Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs on Calcium Reactors 5

Related Articles: Calcium Reactors and How They Work by James Gasta, Calcium Reactors: The Top 10 (Plus) Frequently Asked Questions about Calcium Reactors by Jason Chodakowski, Calcium, Understanding Calcium & Alkalinity, Kalkwasser, Calcium Reactors

Related FAQs: Calcium Reactors 1Calcium Reactors 2Calcium Reactors 3, Calcium Reactors 4, & FAQs on Calcium Reactors: Rationale/Use, Selection, Installation, Operation, Media, Measuring, Trouble-Shooting, By Makes/Models, & Calcium and Alkalinity, & FAQs on: The Science of Calcium & Alkalinity, Importance, Measure, Sources, Use of AdditivesTroubleshooting/Fixing, Products,

newest LA Fishguys. Ca reactor f'        5/4/16
Hi Bob, The most recent episode of LA Fishguys is now on-line and your promotion appears in Part One, Calcium Reactor, TECH TALK episode 155 Part 1 https://youtu.be/Vb9N1t5DM3M
Part 2 https://youtu.be/vfCG_ujdKQg
Part 3 https://youtu.be/nWc522p5MDs
Part 4 https://youtu.be/EEbmNjsd3NY
Part 5 https://youtu.be/3C9wiLQiN5E 
Jim Stime, Jr
Aquarium Design - Installation and Maintenance Midwater Systems
- JELLIQUARIUM Jellyfish Display Systems
MyFishTank.com - Acrylic Aquariums, Stands and Canopies
LA Fishguys - Aquarium Reality Television
<Thanks Jimbo. B>

Aragonite or calcite? Use Feigl's solution      1/28/15
Paul West
Hey Bob. I was reading WWM regarding calcium reactors. In regards to aquarists being able to distinguish calcite from aragonite: "We must trust the word and reputation of the vendor along with the experience of fellow aquarists" I found a test that will show if it's aragonite. Feigl's Solution. I've found it be very easy to make and use, and certainly something most people aren't aware of.
Carbonate Staining | Department of Earth Sciences - Main Site
Mineral stains have been devised for the rapid identification of many common minerals; Reid (1969) provides an extensive compendium. The identification of minerals, however, can now be achieved with much greater certainty using modern analytical techniques (SEM, microprobe and so on). Stains have be…
Bob Fenner
Bob Fenner
Ah yes! Will you please send this graphic and your note... even just a copy paste of this interchange, to Crew@WetWebMedia.com Paul?
Ahh, I sent it to myself!
Paul West
Paul West
Paul West
Paul West
This is a photo of a sand test I did with Feigl's solution. The first 3 samples turned black, as expected. The last sample is being sold as aragonite, but obviously didn't change colors. Thus, not aragonite. Just an example of the test.


Paul West
Paul West
Some high-CA calcite reacts vigorously with vinegar, just like aragonite, but fails the Feigl's solution test. I actually have some high CA calcite that I tested. Interesting to see the "standard" vinegar test throw a false positive.
Bob Fenner
Bob Fenner
Well; depends on the concentration of the vinegar (CH3COOH, aka Acetic acid)... Calcite is far less useful to use vs. other more-soluble carbonates. DO pls send ALL petfish matters to Crew@WetWebMedia.com
Paul West
Paul West
Will do.
<Thank you Paul. BobF>

Calcium Reactor Secondary Chamber -- 02/05/10
I'm setting up a calcium reactor - one of the TMC V2 products - and think I understand all the principles and what I need to do.
It will be controlled by the monitor/controller from TMC. But I'd like to add a secondary chamber, having read lots about the pros for these.
<<Ah, I see'¦>>
TMC doesn't make one and the companies that do seem to be very expensive for what appears to be a transparent tube with an inlet/outlet at each end, merely being capable of taking them apart to put media in and cleaning.
<<Indeed'¦we share this view'¦and is why I DIY'd my own>>
Nowhere can I find any info about secondary chambers though. It seems this is an ideal and relatively simply thing to make, DIY, but I'm unclear on possible ways of use and installation. For example:
Is the flow best upwards, pushing out of the top to drip via a pipe into the sump, or downwards to drip directly?
<<I prefer an 'up-flow' design as I feel this has less of a tendency to get clogged>>
Is there any reason the chamber has to have a lid?
<<As in letting the effluent just 'overflow' the top of the vessel? Nope, I guess not then (assuming this 'second chamber' is sitting in the sump)>>
If standing part submerged inside the sump, the inlet at the bottom would just cause an overflow into the sump - or, just semi-submerge and open top (even a cut-off plastic drinks bottle) and drip the effluent into the open end and allow it to percolate through the media and into the sump. Any reason this latter won't work?
<<I suppose not>>
What is the normal design for a secondary calcium reactor chamber?
<<Designs vary a bit, but most are very similar to that of an up-flow media reactor like those used for iron-based Phosphate control media where the effluent enters and flows 'up' through the media'¦in fact, one of these could likely be easily adapted for just such the purpose discussed here>>
Thanks for any clues.
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>
For the sake of completeness, because it's asked for (though I suspect it isn't entirely useful for this query) the aquarium is around 220 gallons (plus rock) split into two roughly equal parts: main tank and sump (yes, massive sump with a long story behind it - it sits in the garage underneath the display tank, with a weir input and pump return) with dKH fluctuating at present between 8.5 and 10 (which I hope will be more stable once the reactor is tuned in), calcium a bit high at 500 but stable and magnesium at 1400, these parameters being controlled by water change and manual addition of supplements .
<<Thanks for this info'¦ Cheers, EricR>>
Re: Calcium Reactor Secondary Chamber - 02/06/10

Thanks Eric - that's very helpful and much appreciated.
<<Glad you find it as such>>
I was partly concerned with some things I'd read that if the effluent was 'treated' in a secondary chamber to the extent that it regained an alkaline pH (i.e. the incoming, say, pH 6.5 was raised to pH 7.0 by interaction with the media in the second chamber) then it could cause early precipitation and negate any good that the whole kit was going to introduce.
<<Understandable'¦ Although a lowered pH, as in that induced by the introduction of CO2 to the reactor chamber, is required to 'extract' the desired bio-minerals from the media, it stays in solution and remains available to the system's inhabitants once the pH increases again'¦else all would simply fall out of solution at the point where the effluent enters the much higher pH water of the system>>
By the sounds of it, a positive flow upwards (or downwards) rather than a drip percolation through the submerged media is a better idea.
<<A positive-flow system will ensure better contact/use of the media I think, yes>>
Thanks again,
<<Always welcome'¦ EricR>>

Calcium reactor vs. Kalkwasser reactor... just reading or not  - 03/03/09 Hi, <Hello there> I was wondering what the difference between a calcium reactor and a Kalkwasser reactor is? <?... One provides both biomineral and alkalinity by melting down their sources... with an acid generally. The Kalk one delivers a source of CaOH... by dissolution in water...> What the advantages and disadvantages between each one? <? Posted...> Which is better? <? Both have their merits... and proponents, detractors... depending on what sort of livestock you keep, what you want to do with them... providing more of what these tools can do may be of use to you... or more trouble, expense than they're worth...> Your help is been great in the past! Looking forward to your reply. Garrett <You should really have just used the search tool, indices... and read: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/maintindex.htm Spend some time here. Bob Fenner>

Knop C Calcium Reactor, media, reading  10/24/08 Hello, Quick Question: How do you know when to replace the reactor media?, <Mmmm, depends...> its been ~ 4 mo.s since starting it up... Has been losing efficiency as far as operation, a huge bubble forms at the top of chamber <Ahh, this is most likely due to impurities in your CO2... do make sure and get pure... other gasses are not nearly as water soluble> and has a hard time with effluent constantly getting jammed up. <Now... the question... are you using Korallith? Or some off-brand, or?> The media has turned from its original whitish color to a more dull gray color. <?> Am i supposed to wait until the media completely dissolves? or replace when media becomes a dull gray color? <Mmm, no... though even the best media choices won't "melt down" entirely, none should turn gray... I would either "shake" the media in the contact chamber, replace when it's about half the height of original, or use your effluent pH as an indicator where you're not using a meter (when it dips, time to replace)... Do read on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/calcreacmedia.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner> Thanks for your time, Matt
Re: Knop C Calcium Reactor  10/25/08
Hey Bob, <Matt> Thanks for the reply. Apparently after Servicing my Knop c reactor for the first time ever after 3-4 months, I discovered that the inefficiency in the reactor and "bubble at the top" as well as the "gray media coloration" were because of major blockage within the chamber. <Ahh!> After taking out the media and rinsing it off.... much "gray" particulate water was witnessed and the media returned to its normal white/beige color. Over the course of 3-4 months...the C02 had dissolved the media rather well also leaving behind dissolved particles which started to block up in the reactor therefore causing the eheim pump to not be able to effectively circulate water within the reactor... causing the bubble at the top... causing blocked effluent....etc..etc.. Final conclusion on this matter: Service Calc Reactors Quarter annually for effective results. <Sounds reasonable> and yes..media is Korallith, good stuff <Ah, agreed... the best> ...i also get top quality c02 from reputable supplier, but will be aware of avoiding poor quality c02 from any other future sources. <Good> I appreciate your advice/help. Thanks, Matthew <Welcome. BobF>

Calcium reactors (and more) 5/25/08 Hi.. <Hello!> I was considering Korallin C1502 and . It would be better if you know my current setup.  I have a 80 gallon reef aquarium with a 20 gallon sump on a Aquamedic OR1200 pump. I am using a Tunze 6060 and a Maxijet 1200 for circulation. Protein skimmer - AquaC EV180. Lighting - 2x150w 14k Ushio Metal halides and 2x Aquamedic 10k 54w each and 4x Aquamedic actinic 54w each.  My current parameters are calcium - 350ppm, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia and phosphate - 0. My pH ranged this week from 7.9 to 8.8 (eeks).This happened as I used Kalkwasser without a ph controller. I was deciding between two reactors for my tank the Korallin C1502 and KNOP C. Firstly, is the KNOP C aqequate<adequate> for my tank if I stock it heavily with SPS corals? Secondly, which one is better? Thirdly, do you have any other recommendations? <Both reactors listed are small in size and the amount of media that can be used. These are both good units for your tank, but it has been my experience over the years that people usually upgrade as they become successful. For that reason I would recommend a GEO612 would be best. It holds more media, is easy to work on, comes with an Eheim pump, and is a very reliable unit. The GEO612 is also bigger than the KNOP HD at half the price.> I want to know what you think of my plan - get Kent marine liquid calcium to boost calcium to 440ppm and then use my calcium reactor to maintain that level. I understand that is how you are supposed to do it? Will this work? <YES. The calcium reactor can catch up on its own also.> Also I plan to buy a ph controller with my calcium reactor. How is Milwaukee SMS122? How does it compare to the pinpoint controllers from American marine? Why is there such a difference in price? <I prefer the Milwaukee units. Their customer service is bar none! They have very reliable units and their probes are also very reliable. It comes down to personal preference as both units will work, I am just a stronger supporter of Milwaukee products.> Thanks and I hope these aren't too many queries at one shot. <No problem. Also, if the GEO is out of your price range the KNOP unit is very well made.~Rich> msayani2.

Toxic tank, Contaminated Calcium Reactor Media    2/12/07   I have had toxic tank syndrome for 8 months now.  My pulsing Xenia starts to turn black in less than 24 hours.  All SPS corals had to be removed from my 180 gallon 5 year old tank.  Lost some fish, scooter blenny, mandarin, Rainford goby. <Yikes... so, what have you done re the toxicity?>     To make a long story short, I changed water like crazy, searched everything for a metal contamination.  Could find nothing, so I emptied the system completely.  Cleaned it all out, replaced the sand bed, all rock, everything out, and refilled with natural sea water.  After a week, I put a piece of pulsing Xenia in last night, and this morning the polyps were starting to turn black.     I got mad, again, and the only thing I had not done was to empty my calcium reactor.  I put the media in a bowl and searched it.  Using a magnet, I found small flakes of metal of some sort, laced through the media!!!!!!!!! <Yikes...>   I have not idea how it got there!  Not from me!  I won't mention a brand name here. <I wish you would... My wife, Diana, used to distribute Knop Products in N. America... their Korallith was/is very pure...>     I will do a 100% water change as soon as possible.  I can not afford to change the rock and sand bed again!  What further steps should I take?  Carbon?  Poly filters? <Yes to both of these... this should do it> Will my new rock and sand be ok? <Very likely yes> There are no fish or corals in the tank st this time.  All have been moved to other systems.   Help   Richard <Thank you for relating your experiences... Will save many others huge headaches and grief. Bob Fenner> Calcium Reactor - 02/11/2007 Hey guys, wanted to start off saying thanks for all the advice you have given me on my refugium setup for my 30gal mini reef.  The refugium is working nicely and I can see at least 30-40 very large copepods scatter every time I turn its light on (nice eh) <Ah yes> and the macro algae as grow so much in it that I had to pull some out so water can still flow thru. On to my question: I have been (not admittedly) been dosing my tank with alk/CA 2 part system and once and a while dripping some Kalk at night.  The tank seems very healthy and I am getting slow grow from the corals.  I wanted to kick things up a notch and also do away with mixing Kalk by adding a Calcium Reactor. <A useful tool>   The problem is I don't have a sump on the system and the refugium is too small to fit anything into it, can you recommend how I would set this up as to the fact that most of the systems I see go into the sump. <Can be fashioned to "hang on"... best on the refugium> A side question:  I get very small amounts of algae to grow on my rocks, that never get out of hand and seem to come and go with time.  The funny/confusing thing is that it ONLY seems to grow right at the base of the corals? <Interesting...> I have MANY square inches of rock space for it to grow on, it just seems to like the corals.  I don't like it because it makes the corals unattractive for a while, but does NOT seem to affect them, any ideas? Again thanks,  -Gary <Mmm, w/o knowing much more re your standing water chemistry, am wont to make any speculations here. You can wade (literally for hours) through various similarly vague questions/responses archived on WWM re such issues, circumstances. BobF>

Knop Calcium Reactor Instructions - 02/06/07 I need to find out how to get instructions for a Knop s iv calcium reactor. Does anyone know how to contact Knop or have the instruction. <Try writing to: Knop Products, 8586 Menkar Rd., San Diego, CA  92126 <<Actually, contact Marine Depot (.com) re... the U.S. distributor. RMF>> or if you need some basic instruction, try a search here on WWM. this is a popular product, and there have been questions as to it's tuning and adjustment. -GrahamT> Thanks

A Ca reactor second chamber  2/5/07 I am running an octopus Cr 100 recirc calcium reactor on my 600 litre heavy stocked predominantly SPS system. The reactor is rated for 100 litre system (really dunno why reactors are rated for system volume and not caco3 consumption rates, but that for another day). <Good> The reactor is barely keeping up with my demand for calcium. I recently  molded two gravel siphons into an add on chamber for my reactor. It has the effluent from my reactor entering through the bottom and after passing through the media, runs past my probe and drips into the sump. My alk reading of my effluent went up from 25dKH to 32dKH after doing this..... Not sure if its because of the new fresh media or increased contact time with aragonitic media. <Likely a bit of both> Should my pH controller be set at a slightly higher pH, as its situated in this passive reactor? <Mmm... no... I would leave as is> Will this second chamber increase my effluent (ultimately tank ) readings for Calcium? <I would not be at all surprised it did so... at least at first...> Would it be advisable to put a small recirculating pump on this chamber as well, as when i shook it tonight, i noticed a white powdery aragonite settlement at the bottom, which will surely be more beneficial in the tank than in the "reactor". <I would leave this be as well... the "dust" will either go into solution and be distributed, or not> Would really appreciate your input. Thanks for your advice IVAN <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

pH Level In Calcium Reactor 1/23/07 Hello, and how are you doing. I have a simple question for you if you don't mind me asking. What should my ph in the calcium reactor be if I am using CaribSea calcium media. Thank you for your time, patience, and,  advice. <Should find answers to your questions here my friend.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcreactors.htm James (Salty Dog)> J. Blue

Calcium Reactor Adjustment/Potential for Earth Element Overload - 01/23/07 Hi gang, <<Hello Chuck>> I just bought a Korallin 1502 calcium reactor for my reef. . .and am seeing almost immediate improvement in the health/appearance of my corals after an over-the-holidays stretch of having trouble maintaining calcium/PH. <<Glad you found a solution to the problems>> My questions are these: (1) Since the aragonite media is being dissolved in pressurized-and CO2-enriched tank water, is it difficult (or preferably impossible) to create a 'snowstorm' effect as long as I don't add other tank additives which would affect alkalinity? <<I think it unlikely as long as the reactor is not grossly oversized for the system.  In other words, if the unit was to provide calcium/alkaline material faster than the system could utilize it then there might be the potential for overload...though I can't say I've ever heard of a precipitous event attributed to the calcium reactor.  But even so, these are not "install and forget" pieces of equipment.  You still need to monitor earth element/bio-mineral content and make adjustments to the reactor as necessary>> (2) Are some of the other minerals (strontium, magnesium, etc.) which are in the media being released in bio-available form for use by the corals and other occupants of my system? (I've heard/read both 'yes' and 'no' on this.) <<This stands to reason, yes...though content will vary with differing medias and all elements don't have the same range/rate of solubility so who's to say "how much" of the available elements in the media are being reintroduced.  As with alkalinity/calcium, these to need to be tested periodically and supplement as/if necessary>> BTW, after a bit of trouble finding the right CO2 bubble rate vs. effluent drip rate for best effect on the smaller Korallin model, the tech guys at Marine Depot advised 15-20 bubbles per minute with about 60 drops of effluent. . .scaling it back a bit once the desired levels are reached. <<Good advice this last>> I bring it up only because it's not something that was in my owner's manual. <<Thank you for the input>> Chuck <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

