Optimize Calcium Reactor: OrionN's modification

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OrionN

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The flow restrictor is designed to fit tightly right inside semi-rigid 1/4 inch RO tubing. If your RO reactor use soft air tubing, then you have to modified it as needed. I modified mine 10+ years ago. I used soft black air tubing and use a nipple attachment my fitting is slightly different. Anyway, once you know what you need to do to deliver the fine stream of CO2 bubbles to your reactor, you just have to use your judgment to determine the best way to do it.
 

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The flow restrictor is designed to fit tightly right inside semi-rigid 1/4 inch RO tubing. If your RO reactor use soft air tubing, then you have to modified it as needed. I modified mine 10+ years ago. I used soft black air tubing and use a nipple attachment my fitting is slightly different. Anyway, once you know what you need to do to deliver the fine stream of CO2 bubbles to your reactor, you just have to use your judgment to determine the best way to do it.

Just out of curiosity, do you run your calrx sold school using only bubble count and adjusting a needle valve for the effluent or are you using a dosing pump for feeding it?
Is oh controlled by a controller of some kind to maintain the proper ph or just adjustment of bubbles?
 

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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?
I think the flow restrictor is big enough that it will not go fully into the 1/4" tubing on the one end, but small enough that it will fit into the John Guest fitting. So all you need to do is reinsert the tubing into the push lock fitting on the reactor after threading the small tubing into the pvc pipe and then to the push lock fitting on the check valve, in my case. At least that's my plan until I have the actual item in hand to check the fit. It would also appear I may need to trim the length of the restrictor tubing on my reactor since the CO2 injection is somewhat close to the pump and I don't want the tubing hitting the impeller. We will see soon!
 
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I always used dosing pumps for my Ca and Kalk reactors. I use a needled valve to adjust and control CO2 input.
Dosing pump is the "only" way to run the Calcium reactor IMO.
 
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Guys,
Please take some measurements before and after. I would love that you post these finding. I run this reactor with modification for the last 13 or so years so I don't really have any before numbers.
 
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I think the flow restrictor is big enough that it will not go fully into the 1/4" tubing on the one end, but small enough that it will fit into the John Guest fitting. So all you need to do is reinsert the tubing into the push lock fitting on the reactor after threading the small tubing into the pvc pipe and then to the push lock fitting on the check valve, in my case. At least that's my plan until I have the actual item in hand to check the fit. It would also appear I may need to trim the length of the restrictor tubing on my reactor since the CO2 injection is somewhat close to the pump and I don't want the tubing hitting the impeller. We will see soon!
Correct.

Regarding the length, any length is OK as long as the end reach the main circulation part of the flow loop before the pump. You are absolutely correct in cutting the flow restrictor short so it won't interfere and ruin your propeller.
 

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So you don't think it would work to use the barrel type flow restrictor and just plumb it into the co2 line? It's necessary to use the capillary flow restrictor and thread the line within the plumbing to just before the recirculation pump impeller? If that is the case, then it would seem the only flow restrictor from BRS that would work is the 100-150gpd (800ml) capillary version if anyone is looking to try this out.
 
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No. The barrel flow restrictor would not work. It is the small diameter of the capillary tube is what needed, not the flow restriction. The CO2 already flow restricted from the regulator. It is the small diameter of the flow restrictor which would result in tiny bubbles to the pump propeller.
 

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Curious here. So essentially you are saying that a smaller bubble getting "chopped up", just as a larger one does, would more effectively reduce PH inside the chamber, and/or more efficiently than a marginally larger bubble?

I'm honestly not sure i grasp this one entirely either. I mean, I get exactly what you are doing mechanically, but I am not sure I understand how there is any relationship between bubble size and Co2 saturation. Especially on a reverse flow reactor like the GEO.

Or, how this would extend media life longer than it would with a normal-sized bubble running the same pH inside the reactor.
 
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Curious here. So essentially you are saying that a smaller bubble getting "chopped up", just as a larger one does, would more effectively reduce PH inside the chamber, and/or more efficiently than a marginally larger bubble?

I'm honestly not sure i grasp this one entirely either. I mean, I get exactly what you are doing mechanically, but I am not sure I understand how there is any relationship between bubble size and Co2 saturation. Especially on a reverse flow reactor like the GEO.

Or, how this would extend media life longer than it would with a normal-sized bubble running the same pH inside the reactor.
None of the above.

I did not claim any of the point you wrote. Larger bubbles does not get dissolved well.Stream of tiny bubbles will dissolve much easier even with small pump. When we push the out put of our Ca reactors, we increase the amount of CO2 used. This modification will displace CO2 much better result in lower pH in the chamber and more media dissolved and add to DT. There will be no waste CO2. Of course this will cause the media to dissolve faster.
If you look at the 1st picture in my write up, there is a line in the media at about 1/2 way down. This was how much my reactor dissolved in the last 7-8 months or so. I just top off the reactor last week right before I took the picture.
conventional Ca reactor waste a lot of CO2 at near the maximal put put. Even with the lower output there are always waste CO2 thus a lot of Ca reactor try to have method of refeed CO2 back into the intake of the pump. This does not work all that well.
The capillary tube does not result in “marginally smaller” bubbles. It result in a stream of really fine bubbles when it release air in a fairly fast moving circulation area.
 
