Jump to content
TheClark

Wishing For A Peristaltic Pump For the Calcium Reactor

Recommended Posts

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...)!

 

g9iYRzx.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, TheClark said:

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...)!

 

g9iYRzx.png

Interesting.  This is one reason I decided to experiment with the wide open gravity feed at a higher flow rate and higher Ph set point. I think it will work well once I get the stupid needle valve out of the circuit. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't trade a brushless master flex for a kh guardian or whatever else alk monitor is around the corner.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, albertareef said:

Interesting.  This is one reason I decided to experiment with the wide open gravity feed at a higher flow rate and higher Ph set point. I think it will work well once I get the stupid needle valve out of the circuit. 

Please tell me more about the gravity feed, is it off of the overflow?  Also quite interesting...  About how many milliters per minute are you running?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alert works well, this just happened

 

Date: 2017-09-25 07:49:50 -0700
Status: ON
Statement: If FLx11_1 < 3.0 Then ON 
 

 

Indeed, there was a slow down in flow. Unhooked the JG fitting, hooked it backup, clog resolved.  Thirty seconds to fix, would have never noticed otherwise

Pretty interesting how the flow peaked up a few times this morning too before the clog:

 

AivnHAh.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wouldn't trade a brushless master flex for a kh guardian or whatever else alk monitor is around the corner.
yeah.
what is the deal with the apex all in one monitor? i heard all about it then poof.. i havent heard anything.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, pdxmonkeyboy said:

yeah.
what is the deal with the apex all in one monitor? i heard all about it then poof.. i havent heard anything.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

Releases next year sadly.  Can barely stand waiting!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, mattv said:

I.picked up a used masterflex off eBay for $250. Highly recommend you look there.

Thanks Mattv!  There are so darn many models.  Any good references besides the massive RC thread on exactly what model to choose?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update:  flow alarm this morning from apex

flow had dropped off low enough that the 1/4” flow monitor could not detect it

opened and closed the needle valve, flow came back up

no matter what the pump I am liking the apex flow meter

 

CCBBBFC5-0811-4A5F-8589-7D6E5D74A38B.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/25/2017 at 7:19 AM, TheClark said:

Please tell me more about the gravity feed, is it off of the overflow?  Also quite interesting...  About how many milliters per minute are you running?

 

Sorry - spotty wifi out here. To be more accurate, I am actually using a siphon (which is specifically discouraged) from one of my overflows. Honestly, despite the rep I think this will be rock solid once I get the needle valve out of the line. No flow control so all through PH. Higher flow means I run a higher PH to balance - at 7.0 right now which hold KH at 8.6 - 9.0. I can measure flow when I get back but probably on the order of. 50 a 75 ml/min.  

Masterflex would be great but running out of room for gear in my stand!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, albertareef said:

Sorry - spotty wifi out here. To be more accurate, I am actually using a siphon (which is specifically discouraged) from one of my overflows. Honestly, despite the rep I think this will be rock solid once I get the needle valve out of the line. No flow control so all through PH. Higher flow means I run a higher PH to balance - at 7.0 right now which hold KH at 8.6 - 9.0. I can measure flow when I get back but probably on the order of. 50 a 75 ml/min.  

Masterflex would be great but running out of room for gear in my stand!

If you can get gravity/siphon to be reliable, seems like the best of the best.  Keep us posted I am quite interested.

I am going to try one of these:

HZs1g0k.png

 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MCWL4UX/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

With one of these I already had laying around:

 

31aw0xLZMEL.jpg

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DER02OE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

as a 40 dollar experiment.

Hoping with PWM I can slow it down/make it quiet.  And, with the apex hoping it stays consistent!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

11 hours in, no clogs or stops.  Already beating the MJ.  

kylw8HG.png

 

That's the good.  Here are my concerns which I will update this thread on.

1)  At this slow speed, it makes an annoying clicking sound.  

2)  How long will this cheap motor hold up?

3)  I don't believe this is nearly as accurate as a stepper motor based peristaltic pump.

 

On point 1, I plan to try and make a hush box for the peristaltic pump part, lest I go crazy as it clicks away.

On point 2, I plan to keep spares on hand (if this becomes permanent).  Also, I have two other standard pumps as spares from the old setup.

On point 3, I believe that it is so much better than what I had, its a step in the right direction.

 

I have an old cole parmer 'beater' pump from auto water changes too lying around yet.  May bust that out and try it although it needs new tubing.  That is the thing with peristaltic, you gotta be ready for the tubing to wear out and the pumps to leak allot of water potentially before you notice!

 

Ok, that's my update!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, TheClark said:

Thanks Mattv!  There are so darn many models.  Any good references besides the massive RC thread on exactly what model to choose?

I went for the basic strip down model, just has a dial to control the feed rate instead of the fancy digital ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Clark swapped a MJ 1200 with 75 ml flow with an Amazon peristaltic pump  rated at 500 ml.  Help me understand how you throttle this pump down.

