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Old 01/31/2016, 04:48 PM   #1
DamonG
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Which Calcium reactor media do you use?

Just attempting to find out all I can, as I only recently set up a reactor. I am wondering in particular, which media, why, and if anyone has any helpful links to sites, videos etc on anything associated that may be good reading material to educate one's self on all aspects of calcium reactors..

Thanks in advance..


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Old 01/31/2016, 07:20 PM   #2
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coarse substrate


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Old 01/31/2016, 07:25 PM   #3
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Tagging along. Setting ours up soon and I know nothing! I may just be over thinking it though, is possible. I've researched and haven't had an Ahh haa moment yet . To answer your question, I ordered course for when we setup off of researching what others use.


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Old 01/31/2016, 07:35 PM   #4
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I use Reborn by Two Little Fishies. I have not used any other brand so I can't say how the others work but I do know that I lot of people prefer Reborn from the research I did before choosing a brand.




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Old 01/31/2016, 09:29 PM   #5
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Reborn in the main reactor and ARM in secondary reactor. You


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Old 01/31/2016, 09:36 PM   #6
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I've used them all and settled on reborn. Running at about 6.5 gives me the best performance.


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Old 01/31/2016, 10:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MrsReefK View Post
Tagging along. Setting ours up soon and I know nothing! I may just be over thinking it though, is possible. I've researched and haven't had an Ahh haa moment yet . To answer your question, I ordered course for when we setup off of researching what others use.
Nope, from what I've found out since I set mine up, there is a good deal involved. And that's one of the reasons I posted this query. And I think there's more with the setup than I realized. So I am attempting to pick the mind of those that have had and used them for a while. And.. Those that even, have either been successful our unsuccessful, and honestly why.. I am sure, yourself and me are not the only ones either curious or learning, or trying to learn..

And I think I have picked up a lot very quickly, though, since I am new to them, I am shy to share, add it may only be anecdotal..


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Old 01/31/2016, 10:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by slief View Post
Reborn in the main reactor and ARM in secondary reactor. You
Hi slief.. Thanks for responding, I value your input!

I have a geo 618. I am using actually a combination of reborn and ARM coarse in the reactor(4lb reborn and 8lb ARM). I have done neomag also(approx 1.2lb) to add magnesium in..

I contacted geo about a secondary reactor chamber, but because of my space constraints, I only have maybe 4" in diameter that I could utilize, and they advised me that had nothing that small. But I would love a secondary tube..

**** actually an idea just came to mind to add one, or maybe fabricate one,a small one out of possibly a clear 2" chamber for a ro unit****

Are there any tips or links our tricks you could give to us novices?

Thanks again..


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Old 01/31/2016, 10:49 PM   #9
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I've used them all and settled on reborn. Running at about 6.5 gives me the best performance.
Thanks for the response.. Question.. I have been looking for melting points, do you know the melting range of reborn by any chance? I have my apex running the solenoid between 6.77 and 6.79 right now, and it's certainly keeping the levels up and steady so far:

Cal-410
Alk-8.5
Mag-1600

Effluent rate-38ml/min
Bubble rate-20 bpm

I have adjusted been able to adjust the ph(from 6.82-6.80) and obtain the levels above..

Look and sound ok?


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Old 01/31/2016, 11:56 PM   #10
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I dump in media every few months, I quit reading gages and trusting numbers on my GEO 618.

Instead I set bubble count to about 1 bps and set a small trickle of effluent.


This works for me and my the growth needs my tank has, and tank and sump size. 250g


Your miles will vary depending on your tanks demands which no one can answer but you. It sounds like you have your needs down and are doing great. Keep the effluent and bubble rate where its stable and your golden providing your not melting media from to many bubbles.


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Old 02/01/2016, 10:04 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DamonG View Post
Hi slief.. Thanks for responding, I value your input!

I have a geo 618. I am using actually a combination of reborn and ARM coarse in the reactor(4lb reborn and 8lb ARM). I have done neomag also(approx 1.2lb) to add magnesium in..

