2 part dosing vs. Reactors

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

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  1. Beaun

    Beaun Fire Shrimp

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    Last edited: Oct 29, 2009
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  3. tatted4ever

    tatted4ever Clown Trigger

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  4. mocarski

    mocarski Bristle Worm

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    I don't think it's laborious. But I really enjoy not having to dose every day. And unless you set up some sort of automatic feed, you can forget, it becomes something else to worry about when you go on vacation, and dosing is a jump in parameters where a reactor stabilizes them.

    Nothing wrong with 2 part at all. I'd still be doing it if I didn't get a great deal on a used reactor.
     
  5. Powerman

    Powerman Giant Squid

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    How many people buy a reactor and then run it themselves manually? Count the bubbles, open the valve, make some solution, dose it into the tank.... nobody does. If you are talking reactors, then you are talking automation.

    Comparing apples to apples. There is no more work involved running a automated two part system than there is running a automated reactor system. Once you go through the time and trouble to get it running properly and testing to verify, then they are the same.
     
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  6. tatted4ever

    tatted4ever Clown Trigger

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    I agree!!! thats what I think to people that run a timer with their reactor... Its the exact same concept with an auto doser on two part dosing. You are doing the exact same thing to get it dialed in and then do the testing to make sure its completely dialed in with the two methods. only true difference is the long term cost. But completely different when your running the reactor off your ph.

    I am leaning towards the two part dosing still. I havent seen any SIGNIFICANT advantages with a reactor....

    I will be either upgrading my dosing pumps to BRS dosers or a reactor. I put my current esv autodoser on my system this weekend just for the pure convenience of not dosing manually everyday since my tank has pretty much fully recovered from a horrific past couple of weeks :) .
     
  7. Powerman

    Powerman Giant Squid

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    What I forget is any chemicals are dosed manually. Most folks balk at the price of a automated dosing system. They are the bomb... PERIOD.

    Now using a reactor compared to any chemical dosing regiment... are you kidding me??? A reactor any time.

    However, taking automation out of the equation, well things get much closer. I get reactors, see why people love them so much. I'm just not all ate up to do something different. Perhaps when I do get a SPS dominate tank and I think a reactor will give me more stability... then maybe. But right now, I have all the stability I care to have. There are even better dosers out there than the ones I'm using.
     
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  9. tatted4ever

    tatted4ever Clown Trigger

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    I had read somewhere.... SPS = Stability Promotes Success.

    Dont take me wrong I havent ruled a reactor out yet. You can still get automation out of your autodosers.... Like everyone has argued check your numbers every week or every other and its still pretty much automation. What part of reactors is more stable than 2 part??? the fact that is done constantly through out the day. So... there is no true stability factor to be argued. Because you can does multipe times throughout the day and still be stable.

    if money wasnt a factor id have a reactor no questions asked. But that isnt the case.

    I started this thread to hopefully find a definitive line between two part dosing and reactors. One isnt clear at the moment.
     
  10. Powerman

    Powerman Giant Squid

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    Y, and what I talk about is my Alk. I dose 4 minutes of alk once an hour for 10 hours. I dose it at night to keep my low night time PH swing from getting lower. No point in dosing during the day when PH is up. I dose my Ca once in the morning to get it ready for the days growths. I could just as easily dose 2 minutes every hour all day 24/7.

    As it is... if reactors are running off PH, then they are working at night during low PH just like my setup is doing.

    There are some 2 pass reactors. I just remember reasding Melev's DIY instructions for a reactor. He made it double pass to ensure all CO2 is out of the effluent so it did not hamper system PH. I'm no expert on reactors notr have I researched them, but I would look into what measures were used to ensure all CO2 was out of the effluent.
     
  11. Screwtape

    Screwtape Tonozukai Fairy Wrasse

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    Here's my take sorry I didn't read the whole thread, just offering my 2 cents. For me, my decision (using a CA Reactor) was mainly based on the cheaper long-term cost, to a lesser extent I don't like the idea of excess sodium chloride floating around because I plan to have a fairly high usage tank, lots of SPS and frags and I think I would end up needing to dose a rather large amount of 2 part.
    I think different systems are better for different people depending on a large number of factors, here are some of the things I took into account.

    2-part automated dosing:
    Lower initial price-tag
    Higher long-term cost (last I checked anyway, 2-part over reactor media/CO2)
    Simpler to setup initially (counting/simple math and testing are the only skills required)
    Build up of sodium chloride which raises salinity slowly but surely (not necessarily a bad thing but relatively unstudied whether too much sodium chloride over time causes problems AFAIK, also can be alleviated by regular water changes)
    Potential instability over the course of the day (I think lots of people only dose alkalinity overnight so the PH doesn't spike too much during the day and helps maintain higher PH overnight)
    Having to mix up batches of chemicals somewhat regularly (I don't have room to store big buckets of 3 chemicals, again with my planned coral-load I think I would end up needing to mix up gallon batches every week or two)

    Calcium reactor:
    Higher initial cost
    Cheaper long-term
    More complicated initial setup (learning about CO2 setups, dealing with adjusting effluent rates and PH control inside the reactor etc)
    Potential problems "dialing in" (lots of people seem to have problems getting their reactors adjusted but this may be due to user error or low quality components such as the CO2 regulator)
    Can lower PH in the tank slightly (usually not a problem unless you already have low PH, also can be alleviated somewhat with a 2-stage reactor or by dosing kalkwasser in conjunction)
    Once dialed in it is rock solid, the chemicals being used up in the tank are replenished immediately, no waiting for even a few minutes or a couple hours for more dosing.
    A batch of reactor media can last months without being changed (more set and forget IMO, as far as maintenance to the equipment/media)
     
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  12. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    This is a Great thread A++.

    I'm now going to tone down my previous post and try and explain my decisions.

    I started off with a CA Reactor on my 75G SPS system. I lived with the constant fiddling with the gravity fed intake line and the ever changing effluent drip rate and found the CA-R a great way to maintain my Alk and CA.
    I then moved to my current tank (370G) and added a second stage to the reactor. My SPS demand made it very difficult to keep Alk at the desired level. Having 3 friends with 300+ gallon SPS tanks I discovered they too had the same problem. All 3 of them where supplementing there much larger CA Reactors with ALK buffers. So I decided to make the switch to a 2 part dosing system. As said above the initial cost is lower but operating costs are higher. Took about a month to dial in 100% but I have not had to adjust it since.

    J