31aw0xLZMEL.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Trailermann said:

The Clark swapped a MJ 1200 with 75 ml flow with an Amazon peristaltic pump  rated at 500 ml.  Help me understand how you throttle this pump down.

31aw0xLZMEL.jpg

This guy throttles it down via PWM

 

HZs1g0k.png

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MCWL4UX/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

All needle valves are wide open, the pump does the metering, not valves with this setup.

 

Please note, this is not a stepper motor like the high end masterflex pumps.  

This is just an experiment.

I will update everyone, there are some concerns but also some encouraging bits as well!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Couple of pics.  This is a very rough prototype/expirement complete with tie wraps!  If this sticks, will be making a nice box for all this junk :)

 

The pump and the flow speed

D734F547-AE8E-455A-8A41-E3C1FA234C89.jpeg

 

The flow from the CR back to the sump...

80A8D97E-E36A-4DFA-9A60-DE09218D193F.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update Jeremy. Looks promising so far!  Your point about tubing failure is one that has always concerned me having used peristaltics  a lot in my line of work. The stress put on the tubing by the rollers almost gaurentees a split at some point so be prepared! I lost a few experiments that way over the years🙁

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, albertareef said:

Thanks for the update Jeremy. Looks promising so far!  Your point about tubing failure is one that has always concerned me having used peristaltics  a lot in my line of work. The stress put on the tubing by the rollers almost gaurentees a split at some point so be prepared! I lost a few experiments that way over the years🙁

That's about as real world experiment experience as it gets!  Thanks for sharing...

I had the auto water changer in the garage dump a whole lot of water before noticing a few years back...

Just wondering... If you had an apex that would have alerted you that the flow stopped during the experiment, would that have saved any grief and allowed the experiment to continue?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Calling the experiment a success.  This is merely a prototype though... nothing I would leave in service for the long haul.

Seems like one important variable is pressure.  The peristaltic pump has good pressure through the tubing and doesn't seem to clog as much as the MJ was.  Granted the MJ was not designed to pump with pressure through 1/4" tubing.

For the longer term experiment... Found some 30 dollar 'quiet' pump heads that should come in next week.  This current one makes a racket (even at reduced speed) and really doesn't seem to be built for continuous duty.  Will run it until next week and see if it holds up for at least a week though in case anyone is interested.

I do use these exact same pump heads for ATO and Kalk.  They pump from the garage up to my office.  Noise in the garage is no big deal.  @ssappington I noticed also uses the same peristaltic pump heads on his ATO as well.  

So there are options out there!

Anything I run, I like to have 2 of for redundancy sakes.  Everything seems to break at some point and the stakes are so high.  So having a < 100 dollar option allow for one in service, one on the shelf is super appealing.  Even though I should suck it up and get a masterflex :doh:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, TheClark said:

That's about as real world experiment experience as it gets!  Thanks for sharing...

I had the auto water changer in the garage dump a whole lot of water before noticing a few years back...

Just wondering... If you had an apex that would have alerted you that the flow stopped during the experiment, would that have saved any grief and allowed the experiment to continue?

Yeah - we didn't have any flow monitoring setup although we were fractionating off of a column but it was usually based on time.  Lots of our runs were overnight so probably wouldn't have saved them anyway... would have needed to sort it out within a few minutes to salvage things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, albertareef said:

Thanks for the update Jeremy. Looks promising so far!  Your point about tubing failure is one that has always concerned me having used peristaltics  a lot in my line of work. The stress put on the tubing by the rollers almost gaurentees a split at some point so be prepared! I lost a few experiments that way over the years🙁

How do you feed from the siphon?  

A 1/4" T off of the full siphon on the overflow?

It's intriguing, I can see that being quite consistent as well as long as the overflow level remains consistent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By TheClark
      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!)
          
         http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2368618

      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:
      BEFORE

       
      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:
              
             https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1312.R1.TR4.TRC0.A0.H0.XLarge+peri.TRS1&_nkw=large+peristaltic&_sacat=0
              
              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.
              
             https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DVGGWC0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
          
             
              
                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:
              
             https://www.amazon.com/Adapter-Switching-100-240V-Connector-Security/dp/B06XPF9NPL/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1507776121&sr=8-14&keywords=12V+2A+Power+Supply
              
              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
          
          
          Wiring
          
              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.
              
              
          Boxing
          
              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:
       

      Special Considerations:
       
      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...  
    • By albertareef
      Hi all,
      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!
    • By Trailermann
      I have struggled adjusting my new calcium reactor for over a month.  My biggest obstacle is fluctuating effluent flow.
      The AquaMaxx C-Tech Nano comes with a pinch valve located after the  the input pump (Tom's Aqualift) and water filter and before the reactor.  The valve is so imprecise that the very slightest turn of the knob causes  effluent flow to change a lot.  My initial goal is two drops per second (6 ml per minute).  I get the flow set and by the next morning, it has dropped by two thirds or more.  Later that next day, it drops even more.  
      Next I bought a $25 needle valve from Marine Depot.  Same problem.  After I dial it in, it drops badly by the next day.  Isn't a steady effluent flow essential to the operation of the reactor?  Does every one have similar problems?  I should not have to purchase a peristaltic pump.
    • By milesmiles902
      First off, I would like to start off by thanking PowderBlue, WingRider62 and Garrett from TPA. I wouldn't have been able to do this without you guys.
      Today I finally finished setting up my 60 gallon lagoon and connecting it to my main display.