I contacted geo about a secondary reactor chamber, but because of my space constraints, I only have maybe 4" in diameter that I could utilize, and they advised me that had nothing that small. But I would love a secondary tube..

**** actually an idea just came to mind to add one, or maybe fabricate one,a small one out of possibly a clear 2" chamber for a ro unit****

Are there any tips or links our tricks you could give to us novices?

Thanks again..
I am using a smaller MRC 4" diameter 2nd reactor that I had laying around. It's similar to this one.
http://www.myreefcreations.com/produ...Series/x5.html

Avast also has some inexpensive reactors that would work but their footprint may be too large for you.
http://www.avastmarine.com/collectio...-media-reactor


I have it setup above the first reactor on a shelf with the first reactor flowing through the bottom of the 2nd reactor. My setup beyond that is rather complex as I am using a Cole Parmer medical grade peristaltic pump as a feed pump and I use an Aquarium Plants Carbon Doser regulator for my Co2 feed. The Masterflex pump allows me complete control over the flow through the reactor down to 1/10th of a ml/min. I run it at 25ml/min a Co2 rate of about 1 bubble every 4 seconds which gives me a reactor pH of 6.7. I have an Apex that controls the Co2 regulator but it never has to intervene as my reactor pH is always consistent due to consistent flow through the reactor and consistent Co2 rate.

This is my setup.



This thread discusses the Masterflex pumps. These make calcium reactors a set it and forget device and eliminate some of the inherent issues with calcium reactors such as effluent line clogging and maintain incredibly stable reactor pH. That said, these Masterflex pumps are cheap. Especially the better ones like what I use. Most people on the other hand just use a feed pump like a Maxijet or feed from their manifold and then use a needle valve to control the flow via the effluent line. The downside to that method is that it generally will result in clogged effluent lines and inconsistent reactor pH.

Masterflex thread:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2368618


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Old 02/01/2016, 11:20 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by outy View Post
I dump in media every few months, I quit reading gages and trusting numbers on my GEO 618.

Instead I set bubble count to about 1 bps and set a small trickle of effluent.


This works for me and my the growth needs my tank has, and tank and sump size. 250g


Your miles will vary depending on your tanks demands which no one can answer but you. It sounds like you have your needs down and are doing great. Keep the effluent and bubble rate where its stable and your golden providing your not melting media from to many bubbles.
Thanks for the reply. And I'm trying.. Lol.. I thought, that it sounded a little more involved than it initially seemed. And I can understand why so many have issues. It does require patience..


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Old 02/01/2016, 11:29 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by slief View Post
I am using a smaller MRC 4" diameter 2nd reactor that I had laying around. It's similar to this one.
http://www.myreefcreations.com/produ...Series/x5.html

Avast also has some inexpensive reactors that would work but their footprint may be too large for you.
http://www.avastmarine.com/collectio...-media-reactor


I have it setup above the first reactor on a shelf with the first reactor flowing through the bottom of the 2nd reactor. My setup beyond that is rather complex as I am using a Cole Parmer medical grade peristaltic pump as a feed pump and I use an Aquarium Plants Carbon Doser regulator for my Co2 feed. The Masterflex pump allows me complete control over the flow through the reactor down to 1/10th of a ml/min. I run it at 25ml/min a Co2 rate of about 1 bubble every 4 seconds which gives me a reactor pH of 6.7. I have an Apex that controls the Co2 regulator but it never has to intervene as my reactor pH is always consistent due to consistent flow through the reactor and consistent Co2 rate.

This is my setup.



This thread discusses the Masterflex pumps. These make calcium reactors a set it and forget device and eliminate some of the inherent issues with calcium reactors such as effluent line clogging and maintain incredibly stable reactor pH. That said, these Masterflex pumps are cheap. Especially the better ones like what I use. Most people on the other hand just use a feed pump like a Maxijet or feed from their manifold and then use a needle valve to control the flow via the effluent line. The downside to that method is that it generally will result in clogged effluent lines and inconsistent reactor pH.

