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Old 06/03/2006, 09:16 AM   #1
John Hartford
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Exclamation After a week of installing the calcium reactor...Alkalinity too high and Ph too low

I installed the Geo Calcium reactor and the American pinpoint Ph controller with the CO2 set-up with the regulator about a week ago. I tested my water today and found that my Ph went down from 8.5 to 7.8 and that my alkalinity went from 2.5 to 4.5. The only thing that I have done different to my tank was added that Calcium reactor, I know that must be causing my problems, anyone know how to fix it? Any help would be greatly appreciated. As a side note I also noticed that a lot of algae is beginning to grow on my live rock. My Nitrites are 0 and my nitrates are between 5-10. Ammonia is at 0. Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time.

John


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Old 06/03/2006, 09:44 AM   #2
bljohnson
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Calcium Reactors tend to depress the pH over time. Holmes-Farley has some good articles on this in his Chemistry Forum. Another thing that could be depressing your pH is elevated CO2 levels - either from using too much in the Ca Reactor or from elevated CO2 in your house if you do not have adequate ventilation. He also talks about CO2 and how to determine if this is your problem. He also talks about various methods to safely bring up and stabilize the pH - buffers and kalk. In his articles he likes to use Kalk because it will not only bring you pH up but it will add Calcium and Alkalinity in a balanced manner. To lower your Alkalinity you need to just tune the Ca down - bubble count and effluent. Do you have the controller monitoring the Reactor or tank? I have mine monitoring the tank. I have my Aquacontroller controlling my Ca Reactor based on tank pH and I have a Pinpoint monitor just monitoring the reactor pH so I know I am dissolving the media without turning it into mush. I also believe that 7.8 is borderline of acceptable pH so I would keep an eye on it. Your phosphate problem could be a CO2 issue or a phosphate issue. Some types of Ca Reactor media are high in phosphates. Are you using the "large sand" Schuran media that Geo suggests?

I have a similar setup to yours. I also bought the Geo Nielsen Reactor with my Geo Calcium Reactor so I don't have to worry about pH.


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Old 06/03/2006, 09:45 AM   #3
CastleRock
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Too much C02, turn down your C02 and cut down the drip rate going into the tank from the reactor.
your effluent should be around 6.8 PH depending on the media you are using in the reactor.
It is a balancing act to get them dialed in


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Old 06/03/2006, 10:07 AM   #4
John Hartford
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I am using the large shcruan type of media, but could not buy the exact shcruan type so I bought the Gen-X C.R.M. which is very simialr to the Shcuran media. Unfortunately it does not tell me what the Ph should be on the container, so I from what I gathered here from Reefcentral I was told that it should be at 6.8. So that is what I have it at. As for my American Pinpoint Ph controller, it came with the probe and the probe is mounted inside my calcium reactor to monitor the Ph of the reactor chamber. Once the Ph of the reactor chamber rises above 6.9 the probe that is attatched to the Ph controller turns of the solenoid regulator to the co2 tank, so that he co2 begins to disolve the media inside the chamber. So I guess I guess heres the question..what should the effluent drip rate be, and how many bubbles of co2 should be passing through my bubble counter?


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Old 06/03/2006, 10:38 AM   #5
CastleRock
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Well if your running at 6.8 I would say your bubble count is good and to just turn down your drip rate till you get to the readings you desire.
Excess C02 will most definitely feed algae blooms.
I have a slow drip into my sump about 2 drops per sec or so and I adjust that as needed per week if it fluctuates
but I have a light load right now in a 120 with a 65 gal sump
Im not familiar with Gen-X C.R.M


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Old 06/03/2006, 10:49 AM   #6
John Hartford
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When you try to get the readings that you want is that called "dialing in"?


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Old 06/03/2006, 10:56 AM   #7
CastleRock
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yep
Like mine is ph around 8.1(goes up and down day/night) cal is 410 and Alk 3.30 pretty consistent
Im dialed in


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Old 06/03/2006, 11:05 AM   #8
John Hartford
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Thanks CastleRock for all of your help. You explained a lot of things to me. People like you are an asset to reefcentral and thats wahy I keep comming back. Thanks again.


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Old 06/03/2006, 11:10 AM   #9
mikeatjac
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Check out this thread. It has everything you need to know.

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...hreadid=770351


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