      ...but where did this all start? About a month ago, I came across WingRider62's 6 bulb T5 fixture on the forum and decided the deal was too sweet that I had to grab it. On the way north, I stopped by TPA and they had this tank sitting in the back of the store. I knew it would fit the light, so I grabbed it too.
      I got back home and unloaded them, but they sat in my garage for a couple weeks because I didn't have a stand. I saw Powderblue selling his stand and sump, but couldn't pick it up during the week because of work and finals.
      with the sump below the aquarium:

      Right after my finals finished, I left the testing room and began drawing my plumbing plans....on the back of my final.  I knew I couldn't get the old sump out from below the 75, so I decided to re-implement it as an auto top-off reservoir as shown below. I went and ordered all the pieces online and began to wait.

      After failing and wasting too many materials in my life, I finally...FINALLY realized what separates the men from the boys and it's measuring. So, I went and re-drew everything to scale on multiple pieces of cardboard. This:

      ...became this:

      The refugium was going to be below the tank and I didn't want it to shine through at night, so when some PVC was drying, I added some aquarium backdrop to the bottom of the aquarium.

      Outside of the aquarium is blue and inside is black.

      I had to size everything up, so two nights ago, the living room looked like this (if you look closely there is actually a toothbrush on the ground).

      I was sizing up a lot of the larger pieces before I glued them. I knew even with measuring, nothing was going to fit snugly. Zip ties were key.

      Before I had everything on the lagoon completely glued, I went and painted some of the PVC black because I didn't want the white to distract.


      Once all the plumbing was done for the lagoon, I had to begin plumbing the display. I screwed up when I originally designed the overflow and had to cut it to implement to new plumbing. Here is what it looked like:


      Once I cut the display overflow, the clock was ticking. It no longer had a sump and a lot of the equipment had to be temporarily moved around. Eventually, I sized everything up, but the worse part was I realized I didn't have enough water to supply my new tank and sump, so there was a lot of waiting.
      People! Make extra water! Anyhow...I had a lot of time to clean out my old sump while I waited. 

      Here is what it looks like now. It is going to be used as an auto top-off reservoir. I was also getting sick of remaking my two part calcium and alkalinity solutions every couple months, so I upgraded to 5 gallon containers.

      Everything eventually came online. Being in a rental home, it would be the end of me if all the water spilled, but I fearfully went to bed. I had known that there is always minor leaks, so I threw some towels down around the tanks.
      When I woke up this morning, I sprinted over to my aquarium to find everything ALIVE! A couple towels were wet, but nothing I couldn't clean up. Here is what it looked like after I transferred some of the coral. 

      Now for the part that was the most complicated. The main sump. P.S. Zip ties are still attached for safety reasons.

      Let me dissect this monstrosity. On the left, we have the return pump, going to a a 1 inch true union check valve and then a four-way junction. On the four-way is a 1" return to the main display, 3/4" return to the frag tank (with gate valves) and currently a screw-on cap. Eventually, I plan to route this junction straight through the wall behind the tanks and into the garage. It would give me the opportunity to have water change reservoirs out of sight from the public and have easy access for disposal. It's not happening anytime soon, but I hope that in the future I will never have to lift another bucket.

      On the right, is the drains (and emergency) from the tanks, skimmer, heaters and refugium. I was so pissed off that I glued that gate valve at an angle, but if that's the worse of my problems. Who cares. Although, that refugium light did fall into my tank early this morning and I immediately pulled on the cord to get it out. The light never went off, nor did the power bar or breaker, so I unplugged it and let it dry. Once dry, I plugged the bulb in, but couldn't remember if I left it on or off...it started making a slight buzzing noise, so I assumed it was on. I tried turning it "off" but that was really on and the thing exploded. No light bulb in sight, half the fixture was gone and this time the breaker blew. Luckily, I had an extra lying around.

      People, before you build a tank, do these things:
      1. Keep the power off, until everything is in place. I learned that the hard way.
      2. Make enough water before you start. Count on leaks and count on overshooting your guesstimate. It never hurts to make extra.
      3. I had to cut a couple bulk heads because they were either damaged, too small, or had silt in them. Be careful with them because you often don't have any to spare.
      4. PVC is made to fit only a certain size. Build it at the store, bring it home with a couple pieces in excess. When it is 3 am and you need a 1" to 3/4" adapter because something is leaking...ya, just buy extras and return them as needed. Home depot is cool like that.
       
      All in all, this is what the tanks looked like late tonight. They are operational, with a few minor things to come. You'll just have to wait and see.

       
       
       
×