2 part dosing vs. Reactors

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

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  1. pgreef

    pgreef Fire Goby

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    I'm watching this thread closely.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but with twp part you'll have to keep increasing your dosing volume as the amount of coral you have in your tank. At least that's what I'm experiencing. Is there a way to monitor with two part to adjust the dosage without having to adjust timers for dosing pumps?

    With a reactor and controller I would think it should adjust automatically and keep itself stable. The thing that I don't like about the reactor is that it seems like the weakest link is the pH probe. I've read horror stories of those going bad. How would you implement a backup?
     
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  3. horkn

    horkn Giant Squid

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    Both ways really do work, but the way I look at it the dosers are not cheap, and are more prone to messing up than a ph probe is.

    Also, from what I have seen, those that have gone from a reactor to a dosing for non financial reasons has been due to the reactor not being properly set up. If you don't get it set up right, the reactor can't maintain the levels where you want them.
     
  4. tatted4ever

    tatted4ever Clown Trigger

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    I really do like the sense of a reactor... especially if your gonna be heavily stocked with stoneys of all types.

    horkn how often do you test for your 3 main elements.... ca,mg, alk just to make sure your getting appropriate numbers from your reactor?
     
  5. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    True... but it is not like this is a daily battle... it takes a lot of additional coral to make a difference... adding a little frag or a little growth is not going to cause your daily CA needs to skyrocket or anything. this is an every now and then scenario. Like I said, I have not adjusted since beginning of August (have only added LPS since then though).

    I monitor by testing every several weeks... (this should be done, IMO, regardless of the system you are using) when I eventually see a downward tick (due to increased coral load) I will add a second or two to the timer - it is rather easy to do.
     
  6. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    Dosers are not cheap. Not at all. That is true.

    More prone to messing up? Why do you say that? It is just a timer and a pump... things we use every day on our tanks...

    I can say my pump needed a replacement tube on one of the 3 pumps... not a big deal.

    Now my pH probe pen (granted, it is a pen type probe)... well, I am on my third one this year...

    I would say pH probes have the greatest tendency to mess up in this equation.
     
  7. Reefnjunkie

    Reefnjunkie Feather Duster

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    Thought I would throw my 2 cents in the ring.
    Reactor is my vote for the simplicity, I like the Ron Popiel comment.
    For me it took a while to really get my reactor dialed in, I even went the route of getting the Marine Pinpont PH controller. Until I get to speak with someone who uses that unit-mine is only being used to read the PH it is not controlling a thing, and I would sell it if I had strictly a monitor, but I'm lazy and dont want to mess with buying and selling at this time-sorry to digress;)

    As far as my reactor, presently it is on a timer and it adds effluent for about 3 hours with my current bioload and it maintains my KH at 11ish and my Ca at 450-460. In the beginning I was testign KH, Ca, MG daily and did so for about 3 weeks, to be sure everything was dialed. There were other things going on at that time, I know if I was just setting up the reactor, It would have taken about a week to get it right-but I'm "in my tank" most than most I would presume
    I can now say it IS dialed and it may not seem like a big deal to anyone else but I'm able to only test now once a week, unless something "looks" odd and then I always run to the kits-;D

    the 2 part system works-IMO, more additional work for me though. If you decide to go the part part system, I have an excellent dosing pump (very high end) I will be willing to part with.

    Go with the reactor-you wont look back-Lastly I've been told a reactor is a reactor, you dont need to spend a ton of money, make sure it has a name brand quality pump and other than that, its a plastic cylinder basiclly, again-IMO
     
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  9. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm Sorry I have not read all 3 Pages but I wanted to put in my 2 cents

    I ran a CA reactor for years and found it the most temperamental piece of equipment I've ever owned. As soon as you get it dialed in to produce the correct CA and ALK you would run out of media or CO2.
    I have also gone to the 2 part with a dosing pumps and it has worked great.
     
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  10. AZDesertRat

    AZDesertRat Giant Squid

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    Thats strange, my reactor was almost plug and play after the first few days of initial adjustement. A 5lb CO2 lasts about 6 months and the media lasts about 9 months. The only thing I have to watch is the drip rate which slows after maybe 2 weeks but thats an easy fix.
    I would never go back to dosing.
     
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  11. burgerchow

    burgerchow Astrea Snail

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    reactor

    I'm on the fence too. Currently using 2 part ( manual dosing). I'm thinking of either an aqua doser or a calcium reactor.Either one will cost me the same amount. Looking at Aqualogic 4 pumps for about $500 or the Vertex reactor for about $400 plus another $100 for a ph controller. ( I've already got 10lb co2 system with milwaukee guages and solenoids from previous plant tank). So big question is which is less work? I just want to set it and forget it. I don't like to do a lot of testing unless I notice something not right in the tank. Thanks for any advice. Oh yeah, current system

    120 display mixed sps and lps, 140 lbs live rock,
    50 gallon sump, vertex in180 skimmer, cheato in sump, 2xkoralia 4s and 1 vortech mp40. 2x250 10k mh with acticinics.
     
  12. Peredhil

    Peredhil Giant Squid

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    my autodosing took a good month to get dialed in exactly right. a lot of testing, adjusting, waiting, testing, adjusting and that began to taper off. it has been hassle free since then (Aug1 of this year in my case).

    so autodosing can be some work to setup but then becomes pretty 'out of mind' so to speak.

    i'm sure once i have more coral growth and frags, etc. I may have to tweak it from time to time, but that really isn't going to be often. i don't think i test, now, any more often than I would if I had a reactor (once every 3-4 weeks).