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HarleyGuy

Calcium Reactor setup recommendations

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Hi all, I’m getting a reef Octo cr200 Calcium Reactor, a Carbon Doser regulator, and running a Sicca Synchra 0.5 pump for effluent until my Kamoer FX-STP peri pump arrives. I have very low demand system with 130 gal (at the moment), and could use some initial setup recommendations on the Carbon Doser (co2 pressure, bubble size and count, and initial effluent output speed. Can you help? 😊

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I can't speak much to the carbon doser, I use a two stage regulator.  For what it's worth, I keep the low side of the regulator around 40 PSI, and of course the high side is whatever is coming out of the bottle, which could be close to 1000 psi.  I keep the bubble count about 1 per second (ish).   I like to keep the effluent rate between 70-90 ml/sec.   You will get a wide variety of opinions on setup though.

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Hi Jolt, thanks bud! 1 bubble per sec seems like a lot for a low demand? Ty has a CarbonDoser, Ty, ideas on setting one up? I thought Dan had one as well?

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27 minutes ago, HarleyGuy said:

Hi Jolt, thanks bud! 1 bubble per sec seems like a lot for a low demand? Ty has a CarbonDoser, Ty, ideas on setting one up? I thought Dan had one as well?

Well, I don't know about the carbon doser, but for my setup it does not do 1 bubble per second all the time.  It is ph controlled.  So when the Ph in the chamber reaches my high setpoint the solenoid opens and the bubbles will start running at one per second.  This will cause the Ph in the chamber to start dropping.  When the Ph reaches my low setpoint the solenoid will close and the bubbles will stop.  At one bubble per second it takes maybe 5 minutes to reach the low setpoint.  I think Ty strives to set his up such that the solenoid just stays open, which would be done by a lower bubble rate I presume.  He has said that this prolongs the life of his solenoid I believe.  It's a personal call as to how you set things up and like I said you will get varying opinions.  I control mine by setting the effluent rate and bubble rate constant and then I adjust the high/low Ph setpoints as needed to achieve the Alk I want.

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I also would set it at 1 bubble per second to start. Geo says start at 30 per minute. When you make adjustments to bubble rate wait a few hours for it to take effect on Ph.

I have a small thin bubble counter which has fine bubbles so my rate would not be the same as yours. But it does go thru a large counter like yours and i see its about 1 bubble per second.

Set your effluent drip rate to a fast drip. You dont want it to clog.

You want the Ph in the reactor to be at about 6.8 for starters. Let it run a few days and check the effects on Alk and Ph in your display tank. Then you can make an adjustment to your effluent rate and/or Co2 bubble rate if needed.

 

This is from my geo set up instructions

Setting Up and Installing Your New GEO Calcium Carbonate Reactor

Dialing in Your GEO Calcium Carbonate ReactorBefore attempting to dial in the reactor you must first understand how the reactor operates. Water in the reaction chamber is being circulated through the media many times per hour. Water is fed through the reactor rather slow, being just ml per minute. CO2 is slowly added to the reaction chamber and this allows the pH of the water to drop to an acidic level. This in turn allows the media in the chamber to break down and add elements to the water in the cir-culation loop. As water from your aquarium is fed into the loop, water from the reactor rich in calcium and carbonates is allowed to drip back into the sump. Two adjustments will effect the reactor effluent, CO2 bubbles per minute.(BPM) and the effluent drip rate. Increasing the BPM will raise the effluent alkalinity and lower the effluent pH. Increasing the effluent drip rate will raise the effluent pH and lower the effluent alkalinity.Before dialing in the reactor you will want the target values for the aquarium in place. Manually adjust these values with the appropriate buffers. You will also want to record the values of each test to track the effect of your adjustments during dial in. There is no set rule for BPM to gallons of water as aquarium is very different in demands and each reactor would be tuned in to meet those needs. I recommend a starting point of 50 ml per minute (NOT DROPS) and a BMP of 30. It is better to ramp up the values than to start too high and attempt to dial down. Let the reactor run for twelve to twenty four hours between each adjustment and test to see the results. After the initial adjustment you should see an increase in the effluent alkalinity and a drop in pH. If the aquarium values have dropped, increase the BMP. If the aquarium values have remained consistent or increased, allow the reactor to run as is and retest after the given time period. I suggest an increase of BPM no more than 10 at a time. As you are testing and adjusting the BMP, you will also want to keep track of the effluent pH, do not allow this to drop below 6.0 (depending on media used) for a long period of time. Below 6.0 pH, the media will quickly dissolve and turn to a mushy state. Once this has hap-pened, the flow through the reactor is hampered and performance will greatly suffer. If you do see the effluent pH below 6.0, make adjustment to the effluent drip rate, increasing as needed. As a general rule, the effluent alkalinity will be between 2 and 3 times that of your aquarium alkalinity.*If you are using a pH controller to regulate effluent pH, see page 3 of reactor instructions.

