Optimize Calcium Reactor: OrionN's modification

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OrionN

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Most Ca reactor these day have build in CO2 bubble counter like the Geosreef Ca reactor. I removed the bubble counter, simplify the plumbing, and add the bubble counter at the regulator. Once I re-plumb the reactor slightly as above, adding the flow restrictor to the appropriate place is very easy.
I also change the plastic thumb screws to stainless screws and wing nuts. Much easier for me to open and close the chamber. I was able to dissolves about 50% of the media in the chamber in 6-8 months. This is the amount my tank need, but I can easily add Ca at a faster rate if needed.
 

Sisterlimonpot

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I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around what you did. Is it possible to show a schematic? Possibly explain the purpose of the capillary tube in more detail? You say that it's a flow restrictor form an RO system, does that mean it simply has a small diameter orifice inline? And how does that if at all play a role? I may be wrong, I think the "L side" and "R side" are backwards, which might add to my confusion.

Are you essentially reducing the size of the bubble or are you introducing C02 to the chamber in a more efficient manner?

If I'm reading it correctly, the capillary tube (which is a smaller diameter than the simi rigid 1/4" tube traditionally used with CaRx, is an extension of the C02 injection (inside the PVC) that delivers it to closer to the recirculation pump???

Thanks for clarifying...
 
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The modification add CO2 in a stream of tiny bubbles instead of large bubbles. My tiny Ehime pump can easily dissolves these tiny bubbles.
If the same amount of CO2 was added using the normal 1/4 inch tubing the small pump will not be able to dissolves this CO2 resulting in wasted CO2 high pH thus result in inefficiency in dissolving the CaCO3
 

AlexG

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A very interesting methodology. Do you have a video of the reactor running so we can see how bubbles are moving around in the reactor chamber? My Geo always has lots of bubbles since I have been turning up the CO2 to keep up with alk demand. From time to time my pump will stop recirculating due to the amount of gas in the chamber. After a few minutes the pump primes itself again and starts recirculating. I am interested to know if you have this same recirculating pump behavior with this modification installed.
 
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Shirak

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Going to give it a try! Wasn't sure which RO restrictor to order so I got one for a 75gpd blue restrictor. I have the small Geo calcium reactor with a CarbonDoser valve. I have a very light coral load so currently it's running at 5psi and 1 bubble/10 seconds. I noticed that it frequently takes 2 or 3 clicks before I hear the bubble hit the pump. This should help with getting the CO2 to the pump. Thanks!
 
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It was my old flow restrictor for the 100 gpd membrane. The higher the flow restrictor the better but it does not mater that much. They all will result in much finer bubbles than the standard 1/4 inch tubing.
 

GlassMunky

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I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around what you did. Is it possible to show a schematic? Possibly explain the purpose of the capillary tube in more detail? You say that it's a flow restrictor form an RO system, does that mean it simply has a small diameter orifice inline? And how does that if at all play a role? I may be wrong, I think the "L side" and "R side" are backwards, which might add to my confusion.

Are you essentially reducing the size of the bubble or are you introducing C02 to the chamber in a more efficient manner?

If I'm reading it correctly, the capillary tube (which is a smaller diameter than the simi rigid 1/4" tube traditionally used with CaRx, is an extension of the C02 injection (inside the PVC) that delivers it to closer to the recirculation pump???

Thanks for clarifying...
glad im not the only one who cant decipher what he "actually" did....
its just pictures with no real explanation of part A was added to part B in this manner etc
 

Shirak

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glad im not the only one who cant decipher what he "actually" did....
its just pictures with no real explanation of part A was added to part B in this manner etc
If I understand correctly, the flow restrictor goes into the 1/4" CO2 tubing where it would normally connect to the reactor. The thin tubing coming out of the restrictor goes in the connector and down into the pipe leading to the pump so the CO2 bubbles are much smaller and enter nearer the pump. The tubing is then plugged back into the connector as it was before. The restrictor is designed to fit within the tubing/connector if I am not mistaken. We shall see!
 

GlassMunky

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If I understand correctly, the flow restrictor goes into the 1/4" CO2 tubing where it would normally connect to the reactor. The thin tubing coming out of the restrictor goes in the connector and down into the pipe leading to the pump so the CO2 bubbles are much smaller and enter nearer the pump. The tubing is then plugged back into the connector as it was before. The restrictor is designed to fit within the tubing/connector if I am not mistaken. We shall see!
yea something this complex really should have some sort of diagram.....
 

Shirak

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Would be nice. I will see how the restrictor fits in once it arrives. May take another straight coupling and a small length of tubing. I replaced the clear flexible tubing that came with the CarbonDoser to hard 1/4" tubing so it should be the same inside diameter as standard RO tubing which is what the restrictors are designed to work with.
 
