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Calcium Reactors


pbnj

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I once listened to a vendor who was demonstrating how to set-up a calcium reactor. At one point, he mentioned something to the effect that the quality of the calcium provided by a calcium reactor was much better than any calcium that could be added through a dosing regiment.

At the time, I just thought it was just part of the sales pitch. But lately, I've started to wonder if there's some truth to that statement. I can't help but notice that all of the best SPS tanks I've ever seen (growth-wise) run a calcium reactor. Yes, I've also seen beautiful tanks that use dosing pumps, but they never have anywhere near the same amount of growth as those running calcium reactors. I realize there are a million other factors that go into proper SPS growth, but back to the original question.....

Is the quality of the calcium provided by a calcium reactor better than the calcium added through a dosing regiment?

Also, I've been reluctant to set-up a calcium reactor because of all the 'dialing-in' issues I've read about, but if the calcium produced by reactors is truly superior, how about this for an alternative:

Using a calcium reactor to produce calcium, but don't run it directly on the system? In other words, run the reactor so that the effluent produced is stored elsewhere, then later dosed into the system via dosing pumps?

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Randy Holmes-Farley on RC said the calcium is the same, but different dosing methods add different ions....basically, nothing magical is coming out of a calcium reactor.

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I once listened to a vendor who was demonstrating how to set-up a calcium reactor. At one point, he mentioned something to the effect that the quality of the calcium provided by a calcium reactor was much better than any calcium that could be added through a dosing regiment.

At the time, I just thought it was just part of the sales pitch. But lately, I've started to wonder if there's some truth to that statement. I can't help but notice that all of the best SPS tanks I've ever seen (growth-wise) run a calcium reactor. Yes, I've also seen beautiful tanks that use dosing pumps, but they never have anywhere near the same amount of growth as those running calcium reactors. I realize there are a million other factors that go into proper SPS growth, but back to the original question.....

Is the quality of the calcium provided by a calcium reactor better than the calcium added through a dosing regiment?

Also, I've been reluctant to set-up a calcium reactor because of all the 'dialing-in' issues I've read about, but if the calcium produced by reactors is truly superior, how about this for an alternative:

Using a calcium reactor to produce calcium, but don't run it directly on the system? In other words, run the reactor so that the effluent produced is stored elsewhere, then later dosed into the system via dosing pumps?

if you run the reactor and put the effluent somewhere else and later dose would not make sense because you should be able to control the effluent coming out into your tank and the rate at which calcium is produced by melting the media and turning on and off the c02. granted a dosing pump gives you more accuracy since you know how much is being added per hour but also you would need a constant supply of water for the calcium reactor unless you only run it on a timer or when you need the calcium. also how would you know how much calcium is coming out of the effluent to dose with a dosing pump?

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ask ACROPORA (Dale) about dosing pumps....he said that he spent all the money for them and hates it, feels his reactor was WAY better. I agree. But to each his own. I have always ran a reactor with NO issues.

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A calcium reactor probably doses trace elements as well as it is using old coral skeletons and aragonite. I've never seen any research on the topic and the more people I talk to about dosing trace elements the less I believe it is worth worrying about

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A calcium reactor is truly a pleasure when you can get it to run consistently. I have run a Korallin and a Precision Marine. I am back to two part. Never could get them to run on cruise control. I agree that there is something sexy about the idea of the trace elements putting stuff back in the water that dosing two part leaves out, but that being said, I have had good luck with growth using both methods so my anecdotal report is they both work well for the folks they work well for and that your growth will be more dependent on your lighting spectrum/intensity/photoperiod, and the nutrient levels in your tank. I think those two areas are where I would place the emphasis for someone wanting optimum growth, not cal/alk dosing method.

there's a two cents worth for free!

Mike

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