CA Reactors…Calculating Dissolution - 12/31/06 Good morning, <<Hello>> I would like to ask a question pertaining to the "Calcium Reactor without CO2? - 12/14/06" thread. <<Ok>> I have been considering the same thing as the original inquiry.  I have well water with a pH of 5.7-5.8 after RO/DI. <<I see>> I know enough chemistry to be dangerous, which is not much.  I seem to remember it would be possible to calculate the amount of Ca liberated by raising the pH from a given point to the point it will no longer react with the media.  The problem is I cannot find the equation anywhere. Thanks <<Hmm, don't know what that equation would be either...I'm sure Bob will chime in if he knows.  But so you know, the media will "react" at "any" pH level...it's just that at the higher pH more bicarbonate has been converted to carbonate leaving less "room" for the media to dissolve before reaching the point of saturation where the reaction stops.  According to Randy Holmes-Farley... "At a pH of 6.5, about 50 times less carbonate is present than in the same solution at pH 8.2"...  The difference here being the lower pH allows "much more calcium" to dissolve before reaching saturation.  Regards, EricR>> <There are solubility product constants... and I do believe/think that these can be calculated further for different pHs... the KOH for carbonates being? Perhaps a go with a CRC reference... or trip to a large (college) library, help at a Chemistry dept... Am out in HI, and too bushed from traveling to do much more than make these vague generalizations. RMF> Re: Ca Reactors    1/5/07 thanks for the prompt reply. any word from Bob. <Mmm, strange you didn't see this... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/maralkfaq5.htm about the third response down. RMF> CA Reactors. Calculating Dissolution - 12/31/06 Good morning, <<Hello>> I would like to ask a question pertaining to the "Calcium Reactor without CO2? - 12/14/06" thread. <<Ok>> I have been considering the same thing as the original inquiry.  I have well water with a pH of 5.7-5.8 after RO/DI. <<I see>> I know enough chemistry to be dangerous, which is not much.  I seem to remember it would be possible to calculate the amount of Ca liberated by raising the pH from a given point to the point it will no longer react with the media.  The problem is I cannot find the equation anywhere. Thanks <<Hmm, don't know what that equation would be either...I'm sure Bob will chime in if he knows.  But so you know, the media will "react" at "any" pH level...it's just that at the higher pH more bicarbonate has been converted to carbonate leaving less "room" for the media to dissolve before reaching the point of saturation where the reaction stops.  According to Randy Holmes-Farley... "At a pH of 6.5, about 50 times less carbonate is present than in the same solution at pH 8.2"...  The difference here being the lower pH allows "much more calcium" to dissolve before reaching saturation. Regards, EricR>>

Re: Ca Reactors  1/5/07 Thanks a lot.  I had been watching the Ca Reactor FAQ.  Anyway I am off to the library. Bart <Real good. Please do report back on your experiences, findings. Bob Fenner>

Is this normal? Knop Reactor...  1/5/07 Happy New Year WetWebCrew!  David here, and I need some help with figuring out if what I'm observing with my Knop S-IV Ca reactor is normal. When I adjust the drip rate it effects my CO2 bubble rate. <Mmm... a little maybe... there might be a pressure differential in the contact chamber that might allow this... but not much>   I siphon from the top of the tank to the reactor sitting on the floor, and it fills just fine so no impediments there.  I start the CO2, and I only have a few frags, and about 175 lbs of LR in a 150 gal tank, and my bubble rate is already 130/BPM for an effluent of 6.7-6.8 <pH> with a drip rate of 3 drops/sec.  This gives me roughly 8 DKH and 400 Ca and an overall PH of 8.0 - 8.15. <Sounds about right> But, if I adjust the drip rate lower it changes my CO2 rate lower.  My leather coral use to thrive when I was keeping my PH around 8.3 with Seachem additives, but has slowly shriveled up, and I'm assuming it is because of the lowered PH.  My effluent is 35-36 DKH, and my Ca is 500-520. <Mmm... too high all the way around> Maybe I have a bad solenoid or check valve? <No... just a bad adjustment...> I suspect there's some pressure in these units, but I didn't expect that it would do this.   <Mmm, there is a simple means of limiting the pressure to about right... using the stock tubing provided...> I've had the reactor for roughly 10 months, and this is the first time I've noticed it. <Umm... likely something else going on here... either the concentration/purity of your CO2 and/or the media you're trying to melt down... You're using Korallith I take it...> Also, can't maintain the same DKH and Ca values I once did with less CO2. <Mmm, see the above>   For example, I used to be able to keep the above values with 30 BPM, and a drip rate of 2 drop/3 sec's.  My bio load hasn't changed, so I'm wondering if the blue coarse filter pads at either end might cause a decline in efficiency over time if CO2 is only passing through parts of the blue pad even when properly rinsed? <Not these pads... they last forever... ostensibly... Don't need replacing... just rinsing with the periodic refreshing/re-newing of the media> I've tried different types of Korallith media, and tried 2 different CO2 bottles to find any particular source of inconsistency. <Oh! Good> Is there another type of media that is as good as Korallith media IYO? <Nope, not with this brand, type of reactors> My hope is (like everyone who has a Ca reactor) to be able to keep a PH of 8.2 to 8.3.  If I turn off my reactor at night, I would have an even harder time maintaining my current values, <Mmm, I would arrange a timer, not run the reactor during dark hours here> and I don't want to drip Kalk at night, because I tend to make mistakes with it. <You and most everyone else>   I don't have room for a refugium, and I can't use reverse lighting at this point. What can I use to boost my PH without working against what's already happening with a Ca reactor?   <Mmm, the simplest, safest way would/will be to add a commercial alkalinity booster... a part 2 of two part component product... something with sufficient carbonate... In/with your water change regimen. Bob Fenner> Thank you, -David Brown    

Calcium Reactor without CO2? - 12/14/06 Hello crew! <<Howdy!>> Long time reader, first time writer. <<Welcome>> My main question is, is it possible to operate a calcium reactor without CO2 injection? <<Strictly speaking, sure...but it would be of little use/benefit to your system if operated in this manner>> This occurred to me after measuring pH of my RO/DI water and it was 6.5. <<...?  Are you thinking of flowing pure RO/DI water through your calcium reactor?>> Does the carbon dioxide itself add alkalinity/provide a balanced calcium supplement or is the balance already present in the media that is used? <<The purpose of the CO2 is to lower the pH of the tank water/saltwater used to feed the reactor to a level low enough to dissolve/render in to solution the media in the reactor>> My thoughts were to dose some of my top-off water(6.5 pH) into a reactor via a peristaltic pump and back to tank. <<Mmm, I think I'm getting the picture now...maybe...  If you are planning to do this to condition/buffer the "top-off" water on its way to the display this would be fine>> Would this dissolve the media or is CO2 a necessary component? <<The low pH of the RO/DI water will dissolve "some" media...but not like that in a "conventional" reactor setup with CO2 present to "keep" the pH of the water depressed>> I currently use one teaspoon Tropic Marin Bio Calcium daily and dose Kalkwasser using a peristaltic pump for all top-off water and was hoping to add a balanced calcium method that does not carry with it the high pH of Kalkwasser or daily routine. <<The calcium reactor fed RO/DI water will take the place of the Kalkwasser for "top-off" only, yes?  I don't really think this will give you what you're seeking...but is worth the experimentation to see for yourself>> With Kalkwasser dosing (as much as 1 gallon in 24 hrs.), <<Is all relative...how big is your system?  I dose 4-5 gallons per day through a Kalkwasser reactor>> I often experience pH levels of 8.5, although no lower than 8.4, even at night; so very stable, but high(?). <<Some authors (Anthony Calfo for example) would call this "perfect">> The possible too high pH and daily routine are the only things that really concern me about my present methods. <<I don't consider you pH a problem...and the "daily routine" could be lessened by using the peristaltic pump to dose the Kalkwasser through a Kalk reactor>> I should say that the tank is a 50 gallon that inhabits SPS species and Tridacna clams and typically calcium is 380- 405ppm and alkalinity is 3.20-3.50 meq/L. <<This is fine>> I am simply trying to eliminate part of the initial cost of a calcium reactor. <<Perhaps a Kalkwasser reactor is a better purchase for you then>> Thank you in advance for your reply. <<Quite welcome.  Eric Russell>>

Re: Calcium Reactor without CO2? - 12/15/06 Yes, was thinking I would continue adding perhaps 80% the amount of Kalkwasser top-off that I currently dose and dripping the remaining 20% or so calcium reactor effluent (made with RO/DI water) also. <<Honestly mate...this seems like more trouble for any benefit you think you might gain from this.  I would simply use the Kalkwasser reactor and calcium reactor (in the manner originally intended for this equipment) in conjunction with each other>> I have seen that it is common practice for one to do both Kalkwasser and calcium reactor nowadays, <<...is what I do>> however I'm guessing that a particular ratio of Kalkwasser/reactor effluent would be trial and error to achieve the desired results. <<Hmm...the Kalkwasser reactor would produce based on the evaporation rate of your system...the calcium reactor (fed water from the display and employing CO2) would be "tuned" for optimum performance.  Whether or not your system needs/could utilize both depends greatly on the size/stocking density of calcifying organisms>> I assumed that the reason one would do this, is to have the low pH reactor effluent and high pH Kalkwasser balance each other out. <<No...the reason for running both reactors would be to utilize the particular benefits of each and/or provide for heavy calcium demands beyond what either can accommodate alone.  In addition to the calcium/alkaline buffers provided by both systems...Kalkwasser provides for precipitation of phosphate/heavy metals, saponificaton to assist skimming, and pH support by tempering organic acids (due to its caustic nature)...a calcium reactor contributes essential earth elements (depending on quality of media) to include strontium, magnesium, some major and minor trace elements, etc. absent in calcium hydroxide (Kalkwasser).  Arguably on an "average" system, both methodologies can be replaced with frequent partial water changes>> I have also heard some freshwater tanks use calcium carbonate shells to increase hardness because they dissolve at the lower pH (?)/freshwater(?). <<Many Cichlid systems incorporate carbonaceous material to boost/bolster pH, yes>> This also made me wonder if CO2 may not be needed in a reactor to dissolve the media. <<For the reactor to function efficiently as designed it will require addition of CO2.  What you are proposing for buffering you top-off water could be just as easily; and likely more efficiently, done by adding the reactor media to the RO/DI storage container...in my opinion>> I hope I am being clear about my goal (?). <<I think I understand, yes>> I wasn't thinking of stopping Kalkwasser additions, just adding a bit of reactor effluent to knock down the pH a little bit and eliminate the daily routine of Bio-calcium additions. <<Mmm...better done by employing the calcium reactor in a "standard" configuration with tank water and CO2...IMO/E>> I trust your crew's advice, as I have lost all faith in the advice I get from my LFS. <<A shame>> I have often read the info on your site for hours on end. <<Me too! [grin]>> I had mentioned to one of them that I do a lot of reading to learn about this hobby and his recommendation was to stop reading and that most of the info out there is wrong. <<Ack!  Really?>> I strongly disagree with his ignorance! <<bravo>> Enough said.  Please let me know if you need more info and if I am sending my questions to you in the proper way. <<In the future, do leave the "entire" previous message intact (don't delete the replies) so we can see who responded to you>> I only learned how to e-mail about two weeks ago! <<The age (art?) of technology is upon us...>> Thank you! Gary Wallace <<Happy to assist.  Eric Russell>>

Calcium Reactor Question  - 12/07/06 Good Morning Crew! <Dave> I have a couple of questions regarding my Knop S-IV calcium reactor. The reactor seems to not be circulating the CO2 as well as it should, and therefore not melting the Korallith media. <For browsers this is the CaCO3 media by Knop>   How often should you replace the coarse blue filter pads that are at either end of the reactor? <Don't ever need to be replaced> Here's my situation, I've had my reactor set up for about 10 months now on a tank that was set up at the same time.  Other than 175 Lbs. of live rock in my 150 gal tank, and a few coral frags, I don't have much of a calcium load.  Animals seem fine, but for the first few months I was able to maintain my calcium and alk with a CO2 rate of 30 BPM, and a drip rate of 3 drops every 2 seconds. <With an effluent pH of?> I was using the larger coarse 6 -10mm Korallith reactor media.  My calcium was 390, and my DKH was 9 -10, and my ph was 8.2 - 8.3.  My effluent measured a PH of 6.7 - 6.8, <Ah, I see> DKH of 36 and calcium was 500    <Mmm, okay> After about 4 months I made an adjustment by accidentally to the needle valve, and had to go through the slow readjustment process, but I wasn't able to maintain the same levels as before.  I started off slowly with the same PH and drip rates as before, but the effluent still wasn't strong enough with a DKH of 16 -18 and a calcium of 450, nor was I able to maintain my calcium and alk levels overall.  I seem to deplete about 1-2 DKH/day and 25 or so of calcium per day, and the effluent levels weren't keeping up. <Mmm, four months? You very likely just need to replenish the media... or at least shake/consolidate and add to it> Now, after slowly adjusted the reactor to a drip rate of 5 drops/sec and 120 BPM of CO2 with a PH of 6.6-6.7, and changing the media grain size to medium (3-4mm) am I able to maintain my calcium and alk demand per day, but effluent DKH is still light (about 16-18 DKH), and calcium around 490.  My overall tank levels are 7-8 DKH, ph 8.10 - 8.20, ca 370, and nitrite, nitrate, phosphate = 0, <1, .4.    <This is fine... I would not change a thing here> I see lots of bubbles collecting underneath the blue filter pads in the very bottom and upper middle of the reactor, and there's a large bubble that collects under the lid at the top which seems normal, but don't remember ever seeing bubbles underneath the blue coarse filter pads. <This is most likely due to impurity/ies in your carbon dioxide... Nitrogen, Oxygen... less soluble... look to "higher grade" (more pure) CO2 next re-fill> It seems to me that the reactor isn't circulating the CO2 as well as it should. <It won't with air trapped in it> I've tried rinsing out the filter pads a couple of times, but CO2 still accumulates at the underneath side of the pads. <Not CO@... this gas is very water soluble...>   I've also tried turning the reactor upside down and right side up again the get the bubbles to interact with the media some more, <Good> but this creates a lot of precipitate to be free floating again, which in turn saturates the blue filter pads in the second chamber (CO2 filter).  I've tried just rocking it back and forth to get the bubbles to enter the pump which creates a lot of swirling bubbles in the pump chamber.  Something is amiss, can you suggest anything? <The CO2 purity> Should I try dropping the effluent PH to 6.4? <No, I would not>   Should I replace the blue filter pads or soak them in vinegar? <... you could, but unnecessary... I'd just rinse them off/out vigorously on the occasions you have the unit open> Should I try the fine reactor media? <Mmm, I would stick with, use the 10mm nominal diameter... 1082 call-out if memory serves... I've carried several tons of it about...> I just want to be able to obtain the same effluent levels I had when I first set it up.  I'm also waiting for ph regents so I can calibrate my Pinpoint PH probe just to make sure of my values.   Thank you, -David    <Do ask the gas service if they have other grades of CO2... I do believe this is your principal issue here. Bob Fenner>

