Aquarium Engineering-ACR Calcium Reactor

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gdemos

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So now im back to pushing mflex to pump. Even while changing bubble count in past few minutes i already have air gap at lid, ph probe running dry. Wt heck
 
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Dennis Cartier

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So now im back to pushing mflex to pump. Even while changing bubble count in past few minutes i already have air gap at lid, ph probe running dry. Wt heck
How can you be building up an air pocket that fast? I wonder if you have a air leak on the suction side of the pump?
 

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Ok so currently im pushing masterflex to acr pump. I do not get this, im watching my effluent which by all means should be precisely at rate of masterflex and it is going from drip to steady flow. My recirc pump is about to rin dry. Im lost

so im gonna unplug gas, unplug recirc pump. Therefore effluent should be no more no less than masterflex push rate
 
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Dennis Cartier

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Ok so currently im pushing masterflex to acr pump. I do not get this, im watching my effluent which by all means should be precisely at rate of masterflex and it is going from drip to steady flow. My recirc pump is about to rin dry. Im lost

so im gonna unplug gas, unplug recirc pump. Therefore effluent should be no more no less than masterflex push rate
If your masterflex is slow enough to only be a drip, and you are getting a stream, it is water being displaced by air/gas that is being pushed out.

Purge the air pocket and run it without CO2 and see if the same thing happens. If so, there is an air leak that needs to be tracked down.
 

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How can you be building up an air pocket that fast? I wonder if you have a air leak on the suction side of the pump?
Current state:
Replaced feed line out of sump to masterflex, replaced masterflex tubing terminal fitting (barb to push fit). To double check any leak potential

now pushing mflex to acr
Mflex set to 30 ml/min
ACR recirc pump unplugged
Carbon doser solenoid unplugged
Air gap at lid approx 1.5”
 

gdemos

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With the effluent stem inside the reactor two questions:
A) is it possible that there is a crack in the stem of the effluent plunger? That is inside the reactor lid of course so would that matter?

b) with effluent plunger well beneath the water level of the top recirc intake (schedule 80 out the side of reactor) wont there always be a large air fap a TV lid especially if recirc pump is off?
 

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Dennis Cartier

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With the effluent stem inside the reactor two questions:
A) is it possible that there is a crack in the stem of the effluent plunger? That is inside the reactor lid of course so would that matter?

b) with effluent plunger well beneath the water level of the top recirc intake (schedule 80 out the side of reactor) wont there always be a large air fap a TV lid especially if recirc pump is off?
Not if you purge the air out there should not be. To purge, unplug either line other than the effluent and use the prime button on the masteflex to push water into the ACR and the air out.

Then replace the line and run it without the co2 feed and see if it builds back up.
 
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gdemos

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I ran masterflex for a while got impatient so hooked back manifold to fill acr, purged by pulling recir line at lid.

Now back on mflex push
Acr recirc on,
gas off
Lid gap normalized for now
Ph probe submerged
Effluent is dripping at 30ml/mim which is precisely feed rate mflex
I will leave gas off till friday night

i think your right, it was too much gas too fast
Also, there may have been a slight leak at mflex tubing connections (never liked those pharma tubing to barb fitting to push fitting)

I should be fine with gas off for 48 hours given the effluent dump i had

so thats it for tonight dennis, ill ping back in the morning

your help immensely appreciated and im eager to hear what you are thinking about automating with carbon doser regulator. I might have one of the old controller boxes
 

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I ran masterflex for a while got impatient so hooked back manifold to fill acr, purged by pulling recir line at lid.

Now back on mflex push
Acr recirc on,
gas off
Lid gap normalized for now
Ph probe submerged
Effluent is dripping at 30ml/mim which is precisely feed rate mflex
I will leave gas off till friday night

i think your right, it was too much gas too fast
Also, there may have been a slight leak at mflex tubing connections (never liked those pharma tubing to barb fitting to push fitting)

I should be fine with gas off for 48 hours given the effluent dump i had

so thats it for tonight dennis, ill ping back in the morning

your help immensely appreciated and im eager to hear what you are thinking about automating with carbon doser regulator. I might have one of the old controller boxes
Ok, good. It sounds like we are on the right path. Ya, I am pretty sure too much CO2 was being pushed in and the Apex was not metering it properly.

Goodnight. I am about to go to bed as well, lol.

All you need from the old controller is the float valve cable so we hook it up to the float valve line on the ACR and we will salvage a piece of wire from inside the controller. With those items and a male and female power adapter with screws, we can get your Carbon Doser controlled by the float switch in the ACR. I have never done it that way before, but I am certain it will work and then the float valve will meter your CO2 again. I can give you more details in the next day or 2.
 

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I have a few more minutes to kill.

You need 1 set of these. This is for 10 sets, but you only need 1 set. Also this is on Amazon Canada, but there will be similar offerings in the US.


A set of those along with your salvaged float cable from a factory controller and a short piece of wire (also from factory controller), and we can get your Carbon Doser working with the ACR float valve.
 

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I have a few more minutes to kill.

You need 1 set of these. This is for 10 sets, but you only need 1 set. Also this is on Amazon Canada, but there will be similar offerings in the US.