Masterflex thread:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2368618
Interesting, as I was just getting ready to ask, as someone mentioned to me about the controller never needing to kick in. Mine kicks in and pretty much controls it. I am confused about that aspect. How exactly does that work?

I'm using a mj1200 as it is what came with it, but I'm interested in getting it so that the ph stays stable. It goes between 6.77 and 6.80 maybe every hour or so(i hear the solenoid kicking on). I guess I'm saying that I don't get that aspect... I am guessing, and you can tell me if I'm wrong, maybe I need to increase my bubble count(Co2 rate), so that the ph goes lower faster, and stays in the solution? So does your solenoid always stay on to keep the Co2 constantly flowing?

And I was thinking about just using one of the little clear di resin refillable chambers and filling it with reborn, and doing a little acrylic fab to screw one of the thumbscrews on the piece of acrylic since it will be flat also?


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Old 02/01/2016, 12:07 PM   #14
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Interesting, as I was just getting ready to ask, as someone mentioned to me about the controller never needing to kick in. Mine kicks in and pretty much controls it. I am confused about that aspect. How exactly does that work?

I'm using a mj1200 as it is what came with it, but I'm interested in getting it so that the ph stays stable. It goes between 6.77 and 6.80 maybe every hour or so(i hear the solenoid kicking on). I guess I'm saying that I don't get that aspect... I am guessing, and you can tell me if I'm wrong, maybe I need to increase my bubble count(Co2 rate), so that the ph goes lower faster, and stays in the solution? So does your solenoid always stay on to keep the Co2 constantly flowing?

And I was thinking about just using one of the little clear di resin refillable chambers and filling it with reborn, and doing a little acrylic fab to screw one of the thumbscrews on the piece of acrylic since it will be flat also?
The key is consistent flow through the reactor and finding the right Co2 rate to keep it consistent. This requires monitoring your reactor pH and make subtle adjustments to the Co2 rate and or flow through the reactor. With the masterflex, the flow never changes meaning that it stays where you set it. In your case, you might be able to slow the Co2 rate down some which will limit the frequency of the solenoid going on and off. The trick is to find the correct balance of Co2 rate to flow rate through the reactor. With the maxijet, this is more difficult to do since the flow rate will slow down as the effluent line clogs. That said, there really isn't any harm in the solenoid opening and closing but having a variable speed continuous duty pump like a masterflex makes tuning a calcium reactor to your systems needs much easier while also keeping the reactor much more stable and hands free.

As for using an RODI container like you mentioned, while it might work, it seems like a lot of effort to go through when there are cheap off the shelf solutions that will work well and be less of a hack job. I would just try to find a cheap reactor that will fit your space.


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For All Royal Exclusiv & Bubble King questions please refer to our Sponsor forum: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/fo...play.php?f=745

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Old 02/01/2016, 12:17 PM   #15
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Here are a couple other small media reactors that could be used for the 2nd reactor.
http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/vertex...l-reactor.html

http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/skimz-...d-reactor.html



Here is a good read on tuning a calcium reactor.
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-05/sh/feature/

Another good read on calcium reactor setup.
http://www.melevsreef.com/node/1276

Here is a video from BRS that discusses setup and tuning of a calcium reactor. While this is a different reactor, the concept is the same.



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For All Royal Exclusiv & Bubble King questions please refer to our Sponsor forum: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/fo...play.php?f=745

Current Tank Info: 480G display mixed reef, 90G sump, 90G refugium, 60G display refugium. Check out my build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1783476
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Old 02/01/2016, 12:51 PM   #16
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. Mine kicks in and pretty much controls it. I am confused about that aspect. How exactly does that work?


