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:help:
Sorry about the stupid question people but Im very new to salt water and need to know if some things are really needed. I have a new 210g Mega flow tank Im putting together and was woundering about a few other pieces that Im not sure about. First this will be a reef tank with 200+ live rock,sand bed, full coral, shrimp,crab, and lots of different fish:peeved:. My question is about Calcium reactors. Is this an item that is 100% needed or is a dosing system just as effective? What is a Kalkwasser reactor:rolleyes:? Is there a difference between he two? Also what is a Reefugium filter? Is this for curing rock or for keeping live stock temporary? Sorry These are probally questions most of you heard already and are getting tired of answering but I just dont have faith in the LFS.

Thanks people; Bill
 

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spaceman spiff
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Dosing is just as a effective as the reactors, it's just more time consuming. There is a difference between the two. A calcium reactor contains some sort of hard calcium carbonate source (usually in the form of crushed coral or other media) that is dissolved by the introduction of CO2. The dissolved media then replenishes alkalinity and calcium. A kalkwasser reactor is mostly used in conjunction with an auto top-off system. It houses some sort of powdered kalk, usually calcium hydroxide, that is stirred or mixed with the auto top-off water, and then dosed to the tank.

A kalk reactor will have more of an impact on calcium, and the calcium reactor will have more of an impact on alkalinity, and both should really only be used to make up the depletion of alk and calc. If you're relying on them to raise your levels, you'll be disappointed.

I'm not sure I've heard the term refugium filter. Do you just mean a refugium? That's merely a place in the system that does not have any predators in it. They are used to grow macro algaes, bolster pod populations (the little critters that run around on live rock), and a few other reasons. They shouldnt really be used for quarantine, though if you needed to isolate a fish or invert for some reason other than to medicate it would work fine. Personally, I don't think they're as useful as others, and I've not employed a refugium for a number of years now.

Don't apologize for asking questions! We're happy to help out!!
 

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Stinky Slimey FEESH
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In my opinion, having a calcium reactor is only necessary if you plan on raising lots of clams or sps corals that need a lot of calcium. I have some clams and SPSs and I dose it manually using liquid calcium. No reactor and it seems to work fine for me, it's just not "automatic".

Refugiums are great if you have any critters that eat copepods or need lots of algae and green stuff - but I don't have one of those either!

HHC
 

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someone did a cost analysis on the three main ways to do Balanced calcium and alkalinity additions.

Lime water was the cheapest, I dont remember where the others fell.

I think the most important thing is that you use a balanced method to maintain your levels. weather you decide to use lime water, a 2part solution, or a calcium reactor is partly by choice and will partly be driven by need.
You can only dose so much limewater before either it drives your PH up too high,or you dont have enoph evaporation loss to meet your doseing demands.

doseing a two part solution I think can get expensive if your needs are high.

Calcium reactors have a high initial cost compared to the others but are quite cost effective over time.

Its also fairly popular to use lime water in addition to a calcium reactor to smooth daily PH swings by only doseing limewater at night.

and dont forget magnesium, you need to maintain your mg levels or your calcium will precipitate at a lower concentration.

If you want to keep your upfront costs down, I think I would start with limewater. You dont need a reactor or anything, just a tub to mix it in and a way to dose it. If at some point that no longer meets your needs you can add a calcium reactor later.
 

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Pinch That Penny
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you don't need the reactor. It just makes it a little easier on time. If you wanna dose manually it works just as well
 
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