Coralline Algae/Alkaline Precipitation/Ca Reactor Tuning - 12/07/06 Hi Eric, <<Hey Ken!>> I hope all is well with you. <<Indeed it is...thank you>> Things have been going well with the tank, but I have a few questions. <<Ok>> The tank is set up 6 weeks now.  The few soft corals and star-polyps look good. <<Excellent>> I did buy a clean-up crew about 10 days ago.  I feel like I should put the snails on the payroll.  In the first two days they cleaned all of the greenish algae I had on the rocks. <<Cool!>> The tank looks good.  My nitrate is less than 1-ppm and phosphate is zero using LaMotte Colorimeter. <<Very good>> The pH is usually 8.10 to 8.20 and ORP has been about 415MV. <<More good news>> I also have gotten more and more pink coralline algae on some of the rocks.  My first question has to do with that in the last couple of days I am getting areas of a burgundy color on the rocks. <<Coralline algae comes in "many" colors>> It looks to be more on the areas that have some of the pinkish coralline. <<Conditions in those locations are likely "optimum" for both species...everything competes for space on the reef>> Also I notice the burgundy color is all of a sudden on a lot of the turbo snails. <<Very common>> Is this just another color coralline? <<Indeed it is>> I am hoping that it is not like red Cyano or something. <<Can usually tell the difference>> I don't see this on most of the rocks and none on sand, powerheads, sand etc.  I tried scraping it off with my fingernail and it does come off somewhat.  It doesn't seem as hard as the pink coralline algae. <<Differences in structure/composition>> I'm not sure if this is coralline or not. <<Likely so>> I would say that I see this burgundy color mostly on places that had pink to begin with pretty much.  My next question has to do with my AGA Mega Flow.  Their isn't really any algae on my rocks or tank, but I do have some thick greenish layers of it in the overflow box only.  Should I leave it their, or manually remove it, or can I put a couple of my turbo snails in there to eat it. <<Can remove or leave, whichever you prefer...I would not put turbo snails in the overflow box (will probably get there sooner or later anyway, but...) as they will get in to the overflow pipes and restrict/block flow>> I thought about snails and overflows but the Durso pipe and the return pipe are sealed unit and nothing could get in there.  What do you think? <<If you have some kind of "screen" on the Durso then this may be fine>> By the way, if I manually remove the algae will anything? <<...?>> I don't want to spread it around the tank?  Also is it possible that this algae is in its own "container" and it can act like a refugium in a way? <<Sure...on a very small scale.  If nothing else, it is removing nutrients...but I'll bet close observation will reveal some tiny crustaceans living there as well>> My last question and most perplexing and bothersome to me has to do with my calcium reactor.  I have an MTC Pro-Cal calcium reactor.  I don't run it all of the time as my tank is only 6 weeks old and there isn't much in the tank to take up the Alk and Ca.  When my alk gets down to 8dKH, I turn on the CO2 and run it at 1 bubble per second and the effluent at .02 ml as per the instructions.  This is their starting point. <<And as good as any>> I will shut of the CO2 once the alk hits 10 or 11 dKH.  My Ca usually is in the 410 to 425 ppm range.  The strange thing is that once I run the Ca reactor for a day or so, I see some of the rock (usually more evident where the coralline algae is) start to get a whitish tone to it.  It does not blow off.  Also, and more importantly, when I take a turkey baster, I can blow off what almost looks like ash. <<Sounds as if you may have some carbonaceous material falling out of solution>> This has happened all three times I ran it. <<You may want to consider experimenting with different reactor media>> I was wondering if it was calcium precipitate, but how could it be? <<Easy enough...the water can only "hold" so much material.  Maximizing alkalinity (11dKH) and calcium (425ppm) over saturates the water with carbonaceous material.  Try test your alkalinity AND calcium after one of these events...likely BOTH have fallen as a result>> All of the parameters are in check.  I am not using limewater or any additive and I do 20% water changes weekly with Reef Crystals. Do you have any ideas? <<The reactor is probably "too large" for the system (right now anyway) and is producing to much alkaline and calcium reserve than the tank can "use."  I would turn to one of the two-part alkalinity/calcium supplements for now.  Based on your future stocking levels/specimens, you may find you don't need the reactor>> By the way, I am using CaribSea Geo Thermal aragonite for the media. <<Mmm, I see...this product is likely soft/more soluble than others...try adjusting the reactor effluent to a pH of about 7.0 the next time you use it and see what results>> I did buy a Kalk stirrer and plan on using it with my dosing pump and float switch for top off water once I have the time to set it up in a few days. <<Proceed with caution here...for now anyway>> I appreciate your help. Regards, Ken <<Always happy to assist.  EricR>>
Re: Coralline Algae/Alkaline Precipitation/Ca Reactor Tuning - 12/07/06
Hey Eric, <<Ken>> Thanks for the reply. <<Welcome>> With regards to the calcium issue, is it possible that my magnesium could be too low? <<Testing would tell...but no, this is not the reason your alkalinity rises so fast when the reactor is operating>> If so, what supplement do you recommend? <<I prefer the Seachem product...though "small and infrequent" adjustments can be made using simple Epsom Salts>> By the way, the person at MTC said that I should switch to Instant Ocean instead of Reef Crystals. <<tomAto-TOMaTO...made/distributed by the same company.  But the Instant Ocean will be fine (is what I use) and will save you a few bucks to boot>> He said why use salt with all of the extra ingredients in it when you are supplementing the tank anyway with a Ca reactor?  What do you think? <<The difference in the mixes is of small consequence here...in my opinion>> Also, I have been doing 20% water change per week. <<Ah...though water changes are the single best function you can perform, you might consider reducing this to every 3-4 weeks to better give this "new" tank time to stabilize/reach a balance between these changes.  Once the tank has "matured" for a year or so, and if stocking levels warrant, you may find you need to "up" the frequency>> Do you think this is too much at a time? <<Too much too often at this stage, yes>> I can tell you that after the water change, the corals close up for a while and my ORP drops quite a bit. <<The salt mix is quite "reactive" and irritates the corals/fish...best to let newly mixed salt mature for a week or two while being aerated/moved around with a powerhead>> All goes back eventually of course. <<But not without exacting a "toll" in energy used/lost>> With regards to a two-part supplement, what do you recommend? <<E.S.V. or C-Balance>> Do I need to use both parts together to make it work? (Sorry for the dumb question). <<Yes...do follow manufacturer's instructions closely>> Lastly, wouldn't the addition of limewater as top off and no further supplementation or Ca reactor work for me at this point as long as I watch the alk and don't let it go over 11 dKH? <<You need to monitor both alkalinity AND calcium...these elements are mutually exclusive at the high end of their ranges, which is why you experience the precipitation events>> I am at 7.5 dKH right now. <<A "tad" low>> Why did you note to proceed with caution? <<You are already having problems with high alkalinity and calcium when running the Ca reactor...utilizing Kalkwasser in conjunction will compound the issue>> By the way, I evaporate approx 4 or 5 quarts per day right now. Thanks again. Regards, Ken <<Cheers mate, EricR>>
R2: Coralline Algae/Alkaline Precipitation/Ca Reactor Tuning - 12/08/06
Hey Eric, <<Ken>> All noted. <<Cool>> You did mention that I had high alkalinity but the testing doesn't bare this out. <<...?>> It was high when I first set up the tank, but has been in the 11-12 dKH range ever since. <<And this is the "high" end of the acceptable range...couple this with calcium levels above 400ppm and you have the "potential" for precipitous events>> I waited until the alkalinity hit 7-8 dKH before turning on the CO2.  I measured morning and night.  The alk never hit 8dKH but I still got the precipitate. <<Mmm...pretty sure you stated in a previous query your alkalinity had reached 11dKH and with calcium at 425ppm>> Something is odd here I think. <<Hmm, maybe...though likely much to do with the newness/instability of the system>> Oh yea and Ca was about 415 ppm. <<Again, on the high end...>> I didn't even have the CO2 running for 24 hours? <<I'm still guessing the reactor needs more tuning/backing-off on bubble/effluent rates>> I am definitely confused.  Good thing that I can rest on the fact that this is a relaxing hobby. :) <<Ha!  Indeed...>> Regards, Ken <<Be chatting, EricR>>
R3: Coralline Algae/Alkaline Precipitation/Ca Reactor Tuning - 12/08/06
Hi Eric, <<Hey Ken>> I did have alkalinity at 11 dKH and calcium at 425 ppm, however the alkalinity was at 8 dKH when I turned on the reactor. <<Understood>> I was just confused at the precipitate in the tank. <<As previously explained...I think (?)>> I also thought that 1 bubble per second and effluent of .02 ml was not a lot. <<Is all relative...may very well be/appears to be too much for "your" system>> I guess I am wrong? <<Just new...and learning...>> Anyway, I ordered a new solenoid as the one I have now I cannot adjust under this amount of 1 bubble per second as it doesn't seem to be too fine. <<Mmm, I see...might have been able to use a simple pinch-clamp on the hose in conjunction with the current solenoid/metering valve>> Also from what the Ca reactor maker said, it should be running all of the time and not off and on. <<Bull...how can the "maker" know what your system's needs are/what's best for your tank?  Only by testing can you/anyone determine if the Ca reactor needs to be fed CO2 on a full-time basis.  To help with pH swings, I have my Ca reactor on a timer that turns off the CO2 when the lights come-on on my vegetable refugium (refugium is on a RDP)>> I will try it at maybe 30 or 40 bubbles per minute and watch the tank and test morning and night for a few days and see what happens. <<Once you reduce the bubble-rate, adjust the effluent until the effluent pH is about 7.0 with the CaribSea media>> If I still have issues, should I use something like ESV two-part or Kalkwasser (watching pH of course) until my tank has more of an alkalinity and calcium demand? <<Try the two-part over the Kalkwasser for now...but honestly...with your current stock list/stocking density, monthly 20% water changes should be quite sufficient for maintaining the tanks earth elements>> Also the Ca reactor maker recommends aragonite for his reactor, is this a good choice? <<It is, most all reactor media is a "form" of aragonite.  Do look in to the larger "European style" (10mm nominal) medias as carried by 'Premium Aquatics' and 'Aquarium Specialty' (the latter is owned by a friend of mine).  Scott at Aquarium Specialty also has a Magnesium granulate that can be added to the CA reactor and may help with maintaining this element as well>> Lastly, I will cut back on my water changes as per the last email. <<For the best I believe>> What percent and how many times a month do you recommend? <<With the tank so new and lightly stocked, I think 25% per month would be just fine>> Thanks, Ken <<Always welcome.  Eric Russell>>
R4: Coralline Algae/Alkaline Precipitation/Ca Reactor Tuning - 12/12/06
Hi Eric, <<Hello Ken>> The tank looks good, but I am still trying to figure out the Ca and alk deal.  I haven't added anything to the tank in a week. <<Good>> My alk was 9 dKH and Ca was about 385 ppm last night. <<Both excellent values>> I changed about 5% water last Friday. <<...thought we agreed to cut back on this and let the tank find its "balance" *grin*>> Right now I guess there is no need to do anything. <<Agreed>> At what reading do you think I need to take action? <<As long as alkalinity stays within 8-12 dKH and Ca between 350-450 ppm; and keeping both from being at the high end of their respective range at the same time, then you need do nothing.  If any adjustments do need to be made then make "small" ones>> I don't want to get involved in that two-part addition additive. <<Ok>> I have the Ca reactor and the Kalk stirrer and I would rather go that route when the time comes. <<Indeed...both are better methodologies.  And you could probably go ahead and use the calcium reactor...with a different (harder) media and "fine tuning" of the reactor effluent>> By the way, I had checked my Mg and it was somewhere between 1230 and 1260.  So this doesn't appear to be low. <<Nope>> You mentioned about a larger media for the Ca reactor.  What would the purpose be for using this over the CaribSea aragonite that I have? <<Slower dissolution...as it appears now, the calcium reactor is overwhelming your system> By the way, I did get myself a better Co2 controller for better control over how much is added.  I will hold off on the reactor until for the present. <<I would try a different media, crank-back the output, and see what happens now>> With regards to the Kalkwasser stirrer, can I dose some amount with my top off water? <<You can...if the system will handle it...>> I have a Liter Meter and it administers is whatever you want to set it at.  It just takes that amount you want to deliver in a 24 hour period and divides it into 150 doses. <<Understood>> That looks to be a dose each 9.6 minutes.  So if I dose as per my evaporation rate of a gallon per day, this would mean it would dose .85 of an ounce every 9.6 minutes.  I could also set with a timer and only have it dose for the 12-hour lights-off period.  I would then tell the Liter Meter that it doses 2-gallons a day so that it can dose the 1-gallon in that 12-hour period that is needed. <<Mmm, better to run 24/7 for better system stability if will be your only means for top-off>> I could also use a timer and have it dose 1/2-gallon in 12-hours with limewater and then does the other 12-hours with just my ro/di water.  What do you think? <<Ah, even better to run/dose separately.  I would set the meter to add the fresh top-off water (minus whatever volume of limewater you decide to dose) throughout a 24-hour period, and then set the limewater to be added during "lights out">> Getting back to my "ash" debris on the rocks.  I had mentioned previously that I noticed this after I ran the Ca reactor. <<Maybe another indicator that the CaribSea media id being dissolved "too fast">> However I have not run it in a week and I still noticed it when I blew off the rocks the last few days. <<Likely the material will not go back in to solution and is resettling...along with detritus in the tank...this is not uncommon/unusual>> Maybe it is not from the CO2 reactor and maybe not calcium precipitate? <<Possibly detritus>> It's hard to describe what it looks like on the rock except debris.  Almost looks like blowing ashes. <<Does sound like "precipitate"...hmm or maybe...you haven't added a flocculent to your system have you?>> It is not powdery like what I get when I use the turkey baster and blow out the holes in the rocks. <<I see>> Could the rock be breaking down at all? <<Doubtful>> The tank itself looks good.  The two tangs and the few soft corals/star-polyps look good.  Phosphate is still zero and nitrate is .15ppm using LaMotte. <<All good>> Thanks and regards, Ken <<I'll wager everything will "settle in/stabilize" with time and less "fiddling" of the system.  Regards, EricR>> R5: Coralline Algae/Alkaline Precipitation/Ca Reactor Tuning - 12/14/06 Hey Eric, <<Hey Ken>> The 5% water change was not planned.  After having the tank set up for 7 weeks, having the powerheads blow all of the initial stuff around etc, my sump was a mess.  The only way to get it out was with putting a tube on the suction side of a powerhead and send the stuff to a bucket. <<Ah...ok>> I ended up going through about 5 gallons of water.  I saw no negative in this at all. <<Agreed>> I will check into the other medias for the Ca reactor but before I do, I want to see if I can adjust the CO2 bubble rate with what I have now. <<A good plan>> The aragonite I am using now has been used successfully for many people, and maybe I just don't have it set right for my tank presently. <<This is my primary suspicion...that the reactor is not "tuned" to your system>> I will wait for the alk and/or Ca to drop and then try the limewater dosing that we discussed (12 hr for ro/di and 12 hr limewater). <<Ok>> You mentioned flocculent.  I'm not sure what this is. <<It is often sold as a "clarifier" to rid the water column of small suspended particles (no place for it in a reef tank in my opinion).  It will "clump" matter together that may resemble the "ash" you mentioned previously>> Note though that I have not added anything to my tank at all. <<Noted>> Thanks and regards, Ken <<Cheers mate, Eric Russell>>
R6: Calcium Reactor Issue - 11/09/06
Hey Eric, <<Hey Ken>> Well I tested ammonia and nitrite last night (48 hours after the water change).  I got .14 ppm on LaMotte Colorimeter.  I also used Fastest and it looked like the color at the lowest (which could be zero too on this kit). <<Go with the LaMotte kit's reading>> Ammonia on LaMotte was zero on Monday night.  Nitrite was 0.792 (after multiplying by 3.3 to convert).  Using Fastest, it was a faint pink color.  It seems to me maybe that the readings are higher than the previous night. <<Maybe so>> Was the cycling thrown back maybe? <<Maybe...marginally>> Does this mean that the rock won't perform as well, or just that things are delayed? <<The rock will be fine/unaffected>> Also to get zero for nitrite, does there have to be perfectly clear in the tube with no tint of color whatsoever? <<Hmm...whatever the instructions for the particular test kit tells you>> With regards to calcium and alk.  I'm sure my calcium can't be too high if my alk is, as I don't think chemically that can happen. <<Um...generally mutually exclusive, agreed...but both can be pushed beyond their limits resulting in a precipitous event as you experienced...best to test>> If I am going to keep mostly LPS and soft corals, (not sure about SPS at this point), is my calcium reactor a waste? <<Not at all...LPS have calcareous skeletons and many soft corals utilize calcareous "spicules" for support>> Am I better off with a Kalkwasser reactor instead? <<Can be useful...but probably not needed for your system as planned right now>> Or is a calcium reactor a benefit period to a reef tank. <<Many times...yes>> Thanks, Ken <<Regards, EricR>>

Equipment list for 500 gallon system   11/26/07 Hello, <Hey Kirk, JustinN with you this fine evening> And thank you for answering my question: <No problems, is what we exist (as a group of like-minded individuals, not as a personal crusade! *grin*) for> For my Xmas present this year, my wife has given me the OK to get a 450 (96x36x30) custom acrylic gallon tank for our new home. <Very nice! Quite an undertaking, and quite a woman for letting it happen. *grin*> The largest tank I have had to this point has been a 125gallon tank. I have been in the saltwater hobby for 8 years, but I must say this is an exciting but seemly overwhelming task. <Can be daunting> I know the choice of filtration, pumps, skimmers and crucial to the success of this project. <Absolutely> With that said, I would like to know what types of skimmers would you recommend for a tank of this size.  I am going to have a mixture of fish (large angelfish, triggers (pink tail or bluethroat), butterfly (copperband), clowns, and possible a Naso tang) and corals (mostly being LFS and a clam or 2).  I am NOT going to keep SPS corals. <Am sure you know this, but still feel I must mention that both the angels and the butterfly run a very high possibility of nipping both corals and clams to death.> Skimmers ------------ The research I have done so far has led me to the following skimmers: H&S Bubble King Deltec Klaes I would like to know if a Euroreef or ASM skimmers are a good choice for this large of a tank.  Whatever skimmer I decide on, it needs to be a well design skimmer AND produces a sufficient amount of skimmate. <I believe any of these would be sufficient. Just to be safe, get a skimmer that is recommended for a tank larger than your overall water volume. That should give you the piece of mind you seek, regardless of manufacturer.> Filtration/Pumps ------------------- I am planning on a closed loop system, and for a pump choice it must be quiet and emit low heat.  I was thinking about Dolphin AMP Master pumps, but some other reefers have mentioned larger Bluelines, but I do not know much about them.  Can you offer any suggestions in this area?  How much water flow (i.e., gph/hr) should I plan for?? <Alas, I have no experience with either pump, but going on what I've heard, I hear nothing but glowing praise for the Blueline line of pumps. Sequence pumps also seem to carry a similar reputation. Sorry I'm not of more assistance here.> Calcium Reactor ------------------ Is this a mandatory piece of equipment with a tank this size? If so, can you suggest some models for me to research. <I would not consider it mandatory, no, but it will simplify and automate that much more of your maintenance. Korallin, Knop and Tunze all make readily available calcium reactors.> Thanks for any advice you can give. Kirk <Well, wish I could say I had more specific recommendations for you, here, but I think you will do fine. Just read as much reviews of equipment as possible on online forums, talk to local reef clubs, and research before you purchase. Do keep us informed on this wonderful sounding project! -JustinN>

Calcium Reactor Issue - 11/05/06 Hi Eric, <<Hey Ken>> I have been looking at my tank the last few days and have noticed the water is hazy and also so was the inside of the glass.  Upon further inspection I notice whitish on live rocks as well. <<Some earth-element precipitated from solution>> My thinking is the calcium reactor. <<Possibly...you also don't "need" to run the reactor at this stage (no abundance of calcifying organisms)>> I have been running it for a week now at the lowest setting in the instructions.  CO2 at one bubble per second and the effluent at .02ml.  My pH has been about 8.15 to 8.20 using a calibrated probe. <<Ok>> I stopped running the CO2 the other day and just let the .02ml pass through.  Do you think this is the reason why I am seeing what I am? <<From running "without" CO2?  No...it is possible the precipitate is a result of mixing the salt in the tank...and not a real concern right now.  But concerning the calcium reactor...I wouldn't waste my CO2 at this stage were this me...but rather wait until the system is cycles and stocked with calcifying organisms>> Should I discontinue everything until I get more in the tank? <<I would discontinue the reactor, yes>> Should I do a water change even though tank is not finished cycling? <<Maybe...have you measured calcium/alkalinity?>> I tested my hardness using Salifert and went through one 1.0 ml titration and had to fill up again. I didn't get a proper reading after the second titration but I would believe that my dKh is somewhere in the 20's. <<Ah, ok...then perhaps a water change "is" best.  Start with 50% and adjust from there to get these readings back to NSW readings...and disconnect the calcium reactor until it is "needed">> Will this white stuff on the rocks hurt anything? <<Not now/with just rock in the system...and should sift down to the substrate eventually (can be "blown off" with a turkey baster/powerhead)>> Will it go away so that the appearance looks better? <<As just stated>> It is not real bad but definitely different than when I put the rock in the tank. Thanks, Ken <<Regards, EricR...off to get things ready for my trip to the Big Island on the morrow!>>
Calcium reactor Issue - 11/05/06
Hi Eric, <<Hey Ken>> Which is the big island? Australia? <<Nope, Australia actually…is a continent...I'm headed to the Big Island of Hawaii>> Thanks for the replies and hope you have a nice trip. <<Welcome and thank you.  I'm leaving in the AM to meet up with Bob for some relaxation/dive adventure...and some more tips from the master himself on underwater photography>> I will do a 50% water change. <<Cool>> Will that hurt the cycling? <<It "may" extend the cycle a bit, but I think it is more important at this point to bring your alkalinity/calcium levels back to NSW levels for the emergent life in/on your live rock and to preclude the possibility of another precipitous event (you've shut down that calcium reactor for now, yes?)>> By the way, does it matter if the hardness is high now since there is only rock in the tank? <<It's not "critical" at this stage unless your calcium level is greatly elevated as well...but probably better to go ahead and perform the change>> Can I/should I wait until after the cycling? <<Could have waited if you hadn't hooked up the calcium reactor so soon <grin> >> Thanks and regards, Ken <<Cheers mate, Eric Russell>>
R2: Calcium Reactor Issue - 11/07/06
Eric, <<Ken>> After I sent you the email I thought of Hawaii. <<Yes indeed!>> Have a good time. <<No worries there...  7am here now...drinking coffee and sitting here with Bob answering queries...hey wait, isn't this supposed to be a vacation?>> I will do the water change. <<Very good>> My water is on the cloudy side now. <<Will settle out/clear up once your water chemistry is back in balance>> Probably worse since I re-did the plumbing. <<I wouldn't be concerned>> Any chance I did harm to the rock? <<Doubtful>> Thanks again and be safe. <<Will do Ken.  Cheers, EricR>> Regards, Ken
R3: Calcium Reactor Issue - 11/08/06
Hey Eric, <<Hiya Ken>> Thanks for the email. <<Always welcome>> I'm glad that you arrived safely. <<Thank you>> I re-did the plumbing (correctly) this time. <<Super>> The tank cannot handle the gph from my pump, so I am using a ball valve on the discharge side of the pump. <<Common and quite acceptable.  This also gives you the ability to increase flow if/when necessary due to the gradual buildup of organic material inside the plumbing>> I did a water change that night (Sunday) about 40 gallons. <<Ah, good>> So probably equal to a 40% water change give or take. <<Very good>> Water was still hazy Monday morning.  I got home last night and the water was clear. <<Yay!>> I did some water tests using LaMotte and got: amm = 0, nitrite NO2 = .0957 ppm, and hardness = 15.68 dKH. <<Still a bit high on the alkalinity, but will probably be fine for now if your calcium level is less than 400ppm>>> This morning the tank looked real good. <<Excellent>> I didn't test for anything yet except for nitrate for the first time.  Using LaMotte I got 7.65 ppm NO3.  I guess I am close the end of the cycling. <<Mmm, hard to say if you're "close to the end" but things are definitely progressing.  Just keep monitoring water quality and don't get in to too much of a rush to begin stocking the system>> Do you think that doing the water change I lost some of the bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrite or it doesn't work like that? <<Opinions will likely vary, but yes, doing partial water changes too early "might" delay/stall a cycle due to sudden dilution of organics/partial die-off of the bacteria colony and subsequent need to "ramp-up" again as the nitrogenous waste builds back up>> Also since I did the water change, how much should I do at the end of the cycle? <<I would try to do another 50%>> Do you think that the rock will "eat" all of the nitrate? <<Indeed...the bacteria colonizing the rock (all the surfaces in the tank, actually) should bring ammonia/nitrite/nitrate all down to zero (wait a day or so after the water change and retest to be sure)>> Also I guess I want to get the hardness down even more from the 15.68. <<Between 8-12 dKH...agreed>> Thanks again. <<Quite welcome>> Be safe. <<Will do>> Regards, Ken <<Be chatting, EricR>>

