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RobMBush

MRC CCR-818 Calcium reactor setup - First time reactor user

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Setting up my first calcium reactor.  I'm retrofitting a reef octopus Varios 2 DC pump to my new MRC CCR-818 rather than the old school blueline MD20 that was OEM.  Schedule 80 fittings and Pinpoint valve set on the way and I still need to pick up a 20lb co2 bottle.   Will be running a PH probe off the 2nd channel on my APEX with a cutoff for the solenoid if PH in the reactor goes too low.   Varios will be controlled off the Apex as well although I'm thinking there probably isn't much value to dialing the re-circulation flow. Return flow will come off my existing manifold powered by a Vectra L1. 

Any recommendations on how to dial or first time user things to avoid?  I was previously keeping softies and was only adding calcium by topping off with kalkwasser. 

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Edited by RobMBush

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Ph controller, electronic carbon doser, and if possible a masterflex feed pump. That is excellent reactor so you're off to a great start.

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7 minutes ago, Jorge said:

Ph controller, electronic carbon doser, and if possible a masterflex feed pump. That is excellent reactor so you're off to a great start.

Thanks.  Yeah I have an electric C02 valve set with solenoid coming and will be using  the second channel on my Neptune apex for the PH control. 

I was planning on feeding from a manifold that is already powered by a Vectral L1 and I have a 1/2 gate valve for flow control to this reactor although the needle valve on the exit of the reactor will really control the flow so I guess i just need enough  pressure on the system for it to work properly. Everything coming off the manifold is adjusted by a gate valve so I could cut back the flow on some others and crank up the L1 if needed.   I took a look at the masterflex pump, look's interesting and would certainly increase the accuracy for dosing .

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14 hours ago, Jorge said:

Thanks Jorge.  Digging in now. 

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Here's my current set up. Wouldn't trade it for one of the new alk guardians. With a reactor you can run the big three consistently without fluctuations. The pump like I said before is the key!

 

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Awesome! You just saved yourself an incredible amount of frustration. A good start will be 10ml per minute and an effluent of 6.6. The effluent ph will also depend on the media being used. I like to run the extra coarse ARM at 6.42 to get the most out of co2. 

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9 hours ago, Jorge said:

Awesome! You just saved yourself an incredible amount of frustration. A good start will be 10ml per minute and an effluent of 6.6. The effluent ph will also depend on the media being used. I like to run the extra coarse ARM at 6.42 to get the most out of co2. 

One question on how to configure:  Does the peristaltic pump simply replace the needle valve as the effluent control system and since I'm running the reactor external don't I still need to push water to the reactor via my manifold (I don't have any experience with peristaltic pumps so I don't know if unintended flow would occur due to the head pressure on the reactor)?  Seems like the other route with no prime pump to the reactor would cause the peristaltic pump a lot of effort to draw water into the reactor via a feed tube from the sump (And regarding my earlier thoughts on unintended flow with head pressure would likely result in loss of siphon in this configuration) .  Maybe I already answered my question and either  configuration would work because the peristaltic pump only allows precise metered flow by design :)

I picked up a 50Lb bag of extra coarse ARM already!

 

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You won't need to feed the peristaltic pump with another pump. It will simply pull water directly from the sump. I don't like the idea of feeding the peristaltic pump from a manifold because if the tubing on the head ever tears you'll lose water much faster. 

There will be a prime button on the masterflex that will help you feed the lines initially. 

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All systems are go!  PH in the reactor has stabilized around 6.51 for ~24 hr.  Effluent rate is running 8ml/min and the bubble count is one every 2-3 seconds with the LP side at 15psi.  So far the solenoid has not come into play but will cut the CO2 at PH 6.4 if it were ever to go that low.  Baseline before starting the reactor a few days ago was CA of 372- Hanna, dkh around 9.5, mg ~1500.   Phosphate has been holding around  .03 - .04 on the Hanna low range checker. 

I still need to mount the pump controls but haven't decided where I want them quite yet. 

 

 

 

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Fantastic!  You will be killing it right out of the chute with both a stable flow, and stable feed.  A little bit jelly here of that feed pump, congrats!

 

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