 

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What media are you going to run?

Are you adding any magnesium to your tank now? If so, I would add something like NeoMag - High-purity Magnesium Media to your reactor to help keep mag up

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Thanks guys! After seeing this feedback and seeing a video called “alternative method that’s too easy,” I think I’ll start with 1 bps, a slow effluent flow (not bubbles), and a start/stop on my chamber of 74/73 ph and step down from there depending on my tank ph/alk response. This should give me a safety factor on spikes and hopefully let me know what my tank is looking for with this beginning load.

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Or reborn and neomag if I dump the media from my initial reactor that I chose not to use.

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Hi all,

So far my levels are staying consistent for a few days now with the CaRX running although PH dropped (different forum topic) Good news 😊.  

I have one more question though. I have a very tall tank with 2 rock towers. Startup pic below. I was wondering if anyone in the club has a par meter I could borrow for a day? I’m adding corals and it would be good to know the levels throughout the tank with 2 x Kessil 360s and 4 x 48” T5s on a 4’ tank that’s 31” deep?

thanks,

John 

D93E1685-2074-4296-B373-C58CC7B098A6.jpeg

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I think I remember someone mentioned that RCA will  rent a PAR meter?   Tank looks really nice by the way!

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RCAs meter was destroyed by a “renter “. I heard it was dropped in his tank. He should replace it (my opinion), but that hasn’t happened yet. 

I’d rent one from an ARC member if needed. 

Thanks on the tank. It will look a bunch better with a bunch of coral! 😊

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Oh that sucks, I agree on the replacement.  It's more of a drive for you but I think Aquadome also rents a PAR meter?

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I’ll call Aquadome thanks. I saw someone in the club that had one, but that forum message was from last year. Do you know if anyone? 

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I'm not running a calcium reactor at the moment but in the past I've set them at 1 bubble a second and a flow where a slow steady stream starts to break into drops about 1 1/2" from the end of the output tube.  I take care of Dan's system and he has his set 100 ml/min.

 

That's a bummer to hear someone ruined RCA's  PAR meter but didn't replace it.   That's the 2nd one they've had destroyed.

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45 minutes ago, Timfish said:

I'm not running a calcium reactor at the moment but in the past I've set them at 1 bubble a second and a flow where a slow steady stream starts to break into drops about 1 1/2" from the end of the output tube.  I take care of Dan's system and he has his set 100 ml/min.

 

That's a bummer to hear someone ruined RCA's  PAR meter but didn't replace it.   That's the 2nd one they've had destroyed.

Hi Tim,

Thanks for the reply. I'm at a bubble every 2 secs, a slow stream as you described, and the Carbon Doser is set on at 7.3 and off at 7.2 in the chamber. That level of CO2 is keeping me steady at 8.1 in the tank at the moment (with this low level of corals). I'm controlling the Alk with the Carbon Doser, not the flow. As soon as my Kamoer Peri pump arrives (if it ever arrives) I intend to lower the flow into the tank and reset the Carbon Doser for the change. Do you see any issues with this plan?

The second one? Not good. He may not replace it then.

Is Dan still selling frags? 

John

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