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I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around what you did. Is it possible to show a schematic? Possibly explain the purpose of the capillary tube in more detail? You say that it's a flow restrictor form an RO system, does that mean it simply has a small diameter orifice inline? And how does that if at all play a role? I may be wrong, I think the "L side" and "R side" are backwards, which might add to my confusion.

Are you essentially reducing the size of the bubble or are you introducing C02 to the chamber in a more efficient manner?

If I'm reading it correctly, the capillary tube (which is a smaller diameter than the simi rigid 1/4" tube traditionally used with CaRx, is an extension of the C02 injection (inside the PVC) that delivers it to closer to the recirculation pump???

Thanks for clarifying...
glad im not the only one who cant decipher what he "actually" did....
its just pictures with no real explanation of part A was added to part B in this manner etc
If I understand correctly, the flow restrictor goes into the 1/4" CO2 tubing where it would normally connect to the reactor. The thin tubing coming out of the restrictor goes in the connector and down into the pipe leading to the pump so the CO2 bubbles are much smaller and enter nearer the pump. The tubing is then plugged back into the connector as it was before. The restrictor is designed to fit within the tubing/connector if I am not mistaken. We shall see!
Would be nice. I will see how the restrictor fits in once it arrives. May take another straight coupling and a small length of tubing. I replaced the clear flexible tubing that came with the CarbonDoser to hard 1/4" tubing so it should be the same inside diameter as standard RO tubing which is what the restrictors are designed to work with.


This picture show how I thread the flow restrictor. Black air tube with check valve is where the CO2 enter the Ca reactor. The black PVC lead to the intake of the pump. The flow restrictor was thread though the black air tubing through the 4-way and down the black PVC in the position as taped in the picture above (but inside it of course). I taped it on the outside to show everybody where the flow restrictor go.

CO2 enter the Ca reactor through the flow restrictor (inside the black air tubing) instead of the black air tubing without the flow restrictor. The differences between the two is large bubbles vs stream of tiny bubbles. The pumps handle dissolving tiny bubble a lot better than large bubble resulting in much lower pH, lots of dissolved reactor media and much more Ca and Alkalinity for the tank with no waste of CO2

I though I explain it well. I don't think I can explain it any better. Diagram is a lot of work for me but, IMO, does not show it any better.
 
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If I understand correctly, the flow restrictor goes into the 1/4" CO2 tubing where it would normally connect to the reactor. The thin tubing coming out of the restrictor goes in the connector and down into the pipe leading to the pump so the CO2 bubbles are much smaller and enter nearer the pump. The tubing is then plugged back into the connector as it was before. The restrictor is designed to fit within the tubing/connector if I am not mistaken. We shall see!
Yup. You understand correctly.
 
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So you did this because you had too much CO2 build up in your chamber? Not sure I understand how this solved a problem or maybe which problem it solved?
@blstravler,
Did you ever have a Ca reactor that cannot keep up with Ca demand of your tank?

If you do, you will know that at or near max capacity, the Ca reactor will not be able to low it chamber pH low enough to put out adequate Ca and Alkalinity. This is true even if the CO2 input is high enough to have a lot of waste CO2.

To combat this, the seller built larger Ca reactors with larger chamber and multiple chambers, bigger circulation pumps to increase the Ca and Alkalinity out put.

My modification will solve this problem without having to increase chamber size, multiple chambers or bigger pumps. With this modification, my Ca reactor is very efficient in dissolving the CO2, lower the pH and this result in much higher Ca and Alkalinity output.

If you have not been in this situation, either no Ca reactor or never have to push your Ca reactor to the max, then you won't know the need for this modification.
 
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GlassMunky

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I understand the idea of smaller bubbles means easier to dissolve and therefor more effecient use of the co2, but the lack of thorough explanation of how the parts are put together makes this thread almost useless imo.
you can’trepost the same photo and ready the same words thinking it makes it easier for others to follow. Just because you can follow what you’re saying doesn’t mean others can follow.

maybe actually take the time to show how you installed the 2 pieces of tubing together, and how to got them to get inside that pvc.
nothing here is explained in an easy fashion

I can’t imagine you making a simple diagram would take any longer than you responding to all these questions and might help a lot more people understand

just my$0.02
 
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........

I can’t imagine you making a simple diagram would take any longer than you responding to all these questions and might help a lot more people understand

just my$0.02
You broke me down. Here is your diagram
CaReactor07.jpg


As to how the flow restrictor fit inside RO tubing:
CaReactor08.jpg


CaReactor09.jpg
 

GlassMunky

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This is actually very helpful and makes things a lot more clear. Thank you.

is the flow destructor being held in place inside the RO tubing just by tension/pressure or did you have to attach it in some way?
And then what kind of pvc fitting did you use to have the tubing go through and into then pvc area? Did you have to silicone that connection between the tubing and the pvc?
 
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