Jump to content

Show Us Your Calcium Reactor Setup


TheClark
 Share

Recommended Posts

Let's see em!

 

What type of regulator, Co2 tank, feed method, dual chamber, flow meter, peristaltic pumps...?

 

How do you run it? 

 

What makes it reliable?

 

What do you watch out for to prevent crashes (clogged output, running out of CO2 etc..)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CR140 reactor

5lb co2 tank

Aquatic life reg

Feed via manifold off my RF Dart return pump with ball valve

Controlled VIA Archon with pH probe in reactor

Effluent controlled with pvc needle valve from usplastic

Media used is TLF Reborn and BW mag media

 

As far as clogging, the needle valve is a bit more prone. I check the outflow and make minor tweaks. Occasionally I will open it wide open into a container to clear the lines out. Stays pretty consistent overall though.

 

If I had money to throw at it, there are some crazy lab grade peristaltic pumps that people use for feed. I haven't really noticed any inconsistency with the manifold though.

 

 

Here's and older pic, it's on the LHS

C399805D-B88D-40E7-8C8E-30FE1684E2DA_zps

Edited by Blue Z Reef
Link to comment
Share on other sites

CR140 reactor

5lb co2 tank

Aquatic life reg

Feed via manifold off my RF Dart return pump with ball valve

Controlled VIA Archon with pH probe in reactor

Effluent controlled with pvc needle valve from usplastic

Media used is TLF Reborn and BW mag media

 

As far as clogging, the needle valve is a bit more prone. I check the outflow and make minor tweaks. Occasionally I will open it wide open into a container to clear the lines out. Stays pretty consistent overall though.

 

If I had money to throw at it, there are some crazy lab grade peristaltic pumps that people use for feed. I haven't really noticed any inconsistency with the manifold though.

 

 

Here's and older pic, it's on the LHS

C399805D-B88D-40E7-8C8E-30FE1684E2DA_zps

 

Awesome, great info Jeff, thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How long does a 5lb tank last you?... I'm thinking about going the reactor route instead of these dosing pumps.. I have a 20lb tank to use but it's kinda big and ugly.. thinking about downsizing it

Honestly, no idea yet. This is the first reactor I've used. From the research I've done I'm guessing at least 6 months give or take.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 5 lb tank lasted about 9 months on my tank. I had to replace/add media after about 6 months. My reactor is the same as fishmanmike, but I've got a fancy 2 stage regulator that Wanareef built up. I've also got a Dwyer MMA flow gage for effluent, and running a Sicce 1.0 pump for feed. I have a throttle ball valve on discharge of feed pump going into reactor, then a fancy Vertex/Uline needle valve for final balance. Took a bit of patience to get dialed in, but now it's a no brainer that I rarely have to even look at. I have a secondary chamber, but I believe it's worthless really. I've got magnesium on top of reborn media in main reactor that isn't breaking down, so no co2 is making it to second chamber to make it worthwhile. I still have to add magnesium to my tank manually.  I don't miss having to mix 1 gal jugs of 2 part once a month though.    

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's mine. Just recently hooked up.

 

Reef octopus reactor

DIY Secondary chamber made from a two little fishes media reactor.

Feed by a manafold from my iwaki MD100.

Return controlled by pinch valve

Milwaukee gauges, solenoid, and needle valve.

 

D0041B1D-68F7-47AF-B402-21A605B5180C_zps

D466F04B-DE6A-41AB-8082-14C2482B01AF_zps

 

 

Thanks Mike, I really like the TLF DIY second stage reactor.  Very cool idea, low cost but effective.  Curious how you converted it over to the 1/4" or whatever sized line?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 5 lb tank lasted about 9 months on my tank. I had to replace/add media after about 6 months. My reactor is the same as fishmanmike, but I've got a fancy 2 stage regulator that Wanareef built up. I've also got a Dwyer MMA flow gage for effluent, and running a Sicce 1.0 pump for feed. I have a throttle ball valve on discharge of feed pump going into reactor, then a fancy Vertex/Uline needle valve for final balance. Took a bit of patience to get dialed in, but now it's a no brainer that I rarely have to even look at. I have a secondary chamber, but I believe it's worthless really. I've got magnesium on top of reborn media in main reactor that isn't breaking down, so no co2 is making it to second chamber to make it worthwhile. I still have to add magnesium to my tank manually. I don't miss having to mix 1 gal jugs of 2 part once a month though.

