Why A Peristaltic Pump?
This is covered in great detail on the internet. In summary:
○ More reliable consistent flow
Read more about the official MasterFlex Calcium Reactor thread here. They are spendy, 200-400 dollars. And they are awesome.
(hint, if you can spare the reef $$, stop reading this and go get one!)
For me personally? I needed to babysit some SPS. I knew that my CR flow would dip and sometimes clog. Rather than risk someone else's coral I decided to step up the game a little.
Check out my flow before and after:
Why A DIY Peristaltic Pump?
The primary reason is simply to save money.
By saving money, you might be able to have a spare on hand.
For me, I try to have 2 of anything critical because reef stores are not open 24/7 and Amazon cannot ship fast enough to save your coral if things go wrong.
Building One - Parts
Pump and Motor - $30
The pump and motor itself. Search ebay for 'large peristaltic' and you will find this one:
Pumps come and go. It is nice to have one with:
§ At least two rollers (anti siphon)
§ Stainless steel bearings (not a plastic, noisy pump)
This setup requires a brushed DC 12v motor so that it can be PWM controlled. A better setup would be a stepper motor based motor and controller. Future?
Motor Speed Controller - $11
You want a PWM speed controller. This controls the speed so the flow can be dialed in.
Note: There are tons of cool options here. Web controlled, LED speed display etc. I did find though that certain PWMs cause the motor to overheat so you may need to experiment if deviating from this one.
Power Supply - $6.50
12volt 2 amp power supply with a wiring adapter.
Here is one on amazon:
It is better to find one that is UL Listed. Once you are past the power supply though, everything is low voltage.
The wiring adapter is key (the green thing in the pic). It makes taking power from the adapter simple, just turning a couple of screws.
Wire - Free to $16
If you have any kind of wire laying around that is 16 gauge or bigger, feel free to repurpose it.
Some wiring connectors such as 2 spade connectors can be soldered onto the back of the motor or possibly crimp
Building One - Assembly
The wiring is very basic and covered with the PWM controller documentation.
Basically the power goes from the power adapter, to the PWM controller, to the motor.
Everything is labelled, it is super easy.
The hardest part is attaching the wires to the motor. You can use a variety of methods, but a crimp on spade connector can work.
Be sure to use the right gauge wire. I used 16 gauge because I had some from other projects. It's nice to use 2 different colors, pick one such as red for positive, black for ground and be consistent.
There are allot of options. Mine is stuffed into a double gang electrical box ($2).
I just drilled some holes and routed wires.
Here is the inside
For more details etc check out this thread:
The results are detailed in another thread:
Tubing wears out and fails, you need to place the pump in a location such that if this happens, water will drain into the tank instead of onto the floor! Ideally monitor the flow with the APEX flow monitoring kit 1/4" adapter. That way when the tubing goes you can quickly replace it. Sound! This is a pretty quiet pump, but it is not as quiet as an MJ sitting underwater in the sump. So keep that in mind... Super Important: Don't turn down the pump so low that it does not run smoothly. That will overheat the motor as it is basically starting up from stopped several times per second. The pump should run smooth with no visible lurching...
Man, it would be nice.
Especially now that APEX showed me how wildly the flow varies off of my MJ1200 feed pump.
Flow is in liters per hour. That means I have been ranging from 56 mls/min to 98 mls / minute. I do have to think it would be much more consistent with the peristaltic...
Going to be looking for some cheap options as my reef budget will not allow for a good one at this point (400 dollars...)!
It is getting to the point that I need to restock my Ca reactor and thought it might be a good opportunity to see what folk here recommend/prefer for media. There seem to be a few more widely available options like ReBorn (Little Fishes), ARM (Caribsea) and Reef Reactor (Seachem) but probably more that I am missing. Like many things reef, I would expect people to have some opinions on their relative merit and, of course, would be interested to hear those along with positive/negative experiences if you are willing to share.
Thanks in advance!
For those of you who were not able to make it the PNWMAS September meeting this year was held at one of our club members homes Higher Thinking. Andrew and his wife Lauren purchased the house recently and opened their doors to our group for a very nice meet and greet shindig.
Right inside you walk right past a very nice fresh water planted tank. He gave a run down on how to keep an attractive shrimp aquarium, wich is also something he knows quite a bit about, I didn't get any close ups of this particular tank but I did get some shots of the others.
Once you walk past the fresh water tank you are just hit by this large reef just glittering in the middle of the room. YES!!! Are those Radions I see? Nice canopy, it looks pretty slick in person.
Higher Thinking even cleared some space right next to his tank for our cub frag tank. My good friend Miles and I got the trade tank going on for some coral exchange.
A very healthy spread of food was layed out before we had even gotten their by our generous hosts. Mac and cheese, sweet cornbread, 3 kinds of delicious pulled pork, Sirena's killer tortellini pasta salad, and
With OUR Name on them! Very Cool Lauren and Andrew, Very Cool.
Not only that but Andrew offered up his knowledge and time to give us all a refresher course on Calcium reactors. Conveniently he has it plumbed underneath his house were it resides in a separate closet that happens to be adjacent to were the meeting was taking place.
He did very well at the presentation, ran through all the basics, got into some of the technicalities, answered questions, and with some input form Bicycle Bill pointed out some tricks of the trade as well as thoughts on some reactor maintenance. Thank You Andrew, you did well.
AND let us not forget about the Big Raffle that went on. So many generous sponsors this year! In the pot at this September meeting were... Rod's Frozen Foods, The Premium Aquarium, Upscales, Avast Marine Works, Sea Horse Supply, Ocean In A Box, Barrier Reef, and the Golden Basket!
Not only that but there was tons of cool reef stuffs brought such as bags, buttons, hats, and various sample products from test kits to coral dips. Thank you Holly and Kim!
Kim even brought the Club T-Shirts for our members to grab one before we revamp the style...So much good stuff in one place.
I designed a new CA reactor, the prototype is fabricated, now I need a volunteer who is familiar with traditional calcium reactor, please contact me if you are interested and accept the terms as following:
1. the product patent is submitted but not approved yet. the tester is willing to have a confidential agreement with me and not release any design detail to the third party until it is released by inventor.
2. the tester is familiar with traditional calcium reactor and have a reactor at a running aquarium to make the comparison.
3. the tester has a sump and enough space in the cabinet (less footprint than traditional ca reactor)
4. the tester is willing to document the detail results, data, perform frequent chemical tests
5. the tester is willing to communicate with me for test progress and provide the updates in time.
additional requirements but not necessary:
1. close to my home address, beaverton 97229 area
2. I can visit the testing tank or testing environment.
what I will provide:
- the prototype and necessary accessories, tester can keep the prototype after the testing if desired
- testing kits
- reactor media
pro and cons of the design
- small foot print, space saver
- easy to adjust
- no concern on media debris
- more tolerant to oscillation of CO2 pressure, may not require an expensive regulator ( this needs to be tested)
- need to position higher than aquarium water level or sump water level
- could waste 2-5% CO2 (this needs to be tested, may not be the case due to the new diffuser design)
- two to three small pumps will be required rather than a big recirculation pump comparing to the traditional design. More spots will be taken for APEX
It is not first come first service thing, I will leave this ad for a week and pick a tester who meets most above requirements. It is fun to test the new toy, isn't it?
without you guys help, OceanRevive couldn't starts up, i promise i will offer a big discount to local club members if this product can be commercialized.