Calcium and SPS 11/01/06 Hi crew, <Hello> What will best meet the calcium demands in a SPS setup, a Kalk reactor or calcium reactor? Thanks Mohamed <Hands down a calcium reactor.  It is not so much the calcium, but more so the alkalinity.  SPS can have perfect calcium, but without the proper alkalinity levels, they cannot utilize the calcium.  Kalk doesn't raise calcium in a system, but rather maintains it.  Over time, Kalkwasser will begin to drive the alkalinity levels down, thus defeating the purpose.  I'm not saying it can't be done with Kalk, but it is not the best route to go in my opinion.  Cheers! - Dr. J>

Calcium reactor gear  - 10/28/06 Hello to all, I'm in the process of putting together a Ca reactor and I have a few questions about its accompanying equipment.  Is a bubble counter needed or does a flow control valve such as the Dwyer RMA -151 (www.dwyer-inst.com/htdocs/flow/SeriesRMPrice.cfm  and  www.personal.psu.edu/sbj4/aquarium/articles/DIYCalciumReactor.htm) serve the same purpose? <Can... but having both is superior> I like the idea of being able to quantify the amount of CO2 by cubic centimeter rather than by bubbles.   <A visual check is a good second/redundant safeguard> Would a pinch valve on the return effluent instead of a needle valve help to minimize clogging in the return line? <Mmm... better to have an adjustable valve, use of a bit larger pump pressure than needed...> Now for my test kits, I use Salifert across the board, but my DKH test only goes up to 16.  Is it necessary to know what the DKH of the effluent  or is monitoring the  display parameters the main indicator (the answer seems obvious)?   <The latter should be fine. Many folks find monitoring/measuring pH here useful> I have the same question concerning PH, is it necessary to measure the effluent or should the main display take priority? <Oh! Both> I'll get a PH meter if its needed or advisable. Finally, are solenoid's a needed addition for protection against power outages? FWIW - 150gal reef, 25   SPS frags, 1 clam, a few fish, 75 gal sump, 35 gal DSB refuge,   skimmer with ozone, 250lbs of LR. <Mmm... up to you. What is your provision for power loss in all cases? If the effluent is discharged into an intermediate sump... not likely to be as useful/needed. Bob Fenner>

Knop C Calcium Reactor Instructions - 10/26/06 Hello- <<Howdy>> I recently purchased a used Knop C calcium reactor from EBay for my 125 gallon reef aquarium and unfortunately the seller did not have the operation manual.  Try as I might, I cannot find a copy of the manual online and I am extremely frustrated as this is my first calcium reactor and I have almost no idea how to set it up. <<Contact Marine Depot re an instruction manual...they are a U.S. distributor for Knop products and should be able to help you out>> The unit appears to be in great condition and the seller provided all the CO2 tubing and the Eheim pump.  I have a 5lb CO2 bottle and am shopping for a suitable regulator and pH monitor (any suggestions?). <<Marine Depot offers a decent regulator w/solenoid, and either the Pinpoint or Milwaukee pH monitor will serve well>> Can you please provide any information about how to properly install this unit? <<Here's a brief explanation from Jason C. who has considerable experience with the Knop reactors: "Well, let's see... fill it up with media [bet you have that part done]. Fill up the bubble counter 2/3 with fresh water. Attach the C02 line to the bubble counter. Attach the feed and return lines to the reactor - feed goes in the bottom, return/effluent goes out the top. Fill the reactor from the tank - either with a siphon, dedicated pump, or T-fitting from the return pumps. With the effluent valve closed, turn on the pump and allow the reactor to circulate the water for 24 hours or until it clears up - will look like skim milk at first. Then, add C02 at a rate of one bubble every three to five seconds and open the effluent valve and allow to drip back into the system at about two drops per second. Test the effluent and your tank and then test again and again... that's really all there is to it." >> Thank you for any assistance you can give!!!! <<Quite welcome>> -Dennis <<Regards, EricR>>

High Bubble-Rate Calcium Reactor - 10/25/06 Hello all, <<David>> I've searched for a couple of weeks now for someone else having the same issue I am with my Knop S-IV CA reactor. <<Okay>> I have to pump 90 bubbles per minute of C02, and drip 4 drops/sec of effluent @ a PH of 6.8 to reach 10 DKH and 400ppm Calcium in my 150 Gallon tank. <<Hmm, do you have a large amount of calcifying organisms in this tank?   Maybe you need a larger reactor...or maybe just better/new reactor media>> I started off with 30 BPM, and 2 drops/3 seconds and I've slowly tweaked the outputs up to this level over the past few months.   I was using a larger Korallith media, and now I'm using the medium (course) size grain. <<I would suggest you experiment with some other brands/types of media>> I'm not sure if I should be concerned with this amount of CO2 being injected. <<Not if you aren't experiencing a large depression of your pH>> Everything seems to be doing well, and my coralline algae growth is impressive. <<Well then...>> Could I achieve these same results with a higher pH if I went with the smallest of the Korallith media? <<A higher pH in your tank or in the reactor?>> My tank parameters: pH 8.15 - 8.25 Ca 390 - 400 NO3 - <.2 (usually undetectable) P04 - <.2 (usually undetectable) SG - 1.025 Temp - 78 - 80 Nitrite - 0 Ammonia - 0 DKH - 9 -10 <<No problems here with the amount of CO2 you're using>> Circulation: (about 40x - 45x per hour after head loss) Sequence Barracuda - Upper spray bar "manifold" with (6) 3/4 adjustable Loc-line outlets Dolphin 4000/3000 - Lower spray bar through (8) ?-inch PVC outlets Iwaki 40RLXT - Main Return from sump Top-off water: RO/DI with Silicate membrane - circulated and heated for 24 hours before use. 1" Aragonite substrate (sugar size) AquaC EV-180 with Mag 9.5 Magnum 250 with Denitrate - used as needed maybe once a week in the sump Magnum 250 with Phosphate remover - used as needed maybe once a week in the sump ESV granular carbon or Chemipure in the sump changed weekly Rowaphos or Poly-Filter in sump where skimmer returns water, and changed weekly Lighting - Ice Cap HQI Pendants (2) 250-Watt 10K Ushio MH with (3) 95-watt URI Actinics Chiller - Pacific Coast Imports CL650 175-Lbs of Live Rock (Fiji and Tonga) Animals: (Moving slowly) Pincushion Urchin (Lytechinus vaniegatus) 20 hermits, 30 Astrea snails 6 line wrasse Coral Beauty 3 small Acropora frags - doing well 1 med leather - Also doing well, and way far away from frags 3 or 4 mushroom colonies 15% water changes every 2 weeks I know, lots of info for my issue, but thank you in advance. -David <<I don't see anything wrong here other than possibly the reactor is having trouble keeping up with demand.  Do try some different media to see if you can get the bubble rate down...if only to keep from having to refill the cylinder so often.  Regards, EricR>>

Muriatic Acid For Calcium Reactor  - 07/27/06 Hello Crew! <Hi Jerry>    I'm wondering if there is any reason why Muriatic acid could not be used instead of carbon dioxide in a calcium reactor?  Safety aside, is there a chemical reason why this should be avoided? <I'd stay away from using this chemical.  Dangerous just to have in the house as the fumes have a corrosive effect on human/animal tissue, potentially damaging respiratory organs, eyes, skim, intestines, you name it.  Stick with the carbon dioxide.  Incidentally, hydrochloric acid (Muriatic acid) is a by-product of mustard gas, and certainly has no place in the marine aquarium.> Regards, <And to you.  James (Salty Dog)> <<RMF has seen some European Calcium Reactor models that use HCl.> Jerry

- Knop Model C Calcium Reactor 7/24/06 - I was hoping one of the fine members of the WWM crew could help me resolve a problem I am having with my reactor. The instructions on the reactor stated that you could run the reactor from a siphon off of the main tank after much tinkering I could not get this method to work for me. <With larger reactors, this can be a problem as the pressure supplied by the CO2 is enough to work against the siphon.> When I started to add the co2 the reactor would begin to form bubbles at the bottom of the chamber and then eventually run dry. <This sounds more like you're picking up air in the siphon - CO2 almost always accumulates at the top of the reactor.> Bubble rate was around 16 bubbles a min. of co2 and approx.120 drips a min. into sump. If I shut off co2 the reactor would run forever and not run dry even if I opened the drip valve fully. I then tried buying a Rio 800 pump to feed the reactor and was rewarded with the exact same results. Is the 800 still not enough feed pressure for the reactor? <Sounds that way.> Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. <I've always had the best results by T-ing off from the return on the main pump.> I am really looking forward to getting  this thing up and running correctly. Much thanks.  Craig <Cheers, J -- >

- Calcium Reactors 7/2/06 - Hi Jason, <Good morning.> Thinking about a calcium reactor and have targeted the Knop S-IV. <My personal favorite, although perhaps much larger than you need for a 55.> I have a  couple of questions to clarify my thoughts and to properly plan the project. 1) There are several purchase options to bundle required accessories. Is a bottle for CO2 the same as a tank? <Yes.> Pictures of Ca Reactors have tanks e.g., http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcreactors.htm. Or, should I search for a bottle... where might you suggest I find one? <Bottle is really slang for a tank - typically because of the small amount needed (5 to 10 lbs) these small tanks are referred to as bottle as they are tiny compared to their larger cousins, which are clearly tanks. No worries.> 2) I have a 55G tank, LR & aragonite bed with powerheads (2) and skimmer. You often refer to the above mentioned site for clarification of t-connections, or siphon input approaches. I am sorry, I read the FAQ's and just don't get it. What will I need to move the water through the reactor? <Your choice - a siphon OR a dedicated pump OR a T-fitting off the main return pump.> How would I 'T' the input of the skimmer or AquaClear 110? <Ahh, I see... you will likely need to use a dedicated powerhead in the tank to feed the reactor and then drip back into the tank or the AquaClear.> Where would I drip the effluent, directly into the tank does not seem quite right, yet, I am uncertain how this should be optimally placed, e.g., directly below the skimmer or AquaClear 110 overflow or does it matter? <Am I to understand that you're setting up a reef tank with 'just' a AquaClear 110 and a skimmer? I think before you spend the money on a calcium reactor, you should be thinking about more and larger filtration. It is quite possible that you've got the cart before the horse here and could easily get by with two-part additives like B-Ionic until your tank is well stocked and underway.> 3) Can I use the KNOP S-IV for my size tank? <I think perhaps overkill for your system.> 4) Is it still necessary to purchase Co2-proof tubing? <Always.> Will I still need Teflon plumbers tape? <Helps prevent leaks, so why not? It's less than $2 a roll - seems like cheap insurance to me.> P.S. When folks suggest the use of a red light to investigate the night life of the tank, can a red led laser light be used as in a pointer used in presentations?? <Well... these don't light much beyond the point so I'd use an LED flashlight or similar. Cheers, J -- >
- Calcium Reactors, Follow-up 7/5/06 -
J, <Greetings.> I greatly appreciate your help. <My pleasure.> My tank is stocked... several cardinals, pair of clowns, 6-lined wrasse, key hole dwarf, yellow tang, clean-up crew, healthy Ricordea and polyp colony. <That is stocked... you'll need a larger tank eventually with that tang running around in there.> I would like to move towards a reef system. Ca++420, but dKH is 22. I would like to get this closer to 8-12 without daily manual tasks? <Well, at the moment I didn't see anything on your stock list which "needs" such extensive calcium/alkalinity supplements. If you had SPS corals or clams then the calcium reactor would be required, but certainly not a unit as large as the S-IV.> I was also under the impression that the Ca Reactor was the more economical approach in the long run. <In the long run, but a unit that large will be trouble for such a small volume of water.> I do respect your advice, please advise. <Really, until you get into SPS, I'd skip the reactor. If you've got money burning a hole in your pocket, upgrade the 55 to a 90 or so... should be roughly the same space width-wise and more water is always more forgiving.> I was also under the impression LR & active sand bed meet the requirements of filtration. <They meet the needs of one aspect of filtration. The AquaClear will certainly provide mechanical filtration, but not much in terms of turnover. I'd match the unit to the tank - so a 400 or 500.> The purpose for the AquaClear was just to have a mechanism for additional filtration media if indicated (I use the sponge and at times run GAC). I interpreted your comments as my filtration capacity is lacking. <Yes, that is how it seems to me.> Does this require a sump or refugium, or perhaps an additional canister system, or ...? <A sump/refugium under the tank would be ideal. Provide more water volume, better turn over, etc.> Space is a bit of an issue. <As is for most people. Never the less, for the moment it seems to me that calcium and alkalinity are not something to be concerned about. I'd keep them [Ca - dKH] sustained with two-part additives. When you have animals in the tank that act like calcium sponges, then it's time to consider the reactor. Cheers, J -- >

Calcium Reactors/Selection   4/28/06 Hi everyone, <Hello Marc> Hope the weather is good on your side of the world. <Not too bad today.> I am emailing to ask some advice regarding calcium reactors. Firstly in Australia there is a distinct lack of choice with reactors so I am ultimately bound by that limitation (unless I look to the UK - similar voltage to Aus) but the first question I had is what are the major differences and what should I look for when purchasing a calcium reactor (an open ended question I know but some incite would be greatly appreciated)?. They are a relatively expensive initial investment and I would like to get it reasonably right. I have identified two popular brands in Australia and would like any feedback on their performance or any experience you may have had with them. They are the Korallin C1501 (I think it is a 1502 in the US - 110v) and the Aquamedic 1000 unit. <If it were my choice, I'd go with the Korallin C1501.  Have heard good things about them and are easy to work with.  Keep in mind that I'm not saying the Aquamedic isn't a good reactor, just that the Korallin would be my choice.  Do google these if you haven't already and look at the features for each individual model before making your choice.  Do read the posted link here to aid in your decision.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcreactors.htm> Also I would like to pass on that I recently installed a refugium on my reef tank after reading through the many posts on your site and I hope to see some payback in the near future once it establishes itself. <You should be rewarded.> Thanks for the great site and all the best. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Marc

Calcium use on WWM, Acetic Acid/Reactor use   4/26/06 Hi Bob, <Adam> Sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you. I have made a good start on the calcium topic. So far I have edited the main article, top XX faq's and about 10 of the FAQ pages. However, there are still several FAQ's I need to summarize and then I'll need to collate all the information and re-write the top XX faq and/or the main article. <Outstanding... I'm betting you've become quite well-versed on the topic by now> I'm sorry I have not been able to do this any faster. I have just bought a house (we move in this Friday) and work is hectic. I will finish the section as soon as possible. <No worries. All improvements are welcome> I feel that I have learned a lot by reading all the subject material about calcium. However, there is one question that I have not seen asked in any of the FAQ's that I have read. With regards to calcium reactors, is it possible to use vinegar instead of CO2 to dissolve the media? <Is possible to use... is the simplest organic acid, Acetic, CH3COOH... have seen commercial and home-made units utilizing this (and "stronger" and more concentrated inorganic acids... mainly in Europe> And, if not, why? Or...perhaps that should read, vinegar (acetic acid) is an acid that will breakdown the reactor media. Why is it not used? Acetic acid is cheap and readily available. It would be a much easier and cheaper solution compared to bottled CO2 if it was suitable. Cheers, Adam Langman <Likely the "answer" lies in the CO2/Carbonic acid being easier to administer, meter... less of a liability (as in lawsuits)... and the/a "founder effect"... folks staying on a so-called bandwagon of technology due to their being familiar with only it. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Coralife Calcium Reactor - 04/14/06 Good Morning! <<About 11:30 pm now (East Coast Time)...Howdy!>> I have tried searching, but I did not any information on the Calcium Reactor I am looking into. <<Okay>> Does anybody know if the Coral Life <<Coralife>> Calcium reactors are a quality product. <<Mmm, haven't seen one of these "in the flesh", but would expect it to be as expected...a lower cost, lower quality alternative>> I know Protein Skimmer are many times overrated. <<Not sure I understand, or agree, with this statement>> Is this true with Calcium Reactors? <<As in skimmers, pretty much get what you pay for.>> I have a 140 gallon tank.  It only has a few fish - a fire fish, two blue eye Dispar Anthias, and a Pacific blue hippo tang.  They have all been in the tank for a few months.  The tank cycled with 6" DSB and over 100 lbs of live rock for almost a year. <<Excellent!>> I know that is probably a little excessive, but I am taking my time and trying to but quality components as the money allows. <<Not excessive at all...quite the opposite>> I am about to start adding some SPS coral but I thought it would be good to get a Calcium reactor installed and tuned first. <<Not a necessity...but not a bad idea either>> I have a 40 gallon sump/refugium with a AquaC EV180 protein skimmer. <<A quality product>> For lighting I have two 250W metal halide pendants.  As you can see I have invested a significant amount into the tank already. <<Is a function of the hobby me thinks <G> >> I do not mind spending more for a calcium reactor. The Coralife unit looks like it is less expensive then most. <<Indeed...to be fair, I don't have any practical experience with the Coralife unit...but for my money, I would look at a Knop or Precision Marine reactor, or maybe even Korallin>> If it works well and doesn't have any major drawbacks, I figure why not?  Any suggestions would be appreciated. <<Try posting your query on one of the message boards (Reefs.org/Reef Central) and see what folks who own one have to say about it>> Thank You Tracy <<Regards, EricR>>

