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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I really really really wanna start keeping hard corals (sps) we've had great luck with softies, leathers and even LPS but for some reason in the past we've never had much luck with sps corals..

Our setup is nice and stable finally and I am ready to take the next step in aquarium evolution :D

first I will explain our current setup...

~90gal display
~t-5 lighting (ran on (2) Ice cap 660's)
~50gal sump/fuge (just running NO lighting over the fuge at this time.. would like to upgrade to t-5's in the near future for some possible grow out space..)
~Protien skimmer (not sure the brand but It works awsome)
~mag 9 return

and thats about it.. I know I am in need of some more "flow" :cool: and Im planning on plumbing in a closed loop possibly hooked to another mag 9 .

But Ive never got into a calc reactor.. or anything like that.. and honestly not sure where I would put one.. but I understand I desperatly need one in order to keep and maintain a healthy living space for sps and well any hard structured corals.. So, with that said this is where I need some advice..

at one time I had most of this info saved in my memory band..
how to adjust alkalinity, calc, mag, all that yummy stuff.. but I havent messed with any of it in so long I cant remeber what the right messurments are and what needs to be done to make it correct..

So would it be possible for some on to walk through the steps on what needs to be done to properly maitain these levels?

Also, would dripping Kalk be sufficent enough to get by without a calc reactor?

Dripping kalk maintains ph and calcium levels (correct?)

what needs to be done to maintain alkalinity and maggnesium levels?

(Its amazing at how you forget things when you dont use the knowledge... yet I can remeber song lycrics from when I was like 5 :D )

any help would be appreciated.. thanks~
 

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liquidskys said:
So would it be possible for some on to walk through the steps on what needs to be done to properly maitain these levels?
You can use any of the balanced additives. Most people with fast growing stony corals use calcium reactors, 2-part additives, limewater, or a combination thereof. I prefer to use either a calcium reactor or homemade 2 part additive. Along with either of those I would add kalkwasser for a pH boost.

liquidskys said:
Also, would dripping Kalk be sufficent enough to get by without a calc reactor?
It may or may not be. Typically it is a great sidekick to a calcium reactor because of the boost it provides to the pH. Most of the time adding kalkwasser alone (when added conventionally) will not keep up with the really high demand aquariums.

liquidskys said:
Dripping kalk maintains ph and calcium levels (correct?)
It is a balanced additive that maintains calcium, alkalinity, and pH.

liquidskys said:
what needs to be done to maintain alkalinity and maggnesium levels?
The balanced additives will help maintain these. Depending on the exact additive you choose, you may need to add additional magnesium (so test and dose). Also realize when calcium and alkalinity are out of balance you typically need to add different products (ie unbalanced additives) to achieve balance.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/oct2003/chem.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thank you thank you thank you..

exactly what I was looking for.. now off to start reading :D
 

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I find that stable perameters (with alk,ca and mg being the big three), lighting, and flow are the keys to keeping sps. I dose two part for yrs, the best thing i ever added to my tank was my ca reactor. My tanks is stable as a rock. Better growth and color. you will find that in time two part will not keep up. Plus there are alk and ca swings inbetween doses. As a side note most sps keeper like to have a turn over rate of at least 60x. With your return and close loop, accounting for head lose, you will have a turn over of around 16x.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
60x wow..

um yeah Im way off that mark *haha*
I guess I need a bigger return eh :D

Im leaning towards a calc reactor honestly.. It makes the most sense..
 

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liquidskys said:
60x wow..

um yeah Im way off that mark *haha*
I guess I need a bigger return eh :D

Im leaning towards a calc reactor honestly.. It makes the most sense..
You don't want to have to big a return pump. It better to have a slower return though the sump. Better detention time in the sump will allow your skimmer to preform better.
 

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liquidskys said:
60x wow..

um yeah Im way off that mark *haha*
I guess I need a bigger return eh :D

Im leaning towards a calc reactor honestly.. It makes the most sense..
you get more flow in the displays nowadays pretty easiliy by having modded maxijets, hydor koralias or tunze nano-streams... these are all circulation pumps that can get you 1000+gph flow rates...

I agree with what dejavu said re: flow rate through a sump.
 

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Everybody has their own opinion on how to maintain the proper levels of CA, MG, Alk. For years I added a little of this and a little of that, trying to maintain the proper levels including a CA reactor. I learned about a Marine Environment salt mix from some very experienced reefers on another forum and wow my tank came alive. I have been using it for over a year now and add nothing no reactor either. I do a 25 gallon water change every two weeks on a 125 gallon reef and thats it. It's not the only way to go for sure but I would give it some serious thought before investing in a reactor. Do a experiment ,test a fresh batch of your salt mix for CA,MG and alk if the levels aren't right you will fight a endless battle of adding additives to get it right. It will leave you with some extra cash for lighting upgrades
 

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I'm not saying it can not be done, but if your salt mix is lacking and you don't start with the proper levels you must test with a very good test kit see what you are lacking in, bring those levels up first. From my experience testing water parameters is part art part science. Five people can use the same test kit test ,the test same water sample and get different results. It can become really frustrating. You can spend alot time and money on supplements and possibly put things into your tank that may do more harm than good. It's certainly not the only way I just found this to be much simpler and very effective.
 
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not knocking a calcium reactor at all...I'm sure I will go to 1 someday...Maybe sooner now with all this DOW sh!t. I never knew you didn't have to test your tank when it's hooked to a calcium reactor........I know when I make up WC water I add the same everytime...Everyone is gonna have his or her own way of doing things......I'll use whatever as long as i get great results....
 
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