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Thread: My journey with the Rain2 Algae Scrubber and my 80G Tank

  1. #21
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    Make a vid of the cleaning if you want to.

  2. #22

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    Hey,

    It has been a few weeks and the ATS has been going strong, averaging 50-60grams of squeezed algae a week after harvesting. My tank in general is doing fairly well too.





    I have been adding more SPS mainly and so far had a pretty good success rate with the notable exception of a scrolling monti that I introduced and it started rapidly bleaching from the base up (pictured above prior to bleaching). No idea why, it was super fast and you could literally see the wave of brown progressing up the scroll leaving white behind it. I was a bit slow to react and after it was maybe 70% bleached i took it out and broke it apart in an attempt to save some frags of it... those frags are not bleaching yet so well see how it goes... bit disappointed as it was a nice full circular scroll and now all thats left of it are 3-4 tiny frags that I could break off with no contact to the brown jelly or bleached areas

    I have a question regarding the use of Kalkwasser in a tank with an ATS, does anyone have any experience with this? I am finding my ALK is dropping really fast and the Kalkwasser cant keep up, im running maximum saturated Kalk in my auto-top off and just yesterday I added some white vinegar and additional Kalk to over-saturate it and make it stronger... Is it that my tank is just too full now and I have outgrown Kalk? Or is something else at play here? I have seen pictures of tanks as heavily stocked as mine (or more) with people who just run Kalk... but for me it doesn't even remotely keep up? (I am manually dosing 7grams of Sodium Bicarbonate in a mixed in small amount of RODI every day to bring it back up)

    Is it possible that the ATS is consuming too much carbon dioxide from the water and therefore preventing the reaction with Kalk that produces Alkalinity? Effectively drastically reducing the potency of my Kalk? I'm no chemist but I am struggling to understand how Kalk doesn't even appear to be making a dent in my Alk consumption. Its dropping roughly 1-2 DKH a day despite the ~3.75 Liters of Kalk being added a day.

    I am eager to test tonight to see if the vinegar has made any difference or if my Alk is going to be super low again...

    I have a 25L auto top off, and have been running 40g of Kalk in it, the 25L last exactly 1 week at my current rate of evaporation. Just yesterday I changed my dose to 50grams of Kalk, 200ml of Vinegar and 25L of RODI.

  3. #23
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    Looking good. Monti is probably just a freak.

    How has been the calcium?

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaMonica View Post
    Looking good. Monti is probably just a freak.

    How has been the calcium?
    My calcium drops too, just slower, I think its dropping roughly 3-4ppm per day. Everytime it drops below 400 I top it back up to around 420. I am manually dosing calcium chloride roughly once a week.

  5. #25
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    Well it does seem the alk is dropping much faster. A strong scrubber can reduce alk by 1 point per day, so it seems that is what is going on, even though yours is the most I've seen. If there were more corals and coralline growth, and if calcium usage was higher, I'd say it was calcification. But it seems it's just scrubber growth.

    The scrubber is probably not slowing down the kalk; it's just that kalk is not the most/fastest way to get alk into the water. I like kalk whenever possible, but even with vinegar, it has limits. But since your calcium is not dropping much, I'd say the kalk is keeping up. Of course you could try over-saturating with more kalk; the excess just settles to the bottom. Matter of fact if you don't get settling then it's probably not saturated.

    One thing I've been meaning to try is to put the baking soda into the kalk water. I don't know how much more alk that water could hold, if any, but if the soda dissolves then it's probably working.

    Other than that, you can be happy that your scrubber is growing fast and is carbon-limited; usually scrubbers are nutrient-limited.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaMonica View Post
    Well it does seem the alk is dropping much faster. A strong scrubber can reduce alk by 1 point per day, so it seems that is what is going on, even though yours is the most I've seen. If there were more corals and coralline growth, and if calcium usage was higher, I'd say it was calcification. But it seems it's just scrubber growth.

    The scrubber is probably not slowing down the kalk; it's just that kalk is not the most/fastest way to get alk into the water. I like kalk whenever possible, but even with vinegar, it has limits. But since your calcium is not dropping much, I'd say the kalk is keeping up. Of course you could try over-saturating with more kalk; the excess just settles to the bottom. Matter of fact if you don't get settling then it's probably not saturated.

    One thing I've been meaning to try is to put the baking soda into the kalk water. I don't know how much more alk that water could hold, if any, but if the soda dissolves then it's probably working.

    Other than that, you can be happy that your scrubber is growing fast and is carbon-limited; usually scrubbers are nutrient-limited.
    Pretty sure mixing baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate) with kalkwasser (calcium hydroxide) will instantly give you precipitated calcium carbonate. Same reason why you cant mix standard 2 part solutions in a single container

    Last night when I got home I tested my alk, 24 hours post mixing my first batch of Vinegar boosted Kalkwasser, it was 7.1dkh, edge of my seat to test again tonight and hopefully wont see a big drop as I previously have been

  7. #27

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    Tested again last night, 48 hours post mixing my first batch of vinegar boosted Kalk

    Alk 7.3
    Ca 425
    Mg 1365

    Seems my Alk has gone from 7.1 to 7.3 (gone up) for the first time ever from Kalkwasser... I have no dosed any 2 part or sodium bicarbonate... yay!

    Still early days, but very promising, looks like the vinegar pushed my kalk to meet or slightly exceed my consumption

    Will continue monitoring closely this week but here's to hoping this means I don't need to invest in a doser and automated 2-part setup at this time.

  8. #28
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    Also could use the old trick of putting a fan on the sump to evaporate more, so you can top-off more.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by SantaMonica View Post
    Also could use the old trick of putting a fan on the sump to evaporate more, so you can top-off more.
    Yeah thanks, I'll keep that up my sleeve if I need it. For now it seems this weeks dose of 50grams of Kalk, 200ml of Vinegar and 25L of RODI seems to be meeting my demand.

    Sunday new batch of Kalk mixed as above for 1 week worth of ATO water. Alk manually raised to ~7.2dkh with sodium bicarbonate
    Monday - Alk 7.1
    Tuesday - Alk 7.3
    Wednesday - Alk 7.0
    Thursday - Alk 7.1

    If my Alk is still in the low 7 range by Sunday when I need to mix a new batch I will run the same again next week. Looking promising so far.

    Sunday is generally my maintenance day, I clean the algae scrubber, clean the skimmer run most of my tests (mag, nitrate, calcium, ph, salinity). Sometimes do a small water change (about 10%). But last night I did a small water change of about 10%, and I will probably do another on Sunday. Reason being I have noticed a few of my SPS have not had good polyp extension for the last week... I am not sure why, could be so many things... still adjusting to my lights, dont like the flow they have, don't like the vinegar in my Kalk, too much/too little of some trace element, chemical warfare from something else (I have a green devils hand leather on the other side of the tank and I have been told they sometimes irritate SPS), or maybe iv just had my hands in the tank too much...

  10. #30
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    Also food particle availability.

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