The only reason I use this is to stop PH from getting to low so that you don't melt down the media to quickly


After years of tuning I quit even doing this, and just set bubble and effluent just above the melting point and let her run


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Old 02/01/2016, 12:58 PM   #17
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The key is consistent flow through the reactor and finding the right Co2 rate to keep it consistent. This requires monitoring your reactor pH and make subtle adjustments to the Co2 rate and or flow through the reactor. With the masterflex, the flow never changes meaning that it stays where you set it. In your case, you might be able to slow the Co2 rate down some which will limit the frequency of the solenoid going on and off. The trick is to find the correct balance of Co2 rate to flow rate through the reactor. With the maxijet, this is more difficult to do since the flow rate will slow down as the effluent line clogs. That said, there really isn't any harm in the solenoid opening and closing but having a variable speed continuous duty pump like a masterflex makes tuning a calcium reactor to your systems needs much easier while also keeping the reactor much more stable and hands free.

As for using an RODI container like you mentioned, while it might work, it seems like a lot of effort to go through when there are cheap off the shelf solutions that will work well and be less of a hack job. I would just try to find a cheap reactor that will fit your space.
Thank you!!!! I was sitting here thinking before you replied and I think it clicked.. Then, I just read your reply.. I slowed down both the drip(it's like a very fast drip now versus a slow stream) and the bubble rate.. It went up to 6.88, but, with bubbles coming at constant "2 Mississippi", the solenoid has stayed on, and it's dropped back down to 6.8.. I will watch it and change the seeing on the controller. I also,I think get now what your saying about the maxi pump. I didn't understand, but I think it clicked.. And tell me if I'm wrong:

Ok, if the ph stabilizes at 6.74, then, I "could"speed up the flow, in order to get the ph up a little higher, to say, 6.77. But the key is that, I want the ph in the reactor to remain the same all the time? And the peristaltic pump is better, simply(well, over simplification here), because, say, I am at 35ml, I could bump it in tiny amounts(i think you mentioned 1/25ml a minute), to get it exactly where I want it? And keeping in mind, that I should of course make sure my alk is not rising or falling(the main purpose of the reactor)? But, ideally, I want the ph to stay at the same number, so the solenoid doesn't constantly go off(shutting off the Co2) and on(turning on the Co2)?

One question though, the changes that I made,I can't help but wonder, is the ph changing too fast? But I guess that's why I need to leave it to sit for 24 hours. At least, the Co2 that I'd, unless the solenoid shuts off correct? Then, because my effluent rate is slow(figuratively speaking), try and bump it up a little(which is better to stay off clogging of the drip line)?

Is that pretty much the gist and am I kinda understanding this correctly?


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Old 02/01/2016, 01:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by slief View Post
Here are a couple other small media reactors that could be used for the 2nd reactor.
http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/vertex...l-reactor.html

http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/skimz-...d-reactor.html



Here is a good read on tuning a calcium reactor.
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-05/sh/feature/

Another good read on calcium reactor setup.
http://www.melevsreef.com/node/1276

Here is a video from BRS that discusses setup and tuning of a calcium reactor. While this is a different reactor, the concept is the same.
Dude, your an answer to my prayers on this! I have an AVAST MR1 reactor that I'm not using, I just don't know if I have the space. If so, I will try and get some fittings to convert it over..

And I am definitely going to read up on the dosing pumps.. It may be a minute, but I probably(being the gadget junk man that I am) well want to get one. If nothing else, the control! Because if I did buy one of those, that would completely eliminate any clogging issues correct, since usually, isn't it wherever the drip/flow control is pinched in "non peristaltic pump" installations?

And are those dosing pumps pretty quiet? The system is in my living room, and I don't think I, our the little lady would care too much for the constant churning noise of(comparing) the brs dosing pumps or my apex fish feeder(hope you get the analogy)...???

I am going to read all of the articles if I can keep from coming back to check for your responses!

I can't tell you thanks enough! This is awesome!


