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CA Reactor setup help


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Hi everyone - I just got a new CA Reactor (thanks Frank!) and the rest of the gear from Joel, but I want to make sure I am doing things in the right order as to not blow my face off with the ARM :)


Which pump should I turn on first? The one feeding the reactor or the one that's inline with the water input? I have a ball valve that I'm going to use to inhibit the flow from my maxijet 600 to the reactor.


Or should I get the CO2 tuned first? (scratch)


I'm going to leave the output wide open at first to prevent too much pressure build up in the reactor.


How do I know when things are all looking good in there? Should the media be tumbling? Should there be bubbles? Should the output water be clear or cloudy?


Thanks in advance!

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here is a good starting place.




As for pumps mine only need a circulating pump not a feed pump, I would just turn both on, the feed pump will drip though the system, the larger will circulate the water, make sure you fill up the reactor first with water with small pump prior to running circular pump. the co2 reactor will not blow up, it will simply purge the water from the system.



typically I would start the exiting effluent at a drizzle where the drips barely break apart (this will be adjusted as per your use and requirements of calcium) and the co2 bubble rate at 1 drip per 2 seconds (this will be adjusted to hit your target PH range of 6.7-6.9 that ARM likes). Watch your ph exiting the reactor, you want to shoot for about 6.7-6.9 ph to make calcium. A controller works best on your co2 solenoid for this. Also keep an eye on your tank ph. I would bet your ph would be high here (in the reactor), thats ok, then slowly adjust your co2 bubble rate faster till you get the desired ph listed above. From there you will need to adjust as per link. Hope that helps. Go slow and make changes slowly it will take weeks to get going perfectly....

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You might consider getting it dialed in off a rubbermaid container before putting it on your tank... just to get a feel for it' date=' if nothing else.[/quote']




Basically, feed the reactor, start the recirc pump, and get the drip rate all dialed in before turning on the CO2. once you're ready for the co2 start off slow, give it a few days worth of tinkering/monitoring before trying to be dialed in.

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