Gablami's Reefer 525 Build

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Gablami, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member

    Very nice, they look professional. I appreciate how you show exactly what materials you used, and from where.

    Wondering if you think the acrylic rod will be an issue with solvents like alcohol dosing?


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  2. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    I read about the acrylic containers cracking with vodka dosing, and the ddr instructions specifically warn against no3po4x in the container. I currently have my nopox diluted 1:4, and will probably continue to do that. But that's a good point that even though I'm using glass I still have acrylic in my setup. Probably shouldn't use full strength nopox or vodka unless I switch out to a 1/4" glass tube.


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  3. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    I got plenty of glass tubes cause my dad's a glass blower


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  4. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Now that's some DIY stuff I think I could even do without screwing it up :D
     
  5. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    @coral4me, what are your thoughts on using acrylic with some of these chemicals?
     
  6. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    I have a plastic bottle that's been holding nopox forever and don't seem to notice anything


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  7. coral4me

    coral4me Supporting Member

    If you are diluting it 4 to 1 you should be fine. For example straight isopropyl alcohol will cause acrylic to craze and crack. However isopropyl alcohol is one of the main ingredients in plastic cleaner, It's just diluted. FYI: Acrylics that have been flame polished are the most susceptible to crazing and cracking. The heat in flame polishing actually stresses the acrylic and chemical solvents (alcohol, acrylic cement, etc.) break the stressed polymer chains in the acrylic, leaving behind visual cracks. So don't try to glue near a flame polished edge or it will craze from the solvent.


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  8. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    Those OXO also comes in a larger size 2.5 quart. Also, you can use a step up drill bit for the hole on the top. Made it much easier to drill when I made mine awhile back.
     
  9. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member


    Dremel works great


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  10. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Yeah I was trying to use the standard drill bits which would catch the plastic as it cut and cause a crack. The stepwise would have been much better. Still learning!


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  11. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Oh yeah a cone dremel tip would work great. I even have that, just didn't think to use it.


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  12. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    Also since it's air tight container hope you drill a small air leak hole on top


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  13. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Yeah I did...tiny one.


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  14. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member

    Another option I've seen is to have a second hole with an inexpensive air line check valve (like is used with air stones) to let air in but not evaporated product out, rather than the tiny air hole. NOPOX, alcohol, etc are quite volatile and will evaporate, changing the relative concentrations in the mixed solution.

    Hopefully won't be a big deal since your hole is tiny, but something to consider if you can smell the product through the hole with the lid closed.


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  15. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Tiny hole and 1:4 diluted.
     
  16. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    My carx has been up and running for about a week now. It was stressful to turn off my 2 part completely and let the reactor take over, because I wasn't sure how 120ml/day of BRS 2 part translated to effluent rate and bubble count (turns out it's pretty close to 30ml minute, with the bubble count holding pH at 6.5).

    I got a Geo 612 used from @Newjack for a great price. I needed to install a pH probe into the system. Originally I was planning on adding it into the PVC manifold horizontally, but after calling Geo, they said that can be problematic, catch bubbles and affect readout. They offered to install it for me in the lid for $25 if I shipped it to them, which I thought was really nice of them. Apparently the lid design is so old that they don't have a replacement lid for it :).

    I decided to try doing it myself. Got a huge drill bit and tap, and a probe holder. It wasn't very hard to do, and viola (probe holder is that black thing in the lid).

    [​IMG]

    Next up was my effluent pump. Now some people run off the manifold, or off a maxijet, but the most reliable way I've learned is to have a industrial peristaltic pump running 24-7 to maintain a consistent alkalinity delivery. Some have used the Dos or other pumps, and while I'm sure they work, my own experience with the Dos is that it can be inconsistent and I am frequently check the system for air leaks in case something loosens up, or the head starts to go bad. While the cole-palmer masterflex pumps are pretty darn pricy (I heard that reefer demand has driven the used prices way high), I've put so much money already into my tank and corals that protecting it with a more reliable pump is worth it to me. I feel like a carx malfunction is a quick way to have a crash.

    [​IMG]

    I got this sexy 10 lb CO2 canister and 2 stage regulator with needle valve from @roostertech, who used to use it for his planted tanks. Tested it for leaks and it works great.

    [​IMG]

    I ran the carx for about 48 hours without adding CO2, mostly because I was scared to start, but once I finally started it was pretty easy.

    [​IMG]

    It didn't really drop my pH of the tank that much, but I did purchase a secondary chamber from Geo which is on its way.


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  17. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    After starting it at 30ml/day keeping the chamber pH at 6.5, my alk stayed pretty stable between 8.1 and 8.4 fluctuating throughout the day with light cycle, but when it crept up to 8.3-8.6, I turned down the pump to 28ml/min and turned down the CO2 a touch to keep the pH at 6.5, and it has been rock stable since.

    So the thing about carx that I learned is that it doesn't matter how much media is in the reactor, the CO2 that you add to the reactor is what will dissolve a set amount of media. Before running it I would imagine the entire reactor full of media melting away at a pH of 6.5, but when the media melts it "uses up" the acidity. Also the ml/min rate that you run the pump at will change the reactor pH (duh). I'm surprised at how stable the reactor pH is -- probably a testament to the high quality custom regulator from @roostertech. It fluctuates about 0.03 pH in a day, which is less than I thought since my tank pH fluctuates about 0.2 in a day.


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    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
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  18. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

    That's the beauty of a carx no more fiddling with all those dosing parameters.
     
  19. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Yup. It is very very stable once you dial it in.


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  20. Newjack

    Newjack Supporting Member

    I'm jealous Gabe,
    I'm so happy you got that reactor back up and running. You won't be disappointed with it. I miss it already
     
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