A set of those along with your salvaged float cable from a factory controller and a short piece of wire (also from factory controller), and we can get your Carbon Doser working with the ACR float valve.
Good deal!
Water level held overnight, no gap at lid
And i found this patch cord for float switch
 

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Dennis Cartier

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Good deal!
Water level held overnight, no gap at lid
And i found this patch cord for float switch
Perfect! With that, a set of power adapters I listed from Amazon and another short piece of wire, we can get your Carbon Doser to be controlled by the ACR float valve and restore automatic operation. This will remove the possibilitly of excess CO2 being fed in.
 

Dennis Cartier

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Ok, so here is what we (you) are going to construct. A power extension that has the ACR float valve wired in series on one of the conductors.

Here are the steps you need to do.
  1. Find a piece of wire 5-6" long. Strip the ends of the wire so 3/16" of the wire is bare.
  2. Trim the ACR float valve cable leads to 3/16" of bare wire.
  3. Take 1 male and 1 female adapter and open the + and - terminals fully by turning the screw counter clockwise as far as it will go.
  4. Attach 1 lead of the float valve cable to each + terminal and screw the terminal closed. Give the lead a light tug to make sure it is being gripped by the terminal.
  5. Attach each end of the short piece of wire to the - terminals and screw closed.
  6. You are done!
To use the harness you just built, simply plug the Carbon Doser power jack into the female adapter and plug the male adapter in to the Carbon Doser power. Then plug the float valve cable into the ACR float valve connector. This will make your ACR float valve toggle the Carbon Doser on and off as CO2 is needed.

The harness you just built will look a bit, well shabby, but should work fine. Once you have confirmed it all works, feel free to wrap some electrical tape around it to improve the look and give it a bit more mechanical support. We can build you a v2 version that has a project box, but this version will get you going and keep you running.

You will need to move your Masterflex back to the effluent side (pulling) and hook the feed side back to your manifold.

This will restore automatic operation of your ACR.
 

gdemos

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i purchased the connectors.

12V DC Power Connector 5.5mm x 2.1mm, CENTROPOWER (10 x Male + 10 x Female) Power Jack Adapter​


you mentioned needing another wire from the factory controller - unfortunately all that stuff has been trashed. what exactly will i need?

float switch wired to the 12V DC power connector,
how do i get the float switch to contol the carbon doser?
 

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Ok, so here is what we (you) are going to construct. A power extension that has the ACR float valve wired in series on one of the conductors.

Here are the steps you need to do.
  1. Find a piece of wire 5-6" long. Strip the ends of the wire so 3/16" of the wire is bare.
  2. Trim the ACR float valve cable leads to 3/16" of bare wire.
  3. Take 1 male and 1 female adapter and open the + and - terminals fully by turning the screw counter clockwise as far as it will go.
  4. Attach 1 lead of the float valve cable to each + terminal and screw the terminal closed. Give the lead a light tug to make sure it is being gripped by the terminal.
  5. Attach each end of the short piece of wire to the - terminals and screw closed.
  6. You are done!
To use the harness you just built, simply plug the Carbon Doser power jack into the female adapter and plug the male adapter in to the Carbon Doser power. Then plug the float valve cable into the ACR float valve connector. This will make your ACR float valve toggle the Carbon Doser on and off as CO2 is needed.

The harness you just built will look a bit, well shabby, but should work fine. Once you have confirmed it all works, feel free to wrap some electrical tape around it to improve the look and give it a bit more mechanical support. We can build you a v2 version that has a project box, but this version will get you going and keep you running.

You will need to move your Masterflex back to the effluent side (pulling) and hook the feed side back to your manifold.

This will restore automatic operation of your ACR.
OK! I think i got it. I'll ping you when I have these adapters in hand.

Is this right?:
* single strand of wire just jumps from the male to female negative terminals of the adapters,
* ACR Float Switch wires, one to the positive terminal of male, one to the positive terminal of female

And why will i then go to manifold feed and pulling effluent? help me understand that again. Wont this build excess pressure in reactor? is this what may have caused the ACR Factory Controllers to fail - some sort of back pressure? right now i have a check valve inline for CO2 feed per ACR Instruction (so no water backfeeds to CO2 tank). are other check valves needed? Check valve b/w manifold and ACR?
 

Dennis Cartier

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OK! I think i got it. I'll ping you when I have these adapters in hand.

Is this right?:
* single strand of wire just jumps from the male to female negative terminals of the adapters,
* ACR Float Switch wires, one to the positive terminal of male, one to the positive terminal of female

And why will i then go to manifold feed and pulling effluent? help me understand that again. Wont this build excess pressure in reactor? is this what may have caused the ACR Factory Controllers to fail - some sort of back pressure? right now i have a check valve inline for CO2 feed per ACR Instruction (so no water backfeeds to CO2 tank). are other check valves needed? Check valve b/w manifold and ACR?
Sorry for the late reply.

You are correct. One wire will go from negative to negative on the 2 adapters and the float switch leads go between the positives.

You want to go to a manifold feed and the Masterflex on the effluent as you will be running at approximately 8 PSI within the ACR. This helps the CO2 to quickly dissolve into the water. The head pressure of the manifold will be pushing against the CO2 pocket (fed at 8 PSI) stopping it from expanding back to atmospheric (see Boyle's Law).

The factory controllers did not fail due to back pressure, but components that were not rated for continuous duty. The pressure that will build inside the reactor is limited to the pressure you set your regulator to. So set to 8 PSI. The existing CO2 check valve is perfect. I also recommend a saltwater safe check valve in between the manifold and the feed input. Note, you can't use a CO2 style here as they are not saltwater safe.
 
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