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Old 02/01/2016, 02:05 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by DamonG View Post
Thanks for the response.. Question.. I have been looking for melting points, do you know the melting range of reborn by any chance? I have my apex running the solenoid between 6.77 and 6.79 right now, and it's certainly keeping the levels up and steady so far:

Cal-410
Alk-8.5
Mag-1600

Effluent rate-38ml/min
Bubble rate-20 bpm

I have adjusted been able to adjust the ph(from 6.82-6.80) and obtain the levels above..

Look and sound ok?

I found that higher than 6.5 my reactor couldn't keep up; lower than that and I started to get mush. It's a temperamental balance between CO2 addition and effluent rate. One of the reasons why the BEST thing I ever did for my reactor was to get a masterflex pump.


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Got back into the hobby ..... planned to keep it simple ..... yeah, right ..... clearly I need a new plan! Pet peeve: anemones host clowns; clowns do not host anemones!

Current Tank Info: 450 Reef; 120 refugium; 60 Frag Tank, 30 Introduction tank; multiple QTs
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Old 02/01/2016, 02:13 PM   #20
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Thank you!!!! I was sitting here thinking before you replied and I think it clicked.. Then, I just read your reply.. I slowed down both the drip(it's like a very fast drip now versus a slow stream) and the bubble rate.. It went up to 6.88, but, with bubbles coming at constant "2 Mississippi", the solenoid has stayed on, and it's dropped back down to 6.8.. I will watch it and change the seeing on the controller. I also,I think get now what your saying about the maxi pump. I didn't understand, but I think it clicked.. And tell me if I'm wrong:

Ok, if the ph stabilizes at 6.74, then, I "could"speed up the flow, in order to get the ph up a little higher, to say, 6.77. But the key is that, I want the ph in the reactor to remain the same all the time? And the peristaltic pump is better, simply(well, over simplification here), because, say, I am at 35ml, I could bump it in tiny amounts(i think you mentioned 1/25ml a minute), to get it exactly where I want it? And keeping in mind, that I should of course make sure my alk is not rising or falling(the main purpose of the reactor)? But, ideally, I want the ph to stay at the same number, so the solenoid doesn't constantly go off(shutting off the Co2) and on(turning on the Co2)?

One question though, the changes that I made,I can't help but wonder, is the ph changing too fast? But I guess that's why I need to leave it to sit for 24 hours. At least, the Co2 that I'd, unless the solenoid shuts off correct? Then, because my effluent rate is slow(figuratively speaking), try and bump it up a little(which is better to stay off clogging of the drip line)?

Is that pretty much the gist and am I kinda understanding this correctly?

You are correct. Increasing the flow of water through the reactor will increase the pH inside the reactor. Slowing the flow will decrease the pH. This assumes that you don't change the Co2 rate. Yes, you are aiming for consistent pH levels inside your reactor which will result in the least amount of intervention by your controller. Keep in mind that the reactor pH will have slight increases and decreases from day to night just like the display water does. In fact, it will pretty much follow the increases and decreases in your displays pH levels from day to night. This is expectable and completely normal. My reactor pH drifts between 6.65 and 6.75 from day to night and my display drifts from about 8.1 to 8.2 from day to night. Lower at night when the lights are off and higher when they are on.

Very glad to help.


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For All Royal Exclusiv & Bubble King questions please refer to our Sponsor forum: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/fo...play.php?f=745

Current Tank Info: 480G display mixed reef, 90G sump, 90G refugium, 60G display refugium. Check out my build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1783476
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Old 02/01/2016, 03:12 PM   #21
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I found that higher than 6.5 my reactor couldn't keep up; lower than that and I started to get mush. It's a temperamental balance between CO2 addition and effluent rate. One of the reasons why the BEST thing I ever did for my reactor was to get a masterflex pump.
I don't understand what your saying by keeping up? It could not keep up with the calcium consumption?

And you guys are going to make me really want one of those pumps..


