2 part dosing vs. Reactors

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by tatted4ever, Oct 20, 2009.

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  1. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Having run both, buffering your water change water is required in both system.

    I have spent $1000 trying to find salt I don't need to buffer but have come to the conclusion that buffering is cheaper and not that hard

    I've used IO, Reef Crystals, Kent, reefers best, D-D Ocean Pro, Brightwell Aquatics
    and I've decided that IO is for me
     
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  3. BTowned

    BTowned Peppermint Shrimp

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    +1, I know of a few tanks that had crashes after 6+ months of water changes without buffering their WC with water that was at proper levels.

    Now that I have run this two part dosing for the past 4 months, I have to say that I am impressed with the amount my corals have grown. I believe the slow addition throughout the day keeps my levels consistent. The high ph also aids in calcification. I have noticed increased growth on some of my SPS that had stalled out. I will say that a CaRx is a great tool also, in my experience, when winter hits and windows are kept closed, you need to have a 2nd chamber of media to help raise the ph of the effluent. You can also use a Kalk Reactor, but I have had a few times when this was overdosed in my tank.


    IMO, anything under 150G, a two part dosing system is economical.

    All the big boy tanks of 200G +_ two part can be very expensive, if you have a SPS dominated reef.
     
  4. horkn

    horkn Giant Squid

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    Btowned, Definitely the bigger tanks are the ones that benefit most from reactors versus dosing.

    But I do need to mention that not all reactors are made the same, or work the same. I know GEO's don't need an extra chamber due to them being so efficient with the CO2. They don't really waste any of it, so they don't have issues with low ph effluent like most other single chamber ones do.
     
  5. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Running a 400G tank I found the opposite true. I could not keep my ALK up using a reactor so I switched to 3 part (Ca, ALK, MG) and have had no issues maintaining the correct levels
     
  6. gabbagabbawill

    gabbagabbawill Pajama Cardinal

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    That sounds like the reactor was undersized for the system. I don't see why you couldn't keep up with a large enough reactor with enough media and co2 to dissolve it.
     
  7. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well I had a dual stage reactor with 2 6x12 inch tubes

    Just my experience I fought with that thing for a year and believe it was the eventual cause of my tank crash. Due to the constantly low ALK

    J
     
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  9. horkn

    horkn Giant Squid

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    What kind of reactor? What media, and what controller , reg, and probe were you using?

    I know a guy with well over 1000g of tank on that system, mostly sps grow out and he has only 1 large GEO running all of it (IIRC a 624). He has no issues other than that he needs to refill the reactor chamber a lot more than if his system was for what the geo was rated for.
     
  10. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    doesn't really matter. I couldn't get mine to keep up.

    It was the PM unit with an added DIY second chamber. I was done with screwing around with CO2 and media. I was using A.R.M course media
    I owned the Reactor for 4 years and it was a total pain. I find 2 part method much more stable with less messing around
    Sorry you'll never convince me that a reactor is easier than a dosing pump. Cheaper yes but not easier and definitely less chance for error

    J
     
  11. horkn

    horkn Giant Squid

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    That's too bad that your experience with that reactor sullied your opinion of reactors.

    I see more chance for error with dosing than with a reactor.
     
  12. Seano Hermano

    Seano Hermano Giant Squid

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    What exactly is buffering? When I do my 20% WC I balance my SG in the new water with current SG in the tank water to get a balance SG of 1.025 when new water is added to the DT. Is this what you mean by buffering?