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Some calcium reactors use a needle wheel type impeller to chop up the CO2 bubbles.
Yes. Bigger more powerful pumps, bigger Ca reactor with bigger chambers and more chambers to increase Ca output.
Either that or my modification. Mine Ca reactor is 13+ year old using a tiny Eheim pump. 6X18 inches single chamber. I have yet reach anywhere near the peak of my Ca output yet. I don’t need to. Before I modified it I cannot keep up and have to add a lot of two parts to the tank. I bought them in 5 gal buckets from BRS. No need after I modified it.
 

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None of the above.

I did not claim any of the point you wrote. Larger bubbles does not get dissolved well.Stream of tiny bubbles will dissolve much easier even with small pump. When we push the out put of our Ca reactors, we increase the amount of CO2 used. This modification will displace CO2 much better result in lower pH in the chamber and more media dissolved and add to DT. There will be no waste CO2. Of course this will cause the media to dissolve faster.
If you look at the 1st picture in my write up, there is a line in the media at about 1/2 way down. This was how much my reactor dissolved in the last 7-8 months or so. I just top off the reactor last week right before I took the picture.
conventional Ca reactor waste a lot of CO2 at near the maximal put put. Even with the lower output there are always waste CO2 thus a lot of Ca reactor try to have method of refeed CO2 back into the intake of the pump. This does not work all that well.
The capillary tube does not result in “marginally smaller” bubbles. It result in a stream of really fine bubbles when it release air in a fairly fast moving circulation area.

I don't know that the amount of media is dissolved over a given amount of time is really a measure of how effective the smaller bubble is. Lower, PH will absolutely dissolve media faster as well. How is the co2 that's still inside the chamber wasted?

Did you notice the actual co2 supply lasted longer using this system when the tank uptake was consistent before and after the mod? Because this is something id be very interested in learning about if so.
 
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I don't know that the amount of media is dissolved over a given amount of time is really a measure of how effective the smaller bubble is. Lower, PH will absolutely dissolve media faster as well. How is the co2 that's still inside the chamber wasted?

Did you notice the actual co2 supply lasted longer using this system when the tank uptake was consistent before and after the mod? Because this is something id be very interested in learning about if so.
I though of this years ago, and modified my reactor many years ago. I did this write because I see these huge Ca reactors with huge pumps for a huge sum of money. I did not think about proving my points, only that it works very well and wanted to help other reefers. To prove that it works well is really easy. All we need to do is to have a pH probe on the Ca reactor.

If I have a pH probe, I would just plot the pH of the Ca reactor chamber as the function of the amount of CO2 input with fix water flow rate through the reactor. One run with and one without the capillary tube.

In fact, if anybody use this modification and have pH probe on their Ca reactor, please do these reading and post it here. It would be great.

I mention how much media my Ca reactor dissolved just to show how effective it is in dissolving the media. I do think how fast the media dissolve have a direct correlation to how much Ca Carbonate and trace element added into the system.
 

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A stream of small bubbles will have a larger surface area than the same amount of CO2, contained in fewer, but larger bubbles. This should result in more CO2 getting absorbed using the smaller bubbles. The GEO reactors are single pass (no CO2 re-circulation) up flow reactors, so anything that can speed up the absorption of the CO2 before it reaches the effluent line and potentially leaves the reactor should help.

Dennis
 

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I though of this years ago, and modified my reactor many years ago. I did this write because I see these huge Ca reactors with huge pumps for a huge sum of money. I did not think about proving my points, only that it works very well and wanted to help other reefers. To prove that it works well is really easy. All we need to do is to have a pH probe on the Ca reactor.

If I have a pH probe, I would just plot the pH of the Ca reactor chamber as the function of the amount of CO2 input with fix water flow rate through the reactor. One run with and one without the capillary tube.

In fact, if anybody use this modification and have pH probe on their Ca reactor, please do these reading and post it here. It would be great.

I mention how much media my Ca reactor dissolved just to show how effective it is in dissolving the media. I do think how fast the media dissolve have a direct correlation to how much Ca Carbonate and trace element added into the system.
Minh, I can do this on my new Geo 618. I bought another apex and have several lab grade probes that I keep calibrated. I Also have a new Milwaukee that's on my system as well. I can graph the pH inside the reactor and also the tank. Then I'll add this modification and we'll compare the graphs and numbers. I'll text you after I get it dialed in and have a week or two of data. Then I'll do the modification and we'll see the results. @PSXerholic might be interested in this as well.
 
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Nice write up Minh. :)
Jared,
Do you have a pH meter with pH probe I can use? I don’t want to spend 350 to get a pH probe and meter. If I have one I can easily document that my modification works well

infact, anybody have a pH probe that I can borrow for about a week? Please let me know what f this is the case.
 
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Great Jared. I will be in Houston this weekend. Do you want to meet up? With See Loong also. You will enjoy meeting him and see his tank
 

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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?
I'm with you. If you've got a recirc line on your reactor, this doesn't do much. I suppose if you didn't have a method of recirc for CO2, it might help a hair. But truthfully just a modification of the tube inside the bubble counter would do the same thing. I cut the tube from straight to angled in my bubble counter tube and it changed the bubble size. Might try making it a smaller tube to see what that does.
 

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Jared,
Do you have a pH meter with pH probe I can use? I don’t want to spend 350 to get a pH probe and meter. If I have one I can easily document that my modification works well

infact, anybody have a pH probe that I can borrow for about a week? Please let me know what f this is the case.
I have a hand-held that’s just as accurate as my others that I can send you. I cross check all of them.
 
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