Ca Reactor Input...Filter The Water? - 04/12/06 Hi Crew, <<Hi Greg>> I really appreciate the time and knowledge you have invested in WetWebMedia so I will *try* to not take much of your time with this question... <<No worries mate...happy to assist>> I have just completed a DIY calcium reactor and, in the process of installing it, I am concerned the possibility of contaminants blocking the input line. <<?>> Anything I put in my refugium end-up swarmed in amphipods, copepods, snails, etc. so I am concerned that many of these will be sucked into the inlet tubing of the Ca reactor. <<Mmm...Why are you feeding the reactor from the refugium?  Why not just tee off a drain line from the tank?>> I had considered wrapping a small piece of filter pad around the inlet line but this would likely just provide a breeding site for copepods. <<More likely it will just become clogged/neglected>> I suspect that none of these life forms would live in the pH-depressed environment within the Ca reactor but I prefer to not have these introduced, only to die, decay and contaminate the reactor. <<Of small concern here...more important to keep the water flowing through the reactor.>> Do you have any suggestions for "filtering" the input to a Ca reactor? <<Can't say I've ever known this to be a concern.  I think anything with a mesh size small enough to do what you want is going to be a maintenance hassle.  And really, I think the fear of introducing "critters" to the reactor is of small matter.  If you can't replumb to feed water directly from the tank, then I would be inclined to just not worry about the pods, et al.  Perhaps I could be more helpful if I had a better idea about your arrangement/how the water is getting to the reactor>> Thank you, in advance, for the advice! --Greg <<Mmm, welcome...such as it was <grin>.  Regards, EricR>>
Ca Reactor Input...Filter The Water? II - 04/13/06
Eric, <<Hello Greg>> Thank you for your response. <<You're welcome>> To explain my situation more fully... I have a 180g aquarium on the main floor of my house, which is plumbed through the floor and into 2 50g refugiums in my basement. <<Ahh...wish I had a basement for such...>> The main tank overflow goes through a DIY 6' tall skimmer before emptying into the top 50g refugium.  All plumbing accessories, such as the calcium reactor are located in the basement to minimize opportunities for leaks on the upper floor. <<Understood>> This is why the calcium reactor is taking input water from the refugium. <<You could still "tap" in to the line feeding the skimmer and run a small (1/4") line to the reactor without affecting the skimmers performance>> The effluent from the Ca reactor drips into an overflow box internal to the bottom refugium.  A pump sits inside this overflow box and powers a second skimmer (Red Sea Berlin) to remove any accumulated surface organics (and to remove the remaining dissolved CO2). <<Neat!>> I suppose I could tee off the main skimmer output, the main return line or the line that powers the refugium skimmer but I have found the 'pods to be present in every part of the tank and plumbing. <<"Agreed" on the presence of the "pods"...but many hobbyists, including myself, don't give them a second thought when it comes to rigging the feed lines to our reactors.  But saying that...feeding the reactor from your drain line (before the skimmer) will give you the "least" chance of introducing these critters to the reactor>> Since the Ca reactor's circulation pump also provides enough suction to draw in water, I had planned to simply drop the reactor input line in the bottom refugium for source water as I did not want to put undue stress (pressure) in the reactor by using a main return line. <<Don't use a return line (though "pressure" from this is of little concern), use the drain line to "gravity feed" the reactor>> If you have never heard of 'pods clogging a Ca reactor I guess I will just leave the setup as-is and continue to check the flow daily. <<Indeed...more likely to clog from compaction of the media as it softens/crumples/depletes>> Occasionally my work requires that I travel for 1-2 weeks so I have tried to design my system to be as automated and as robust as possible, since it always seems that, if there is going to be a failure, it will happen when I am away. <<Mmm, know what you mean...been there...done that...seen the video...  Best to have someone at least "check up" on the system every 2-3 days>> It just seemed that, considering the large amount of 'pods I find on anything that is stationary in my tank, they could represent a potential "clogging hazard". <<Of small concern here my friend>> Thanks again for your input! Greg <<Always welcome, EricR>>

Mainly sulfur/sulfuric-based calcium reactors   4/10/06 Hello Bob - I hope that you are well. <Yes Tim, thank you> I am sorry to be asking you a question, but hope that you will not mind! <Not at all> I am considering purchasing three 'miniature reactors' - http://www.reefworks.co.uk/default.asp?section=197 I would be using one with Rowaphos. <Look like nice, though small units> The second I wanted to use as a sulphur denitrator with the output going into the third reactor that I would fill will calcium reactor media or aragonite. The thought process was that the sulphuric acid from the sulphur denitrator would dissolve the calcium / aragonite thereby improving calcium levels in the aquarium, whilst at the same time avoiding the pH problems associated with a sulphur denitrator. <Have seen some makes, models as well as home-made units of these> I have no experience whatsoever in terms of using reactors and I was wondering what your view was on this - would it work? Would it be a good idea? Thanks Bob! <Can be made to work, though H2SO4 in the publics hands and fish tanks makes me very wary > I am currently revising for my university final exams so therefore the limited input - but I have been trying to answer at least the occasional email! Have a great day and again, thank you ever so much for your help! All the best, Tim <For the meanwhile, I encourage you to use a calcium reactor based on CO2 technology... much safer and still very effective... Bob Fenner>

Knop contact  - 03/14/2005 I was advised to ask you this question.  I have a Knop HD calcium reactor but I need to replace a broken piece.  Do you have any contact info for Knop to order this. Brad <Mmm, my wife, Diana used to distribute Knop... I will cc her here with your request... Otherwise, Marine Depot/Bayside is now their contact in the U.S. Bob Fenner>

Makeup Water & Calcium Reactor Media using Magnum HOT 250   3/3/06 Bob & Colleagues, Ditto on the kudos to the great web site and fantastic reference books. <Ditto welcome> I have an eight month old 120 gal reef aquarium with a 20 gal refugium. I have been using SeaChem products <Good products, company, folks> to maintain proper calcium and carbonate alkalinity levels. My system loses approximately one gallon of water to evaporation per day. I use RO/DI water for this makeup water. After aeration, the RO/DI water has a pH of 7.0. <Yep> Eventually I plan on adding a calcium reactor to my system. However, in the interim, I am considering an experiment. I plan on using a seven gallon bucket for makeup water preparation. I plan on running (24/7) a Marineland Magnum 250 H.O.T. filter filled with CaribSea A.R.M. Aragonite Reactor Media for the makeup water preparation. On a daily basis I would transfer one gallon to my system and replace it with one gallon of raw RO/DI water. I hope that this will reduce the SeaChem supplements that I need to use without any significant risk to the chemistry of my system. <Should> Since I already own the Magnum filter, there will be virtually no expense in this experiment. Would you please share any thoughts that you might have on my planned experiment with me? Could there be a negative impact? Thank you for your time, J.B. White Austin, TX <I think this is an excellent idea... worth the time/trial. I would further encourage you to try other media with testing. Bob Fenner>

Calcium Reactor and pH Controller  - 02/25/06 I purchased the Knop S IV and am curious how to set it up. I also purchased American Marine Inc. pH controller. I see the pH probe hole on the top of the Knop S IV, I was under the impression you used the pH probe and controller to check the pH of the tank water and that adjusted the flow of co2 into the Knop reactor. <Yes> But now I seem to be reading that you use pH controller to monitor the pH inside the Knop reactor or at least the effluent output, to keep it between 6.0 and 6.5. Is this correct? <Mmm, no... at least this is not what I would do... and I would not utilize such a low effluent pH. Somewhere around 6.8 is preferable IMO/E> Also, does the larger media in the second small chamber on the S IV ever need replacing? <Mmm, yes, possibly> If so, how do I replace it as I don't see a way to get it open as it appears glued together. <Need to replace the unit... over the long haul though> Hyperlink to my pH controller: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=12795&N=20 04+113458 and Knop Reactor http://www.marinedepot.com/aquarium_calcium_reactors_knop.asp?CartId= <My wife, Diana, was the distributor of Knop Products in North America for a few years, and I did help with "tech. support". Now, I would call, write the folks at Marine Depot re. Bob Fenner>
Re: Calcium Reactor and pH Controller  - 02/25/06
Thank You Bob, I got a response from American Marine Inc, and they stressed that sense this is an alkalinity reactor (in reality...) <... okay> that it was more important to monitor the pH inside the Knop S IV reactor as, "too low would turn the Korallith to pudding, <... no... not possible. The KH of this source of calcium carbonate and carbonic acid...> and too high a pH would do nothing".  I have elected to go with an AquaMedic Kalkreactor with an auto top off and doser pump for the night time.  And got a second pH monitor only (not a controller this time) and Salifert Calcium and KH tests to keep track of things inside the tank (along with the Knop effluent).  Trying to do things right this time =;) <Real good. Bob Fenner>

Calcium Reactor/Media   2/23/06 Bob, <James with you today.> what is the best calcium reactor media to used and were can I find it.  I hope you are well. <Ralph, I've always thought Knop Korallith Media was one of the best products in this regard.  Can be ordered from www.drsfostersmith.com.  James (Salty Dog)> Ralph Gibson

DIY calcium reactor   2/9/06 Hi Bob,   Love ya love your site.      I have a question about the DIY calcium reactor. Do you just use regular vinyl tube?   I see this CO2 "safe" tubing now.       http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewItem.asp?idproduct=CO1515      Do you really need this? It is sort of expensive.      Thanks,   Ed <You can use such vinyl tubing (better the stuff made for carbon dioxide supply), but it will "stiffen" and have to be replaced more often. Perhaps every year or two. Bob Fenner>

Instructions on Knop c calcium reactor  01/01/2006 I was trying to find instructions on the Knop c calcium reactor and came upon your site, I did a quick  search of your site and even saw where someone asked the same question, your response said that it was in the attachment, I'm assuming it was in an attachment to the persons email?  I cant seem to find instructions on your site.  Could you email them to me? <Bob, we don't keep instructions for any accessories etc.  Your best bet is to contact Knop and ask them to email them to you.  James (Salty Dog)> thanks in advance Bob <You might try MarineDepot.com, the newest Knop distributor in the U.S. RMF>

Calcium Reactors/Kalkwasser Reactors Hey Crew, <Ron> Happy Holidays! <And to you and yours> My 50 Gallon SPS reef tank is doing well.  I dose B Ionic 2 part DAILY!!  I drip ESV Kalk nightly for evaporated water... This has been becoming difficult, as I am a touring musician. <Yikes... perhaps a controller, automated dosing gear...> Should I get a reactor or Kalk reactor on such a small reef tank, or can you suggest other options so as to minimize the daily maintenance to the system??? <The best would be a simple reactor... a small Knop unit would be my first choice, but a local hobbyist/marine club may have an upcoming workshop where you could fashion your own> Thanks for your time. Also, SPS doing ok, but growing slowly. I understand many factors are involved.  Besides water motion/quality, lighting, what else helps?? <Many other factors...> Feeding? <Of a certainty, yes> if I feed,, I get phosphates and brown stuff on the sand.  My Phosphates are generally around .03-.04... Thanks! Jennifer NYC <Do try the feeding, extending your light period, vitamin and iodine/ide additions. Bob Fenner>
Re: Calcium Reactors/Kalkwasser Reactors
Hey Bob!! <Jenn> You rock, by the way! Which vitamins do you suggest.  I dose Lugol's weekly.  Should I dose   ESV Iodide as well?  Lugol's is Iodine. <Lugol's has both iodine and iodide... is fine for this element, the other... vitamins, HUFAs... can be supplied via Selcon, Microvit...> Should I feed Zoo or Phyto, always get mixed response here... <I would try both... see if they make any difference> Thanks a bunch. Jenn <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Depressed pH? - 11/29/05 Hello again, <Hello Aaron. John here.> I've been trying to read up on all the information you make available to us, it's difficult not to feel inundated, and perhaps a bit dense, I apologize for constantly asking questions,  <No worries>  and thank you so much for all the wonderful information. I've written many times before, but I'll include my technical spec.s just the same, again thank you. I have a 180 gallon reef setup, 40 gallon refugium, 20 gallon LifeReef sump and skimmer, 2x400 watt 15k metal halides 1x250 20k HQI, 2x140 watt VHO super actinics. Over the refugium I have a 150 watt HQI and 2x65 watt PC actinics. <I assume you are or have looked into lighting your refugium on a reverse photoperiod?> 2 little giant pumps, one for the skimmer, one goes to a manifold that is in turned tee'd between 2 returns and the chemical filtration chambers. Additional circulation is provided by 4 Tunze 6000's and a multi-controller. I run 2.5 cups of carbon changed weekly and utilize a phosphate reductor with RowaPhos continuously. I use a Korallin Calcium reactor, the small one, and a Tunze Osmolator coupled with a calcium dispenser/Nielsen reactor. There's a total of about 300 lbs of Tonga live rock, 250 lbs of live aragonite sand over a plenum. It's a mixed reef, with mostly stony corals. SG is 1.024, Ammonia is 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate is less that 1 ppm? dunno pink is pink!  <Excellent> I use an Aquacontroller to monitor pH, temp and ORP. PH is running a bit flat, 8.0 to 8.2, morning and evening respectively, ORP is 410 to 397, morning and evening respectively, I don't use ozone.  <Sounds very healthy> Alk hangs at around 8 dKh. I do not detect phosphates, not sure if that is accurate. Calcium hangs at 410. I do 30 gallon water changes weekly. I have decent stony coral growth, depending on the species, I've crashed a few wild colonies, and learned not to purchase them- albeit a bit late, my aquacultured specimens do very well. I keep reading that my PH is too low, and I spoke with a very nice gentleman at my local LFS store that said I really don't have anything to worry about. Is that true?  <Your pH is almost perfect. I would agree with your LFS. Additionally, if your corals are all doing fine and growing healthily, then you have nothing to worry about, do you?> I've read in Reefkeeping Magazine that while running a Calcium reactor, you may experience low pH.  <Yes> To counter this, or so I thought, I've been utilizing a Nilsen reactor. The gentleman at my LFS said that I should probably not use both, is this accurate?.  <No, they can both be utilized concurrently. A good way to counteract the depressed pH from the calcium reactor.> If I stop using the Calcium reactor, my Alkalinity drops, but only slightly, while my calcium goes up. If I stop using the Nielsen reactor, my alkalinity goes up, my calcium goes down, and my ph is slightly suppressed, but never goes below 8.0 in the morning before the lights come on. If I use the Nielson reactor during the day, my pH stays at around 8.3, but then drops at night back to 8.1 or so.  <as is normal. Very good parameters> If I only use the Nielsen reactor at night, my ph hovers at around 8.1-8.2 during a 24 hour period. Opening a window, and aerating the sump had no effect. I use the Nielsen reactor for top off water, which is becoming minimal during the winter- the tanks been running for 11 months, still new I know. So my question, thank you for bearing with me. 1) Should I allow evaporation during the day and use the Nielsen reactor at night only? <I wouldn't> 2) Should I take the Neilson reactor off, and just add buffered RO/DI water? <no reason to> 3) Is my current pH dangerous to stony corals? Should I try to raise it? <No... and as you said yourself, they are growing and doing fine.> 4) If I try to raise it, should I turn down/off the calcium reactor? Seems to be the only way. <If you're really concerned, you could try turning the CO2 input to the calcium reactor off at night. You may have to increase the throughput during the day to make up for it. Additionally, you could run the calcium reactor effluent into a turbulent area (such as your skimmer) to help off-gas the CO2.> 5) Should I raise my alkalinity in hopes that it will better buffer the solution, perhaps discontinue using Kalk altogether as the gentleman at the LFS stated, or perhaps a more mild solution/effluent. <I prefer to keep a slightly higher alkalinity, but again, if it ain't broke...> 6) Are the two devices, the calcium reactor and Nielsen reactor somehow working against each other? <It doesn't look like it. Do you get a lot of alk / calcium precipitating out of solution onto flat surfaces (powerheads, etc)?> I really don't want to change anything if I don't have to, and I'm pretty much just guessing as to what will happen if I remove one or the other, but I'm guessing removing the Nilsen reactor will cause my ph to remain pretty low, how then, is it possible to maintain the kinds of numbers that I see so often in marine aquaria, i.e.: Calcium 450ppm, 11dkh ph 8.3-8.4? Should I be shooting for these numbers?  I just don't see how, my Kalk solution has an Alkalinity of 8 dKh, ph is 12+ and calcium is off the scale. My calcium reactor effluent has an Alkalinity off the scale and Calcium off the scale, and yet if I use both, my Alk stays between 8-9.2 dKh, calcium stays at 410-420 and pH is always 8.0-8.26. My wife says I should just tape 100 dollar bills to the outside glass of the tank, it would be cheaper, and more of a conversation piece at this point.  <No, you should tape the bills to the outside of *my* tank :P> Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated, I don't want to make any more mistakes than I already have, and I'm hesitant about changing anything when everything seems ok, but am I looking at problems in the long run? <Your system sounds very fine to me. I would not change anything. Best regards, John> Thanks and Sorry this is so long,  Aaron  

