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Calcium Reactor


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These things are more low-tech high-priced plastic.

Basically a low-volume recirculator pump on a plastic tube. (worth about the smallest powerhead in price),

The big money's on the tank, the "good" regulator, and the solenoid/PH controller.

I opted for the low end Coralife design, and can report on the following likes/dislikes I have had with them (we have had 2 of them going

simultaneously for going on 2 yrs now, this tank).

Things I like about them:

1.) Easy to change the media. ( A single screw-on endcap on top with an integral PH probe holder)

2.) the PH probe holder on top fits the SMS PH controller perfectly. (another low priced object).

3.) at the price.. just too tempting to try for "what it is".

4.) 2 of these appear to keep up very well with our super-overstocked SPS, clams, and Fish tank. (Getting about 1/2" growth per month

on all SPS branches - and from what I hear that is considered extremely good growth rate).

5.) Measured output of effluent at 500 ppm Ca. on our SeaChem Ca test (with input water at 350 ppm) on the days we tested it.

6.) Every year I think I need to "clean" them, but I've learned that since the PH is so low inside these things (6.2 as we run ours at)

that there appears to be no calcium buildup on any internal parts at all - and this include the internals of the little recirc pumps

which I disassembled to "clean" then after a year - only to find out there was no buildup (surprised me!) inside the impeller housing,

or anywhere else I expected it to be. (Very unlike our skimmers which seem to be the opposite (calcium magnets).

Those stupid skimmer venturis are getting plugged with calcium every 2 weeks, and they are a real PIA to clean.

Things I don't like about them:

1.) Didn't come with any needle valve (but then I see many other's don't either).

2.) Had to add a low-flow feed pump (tiniest powerhead feed pump I could find) -probably because I am pushing the effluent

all the way back up and over the top of the 30 inch deep tank to get the drip rate I wanted out of it (about 120 drips/minute)

3.) I wish the recirculator pumps were a little more powerful. (Just me, I like to see things move, - although this may screw up the

intent of the design).

4.) even at 79 dollars - I think these things are overpriced for what they really are. - There's nothing to them that warrants the price.

If I didn't have this insatiable need to "see" the condition of the media in them, I would have just built the damned thing

myself out of 6 inch PVC sewer pipe, some threaded endcaps, and some smaller pipe/pump. so long as they can convert 350 ppm water into 500 ppm water at a constant

120 drops/minute - I should be happy.

I finally figured out the only real valid test of these things function is to test the Ca ppm on the output side, and see how much it's raising

the Ca.

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I have a Geo 618, which is a Schuren type reactor. Did a lot of research before deciding on which reactor to buy and I have no regrets. It is controlled by my ACJr. After struggling to supplement enough to keep up with alk, Ca, and Mg it is a big relief to now easily have everything in the ideal ranges. Took about a month of operation to get everything balanced out, but it is cake now. I would highly recommend.

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I have a Schuran I was planning on eventually putting on the new tank, and moving the Deltec to Nora's corner tank. I've got some really good threads on RC about the Schuran reactors if you want me to forward, and of course you are welcome to come check mine out.


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Man, you guys are soooo nice.

Stephen-If at any point that Deltec needs some "babysitting" I would be more then welcome.

I haven't decided anything yet. I am seriously considering a whole tank controller for pH monitoring. Waiting to see the RK elite.

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