Adding Calcium supplement to ATO water

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by hermit, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. hermit

    hermit Supporting Member

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    Hello all!

    I have a nano 8 mixed reef tank. I use Reef complete as a calcium supplement, Kent tech M for Mg and for Alkalinity I use fluval sea.

    Instead of adding all three supplements on a strict routine, I wish to automate atleast one by adding it to the ATO water (a 1 gallon reservoir that I need to fill up once a week)

    I was thinking of adding Reef Complete to the ATO and add Mg and Alk supplements manually. Would this be okay or is it better to add something else to the ATO water?


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    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  2. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

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    If using ATO most people use kalkwasser. It adds all and calcium to the tank


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  3. hermit

    hermit Supporting Member

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    Yes, I've thought about Kalkwasser, but I need to finish the supplements I currently have (with a nano, it takes some time :)), then I can start using Kalkwasser.
     
  4. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

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    With such a small tank, regular water changes should be plenty IMO.
     
  5. hermit

    hermit Supporting Member

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    It does replenish most of the stuff, but I try to keep calcium and magnesium slightly higher than what my salt provides.
     
  6. robert4025

    robert4025 Sponsor

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    Not a good idea to add CA supplement to any ATO System. The elevated CA will cause your ATO pump to fail prematurely in addition to clogging the line with CA build-up, especially in seal sensitive areas. I would use dedicated dosing pump.
     
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  7. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

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    I don't see why adding a CA supplement to an ATO would be any worse than kalkwasser on a pump. They'd both be equally hard on pumps because of precipitation, after all kalk is just calcium hydroxide, Ca(OH)2.

    I wouldn't reccomend adding the Ca supplement to your ATO because it will be hard to balance the correct amount of alk to dose. In theory, you should be dosing equivalent amount of a 2-part solution as the uptake by corals of the 2-part solution should be equal. Evaporation will vary depending on the temp of house, humidity, etc. and as such, you will not know the correct amount of alk to dose if you want to stay in balance. I'd imagine it could easily lead to situations where your parameters could stray. Unless, of course, you're testing every day and adjust alk dosing as needed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
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  8. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

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    What ATO are you using? I know with the Tunze it specifically states not to use kalk and use an add-on kalk reactor so not to jam up the pump.




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  9. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

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    I would say that too if I was a selling an ATO pump! :) BRS actually recommends the Tunze, knowing that you'll have to replace the pump because of kalk.

     
  10. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

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    I’ll have to watch this later but is he recommending using kalk with the tunze in itself?



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  11. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

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    Yes, but he recommends putting a glass bowl at the bottom of the ATO container to place the pump in so that the pump doesn't suck up the sediment.
     
  12. hermit

    hermit Supporting Member

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    Using a aqualifter pump with a Hydrofill Ti controller.

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  13. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

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    Not sure how that plays in the long run...
    Personally I like dosing everything separately-esp since my Ca is at 460 w/o dosing but need to dose alk to maintain >8.

    Since my PH is hanging out at ~8-about to throw some soda lime pellets (dry) at it with the solenoid valve to cap it at 8.3.


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  14. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

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    I don’t know it so can’t comment but you may want to reach out to their customer service to see what they say on the issue.


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  15. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

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    How would that be different than using kalk? Isn't a soda lime pellet just calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH)2] & and Sodium Hydroxide [NaOH]? Are you just expecting the pellet to dissolve slower and have a weaker concentration, if so, wouldn't using less kalk in the mixture achieve the same thing?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  16. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

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    It has potassium hydroxide as well (1%) but yes. Not 100% sure on the total mechanism but the goal is to reduce the CO2 vs actually raising alk and Ca. I don’t use kalk at all actually. I think as a gas it doesn’t have the same impact that kalk does. But could be wrong.


    But with the solient valve I can cap the PH at 8.3. I assume some decrease in alk but if the PH is kept constant I should actually be able to lock in the alk dosing as the bicarbonates should be the same everyday. In theory. See if it works in practice.


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