Calcium Reactor - Should I?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by justjohno, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. justjohno

    justjohno Guest

    I'm of the thought of why fix it if its not broken, but this is my hobby - I dose calcium and alk now with mostly success, but I'm constantly having to fuss with my dosing pumps and calibrate. I would like to know of a Calc reactor brand that others are using. I'm looking at Reef Octopus dual chamber. I'm very new to a Reactor so I'm looking for:
    • Sturdy External not prone to leak
    • Ease of use
    • Solenoid?
    If I make the choice to move this direction, I've learned not to DIY anything because it will discourage me. I will pay for reliability and proven solution.
    Thanks for you feedback
  2. GEO is a really popular brand.
  3. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    I would agree that geo is the most recommended brand. It may not look the fanciest, but it is simple and reliable. Yes you should have a solenoid and a pH probe to shut down the reactor in case of malfunction or to keep the internal pH near a particular target. The most reliable way to run a carx these days is with a industrial peristaltic pump rated to run 24/7. You can do research on the different ways to setup a carx.

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  4. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Very important to have a nice feed pump like gabe said. Also a nice co2 regulator is very inortsnt or else the flow of co2 will change as pressure in the tank(remaining gas) changes. Fiddling with bubble rates is for the birds !
  5. justjohno

    justjohno Guest

    Good to know - Pressure in the tank will change bubble rate. Proper regulator will help with that? Thanks for the input Gablami and Death by SNU SNU
  6. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Whatever you do make sure you properly size it for what you plan on doing. I've been eyeing the Vertex calcium reactor, one of them is about $500 which is quite reasonable, says it's up to 264 gallons (about 1000 liters)... then it says 120 gallons for SPS dominant tank and that just deflated me. Like hello calcium reactor for sps dominated tank is pretty much the only reason why you'd get a calcium reactor, sure you might start out with SPS minimal (aka frags) but it is going to be dominated by SPS in the future.
  7. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    The cost of the CARX itself is the tip of the iceberg. CO2 regulator and pump is where it really bite. That and the amount of space required.
  8. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I am running the Vertex RX-C 6D and I like it. It is well built and very well designed. It is feeding a 40b and it is plenty. I think its been running for 1.5 yrs now and I've barely used up an 1/8 of the media.
  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    No leaking issues? Many of the reviews on BRS talk about leaking around the pump. Not sure if those are just people who can't follow directions, or if it's an easy thing to screw up when you're installing.
  10. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    The rating of CaRx varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, wish there was a way to compare easily among them. For instance, a Korallin C1502 is rated up to 400G? Image shows a C1502, notice the big boy behind it? Dual chamber Octo. I would say the Octopus is rated for that volume, 400G; it was running a nice SPS cube, 48x48x24
    The Korallin uses an Eheim 1048, if you swap that for a 1046, the rating goes down in half, in fact, Korallin had the C1501 many years ago and by swapping the pump it became the C1502
    The KnopC I posted on a different thread, is rated for up to 200g, it's a tiny unit. The KnopC HD on the image up to 350g; it has an Eheim 1250 to run it. Still bigger than the Korallin and rated for lower volume.
    A while back I was pointed out the Octopus CaRx would not be able to handle a 300g SPS tank, Really? You decide.

  11. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    What I know about Ca reactors is not much, I would think that the volume one can hold would be the end all be all of what it's good for and then whatever your drip rate is determines what it's good for, the pump? doesn't make much sense to me if moving water faster through the chamber makes it dissolve faster hence more Ca/ALK in the solution. Hopefully I'll be a little closer to tank by Black Friday that way I can take advantage of some sales.

    Is that your picture BTW? What's that red and white skimmer on the right side?
  12. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    Old picture. The skimmer is the one I had on the 90 at home, BK Mini160.
    I think the efficacy of a reactor relates to the circulation of the acidic water but I honestly forgot, did a lot of reading about them years ago and seemed a convenient way for SPS and LPS systems, set and forget basically; of course with a smaller chamber, the need to refill and tune again... Then the dual chamber reactors came into picture qnd I think more recent, the addition of magnesium media in the second chamber or an added one.
    Made sense to have a second chamber as the effluent of the main reactor chamber is acidic (I believe pH in the reactor has te be around 6.5 for the dissolution of the calcium to take effect) the second chamber would help the effluent increase the pH before hitting the main water volume.
  13. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    ...the A200 is on the same shelf, it's the toy shelf.
  14. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    One of the regulators some people seem to like is the Aquarium Plants Regulator, mainly used for freshwater planted tanks, seems to be more precise and reliable than the Milwaukee, M3, JBJ and others that are made of brass. Stainless steel regsulators with glycerin filled barometers are pricey but insurance on the long run.
    As gas depletes in the CO2 tank, there seems to be sort of a surge when the tank goes empty, something like a can of whip cream. Another issue with some regs is a needle valve; brass tends to have build up and their reliability shrinks or simply void
  15. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Nope. There is 1 joint, B/W the pump n 1 of the chambers that was quite hard to install. It wouldn't go in straight and I can see if you don't pay attention and just jam it on and twist, everything will still line up. But it will leak since the oring inside is probably pinched.

    Took my 15-20 mins just on that 1 joint.

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  16. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    @RandyC have stories to tell about Vertex CaRX design and leaks lol.
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  17. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    It does in fact have the possibility of leaking (as is the case with anything though). There are three high-risk leak points, all of which ended up leaking on me.

    1. Connection between CO2 diffusion chamber and sicce input connection can leak if not screwed in properly because of debris or a pinched o-ring. Teflon tape can help allelivate the problem, but make sure it's clean and you align it carefully when attaching.

    2. Union that connects sicce output with main chamber is plastic welded. Don't over tighten the union or you'll break the plastic weld that holds the pvc pipe to main chamber. Absolutely do not pick up the unit by the sicce pump or diffusion chamber, even when empty or you could break the weld. I had to use DevCon Plastic Welder and silicon to reattach and seal to ensure it wasn't leaking anymore.

    3. Push connect adapter in secondary chamber is a slip fitting and is barley glued in. An accidental pull of ro tubing or twist of the secondary chamber while in the notched base plate can lead to the slip fitting getting pulled out. I added some teflon tape and glued it down with DevCon Plastic Welder.

    I just got the unit used about 7-8 weeks ago and after fixing everything, the unit has been leak tight for a month now. So, if you get this unit, it works, but take caution with handling it.

    And actually if you're interested, I could consider parting with my nicely fixed unit mostly because the footprint is larger than I thought. I have it installed remotely in my pantry and my wife isn't so happy how much space it takes up.
  18. justjohno

    justjohno Guest

    Thanks for the information. This really helps when it comes time to purchase. Over the past couple of weeks my next purchase has changed from a calcium reactor to a chiller. I'm trying to stabilize my Parameters but my water temp has my Parms way out of whack.

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  19. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    I have a chiller that I dismantle from a system take down if interested.
  20. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Have you tried using fans to cool it down via evaporation?

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