a 1/4 inch fitting. Still got a buildup at the out let.
 
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sneekapeek

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Ha. I use larger tubing that fits the push lock fitting. Think it it a 1/4 inch fitting. Still got a buildup at the out let.
that’s exactly what I use. What that push lock fitting connects to is this pinhole size plastic with a barb. Then the stretch line fits over that barb with metal clamp. If you look inside the push lock fitting, the hole size is tiny. All it would take is a small bit of salt creep to lock it up! I’m screwed no matter what and am thinking on going balling to remedy, gonna run out of afr first then try just carbo-calcium half dilute and if that doesn’t work I’m going back to 3 part!
 
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GMay

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Tried reduced concentration of AFR and Carbocal but that resulted in microbial froth in the storage container. Being a microbiologist I’m not surprised.
You might try reducing it to 75 - 80 percent and see what happens. That might fix both problems but won’t know till you try. You can test microbial growth be diluting the full strength and making dilutions and waiting to see what happens. You will then need to just increase the dose to the dilution.
Good luck!
 
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Tried reduced concentration of AFR and Carbocal but that resulted in microbial froth in the storage container. Being a microbiologist I’m not surprised.
You might try reducing it to 75 - 80 percent and see what happens. That might fix both problems but won’t know till you try. You can test microbial growth be diluting the full strength and making dilutions and waiting to see what happens. You will then need to just increase the dose to the dilution.
Good luck!
Thanks stud, your experience is greatly appreciated.
Would you try a different solution in multiple different containers and just let them sit and observe? IE 80% in one 70% in another 60% in another etc.
I have not bought carbo-calcium just yet and thought the super saturation of afr was the issue; really just the added mag and trace falling out. Apparently it is the calcium formate. Would you guess the microbial function that produces the carbonate within the line exposed to the calcium cause the crystallization? You think I could add something anti-microbial to help stabilize the solution?
It seems these products are such a blessing and a curse!
 

Lou Ekus

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There are two very good and easy solutions to this issue.

1) If you have an ATO system, you can install a "Y" fitting to the ATO line. Then, every time the ATO runs, it flushes out the line of any AFR left in there. This has worked very well for lots of people.
2) You can install a "check valve" in the AFR supply line and then place the end of the line under the water level of wherever it is supplying (the tank, sump or refugium). This also keeps the end of the line from forming any crystals. The check valve is just a precaution to make sure you don't get any back syphoning of the water.

I hope this is also helpful in addition to the comments above.
 
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There are two very good and easy solutions to this issue.

1) If you have an ATO system, you can install a "Y" fitting to the ATO line. Then, every time the ATO runs, it flushes out the line of any AFR left in there. This has worked very well for lots of people.
2) You can install a "check valve" in the AFR supply line and then place the end of the line under the water level of wherever it is supplying (the tank, sump or refugium). This also keeps the end of the line from forming any crystals. The check valve is just a precaution to make sure you don't get any back syphoning of the water.

I hope this is also helpful in addition to the comments above.
Thanks for the info, thats a great solution to clean the outlet.

Unfortunately I am getting these crystals to form inside the peristaltic pump for some reason. To be specific inside the stretch line where the rollers slide over. The crystal forms and clogs the fitting that exits the pump from the inside. I have to take the stretch line off, use a needle to poke the crystal backwards through the versa’s john guest push lock style fitting and out of the barb fitting the stretch line would be attached to. Reassemble, and prime!

I wouldn’t be able to use this solution if it’s occurring to me at the pump, but if I do have issues of the outlet this would be a great solution. Regardless, I am very happy with the product. Just looking for a solution or a way to reduce crystallization of product altogether.
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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Only reasonable way to reduce crystallization, assuming you made it correctly, is to dilute it with RO/di. I wouldn’t dilute it too much or bacteria may grow in it, but a 50:50 mix with RO/di may work.
 
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Only reasonable way to reduce crystallization, assuming you made it correctly, is to dilute it with RO/di. I wouldn’t dilute it too much or bacteria may grow in it, but a 50:50 mix with RO/di may work.
I was thinking on trying that first and just dosing more to see what happens. The clogging hasn’t been fatal yet, but I’m worried it might be in the future. Most likely when I’m away from the tank lol!
 
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I tired to dilute it to 50% and had microbial growth. I would try 70 to 80 % and it still might not prevent microbial growth but it would be significantly inhibited.

Good luck!
 

Pod_01

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I was thinking on trying that first and just dosing more to see what happens. The clogging hasn’t been fatal yet, but I’m worried it might be in the future. Most likely when I’m away from the tank lol!
Silly question/suggestion. Could this be just collection of unmixed AFR? Maybe unmixed crystals start the crystallization process, similar as when tampering chocolate and one uses good crystals to start the process.
 

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Silly question/suggestion. Could this be just collection of unmixed AFR? Maybe unmixed crystals start the crystallization process, similar as when tampering chocolate and one uses good crystals to start the process.

Seed crystsls certainly speed precipitation, but only if the solution is supersaturated to begin with.
 
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Pod_01

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Seed crystsls certainly speed precipitation, but only if the solution is supersaturated to begin with.
Is it possible to create/ end up with supersaturated mix of AFR? Let’s say evaporation over time and the undissolved AFR reacts with it…. Pure theoretical question.
Since I do use AFR it might impact how much I make and how I store it.
 

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Is it possible to create/ end up with supersaturated mix of AFR? Let’s say evaporation over time and the undissolved AFR reacts with it…. Pure theoretical question.
Since I do use AFR it might impact how much I make and how I store it.

Yes, if it gets more concentrated somehow, either by how it is made, it by evaporation.

Just like any dissolved salt, if you remove water by evaporation, eventually it will precipitate.
 

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