Knop reactor 10/18/05 Hello crew, <Harold> I just wanted to ask your advice with setting my Knop C reactor on my 70 gallon reef. I measured the effluent and it reads a CA level of 230,  <? Too low> while a DKH or 21. pH is at 6.34. I have been tinkering with effluent drops and CO2 bubbles but can get the effluent to read a higher CA. I know a reactor is the way to go, but when I used Kalkwasser my C levels were always at around 370. I know I must be doing something wrong.   <Yes> After reading your FAQs, I have lowered drip to about 3 drops every two seconds and CO2 about 60 per minute. <This isn't the trouble> Any advice would be greatly appreciate it. Oh, I am using fresh Korallith as media. <... my first guess was that "it" was the media... What does your test kit read on your main tank? It may be a reaction that is mal-affected by the low pH... I'd take a sample of the effluent and shake it, leave it exposed to the air (to rid it of the excess CO2) and see if the calcium level doesn't "come up". Bob Fenner> 
Re: Knop reactor  10/19/05
Dear Bob, <Harold> Thank you very much for your response. <Welcome> I tried what you said and after 5 minutes the CA on the effluent measured 300, although to be honest  I don't know what I should now do with that information. <Mmm, understand that there is more free calcium than you had thought... that there may be more still> I had replaced the Korallith media about two weeks ago, so I don't know if the media could be the culprit, or maybe I should try CaribSea? <The Knop media is a superior product here> Do you have any ideas or suggestions as to what I can do to improve the operation of the reactor? Thanks, Harold Chamberlain <Yes... these are posted on WWM...: http://wetwebmedia.com/calcreactors.htm and the linked FAQs files above. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Calcium Reactor Building Pressure? - 11/22/05 Hi great site guys I could read for two days straight!!!! <<Don't stop now!...>> I am in the process of setting up a Precision Marine calcium reactor. <<A nice piece of engineering...I have the 622.>> I am in the process of setting up and getting the bubble-rate and effluent rate correct. My question is... I am using an Aqualifter pump to feed the calcium reactor from my sump. <<ok>> If I am pumping in that much water with the lifter and only letting the effluent drip back to the sump at a rate of 40 drops per minute... Will that create to much pressure in the calcium reactor from the lifter putting in more than I am letting back in the sump? <<The pump is not that powerful...nothing to fear here, other than maybe shortening the life of the pump from excessive back pressure.>> I do not want it to bust anything or pop off a hose connection anywhere. <<Put your finger over the pump outlet...I think you'll see just how little "real" pressure this pump develops.>> I know that it is not much water coming in from the lifter but thought that maybe over time the pressure could build from not that much effluent coming out. <<No worries mate, what little pressure there might be maxes (is this a word?) <<Not officially, but it's been in use so long... MH>> out very quickly and will not continue to "build" from that little flapper pump.>> Or does the back pressure coming from the reactor only let enough water get in from the Aqualifter. <<Now you're getting it. <G> >> Thanks so much!!!! <<A pleasure, EricR>> Oxygen... Calcium Reactor? 10/13/05 Hi guys, I just hooked up a Schuran Jetstream 1 Calcium reactor.  <Oooohhhh... Fancy!> I haven't got it dialed in just right, but I can see I am going to have to do something about the residual CO2.. The PH is fine until the lights go out, then it drops like a rock.. I had the PH controller turning on the CO2 when the PH in the tank was 8.10.. That apparently isn't high enough, as the PH was dropping to 7.70 during the night.. I have since reset the CO2 to come on and go off at 8.20 so I will see how it goes. <Residual CO2 is rarely a problem in tanks that have adequate water movement and a decent skimmer. Your problem may be a result of trying to control the CO2 flow to the reactor based on the tank pH. Since changes in the tank pH will lag behind changes in the reactor, CO2 laden reactor effluent will continue to flow into the tank for a while after the controller shuts off the gas.  Also, it takes a huge amount of CO2 to change the tank pH, while it takes a very small amount to change the reactor chamber pH. I would suggest setting up the controller to measure the effluent from the calcium reactor and maintaining an effluent pH in the range of 6.5-7.0 This will temper the swings you are seeing now. After you get a stable effluent pH, measure the alkalinity and make sure it is at least 15-20 dKH. If the alk is lower than that, adjust the pH down a bit.> Meanwhile, I have been brainstorming.. I was first thinking of getting a Precision Marine Effluent canister to make it a dual stage Calcium Reactor.. With a little pondering with that idea and some people stating that the ph of the effluent coming out of a dual stage is still below 8.00 closer to 7.60.. So then I started thinking of putting an air stone in the bottom of the PM effluent canister.. That sounds like a good idea, but then I had a really really good or bad idea.. Here it is.. I could get a Schuran Pico calcium reactor hook it up in series after the JetStream 1 and instead of bubbling CO2 into it, I could bubble Oxygen.. I could get another PH controller and have the effluent getting to my tank at 8.20.. What do you guys think? Thanks, Tommy  <Well, first of all I think that I wish I had your equipment budget! Bubbling oxygen would have no advantage over bubbling air. There is so little CO2 in the air that each would work equally well to scrub out CO2. Also, aerating the effluent aggressively and raising the pH would cause the dissolved minerals to precipitate, therefore eliminating the benefit of the reactor.  I really do think your problem will be solved by controlling the reactor based on effluent pH rather than tank pH. If you continue to have problems after this change, then I would consider if you have adequate water movement and gas exchange in the tank. Also, if you live in a very new house, some are built so tight that CO2 can actually accumulate in the house! You can verify this by aerating a sample of water for several hours INdoors. Measure the pH. Aerate the same sample for several hours OUTdoors and measure the pH again. If there is a change of more than about 0.2 pH units, you need to get some fresh air into the room where your tank is. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Oh Jeez, It's "Him" Again - Oxygen reactor?? 10/15/05 Hi guys, it's me again. I have an AquaMedic Ph controller monitoring the PH inside the JetStream.. I also have my Aquacontroller Monitoring the PH in the tank. If the tank PH falls below 8.20 the Aquacontroller shuts off the AquaMedic PH Controller which shuts off the CO2. <Mmm, the pH shut-off setting needs to be lower> I have the drip rate into my sump pretty low. I also have the CO2 bubble count as low as I can. I have a Euro-Reef skimmer running 24-7, 2 Tunze Stream pumps 24-7.  I have a Mag-12 circulating through the sump. If the excess CO2 is as easy to blow off as you say it is, then why does my ph drop like a rock when the 20k 250w HQI's go off? <Mmm, the "countervailing" effects of photosynthesis... think about the "light reaction"... when the algae are "really going" they are taking up a bunch of the available CO2... which if not would be going, staying in solution (longer) as carbonic acid... lowering pH... Understanzee?> Within 3 hours the tank ph is somewhere around 7.90. At 2am it's at 7.73.. I just tested everything before I hooked up the CR. Also these are the readings before I did a 20% water change.. Any idea's on why my ph swings so much? <... the carbon dioxide you're feeding it... likely your best solution here is to incorporate a timer to shut off this feed during the "dark hours"> ALK total: 2.5 meq/L or was it mg/L.. Seachem Reef status. ALK: 80 PPM.. MOTT test kit.. MAG: 1250 meq/L.. Seachem Reef status test kit. CAL: 420 MG/L.. I can't keep these meq's and MG's straight.. What is MEQ? <Milliequivalents (per liter)... a measure of relative concentration... please see a H.S. level chemistry text, the Net> Salifert test kit.. Cal: 299.28 PPM.. MOTT test kit Thanks, Tommy <You've got the fancy toys, test gear... just need a bit of useful knowledge to go with... Bob Fenner> 
Re: Oxygen reactor?? 10/15/05
PS. So you think the 2nd chamber with an air stone, or the 2nd reactor just circulating air "no Bubbling Oxygen" would Precipitate the Ca? <... not likely much. But... of what use, what would you be trying to accomplish by this? Bob Fenner>
Re: Oxygen reactor?? 10/15/05
My thoughts on the 2nd chamber is to raise the effluent from the Ca Reactor to a higher PH before I drip it into the sump by blowing off the excess CO2.. <Ooohh, I see> I am on a quest to keep the PH above 8.00 at night.. I think Making sure the CR is not just polluting the water with excess CO2 is a good start.. I have been reading about the problem with CO2 buildup in houses that limit CO2 exchange.. <Yes, happens... carbon dioxide is much more water soluble than most gasses> I am going to try Plumbing an air pump outside and pumping air into the skimmer.. If that doesn't help maybe my skimmer isn't big enough.. it's a Euro-Reef CS6-1 rated for 80 gal, and I have a 72gal tank.. Thanks, Tommy <Thank you, Bob Fenner> 

Aqua-Medic Reactor  10/4/05 Note: forwarded message attached. oh and one more thing, the instructions for this reactor are horrible, any chance of a kick in the right direction for output water and bubble count .. the aquarium is as follows 300L 2 perc clowns, 1 blenny, one dotty back, and one pigmy angel, with half a dozen assorted soft corals.. all rather hardy might I add.. All I am after is some figures to look for and what and where I should set my controller to and in what location.. hope this makes sense, as I am in a great hurry and am about to get killed for being late :) <Garth, I suggest contacting AquaMedic direct at this link. http://www.aqua-medic.com/ James (Salty Dog)> Garth

Re: ph probe placement - calcium reactor  10/5/05 Heya guys, directly below I have attached my question and reply that I sent to AquaMedic and sorry about the confusion, but below that again, is my original question answered by James. I hardly think it is a no brainer. Possibly for the initiated, but there are not that many of them asking questions, as far as I am aware that is the whole point of this site, to learn.. Anywho... is there any chance you could please explain a little further as to why is it better to be controlling the ph in the tank (AquaMedic recommended testing the PH out of the reactor.. so now I am totally confused), I am assuming this will indirectly control the ph in the calcium reactor (hopefully at around 6.5?) I am just a little confused about the whole subject, and now I have received all my bits, I am a little hesitant to actually get it up and running w/o actually know what to expect and how to go about it. <Garth, just to square things up, the "no brainer" was not intended to intimidate you in any way. Lets try this.  Calcium reactors help automate calcium supplements to the tank.  They are generally used in larger systems/aquariums.  The components as you know are a calcium reactor, circulation pump, CO2 delivery system, calcium media and a ph controller.  CO2 is injected into the reactor chamber filled with the calcium media.  The CO2 creates an acidic reaction that slowly dissolves the media.  This dissolved calcium is then mixed with saltwater and the solution is slowly dripped into the main aquarium.  Now, in my mind, to effectively and accurately do this we need to monitor actual ph of the tank, so.....in my opinion and if I were doing it, I'd want the probe in the sump or tank.  Ph changes here will be relatively small as compared to placing a probe in a glass or whatever.  I really cannot comment on this anymore than what I have written above.  I hope this clarifies the problem you are having.  Good luck.  James (Salty Dog)> thanks, Garth REPLY FROM AQUAMEDIC: The latter would be the way to go. Your unit will not function very well with the probe in the tank. Cheers Mike > Hello > I have recently purchased your AquaMedic calcium reactor 400 and  AquaMedic regulator valve. > my tank is 250L - reef. I also have a c02 controller with solenoid valve, but I am unable to place the electrode inside the reactor, due to it being a > different size, fitting etc. would I be better off > putting the probe in the main display tank and have the controller set to 8.3.. or is it more advisable to have the reactor output flow into a small container with the probe in it and have the controller set to 6.3 or similar? > Thank you very much > Garth REPLY FROM WWMCrew Ph controller placement Hello again, thank you for the link, please see below regarding placement of ph probe, I have asked AquaMedic about setting up, but they will not comment on probe placement due to it not being their brand (sera).. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as to have it measuring the effluent PH or reading the tank PH.. pros and cons, cause this has me stumped. <Garth, its actually a no brainer.  You would want to measure actual tank ph and control the reactor to give you the ph selected, so therefore, place it in the sump to constantly monitor tank ph. In future queries please do a spelling/grammar check before sending as it takes more of our time to correct these before being placed in the FAQ's. James (Salty Dog)> thanks in advance, Garth Heya guys.. first and foremost.. what a great site.. I owe a great deal of thanks to you guys and gals, info from aquarium shops in Australia is some what to be desired.. and very much 'made up' in most cases. Your info and advise is worth its weight in gold! Now on to the serious stuff... I have recently purchased an AquaMedic calcium reactor (the price was way to good to go past, even if it is not 'the best') AquaMedic regulator, and today I have ordered a sera PH controller (price.. it was half the price of all the other brands + the unit incorporates a solenoid valve within the controller).. now my question.. where should I place the ph probe itself? Should I make a small container and have the water out fill this up and then have it spill into the sump and have it testing the water in the small container (and obviously have it set to 6.5 or similar), or should I just plunk it in the sump and set it to 8.2 or similar.. also have you had any experience with these products mentioned.. reactor, reg.s, controller? Thanks very much for your quick replies as always.. Garth
Re: pH probe placement - calcium reactor  10/5/05
Thank you James, I too am glad we cleared it up, as there is a high possibility I may have take it incorrectly due to stressing out with the initial set up and what not.. Thanks again, and have a good day <Believe me, I know what stress is.  Garth, PLEASE, in the future do cap your "i's" and the first letter of a new sentence.  I really don't have time to keep correcting grammar.  Thank you.  James (Salty Dog)> Garth

Calcium Reactor Problem  9/23/05 Hi, first of all, great site. I have a question for you concerning my calcium reactor.  First, I'll give you some system background (it probably isn't pertinent to my question but I figure the more info the better).  I have a 50-gallon reef tank with a 40-gallon sump/refugium.  The sump has a sand bed about 5.5" deep and the display has a 3" sand bed. There are about 50 pounds of live rock in the display and about 50 more in the sump.  For lighting I have two 175 watt 10,000K Ushio MHs and two 65 watt actinic PCs.  My skimmer is a Euro reef CS6-2.  My problem is that the effluent of my calcium reactor is essentially my aquarium water unchanged.  E.g.: Tank water: KH in dKH: 6.8 Ca: 425 Effluent from reactor: KH: 7.2 Ca: 430 I use an aqua controller to control the pH of the effluent. I have it set to turn the CO2 on when pH>6.90 and turn off when pH < 6.75.  The bubble rate for the CO2, when on, is 22 bubbles per minute.  The effluent flow rate is 2.4 drops per second.   The media I use is CaribSea A.R.M.  The container says to set the effluent pH to 7.5.  I bought the reactor media a very long time ago (about 2 or 3 years ago), is it possible that this is the problem?  The media doesn't appear any different than new media.   I thought that perhaps the Eheim pump that circulates water in the reactor was broken but it isn't, I can see the media occasionally get blown around a little in the clear chamber of the Knop.    Any help will be greatly appreciated.  Thank you.  Tom  <Tom, contact www.drsfostersmith.com  They sell the Knop reactors and I'm sure they would provide you with the Knop web address.  That way you can talk to the horse himself.  James (Salty Dog)> <<Mmm, I'd send the folks to the current distributor of Knop in the U.S.... Marine Depot (.com). RMF>>

Knop S-IV reactor  09/13/2005 Hi there, I just bought a used KNOP S-IV calc reactor and it didn't come with instructions.  Can you please provide as I can't find their company website with instructions listed?  Thank you <Marlin, I suggest you email Drs Foster & Smith.  They handle the Knop reactors and I'm sure they can help you.  We don't have instructions for products.  James (Salty Dog)> <<Actually, Marine Depot/Bayside Aquatics is the current master distributor in the U.S. RMF>> Marlin

Calcium reactor headache <<James and RMF>> 9/12/05 There are so many advertisements and claims that this is good or better than other, that i lost. Confused, cannot trust anyone. <<... trust yourself>> My concerns: 1) some say CR are pressurized units therefore need to use thick molded acrylic (5mm) not the advertising acrylics (3mm) <<Nah, or at least not much... these chambers are only a few ounces per square inch higher in pressure, maximum> 2) some say more media is better, wider footprint, slow pump better others say less media stronger pump will do the trick <<Mmmm, all have to be "matched"... flow rate, amount/concentration of CO2, media type, size, solubility... practically speaking, you can't have too much media...>> 3) other like 2nd chamber.....etc <<Not necessary if one, single chamber is "large enough"...>> Could someone show me the light in the tunnel. Information overwhelm My tank 5ft (210gallons, mixed community) current tank parameters is 300mg - 360mg Ca. KH 8, PH 8. BTW i love branching coralline algae and have read the new book (Reef Invertebrates) by Anthony and Bob Fenner. <<Me too>> Have increase alkalinity due to low KH. <Steven, search "calcium reactors" on the WWM and see if the info there helps you. James (Salty Dog)> <<Cheers, BobF>> Calcium Reactor Flow - 09/10/05 Hi, <<Hello>> I read that I can connect the solenoid of my calcium reactor to a light timer.  Is this ok? <<Yep...is what I do.>> If yes, I was also wondering if I could hook both pumps to the reactor to the timer and not have any problems?  Save on some electric.  I figured because it is not reacting with the medium it would not need to be circulating. <<Not recommended...liken it to shutting off a canister filter overnight and then kicking it back on in the morning...nasty.>> Thanks David <<Regards, EricR>>

Used calcium reactor question 8/21/05 Was wanting to check if I should have any specific concerns, before putting a calcium reactor that has been used with another system. It was a diy reactor, quite large as in about 4.5 ft tall, and has second chamber.  Its been sitting next to the tank disconnected for about 3 weeks.  Should I be worried about the old reactor media, or should I just empty it now and refill with all new A.R.M. for it? <Mmm, I'd give the present media a freshwater rinse... that's about it... Am not a fan of this CaribSea product (inconsistent, doesn't melt readily), though I do like most of their substrate products> I'll be re-fitting it as it is, since it apparently when put together has the 2nd chamber in the loop with the first, and not just downstream before the effluent output.   As in, the effluent output t's out of the circulating pipe that connects the second chamber back to the first. I'm thinking the 2nd chamber should be out the effluent of the first, in order to help bring the pH back up a bit prior to it going to the sump. <Mmm, not generally a concern... many folks gauge flow, utility by the effluent pH... being low... about 6.8...> As mentioned, it is used, and when was disconnected has a fairly repugnant odor to it.  Which is main reason I'm asking. <Good point... do rinse it very well then... toss the media if you have doubt/s. Bob Fenner>