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Old 02/01/2016, 03:17 PM   #22
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You are correct. Increasing the flow of water through the reactor will increase the pH inside the reactor. Slowing the flow will decrease the pH. This assumes that you don't change the Co2 rate. Yes, you are aiming for consistent pH levels inside your reactor which will result in the least amount of intervention by your controller. Keep in mind that the reactor pH will have slight increases and decreases from day to night just like the display water does. In fact, it will pretty much follow the increases and decreases in your displays pH levels from day to night. This is expectable and completely normal. My reactor pH drifts between 6.65 and 6.75 from day to night and my display drifts from about 8.1 to 8.2 from day to night. Lower at night when the lights are off and higher when they are on.

Very glad to help.
Ok, I got you(lol, I think.. Lots of information today) So I am assuming, you set your controller within that daily drift range? So if mine drifts between 6.6 and 6.75, that is the range I set in my controller to allow for minimal interaction? I just want to be sure I am understanding completely and accurately..

Thanks again.. I can't say it enough..


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Old 02/01/2016, 04:15 PM   #23
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Ok, I got you(lol, I think.. Lots of information today) So I am assuming, you set your controller within that daily drift range? So if mine drifts between 6.6 and 6.75, that is the range I set in my controller to allow for minimal interaction? I just want to be sure I am understanding completely and accurately..

Thanks again.. I can't say it enough..
That is pretty much correct. You are really only setting an off point for the controller meaning you set the minimum pH level which we will say is 6.6. The controller will keep the solenoid powered on for anything above 6.6 and when it hits 6.59, it will shut the solenoid off. In my case, I have mine set to 6.6 but that's as a fail safe. My target is 6.65 and it never really drops below that and it doesn't drift higher than than 6.75.

I judge my reactors effectiveness based on the parameters in my tank. If my Ca or Alk were low, I would simply increase the effluent rate/flow through the reactor and adjust my Co2 rate to maintain the same pH. If it were high, I would slow the effluent rate down and slow my Co2 rate to maintain the same pH. That's the beauty of the masterflex. Push a button and increase the flow in very very small increments which give you incredible control over your Ca and Alk. It also bodes well for the Co2 tank because the consistency in flow coupled with the Co2 consistency means you aren't even wasting Co2 and the tanks last a long long time. I've coming on on 12 months since I filled my 20 pound Co2 tank and it's still reading about half full.


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Old 02/01/2016, 08:11 PM   #24
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DIY 2nd Media Reactor

Pretty simple. Effluent goes in the bottom, out the top.




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Old 02/01/2016, 08:43 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slief View Post
That is pretty much correct. You are really only setting an off point for the controller meaning you set the minimum pH level which we will say is 6.6. The controller will keep the solenoid powered on for anything above 6.6 and when it hits 6.59, it will shut the solenoid off. In my case, I have mine set to 6.6 but that's as a fail safe. My target is 6.65 and it never really drops below that and it doesn't drift higher than than 6.75.

I judge my reactors effectiveness based on the parameters in my tank. If my Ca or Alk were low, I would simply increase the effluent rate/flow through the reactor and adjust my Co2 rate to maintain the same pH. If it were high, I would slow the effluent rate down and slow my Co2 rate to maintain the same pH. That's the beauty of the masterflex. Push a button and increase the flow in very very small increments which give you incredible control over your Ca and Alk. It also bodes well for the Co2 tank because the consistency in flow coupled with the Co2 consistency means you aren't even wasting Co2 and the tanks last a long long time. I've coming on on 12 months since I filled my 20 pound Co2 tank and it's still reading about half full.
Hmmnnn interesting and I get what your saying. I think I'm going to check everything tomorrow, as far as the parameters. Though honestly, I'm dying to test, to see if there is any difference. But I'm going to be patient.. And the ph in the reactor pretty much has gone down to 6.66 since the lights have gone off. But it hovered pretty much the whole day at 6.67. I will take a look at the graph tomorrow to make sure it doesn't go too low, along with the levels in the system.

And I took a look at the masterflex pumps, and it's on my list.

Thank you though! This is a very interesting process!


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