Help. Do I need to install the ball valve?

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by Arvind, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

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    Hey everybody yesterday I bought a phosban 550 media reactor and was very eager to hook it up. I’m using it as a chaeto reactor so I got it all set up and it’s working and pumping fine but my mp1200 pump pumps at a higher rate than what is recommended in the instruction manual for the Phosban 550 reactor. About twice as fast. I realized I didn’t set up the ball valve that controls the flow rate, I just have the two tubes going in and out. I’m only using chaeto and not GFO or any other stuff in there that needs tumbling so I was wondering do I need to go back in here and install the ball valve or what I’d be OK just leaving it as is.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Pics are hard to see hit you see just the tubing and not ball valve installed.

    The rate is fast and the chaeto is pushed up and stays up. No tumbling

    Help


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  2. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

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    Getting cheato to tumble in a reactor would be pretty dang hard. The reason people want cheato to tumble in a fuge is so that it gets even light all around since the light is only coming from one side. In reactor, it's surrounded by light, so really no need for tumbling action. I'd install a ball valve, the flow probably isn't an issue for the cheato, but you don't want to put more flow through that reactor than it's rated for. Could potentially start leaking. Though, I don't think it would with a mj1200.

    I'd also consider putting in a one or more mesh grid(s) in the middle of the reactor so you can have mulitple shelves of cheato exposed to more light.
     
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  3. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

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    Ball valve should take you less than a minute to install anyway. Two Little Fishies makes one:

    Two Little Fishies ATL5455W Ball Valve, 3/4-Inch https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000256764/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_zxqtAb08N8BD9

    Also, I notice you are lighting it from one side. The benefit of using a reactor is that you can use strip lighting to wrap it around the cheato and completely surround it with light. I'd look at getting the grow strip lights from marine depot or on Amazon. Roughly $25.


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  4. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

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    Thanks Randy. The light is from IM and made for chaeto as it uses mostly red spectrum. Cost about 80 bucks!

    I’m worried that when I install the valve the water will gush out even though my pumps will be turned off. Like creating a siphon that can’t be stopped. So I’m guessing I need to pull out my pump to break the siphon before installing the ball valve. This reactor has mixed reviews in regard to leaking and seals etc so I’m feeling I need to slow the flow down as well. I’m running twice the speed as recommended by 2little fishies


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  5. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

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    My wife is working from home today so any water gushing out means beheading


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  6. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

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    I didn't even notice you don't have a sump. Having that reactor down there below your tank without a check valve on the reactor input line is asking for trouble. That most definitely will create a siphon if the output line ever gets out of the tank when you're doing maintenance and the pumps are off. Dangerous!

    How do you plan on doing maintenance on the reactor when you need to trim cheato? Unless you have a check valve or a ball/gate valve on the input line to stop the siphon, you're going to have the same problem unless you remove the input line from water first.

    By only lighting one side of the reactor, you are losing a huge advantage of using a cylindrical-shaped reactor to grow chaeto.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  7. Gablami

    Gablami Guest

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    Yeah just because it’s more expensive doesn’t mean it’s better. That IM is not made for a reactor. I have the same light. You’ll get better growth imo from the strip light. And really agree with @RandyC regarding also paying attention when you have tubes going in and out of your tank that you’re always thinking about possibility of siphon if and when a leak occurs.


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  8. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

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    Ball valve for sure


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  9. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member

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    You need to have a way to stop the flow to take out the reactor and harvest chaeto or otherwise maintain it, so the ball valve would be great for that.

    I wouldn’t worry about the flow from the standpoint of the algae, but reducing the overall pressure in the reactor would be good. It looks like it is plumbed directly from your tank above? If so you have the pressure of the vertical height change in addition to the flow you are putting through it. I personally wouldn’t use one of those reactors like that (without a sump and below the tank). I’ve had them leak on me before in unpredictable ways. The siphon effect would be devastating.
     
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  10. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

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    Other have used it underneath their tank which I wanted to do versus hanging it. I do have a side table near the tank I can sit it on. Still the same issue just not as low. I just didn’t want to hang it on the side. I’ll put in the ball valve today. Should that be hooked directly to the nozzle on the reactor or cut the tubing and install tubing on both ends of the ball valve? I’m kinda freaking out now.

    The paint is glossy under the tank and the light reflects all over under there so it’s hitting all sides with one side getting a little more directly


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  11. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

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    Ill have to pull the mj1200 pump out first to break the siphon when doing maintenance but I’ll install the ball valve on the input side. This reminds me of a canister filter mechanics


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  12. daddio

    daddio Supporting Member

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    If you slow down the input, does cavitation become an issue?
     
  13. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

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    Not sure what is cavitation. So here’s an update I try to install the ball valve and didn’t realize the output was still in the back of the tank underwater so I lost about 2 gallons all over my face and under the tank until I figured out what the hell was going on so I basically pulled out go to beings so they’re not in the water and I put away the reactor for now until I figure out what to do this is cost me a lot of headache and I didn’t know it will be this complicated I’m tempted to hang it on the side


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  14. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

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    Pull out both tubes is what I meant to say lol


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  15. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

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    I really don’t like siphons at all specially when they get all over the place they freak me out


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  16. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

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    I think unintended siphons or a refers worst nightmare


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  17. scuzy

    scuzy Supporting Member

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    Create a siphon break in the tube.


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  18. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

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    Great idea! Kinda like my ato. Well I’m giving it a rest after 2 incidents of siphons draining out in me.


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  19. daddio

    daddio Supporting Member

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    I never put my outputs more than a half inch under water.
     
  20. Arvind

    Arvind Supporting Member

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    Live and learn man. I realize all this the hard way now!


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