Calcium Reactor reviews 8/19/05 Hi. Are there any bad reviews on ReefTek calcium reactors? David <Hmmm... as much as I hate to refer our WWM friends elsewhere, we don't review products or see many reviews here. One of the big discussion forums is really the best place to find this kind of information.  I would suggest www.reefcentral.com, www.reefs.org or our sponsor www.reeffrontiers.com  Hope this helps!  AdamC.>

pH Too High? (Nope) - 08/05/05 Hello, <<Hey>> I'm terribly sorry for bothering you guys, I know you are very busy and I appreciate all your help in the past. <<No worries, happy to help.>> I have a few questions regarding pH, I was actually wondering at what level I should start to worry if it is indeed too high. <<Mmm...would strive to maintain below 8.6>> I have a 180 gallon reef with 200 lbs. of aragonite sand, about 200 lbs. of live rock.  I use a sump below the aquarium and a 42 gallon refugium next to it that is filled with various forms of macro algae, live rock and sand. <<Suggestion...keep a single specie of macro algae in your 'fuge.  Algae competes for space just as corals do.  If they are fighting in your refugium they are releasing noxious chemicals to kill/retard growth of each other.  These chemicals will be/are affecting your display tank as well, not to mention keeping the algae from performing at its best as a means of nutrient export.>> On the 180 are 2x400w 20k halides and 2x110 15k VHO tubes.  On the refugium is 1x150 10k HQI and 2 65w actinics.  The sump is LifeReef design with 36" skimmer and carbon tubes.  I don't use any mechanical filtration other than the sponges in the tubes. <<Cleaned weekly I hope>> I use a Korallin calcium reactor with 10lb Co2 bottle with a fast drip and about 2 bubbles every 3 seconds (seems like a lot, but the reactor gets trapped Co2 in it, poor design I think). <<Hmm, have friends using this reactor...seem to like it fine.  I will assume you've already experimented with drip/effluent rates...measured pH of effluent.>> The system has been running for 8 months.  I've added animals slowly, I've had very few losses, algae is in check- I use a 6 stage RO and Coralife salt (and perhaps this is my problem) The source water (RO) is at pH 6.5, roughly, with an average of 5 TDS. <<Source water?  Do you mean the "effluent" from the R/O unit?.  Fairly normal readings, and a good reason to buffer all evaporation/salt makeup water.>> My ph, never falls below about 8.35 and tends to get pretty high during the extreme photo periods, I've seen 8.51 on occasion. <<Golly...these are actually quite "good" readings!  Many a marine hobbyist would love to be able constantly maintain pH values within these parameters.>> I use a controller with pH and ORP, ORP is never below 400 unless I do a big water change, at which time it dips 10-20 for a day or two, pretty normal I think. <<400 is not "normal" for most, nor necessary...would advise caution about going above this level.>> I've been toying with the photo-period on the refugium to make the pH more stable, but it still seems very high, is it dangerous at this level? <<A swing of less than .2 per day is not unstable...quite the opposite.  Your pH values are excellent in my opinion...would strive to maintain...>> My dKh is between 11 and 13, it hit 10 once when my Co2 bottle was empty and I had to wait to get it filled.  My calcium level is at 400ppm and I do not notice any animals being stressed, hard and soft corals do well, and the fish seem fine, algae is in check, present but acceptable. <<All good, but would not try to keep alk and calcium maxed out.  The two are mutually exclusive and can cause problems at such high levels if not carefully watched (do some reading here and at the associated indexes: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm).  I would let one or the other drop a bit.>> So, I've read, actually in a number of places, that on the reef, pH during the day can hit this level, but I was wondering if it's ok and, if it keeps rising, why and at what level I should start to worry. <<As already stated.>> Should I cut back the light on the fuge, remove a large portion of the macro algae, or leave it alone? <<Other than the "mix" of macro algae in the 'fuge and the comments on your cal/alk, I think you're just fine.>> Honestly Baffled, Aaron <<Here's some informative reading on pH: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm...not that baffling really <G>.  Regards, EricR>>

Reactors, Probes, pH - 08/06/05 Thanks Eric! <<Welcome Aaron>> I'll prune out everything from the fuge that is not dominant. <<Tis best my friend>> I think my ORP is set to compensate for pH, it's around 350 without the compensation. <<Mmm...the presumption would be the ORP reading is more accurate with the compensation...i.e. - 400>> I believe the Korallin reactor works well, but I can't seem to get the alkalinity or calcium level lower than this, the effluent pH is 6.5- <<Fairly common reading for reactor effluent.>> I thought perhaps I could run the RO effluent through the reactor instead of using Co2, but for the few hours I didn't use the Co2 my alkalinity started to fall, and since top off water only hits the sump a few times a day it might have an adverse effect, but it could lower my alk enough that it's not quite so scary. <<Maybe you can try reducing the bubble count of the C02...try to increase the effluent pH to about 6.8 or so.>> I'll try to adjust the reactor again first, perhaps a new needle valve will help, mines getting a bit old. <<Most of the stock needle-valves are quite "rough", I do believe the are some aftermarket valves that are more precise...at a price of course.>> I really appreciate your help and I'll add an if/then statement to the halides that turns them off if the pH hits 8.59, trip the alarms and page me. <<Ahh...a programmer eh?  All good.>> I've never seen it get higher than 8.51, and if I don't have to worry at that level, I'll start making the other adjustments you suggested. <<Yes, not a problem.  In fact, a good level to maintain.>> On the ORP though, if I turn the pH compensation off, the reading is 350, with it on, it's 400- when you say I should be concerned about this- what do you mean exactly?  Are you saying I should be concerned about the compensated ORP or the uncompensated ORP?  And why? <<Firstly, if your probe/monitor is designed to be used with pH compensation, use this measurement.  Secondly, I didn't mean to imply an ORP reading of 400 was dangerous...it's when you get much above this (over 450) that problems can arise.  Ozone is a very powerful sanitizer (more so than chlorine), It can be very useful to aquatic systems but must be used responsibly.  For most purposes/systems an ORP reading of 350-375 is adequate...I just want to instill caution when readings start to edge above 400.>> It doesn't go any higher, and falls if I change carbon, I do 2x50 gallon water changes a month and it falls a little then, but pops back in a day or two. <<All normal...and "kudos" on the water changes.>> Also- this might be a strange one, if I measure RO (effluent) with an electric probe calibrated at 7 and 10, it reads 8.95 (unbuffered RO).  I've three different probes, and calibrated one to 4 and 7- it reads RO at 6.5- <<I believe this to be "more" accurate>> but, and perhaps this is my dilemma, if I add 2 tsp of buffer (Seachem) to about 5 gallons, the dKh hits 10, and the effluent reads 7.6. <<Yikes!  Might be a problem indeed...I believe if you read the label, one teaspoon treats 40 gallons!>> Perhaps too much raw unbuffered effluent is getting near the probe and inflating my pH values- am I off-base here or should I try to send the RO through the reactor first? <<Mmm, try easing up on the buffer first.>> It's difficult to read a reagent test for anything much above 8.3- purple is pretty much purple. <<Yes, is why I prefer an electronic pH meter.>> Why do my probes, if calibrated for sea mix measure RO effluent so high?  If I use a reagent test, it shows at 6.5.  You think RO is getting too close to the probe and inflating my PH reading?  I know it's at least 8.3 with a reg test (the tank). <<The probe calibrated with the 7 & 10 reagents performs better when reading a pH above 7.0 or so...that's why I said I believe the probe calibrated with the 4 & 7 reagents was a more accurate reading (6.5) of your RO effluent.>> Is there some way I can prevent erroneous readings using RO in an auto top off system?  I add it through my overflow into the carbon chambers, but the probe is on the other side of that, I thought the drop to the sump would ensure mixing, is it too close?  Can that cause these types of problems? <<Are you adding raw RO water to your system?  Not the best application, should be buffered (properly) before going in to your system.  As for your "problems", your calc/alk are at their upper limits, but your pH is fine my friend.>> Thanks, Aaron <<Regards, EricR>> Calcium reactor help 7/7/05 I am setting up a calcium reactor and could use some help.  A pH controller will close a solenoid, stopping the flow of CO2, when the pH probe measures greater than the controllers set point.  I'm confused about where I should locate the PH probe (Effluent cup or in the sump?) and where I should set the set point.  Thanks, Earl <Mmm, I'd set the probe at the effluent discharge... for a pH of no lower than 6.8... see what this does (measure a few times... in the AM and later) to the overall pH of your system water. The manufacturer of the reactor, probe should also have recommendations... Bob Fenner> Calc Reactor question I bought a mini calc-reactor for $20 at a LFS, it came with the media.  I installed in my reef system sump; but didn't like it cause it made to much noise.   <...> My question is can I just place the media (hydrocarbonate) in the sump itself?   <Can> I will leave it in the mess bag.  By place only the media in the sump will it hurt my system? <Not likely> 55g reef includes: 1 maroon clownfish 3 blue green Chromis 1 pink spot goby 1 arrow crab 1 sally lightfoot crab 10 different snails 5 blue leg hermit crabs green star polyps hammer coral frogspawn 1 bubble anemone hairy mushrooms Ricordea mushrooms Thanks, S. Montgomery <Perhaps you can join in with a local marine club... and make your own reactors. Bob Fenner>

Knop C calcium reactor Hello WWM crew, I recently bought a Knop C calcium reactor and it seems to be missing the tube to feed CO2 to the bubble counter. Can I use a clear vinyl tube (bought from Home Depot)? It says it can be used for "gases" and can handle 55psi. Thanks in advance and keep up the great work. Sincerely, Aldrin <Mmm, am concerned re the CO2 "getting loose" here... you can likely use this vinyl tubing... but the more pressure resistant and carbon dioxide resistant (blue) tubing) is better, less likely to lose secure attachment, degrade with exposure. Of all people, my wife (Diana) used to distribute Knop in N. America and still has some of this tubing. If you'd like to contact her, she still maintains the knopproducts@hotmail.com  address. Bob Fenner>
Re: Knop C calcium reactor
Thanks Bob. I will be contacting Diana and see if I can have her send me a foot or two of the blue tubing. I set up the reactor last night with the vinyl tubing. Pressure dropped from 20 PSI to 18-17psi this morning. There's definitely some CO2 escaping somewhere. <Yikes... do leave some windows open, turn on, check the battery on your home carbon dioxide monitor... Or better still, turn off the unit. Bob Fenner> Thanks again. - Aldrin

Another Knop C reactor Hi Bob <Steve> I'm over in the UK and purchasing a second hand Knop C calcium reactor.  I have scoured the web and your FAQ on the Knop C have been very helpful, however, is there anyway you know of to get hold of a copy of the manual for this product as I would like to start from that base of knowledge? <Have just asked Diana (wife, who used to distribute Knop in N. America) re, and she asked that you send your contact info. to her addy at knopproducts@hotmail.com  and she will send this along in English> Many Thanks Steve Shanks England <Cheers, Bob Fenner>

- Calcium/Alkalinity Replacement in Top Off Water - Hi WWM Crew Great site, the source of all my aqua knowledge, thanks. I have experimented with the various options of dosing calcium - two part calcium/buffer and Kalkwasser. The results seem fine, however I have not tried a calcium reactor due to limited space and funds. My question is - would it be feasible to run CO2 through a air stone in a 60 litre plastic container (in the garage) of suitable freshwater with a substrate of either coral sand or aragonite. <Hmm... I'd say probably better to build a Kalkwasser reactor this way. Calcium reactors are typically used with water fed from the tank. They run continuously so it's not really practical to feed constantly with freshwater.> My theory being the low ph (due to CO2) would dissolve Ca into the water (as does a Ca reactor). <Well... another item of issue here would be recirculation within the container. If you're set on a calcium reactor, there are many plans on the web for building one from PVC... have seen many designs build for less than $50 in parts. Calcium reactors are actually pretty simple, and you sound motivated enough to build one. Would check on Ozreef.com first.> The result would be calcium rich water ready to be used for top off. The pH can easily be raised by normal aeration before going into main tank. <Normal aeration will raise the pH only so much - the action behind calcium reactors creates carbonic acid - driving off excess CO2 will only do a modicum of good.> Would this be good practice or is it to easy to be any good. <Consider your options.> thanks Greg <Cheers, J -- >

- Looking for a Knop Distributor - Dear Bob, <JasonC here today.> I have had no luck finding a distributor for the Knop calcium reactor. I own a saltwater fish store in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and would like to find a distributor in this area. So far I can't and the website for Knop Products is up for sale. I understand that Diana Fenner used to sell the products is there anyone you know in my area, or any contact info you can give me to a wholesaler? <Bayside Aquarium Supply, http://www.baysideaqua.com/index.html - they are now the importers of this product line.> Thanks, Mark Alessi Reef's Edge, Inc. <Cheers, J -- >

Calcium reactor and new reef aquarium questions... Hey guys I have a few questions I'd love to get answered please... I'm in the process of setting up a 65 gallon reef aquarium I plan on going LPSs, SPS, and a few soft route; I got a 2 150 watt HQI metal halide bulbs and 2 96 watt actinic pc.s, and a refugium going on this thing. After taking a good look into what I'm doing I plan on going with a calcium reactor to save me a little trouble. After looking through reviews I've found that I like the Korallin reactors reviews and I believe that's the one I'm going with. One thing I saw was that they said that with their reactors that there is no need for a PH monitor, would you think this is true or not? <If set-up properly, not oversized for the system, mineralizing bio life stocking... no need> Also is there a need for a Kalkwasser dosage after having a CA reactor on a aquarium? <Some folks do... including Daniel Knop> If not besides iodine is there any other supplements you would add to this aquarium? <Maybe... depends... on what there is in the water, what you're trying to do, with what livestock> Also I have CaribSea reactor media available to me for easy access would you say that its a good media to use? <In some cases, yes... in many, no... not soluble enough, not a consistent product... not worthwhile IMO> Thanks guys I just really want to get this thing right the first time that's why I'm almost 4,000 into this aquarium and it doesn't even have water in it yet, so any advice would be greatly appreciated... <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

- Calcium Reactor Problems - I seem to be the only person struggling with this, so I'm wondering if I'm missing something. I've read quite a bit about my Korallin calcium reactor and I believe I understand it quite well. While I found it easy to get the effluent drip rate consistent, I can not seem to get the bubble rate to hold steady. My process is this: 1) Set the effluent drip rate to about 40/minute 2) Adjust the CO2 pressure to 15 PSI 3) Adjust the needle valve to 10-20 bubbles/minute 4) Wait 15 minutes and tweak the bubble rate as it changes a bit over time. 5) Repeat step 4 throughout the day Invariably, I come in the next morning and either the reactor is about 1/4 full of CO2 at the top, or the bubbles have stopped altogether. The CO2 regulator has a solenoid, but it is not turned off at night or controlled (on 24/7). I bought a laboratory grade needle valve from Upchurch Scientific and it greatly helped the process of dialing in the bubble rate, but it still won't hold that rate overnight. My best guess is that somehow the pressure within the chamber is changing significantly over night and the change in pressure differential throws the bubble rate way off. But why some mornings is it off and others it is off and the chamber is full of gas?  <A very good question and certainly a bit of a quandary. My first impulse is to say there is a leak somewhere, but that doesn't explain the days that you end up with an excess of CO2. May also be the actual CO2, but then that doesn't explain the days that bubbles have stopped all together. I am curious though about the pressure... I don't typically run the CO2 at anything over 10psi, but I'm just not sure what the extra 5psi would do. You could try tuning this down just a bit and see if that makes a difference.  Likewise, I'd go over all your CO2 supply tubing to make sure nothing is wrong there and work the problem from that angle. I'm sorry I don't have a better answer for you but I've never run into this exact problem - what is more typical is a deficiency or an excess, but not both.> I must be doing something wrong. Have you ever heard of someone struggling to get a bubble rate to hold consistent for even a few days????  <Yes, but as I mentioned, what is most typical is a leak in the CO2 line which always leaves the reactor without CO2 at all... I wish I could figure out why you have both problems. You might also try a new check valve while you're at it.> I would greatly appreciate any help. Steve <Cheers, J -- > 

- Salinity and Calcium - Hello Crew.  <Hello.>  I am having trouble keeping my calcium up with a Knop-C Calcium reactor for a 120 gallon tank. For the life of me I have not been able to figure out why, especially since I do not have much livestock.  <Well... my first guess is that this reactor is in a little over its head... its sizing is rather liberal and in my experience more suited to tanks of 90 gallons or less.>  However, after testing my salinity with an electrical instrument (Pinpoint Salinity Monitor) it turns out it has been very high for about 4-6 weeks in the 1.028-1.029 range. I am bringing it back down slowly and am now at 1.026. My logical assumption is that since there are more salts in solution, it is becoming harder for the calcium to stay in solution, and hence the calcium depletion or possible precipitation from the water column.  <Is possible I suppose, but it's often hard to nail down just one chemical interaction in a closed system where so many different reactions are taking place.>  Have you had any experience with this problem or is the ability of calcium to dissolve in water not significantly affected by the salinity in these ranges?  <I've not experienced this first hand, but would comment that there are many places in the world where the salinity is quite high [1.027 as it is here in Florida to 1.029-ish in the Red Sea] where there are thriving coral reefs... not sure that salinity is a limiting factor.> Thanks for your help. Franz <Cheers, J -- >
- Salinity and Calcium, Follow-up -
Thanks for your response.  <My pleasure.>  I agree that high salinity should not affect Calcium's ability to dissolve, at least not in the ranges we are working with. I did run into a FAQ on WWM on Calcium from a guy who had his RO/DI unit checked out by a chemist, and it turned out that his DI filter was exhausted, so this produced excess negative ions (he says DI units tend to remove positive ions more than negative ions when exhausted and give the water a high pH) which reacted with all the Ca+2 added to the system, precipitating it. This coincides with the light brown precipitate I have seen in my tank and with the weird Calcium readings I get even after adding calcium, Kalkwasser, etc. In this FAQ, Bob Fenner recommends not using DI at all, just RO, because of this problem, among others.  <I must admit, I don't run a DI cartridge in my RO/DI system because these are exhausted quickly... becomes an expensive habit.> After three months, of running water through my RO/DI it may be exhausted and may be the root of my problem. <I would say so... 90 days is more than enough to wipe out the DI cartridge.>  The pH coming out of my RO/DI was 8.5-9.0 so I immediately took out the DI. The RO's outflow pH came down to 7-7.2 sort of confirming the hypothesis of an excess concentration of negative ions after the DI. I have changed in three days overt 50% of the water, to try and dilute this concentration and I hope I can dissolve more Calcium in the water during the next few days.  Any experience regarding this issue?  <Well... only that DI tends to demineralize water more than is often useful. In southern California as well as here in southern Florida, the water coming out of the tap has an incredibly high dKH [Bob likes to call it liquid rock, which is pretty accurate], and is more useful in this form for making salt water. Conversely, the high dKH also exhausts the DI cartridge very quickly so I stopped using them a while ago both to save money and to not have to remineralise the water produced; this has had with no ill effects on my system. Do think the DI in RO/DI water is potentially overkill.>  Any suggestions?  <Think you've taken the right course of action... would wait and see how things develop.> Thanks, Franz <Cheers, J -- >

Calcium Reactor Hi there, <Hello> I have a 155 gal tank, planning to keep SPS. I had the tank running for a month now and wondering what will be the best time to run the calcium reactor?? <Now...> I mean how long before introducing the corals? <Now> Another question is, Deltec or Korallin brand ???? and last question about the period that I have to run the reactor everyday .Thank you. <Mmm, am more of a fan of the Knop line... much easier than these other two to maintain/re-fill... Bob Fenner> 

