Installing my CA reactor... good bye 2part!

Discussion in 'Filters, Pumps, etc..' started by Thatgrimguy, Jun 15, 2012.

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  1. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    Ok! the day has finally come! I am home and have everything I need to install the calcium reactor... everything but the experience on what I am doing. I know in theory now, I have read about seventy eleven articles on it, lol. Check my process and give me feedback if you don't mind. I'm going to do my water tests now with the Salifert tests that just came in from the BRS group buy we did.

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    Steps:
    Step 1: place reactor and her friends under the cabinet (yes, it's a she)
    Step 2: fill with media (Arm coarse)
    Step 3: turn on peristaltic pump and fill with water (80ml/min)
    Step 4: Let run till there are no bubbles (still a few bubbles in the end... I waited about 24 hours as suggested by mike)
    Step 5: If all is good turn on the co2 (10lbs of pressure)
    Step 6: Set reactor to (6.8ph on hysteris of .1?)
    Step 7: Set regulator to 100+bpm till it drops to near level, slow bpm as you approach target ph
    Step 8: Turn off dosing system
    Step 9: Test alk after 12 hours to measure change.

    Equipment List:
    Geo 818 Calcium Reactor - CR818
    Aquariumplants.com electronic regulator w/ lcd - CarbonDoser Electronic Co2 Regulator
    Cole parmer continuous duty peristalic pump - eBay - COLE PARMER MASTERFLEX MICROPROCESSOR PUMP CONTROLLER WITH PUMP HEAD AND MOTOR
    Apex with new PH probe to control the solenoid on the regulator.

    Primary Resources:
    A Guide to Using Calcium Reactors by Simon Huntington - Reefkeeping.com - This is the best one I have found.
    Melevsreef.com - Calcium Reactor - Equally as good. Mark is very well regarded.
    Geo's Installation Guide - General enough to be good for most any reactor
    Acroholic's Guide - A different method, but he's very successful.
    Geo 818 by Reefkeeping.com - Could I be so lucky.... Reefkeeping.com did an article on my exact reactor!
    Cal/Alk Calculator - A very handy calculator.

    Chemistry And The Aquarium: Solving Calcium And Alkalinity Problems — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog - Advanced Aquarist article on correcting calcium/alkalinity problems (Ionic imbalances)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012
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  3. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

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    I don't know if it's typical of all systems, but when I've installed reactors in the past it worked best to let it run with no CO2 for at least 24 hours. This gives stray air bubbles time to either be flushed or de-oxygenate before you start pumping in CO2 to bring the ph down. Times when I didn't do this it seemed like it took a lot more CO2 and time to finally drop the ph.
     
  4. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    Cool, thanks a lot for the tip. No point and being impatient now. I've waited over a month since I had the unit sitting here!


    And to make matters worse... I found a slow leak when I was rearranging to make room for the reactor. My return pumps through my uv filter on one side and it's got a drip every 2 seconds leak. I'll fix it tomorrow, then turn on the peristaltic pump.
     
  5. cgarner

    cgarner Skunk Shrimp

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    Got not tips, but I want pics.
     
  6. Newreef15

    Newreef15 Horrid Stonefish

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    Following along bc I'm plain on runing a calcium reactor on my tank when I upgrade :) are u runing the ph probe inside the reactor?
     
  7. barbianj

    barbianj Hammer Head Shark

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    Fixed (You had two Step 7's;))
     
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  9. Jake1

    Jake1 Astrea Snail

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    Following also getting one soon
     
  10. MarineDepot

    MarineDepot 3reef Sponsor

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    Your steps look good. Test the effluent coming out of the calcium reactor. You will want your alkalinity to be around 25-60 dKH and the pH around 6.5-6.8. We would suggest getting a alkalinity and calcium starting point with your aquarium. Run your reactor, then test your alkalinity and calcium each day for the next couple of days. If your aquarium's alkalinity is dropping, then increase the effluent drip rate.

    If the pH in the reactor is not dropping, then increase the CO2 bubble count. You will need to find a balance to keep your alkalinity from dropping on a daily basis depending on how much your aquarium consumes. It will take a week or two to fine tune and dial in your calcium reactor.

    If you are noticing gas or air pockets building up inside the reactor, you will need to reduce your CO2 bubble count or increase the effluent drip it.

    Dan
     
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  11. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    Ok, plumbing is redone and back to square! Hooking up the reactor tonight instead! Lol.

    My equipment list for this includes:

    Geo 818 Ca Reactor (ARM Coarse media)
    Aquariumplants.com electric regulator
    I'm using a medical grade peristaltic pump to feed an exact water flow through the reactor
    Apex with a fresh ph probe to control it.
    10lb co2 bottle
     
  12. Thatgrimguy

    Thatgrimguy Flying Squid

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    Awesome, thank you for your experience!! I have had the tank up and running for a year now, so I'm set in on my starting numbers for the tank.

    10.5 dkh
    400 cal
    1375 mag

    I got it hooked up and running. I'm going to let it run with no co2 addition till it runs pretty much clear. Sound like a smart idea?