What benefit is gained from a two stage gauge? Pic of it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Mike, I really like the TLF DIY second stage reactor. Very cool idea, low cost but effective. Curious how you converted it over to the 1/4" or whatever sized line?

Thanks! It just made sense seeing as I have like 6 of these lying around.

The top of the media reactor has two nipples sticking out of it, I just cut the center one off and drilled and tapped a JG fitting into it. The other I just plugged a piece of vinyl tubing on it with a plug. Then drilled and tapped another JG fitting into the bottom. This one is a 90 degree fitting however. If you want more details hit me up and I can get you some closer pictures.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 5lb lasts me about three months. It sucks. It's currently at zero psi and I'm sure my ALK is not much higher. I'm confident I have an air leak somewhere, but can't be bothered to find it and fix it. Doesn't help the local airgas closes at 5pm either. Think its time for a whole new setup.

 

It is surprising to me how resilient my corals are. Full tank of SPS and the CaRX has been down for weeks, no problem. I don't seem to get much growth without it, but they hang tough! Just added a bunch of acans from reefnjunkies tank and they are looking happy as ever as well. For kicks I'll test my alk tonight. this will be funny and embarrassing at the same time.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 5 lb tank lasted about 9 months on my tank. I had to replace/add media after about 6 months. My reactor is the same as fishmanmike, but I've got a fancy 2 stage regulator that Wanareef built up. I've also got a Dwyer MMA flow gage for effluent, and running a Sicce 1.0 pump for feed. I have a throttle ball valve on discharge of feed pump going into reactor, then a fancy Vertex/Uline needle valve for final balance. Took a bit of patience to get dialed in, but now it's a no brainer that I rarely have to even look at. I have a secondary chamber, but I believe it's worthless really. I've got magnesium on top of reborn media in main reactor that isn't breaking down, so no co2 is making it to second chamber to make it worthwhile. I still have to add magnesium to my tank manually. I don't miss having to mix 1 gal jugs of 2 part once a month though.

I've noticed the same thing with the mag media. When I read about it, some people said it needs lower ph to melt. I also dose in addition but I think it is partially helping because I don't dose very much mag.

 

What's your ph set point? Mine is 6.6 with a .2 hysteresis, seems to be ideal for my setup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Check out this heap. No gas, got a replacement pump zip tied to it, sittin in Tupperware coz it leaks gas and water, you know, real proppa like!

 

1833D30B-B0EB-454D-ACA5-A09CCAA1435B_zps

 

Tested the alk, journal says last time I checked it was November!!

When I multiply by 0.056 I come up with 4.2. Guess I can't be too mad though.

B9709B89-D904-4B22-ADDD-D74F03552E46_zps

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's our DIY calicum reactor, 20" tall and using a 10" tube will hold about 3 1/2 tubs of the ARM coarse media using a mag 5 for a recirc pump.

 

The tank is the garden variety 20lb size with an industrial CO2 regulator that has been rebuilt with new seals and guages, a Parker solenoid and Swedgelok needle valve all controlled by an Apex  

 

-industrial grade-

post-12945-0-36438400-1426724112_thumb.jpg

post-12945-0-89637800-1426724137_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pete you kill me-love that post :)

 

Here is mine-

Dual stage reactor built by non other than Mr. Wanareef

 

MRC Dual 18" Reactor -rated for 1500 gallons I think (time to upgrade tanks)

 

Reactor is feed off of the return and effluent is monitored by DIY probe holder-Rate of effluent is roughly 12mls per second-I don't have to worry anymore about my return valve plugging

 

Media is TLF Reborn and each reactor holds about 20 pounds

 

Im sure but a 20lb CO2 bottle lasts me about 6 months-my effluent is kept around 6.96

 

 

IMG_7242_zpsl4qsyrem.jpg

 

IMG_7243_zps81e7b0lj.jpg

 

IMG_7244_zpsu2j1hmwc.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome posts guys.

 

Reefnjunkie -

 

You say ' I don't have to worry about my return valve plugging'.  Is that because your flow rate is 12 mls / minute? 

 

Oops, I see, 12 mls per second or 720 mls per minute.  You have a very high flow rate, I get it.

 

My bad, did you all catch that?  

 

PeteRock - That is an epic picture, showing a result no one would have predicted.  Tank look fantastic and alk is 4.2?  What the heck!!??

 

Wannareef - Unfortunately your pics are tiny so I cannot admire your handiwork, although Brad's reactor sure looks nice.

 

Reefnjunkie - How could you possibly count your bubbles?  Can you at that rate of CO2 consumption?

Edited by theclark
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...