Alkalinity/Calcium reactor Hello guys. I have a bit of a confusing situation (at least for me). My tank has been set up for three months, with a Knop-C calcium reactor from the start. I had ARM media in it for the first 6-7 weeks. Without dosing anything additional to the reactor, calcium was fine between 400-450ppm but alkalinity always remained low at 6-7 dKH. I tried several things including drip rate, bubble rate, etc but it was impossible for me to increase alkalinity and calcium started to drop to the 320-340 range. I decided to buffer the water with Coral Builder (just alkalinity booster) and occasionally got the dKH to 8, but in general it remained at 6-7. I read the FAQs and discovered that some people recommend Korallith Media over ARM because of its consistency, so about 4 weeks ago, I switched media to the one Knop recommends. After much testing my calcium remains at 340 and my alkalinity (without Coral Builder) remains at 6-7. My effluent is roughly 15-17 liters per day, with a 20 bubble count per minute, at dKH of 17/18 and a pH of 6.8-6.9.  What's really weird is that the calcium of my effluent is only 260 so I can only assume that some interaction of calcium between CaCO3 and Ca is going on here and later it gets converted to calcium in the tank and hence I am losing alkalinity but calcium is stable at 340.  My tank is 120 gal, full of live rock with coralline algae growing in the walls, especially on plastic and acrylic surfaces, less on glass, 5 medium SPS, 4 medium LPS, and a couple of mushrooms and zoanthids, Remora skimmer, EV-120 skimmer, carbon, ozone (ORP @300-350), Carlson surge device, PO4 zero, NO3 zero, Si 0.25ppm, 400w 10,000 plus 175w 20,000, Iodine at 0.06-0.08ppm. My current course of action is to dose buffer everyday (as per the manufacturers recommendations) until I get a dKH of ~10 while at the same time raising my drip rate of the effluent so I can lower its alkalinity and hopefully convert some of the reactor alkalinity into calcium and get the effluent dKH to 15/16 and raising calcium. Do you think this is the right way to go, or is there something I am not seeing or understanding clearly? I am worried that once I get to a dKH of 10, it will drop back down if I stop buffering. The reactor should keep this up for me, shouldn't it? As well as calcium? Do you have any ideas on why my calcium levels an d alkalinity are declining so rapidly? Do I need a bigger reactor, maybe the Knop S-IV? Thanks for all your help, it is greatly appreciated. <You're welcome>  Cheers, Franz <Franz, I'm thinking the CO2 level is too high. CO2 will dramatically lower ph and alkalinity. Check on that, otherwise I would get in contact with Knop as they would know more than anyone about their reactors. James (Salty Dog)>

- Knop Type-C Setup - I have read your F A Q and other sites, but you have a link to knopproducts.com that is computer related and has nothing to do with calcium reactors.  <Knop Products by Diana Fenner has ceased operation and now Knop Calcium Reactors are being sold by Marine Depot. The domain is no longer being used for calcium reactors... we will remove from our site.>  Do you have any other sites/ info on the setup on a Knop C reactor?  <Would refer you to the instructions that came with the reactor... they are pretty straight forward. If your reactor didn't come with the instructions, you should check back with the folks you bought it from and get a copy from them. Other than that, if you've read the FAQs and this article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcreactors.htm - then you know as much as I do.>  Thank you, any info is appreciated. <Cheers, J -- > 

- Knop C Setup Diagram - Hello.  <Hello.>  Bought a new KNOP C Calcium reactor. The Installation "manual" that came with the system is ok - but is not specific enough for my tastes - a diagram would work well. Do you have access to or knowledge of an instruction sheet and or diagram that provides one with visual setup info?  <I've never seen one.>  One dilemma that I currently have is what to do with the airline tubing with the little shut off valve. Do I divide the tubing up for use between the water output and CO2 intake - I assume the little valve is to be used on the water output side.  <Yes and no. The silicone tubing is to be split between the water input and output sides. You should use CO2 proof tubing for the CO2 supply. And yes... the valve should be on the output side of the reactor.>  Any help here is appreciated. Best Regards, Stan <Cheers, J -- >

Supplementing Calcium reactor 2/9/05 I was reading the latest FAQ on RO/DI. My question is if I'm running a calcium reactor do I need to use Kalkwasser with top off water like you mention? <Likely just a small amount of buffer after aerating> Thanks TB <Just let your test kit readings for Calcium and Alkalinity dictate this... that is the only measure that matters. Anthony>

- Knop S-IV Problems - I set up the s-iv and was wondering if there should be bubbles on the bubble counter inside the chamber? <Yes.> I'm using the Milwaukee ma957 and the bubble counter on the regulator set at 15bps but I don't see any bubbles on the reactor chamber... does it take a while for the co2 to travel into the chamber? <It shouldn't, no... is possible you have a defective or misplaced check-valve. Do make sure that the arrow on the black, Dennerle check valve is pointing towards the bubble counter inside the reactor. You may also want to check the outgoing pressure of your CO2... it typically needs to be set at 10 PSI to crack open the check valve.> thanks for your help.... <Cheers, J -- > Calcium Reactor I have a Knop S-IV calcium reactor and was wondering what the best way to supply the unit with water from my tank.  I don't know if the siphon will hold up 24/7 and am willing to use a pump.  I don't know which pump to use though.  Also, I don't have a sump.. thanks for your help once again, Roel. <If you keep both the inlet and the outlet of the reactor in the water, most will maintain water flow without any problem.  If you want to feed it with a pump, I would choose a very small one (the smaller Rios and Microjets will work well).  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

- Calcium Reactor Set-up - hello today I am have some problems with my calcium reactor it is a Knop model c  the problem is when I turn on the water on from the pump its back feeding in to the bubble counter I am using a tee off my main pump which is a 4md  but soon as I open the valve it starts pushing water in to the bubble counter I sent you a email before and you said turn up the co2 pressure I have it set at 20psi an know change so then I tried the siphon method same thing happens I have talked to Robert Keen and he's tell me that it wont hurt  the bubble counter full I have set the reactor like the manual says. <That is correct.> I talk to Diana an ordered some parts and she sent a manuals one from Knop an from  Mr. Keen in his manual he says to run about 30bubels a minute an 1.1/2liters per hour  an on knops site they 20bubels a minute an 1liter per hour  my tank is a 110 with a 20 gal sump I at point now to give up on this thing can you please tell me what I am do wrong thanks PAUL <The number of bubbles per minute is going to vary from system to system... even if the calcium reactors are identical. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcreactors.htm Cheers, J -- >

- AquaMedic Calcium Reactor - Hi everybody, I would like to know if the AquaMedic calcium reactor 400 is a good buy? I have a 50g reef and it will be my first calcium reactor. What do you thing about this product? <I've seen and handled these but never operated one. It seems to be a good unit but I can't qualify things much more than that.> I can't find information on the WEB. <These are relatively new and not widely distributed outside of Europe. Do check with your local AquaMedic dealer to see if you can put your hands on one before you buy it.> Please give me an advice. Thanks a lot Renaud <Cheers, J -- >

- Reactor Question - Hi Guys <Hi.> I have read with interest an article placed on the website about a Knop C calcium reactor. It was written by Don Carner and he speaks highly of it. Can you confirm this is the case and could you tell me how much it costs and how I could go about acquiring one of these. <The Knop Type-C is a fine reactor although limited in effectiveness to about a 400L system. You should be able to obtain one of these via the usual channels - if not locally, then online at one of many online retailers.> regards Ian <Cheers, J -- >

- Knop Type C Troubles - hello I ordered a new style bubble counter for a model c reactor  thanks got it Friday my problem is when I try to flow water the reactor from my pump its  pushing water in to the bubble counter I have put a valve on the inlet side with know valve on the out put side when I tried  running it with the valve on the out side the same thing happens so I put valve back on the input side can you give me any help thanks Paul <Sounds to me like your CO2 is not at sufficient pressure to stop water from flowing into the bubble counter. Your CO2 regulator should be set at about 10 PSI, which should be sufficient to prevent water from back-flowing into the bubble counter. Cheers, J -- >

- Calcium Reactor Problems - I have a Aqua-Medic calcium reactor 1000 for my 1000 litre tank, running now for approximately 6 months. In all the time it has been running it has never been able to keep my Alk or calcium stable at the required figures i.e. 7 to 10 dKH and calcium at 450ppm. I have measured the effluent with more than 2 reliable Alk test kits and it is reading  approx 14 to 15 dKH. I do have the normal coralline growth on the sides of my tank and my tank is about 40% filled with corals. The cal and Alk tests are always dropping to 4 or 5 Alk and 320 calc within a week of me boosting them with liquid calc and buffer. Please help me. <Well... a couple of things occur to me. First, it's time to switch out the media. In six months any benefit it might provide should be depleted if you've been adding the recommended amount of CO2. Next, you might want to increase both the drip rate of the effluent and the bubble rate of the CO2 and shoot for an effluent dKH reading of 6.7 or so. It is also possible that you are at the upper range of effect for this reactor - I realize it's rated for 1000 liters, but it may be that it works best on 750 liters of water. Lastly, and something that I like to always point out is that the dKH and calcium levels you describe are actually typical of most reefs around the world - there seems to be a fascination in the reef hobby of having these levels artificially high. You should use the growth of organisms that require calcium for their growth as a partial indicator of available calcium. If the corals aren't growing, then it's obvious there is a deficiency. If they are growing well and aren't brittle - then you are in fact adding sufficient calcium. All that being said, it's not at all uncommon to occasionally supplement calcium in a different form when using a calcium reactor, which produces calcium carbonate - adding Kalkwasser for instance, will add calcium via calcium hydroxide.> Kind regards Glen Cape Town, South Africa <Cheers, J -- >

- Knop Type-C Questions - hello I have bean reading thru your web site and I have learned a lot. well after reading about calcium reactors I found a good deal on a Knop model C I have read knops f a q  about the hook up I am using a tee off my main pump the problem I am having is the drip rate always slows down I have one valve to control the flow thru the reactor and that's off my tee. <Sounds like perhaps you obtained a used reactor without all the parts. Would be better off if you ran the output of your pump at full volume and then purchased a valve for the output side of the reactor... this is normally included with a new reactor.> also I notice that the water level is just above the pump is this normal I am using Knop media and when I adjust the water flow it seams like there's air in line all so can you tell me when do change the media or will it dissolve then add more one other thing is my ph is running at 8.0 in the day and 7.8 at night is this all right thanks for your help Paul <It seems to me that you may be putting too much CO2 into your reactor and you should perhaps try running your system with the CO2 turned off for a little while to make sure the pH in your tank is stable before you start running the reactor. Likewise, you should also pick up that effluent valve for the reactor as this will help you get the thing running correctly. Cheers, J -- >

- Knop Type C Instructions - Hello, I purchased my KNOP C reactor off of eBay and it did not come with a manual. Is there one I can download for reference. Regards, Marc <The instructions are included in the attachment. Cheers, J -- > -

Calcium Reactor Operation - From what I have read of your FAQ's, the following seems a bit high: 120 bubbles/minute ("small" bubbles) and effluent at 3.2L/hr. pH of effluent is 6.75 using fine Korallith. System is lightly stocked SPS and LPS, 200 gallons gross volume. At around 2L/hr, I was down around dKH 11.0, 340ppm Ca and pH 8.1 at the end of daylight cycle. CO2 is off at night. I increased the flow (and bubble count to stay close to pH 6.8) in hopes of increasing Ca. Yes, I know that I am really increasing alkalinity but I figured that if I get dKH up around 13.0, Ca should wind up above 350 and I would not worry about dealing with other forms of Ca supplementation. Does any of this sound out of line to you? <No... calcium reactor adjustments are relative and will vary widely based on the system they are run on. As long as what's coming out of the reactor is consistent, and the high rate of CO2 into the reactor isn't causing it to lock up, you are probably fine.> Thanks, as always, George. <Cheers, J -- >

- Calcium Reactor Set-up - Hi 5 days ago I hook up your Knop S IV, my reef tank is 350 gals and I have many live corals, I tried with 20 co2 bubbles and 2 drops per second and the ph value is 6.8 to 7 and when I rise to 120 bubbles per minute than I get the 6.1 value but the water at the top of the cylinder is very close to the outflow and the co2 will go in my tank ?? my questions for you is the S IV is big enough since you rated for up to 300 Gals. and is there a way to adjust it correctly, or since the guy at the aquarium center that sold me the unit I should ask him to replace it for the Knop HD-S. <Hmm... you might be better off with the HD-S. 300 gallons is indeed about the limit for the S-IV, but depending on your needs for calcium, could easily operate on 400 gallons. I run an S-IV on my 400 gallon system but I'm not keeping any corals or clams, I merely want to keep up with trace element supplements, including calcium. By running the S-IV at a reasonable rate, I manage to pull this off. If you are pushing beyond the limits, which 120 bubbles per minute would indicate, then yes, this reactor is undersized for your needs.> I would appreciate if you can give me a feed back very soon so I can clear the matter with the store here in Montreal CND, since the policy here is 10 days for exchange. thank you Sylvain Le Saux <Cheers, J -- >

- High Alkalinity - I have a 55 gal tank w/ 20 gal sump 5gal refugium (just live sand) in sump. 80 lbs LR.  6 in sandbed. 3  Clowns,  Sweet lips Tang, T. snail, mushrooms and a fan coral and R.BTA. (Which recently split into three)  I have an in sump Berlin turbo protein skimmer, aqua logic chiller and a Korallin 1502 Ca. Reactor. NH4 0.0 Nitrite 0.0 Nitrate < 40 ppm Temp 82 SPG 1.023 PH 8.2 --> 8.4 Ca. 420ppm Alk 16.0 The alkalinity became an issue when I hooked up the reactor its a lot of reactor for a small tank and I'm having some issues tuning it.  I bought it second hand and have since had to replace most of the tubing due to leakage and difficulty maintaining a constant drip rate. My question is during this period my alk soared up to 15.0 DKH  is this immediately dangerous to my tank should I just let it drop naturally and start over or try to neutralize it with massive water changes or is there something else I should try. <It's not immediately dangerous, but it does put you on the high end of what is helpful. I'd turn down the reactor and let things balance out on their own. Cheers, J -- >

Calcium reactor on EBay???? I was wondering if any of you guys heard anything about these calcium reactors by Acrlicity on EBay? Here is a link: http://cgi.msn.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=4319334586&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT Thanks for you help. Sincerely, Brian Marotta <Don't know the company... and do like the clean-ness of the acrylic and PVC work, the use of true unions... but NOT the tops of the reactor chambers being secured with those nylon screws! They are a pain to do, re-do, and often break off. Bob Fenner>

A doubt from a very far aquarist (Brazil)! Mr. Fenner <Paulo> I'm a reef aquarist and I found a lot of information on Calcium Reactors in the wetwebmedia.com site. I went there via google and I could not find a way to ask my doubt there, except using your email address. Maybe you can blame it on my native language, which is not English, but the fact is that I couldn't find a traditional forum where to ask my doubt. <No worries> What I am trying to find out is if there are any problems if I put the output of my reactor (a DIY similar to Knop C) dropping in the refugium. My idea is to use the co2, which usually puts my PH down, mainly at night, for my Caulerpa. <Better to run the reactor during the day... your algae will not use the CO2 unless light is applied> As my refugium has a low flow, its PH will be a little lower than the sump's and the display's PH. And the Caulerpas will be able to use more co2 and eliminate a bigger part of it. <If they are illuminated> Does my thinking make sense? Have you seen this before? (if yes) Was the result good? Is there any collateral effect or counter indication for it? Sorry for my English, and thanks a lot for your attention, Paulo Certain <You are clear here my friend. If you have the refugium lighted during the night your plan is sound/good. Bob Fenner>

- Knop Reactor Parts - I would like to know if you sale KNOP- C Calcium Reactor parts. <We don't sell them direct, but they can be purchased from Knop Products directly. Contact information can be found here: http://www.knopproducts.com/ > I need the little blue plastic part upper the bubble counter (this part is screw upper the bubble counter) that make the junction between the bubble counter and the pipe. thank you for your collaboration Marc <Cheers, J -- >

- Knop Type-C Setup Question - Thanks for you answers I will just buy fittings for this blue tube in local. <Hmm... do hope you can find the part - they are German and not widely available. Diana of Knop Products certainly has them.> On Knop-c recommended media is fine but I happen to buy med sized and open the media already... Is there any negative affect using med on Knop-c? <No.> Thanks <Cheers, J -- >
- Knop Type-C Setup Question, More Follow-up -
Also could you give me email address for Diana at knopproducts.com Diana@ knopproducts.com does not work. <Please check here, contact information is on this page: http://www.knopproducts.com/ > I think I would better off getting original tube and fitting and found out my bubble counter check valve is not working... <Yes, Diana will have these parts.> Knop website recommend fine size media for Knop-c reactor but I happen to got med sized and open the box so I cannot return... Is there any negative affect using med sized media for Knop-c reactor? <No.> Thanks <Cheers, J -- >

Knop Product Help - Hello, I'm looking for a place to purchase a bubble counter for my Knop calcium reactor. I just noticed tonight that the original one is leaking from the top of the clear section (the actual structure of the bubble counter where the clear meets the grey PVC). Its not leaking from the fitting so I think I need  a new part. <You could also try a small bead of 100% pure silicone sealant around the fitting... this might solve the problem. Otherwise, parts can be obtained from Knop Products directly. Contact information is here: http://www.knopproducts.com/ > Thanks. Shawn <Cheers, J -- >

Converting Fluidized Bed filter to Calcium Reactor Hello from Calgary to the Crew << Hello up there, Blundell here this afternoon. >> Your service to the hobby is incredible and you have improved my personal experience greatly.  Thanks in advance.  I have a 66 gal reef setup that is 2 months old that I inherited from a friend, it had been running for 6 months previously.  I have hence nursed most of it back to health.  A Rainbow fluidized bed filter came with it and it has been running the whole two months, from what I have seen on WWM the FBF is not necessary and potentially detrimental now that the live rock seems to be actively developing a health population of coralline algae and life in general.  If I were to replace the sand media in the FBF with media for a Calcium reactor and add the required CO2 system to the input of the FBF could the FBF be converted to a Calcium reactor. << I would search around on the internet for DIY calcium reactor plans.  Most people have used a pvc base to make them.  Your idea could work, but rather than converting the FBF over, it may be easier (and possibly cheaper) to just make one from scratch. That is what I would do. >> Hopefully I am making sense. Thanks Lonnie <<  Blundell  >>

- Knop Type-C Setup Question - I bought this reactor long times ago and was not able to use due to change of my reef to fresh water so I let my friend use it for 1 1/2 years and got it back 1 year ago and now I take it out from my storage and have a question. There is a blue tube inside of reactor is this connected to outline side or CO2 coming in side? <The CO2 coming-in side.> This is tube is loose from somewhere and could not figure out where to connect and do not have correct connector I think. <It should just press-fit into the fitting on the top of the unit.> Is there a special connector on this blue tube to Co2 or outline? <No.> Can you send me this special connector? <If you are missing the fitting on the top of the reactor, you can contact Diana at knopproducts.com  and she'll be happy to provide you with any parts you might be missing.> Thanks
<Cheers, J -- >

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: