Huh, 2 CA rxrs and a kalk rxr can't raise my alk...

DanConnor

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I have a 200 reef attached to a 180 basement frag tank with a 150 sump. It's packed with big acros and everything looks good and is growing well, but I can't get my alk above 7.

I've been using a Dastaco A2 reactor for the last few years, but I got that before I added the 180 frag tank. I used to have it on a low setting, but now I have it maxed out. My corals have grown for sure, but I think maybe the strength of the dosing pump is fading. The reactor just doesn't put out enough effluent. I just measured the alk of the output and it's 20, so it seems to be working. A new dosing pump is $450

I also use an avast kalk reactor with my ato. I put in a couple tablespoons a day. I'm not sure if its a design flaw, but all the kalk gets processed into the system. There's never anything to clean out of the bottom. I evaporate 5 gallons a day. It hasn't seemed to cause a problem, but I'm not sure I want to dump a cup of kalk in there.

So... I added a Korallin C4002 Calcium reactor with a masterflex pushing water through. I figure I might eventually replace the dastaco with this. However for the last 5 days the alk has stayed right at 7. I'm running 250 ml/min and bubbling a bit faster than one bubble a second. My ph probe says the effluent is at 6.5, so should be good. I just checked the alk of the effluent though, and it's just 7.8.

Maybe the name of this thread should be "what's wrong with my Korallin reactor." I'm new to this piece of equipment. One odd thing I noted though: when I initially set it up, I had the reactor completely above the sump, and I kept getting air or CO2 building up at the top. If I turned off the eheim it went away. I lowered the reactor to sit beside the sump and the problem went away. Could I have some air intrusion? The masterflex is pushing, not pulling.

Thanks for any thoughts!
 
Zoanthids

TX_Punisher

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That seems like a lot of flow. I run 120/ml/min and that’s even a lot but it’s due to my old co2 regulator. My two stage will fix that.

hand dose to get dkh where you want it. Use the reactors to maintain that level, not to raise it.
 

Rick.45cal

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250 ml/min is WAY too fast for that reactor, and a bit faster than one bubble a second is definitely too little CO2 for a flowrate that high. The effluent dKh is indicative of that. The water needs to spend time in the reactor to dissolve the media. If it were my system I would slow it down to more like 60ml/min.

I can’t comment specifically on your DaStaCo reactor because I don’t run one but if you’re only getting 20 dKH for the effluent out of a calcium reactor that works on CO2 saturation then you’re probably pulling too much water through it too.
 

jda

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Read the paper linked in my signature. I use Korallin too - great reactor.

Just get used to checking dKh on the effluent, don't worry about pH and don't try and control it with a pH probe or anything.

Even the smallest reactor can keep up with the biggest tank, but you have to change media more. Your tune is probably just not great.
 

justahobbyright

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I can tackle the AVast kalk reactor question. I been using one for many years. At your evaporation / 5 gallons a day you should be adding 2 cups every week all at once per the users manual. You will have kalk paste at the end of each week.

A couple tablespoons a day is probably not doing much for you.
 
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DanConnor

DanConnor

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250 ml/min is WAY too fast for that reactor, and a bit faster than one bubble a second is definitely too little CO2 for a flowrate that high. The effluent dKh is indicative of that. The water needs to spend time in the reactor to dissolve the media. If it were my system I would slow it down to more like 60ml/min.

I can’t comment specifically on your DaStaCo reactor because I don’t run one but if you’re only getting 20 dKH for the effluent out of a calcium reactor that works on CO2 saturation then you’re probably pulling too much water through it too.
Thanks, I'll try running it slower. The dastaco controls its own speed, so there's no adjustment I can make
 
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DanConnor

DanConnor

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Update on this- I've discovered on the Dastaco, that even though I can't increase the flow rate, I can get more alk by increasing the number of ventings a day. For some reason I never knew this. I believe the hanna alk checker (that I was using) maxes out at 20, as the number flashes when displayed.

Regarding the Korallin, I'm running this also, at a slower rate. I do get a small bit of CO2 buildup at the top after a few days, although it might have been air as I had my filter sock off for a day. Here's the question- I'm leaving the country for a week- since I have it approximately dialed in, does it make sense to switch to top output for the week?
 

TX_Punisher

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Re: testing ca reactor effluent with the Hannah

take half the sample (5ml) and half the reagent (.5ml) then double the result. Eg. 15dkh would then be doubled to 30dkh. The Hannah, as you stated, indeed only reads to 20dkh.

that should help you achieve closer results when testing higher dkh samples.
 
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