Poll: Calcium Reactor or Not?

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by dbl, Nov 6, 2017.

?
  1. No

    589 vote(s)
    83.0%
  2. Yes

    61 vote(s)
    8.6%
  3. 50-120 gallons

    40 vote(s)
    5.6%
  4. 121-200 gallons

    34 vote(s)
    4.8%
  5. 201-300 gallons

    30 vote(s)
    4.2%
  6. 301-400 gallons

    18 vote(s)
    2.5%
  7. 400+ galloons

    17 vote(s)
    2.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. dbl

    dbl It Takes Less Energy to be Nice Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I've always been under the impression calcium reactors are "typically" used on larger systems. I could be totally off base here, so I thought I'd ask! I would love to know if you're using a calcium reactor and if so, how large of a system are you running. So it's a two-part question - Do you use one and what size tank do you have?

    Let's see what the group has to say!
     
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  2. cumbeje

    cumbeje Well-Known Member

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    Demand also has a lot to do with it. It becomes a lot more economical than to continue to pay for dosing.
     
  3. Robin Haselden

    Robin Haselden Turtle R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I keep small tanks, my Jebao doser keeps up. Ca reactors I think are for really high demand, huge systems. Too expensive and complicated for me.
     
  4. jbow50

    jbow50 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have one, but i could see the usefulness of one on medium to large tanks because of the minor and trace mineral supplemented by the dead coral skeletons. I have a 125 that i dose elements now and I could see myself needing one for my sps dominant system in 5+ years.
     
    mtraylor likes this.
  5. Tyler_Fishman

    Tyler_Fishman Well-Known Member

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    Anything under 100 gallons probably does not need a calcium reactor, as most experienced hobbiest either have really big tanks or really tiny, nano tanks. Unless your rock is bathed in sps coral, you do not need a calcium reactor.
     
    Labridaedicted likes this.
  6. Labridaedicted

    Labridaedicted Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I have a large dual chamber mtc calcium reactor on my system. My total system volume is approximately 350 gallons. I used to run one on my old 90, as well. For me it's about stability. Once you have it dialed in, your levels should stay pretty constant.
     
    S-t-r-e-t-c-h likes this.
  7. Nik Mason

    Nik Mason New Member

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    Hello all,
    I have a 140 gallon system with a calcium reactor, I have It set at 6.5ph which give's me calcium of 450 all the time in the DT.
    Regards,
    Nik
     
  8. Nik Mason

    Nik Mason New Member

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    Hello all,
    I have a calcium reactor, I set it at 6.5ph which give's me a very stable calcium level of 450 in the DT.
    I have a 140 gallon system
    I spend £7 on co2 every 3 months, I keep two bottles of co2 with a third always at the LFS being re filled.
    Regards,
    Nik.
     
  9. d2mini

    d2mini Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Usually what happens with larger systems is people realize how expensive two part gets.
    Two part is cheaper to setup, but more expensive in the long run. It's exponential with larger systems. CaRx is more expensive to set up, but man... a tank of C02 and bag of media lasts forever.

    I understand starting with Kalk, or two-part in the beginning... but IMO, a move to a CaRx makes more financial sense long term, and it's also healthier for the tank since it adds minor trace elements.
    I also find the reactor to be easier. Alk and Calc are added in balance. So I only need to check Alk every few days.
     
  10. Labridaedicted

    Labridaedicted Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Does anyone else running calcium reactors find their alk stays very high?
     
  11. Randy Holmes-Farley

    Randy Holmes-Farley Reef Chemist Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Expert Contributor Article Contributor

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    That just means it is set too deliver too much. :)
     
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  12. d2mini

    d2mini Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    Like Randy says above, gotta tweak your settings.
    Bring the effluent pH up by decreasing your c02 and/or increasing your effluent flow rate.
     
    nvladik likes this.
  13. erk

    erk Well-Known Member Partner Member 2018

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    For the people that use a calcium reactor on a 50-120 gal tanks:

    - Is that total system volume or just display volume?
    - What calcium reactor do you use?
    - What input method do you use, i.e. manifold, standalone AC pump, controllable DC pump, etc?
    - How do you control flow thru the reactor?
    - Size of CO2 tank and how often do you refill? I know this is based on coral consumption, so please include info on your tank consumption rates.

    I'm interested in running a calcium reactor for the stability factor, but want to understand a bit more before I make the plunge.

    Also, does anyone running a calcium reactor use an electronic flow control valve on CO2 supply?
     
  14. d2mini

    d2mini Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor

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    For the people that use a calcium reactor on a 50-120 gal tanks:

    - Is that total system volume or just display volume? 120g Display
    - What calcium reactor do you use? Geo 612
    - What input method do you use, i.e. manifold, standalone AC pump, controllable DC pump, etc? Sicce pump for now, eventually a peristaltic pump.
    - How do you control flow thru the reactor? Precision Needle Valve
    - Size of CO2 tank and how often do you refill? I know this is based on coral consumption, so please include info on your tank consumption rates. 10g tank. Gonna last at least six months based on usage so far. Don't remember how fast my alk drops in 24 hours.... .5 dkh maybe?
     
    geo and erk like this.
  15. atoll

    atoll Well-Known Member

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    I run both a calc reactor and Kalk stirrer on my 100 gallon. The Kalk stirrer runs from 3am to 9am with the calc reactor
    24/7
     
  16. atoll

    atoll Well-Known Member

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    Apart from the solenoid valve on the gauges I only use a needle valve to control the bubble rate. Ido have a PH controller but have ot hooked it up.
     
    erk likes this.
  17. aabjones888

    aabjones888 Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    - Is that total system volume or just display volume? 80 gallon display with 55 gallon sump
    - What calcium reactor do you use? Geo nano
    - What input method do you use, i.e. manifold, standalone AC pump, controllable DC pump, etc? Sicce pump
    - How do you control flow thru the reactor?pump that came with reactor
    - Size of CO2 tank and how often do you refill? 5lb and once a year for refill.
    I also use the carbon doser regulator and it's super easy to use. Once I got it set up it's kept my parameters perfect. I use to do 2 part, I just hated having to mix it up all the time.
     
    erk likes this.
  18. mtraylor

    mtraylor Well-Known Member

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    I run a calcium reactor. I have a mixed reef that is heavily populated with SPS
    Total Volume is 355 gallons. Aquarium is 255 gallon.
    Calcium Reactor is GEO 618

    I guess you can say they are typically for larger aquariums with bigger bioloads are allot of corals consuming calcium. I started out with smaller aquariums and never needed one. I was content
    with putting a half teaspoon of this and half teaspoon of that every week or so to keep the parms in check. When I got to a bigger aquarium and started heavily stocking it with sps, clams, lps, etc.
    you quickly realize that its hard to manually keep up with the calcium consumption of the aquarium and its expensive to keep buying stuff. At this point, no matter what size the aquarium....I think
    its a good idea to start looking at alternatives.

    I chose to go with a calcium reactor. Its a great way to balance calcium and alkalinity. You fill the reactor with dead tumbled. The reactor's ph is dropped to slightly acid to dissolve the old skeletons
    back into the water column. So basically you are breaking the skeleton back down to every element it used to form its skeleton. So you get all the calcium, and all the other major and minor trace elements
    in your aquarium for your corals to thrive. You have to set your effluent at a rate where your corals are consuming it to reach that balance.

    Now don't let anyone fool you here. You will still have to have some trace elements and calcium etc hanging around to adjust your water everynow and then as your aquarium may get more stocked
    and use more or less than what you are feeding it.

    Its one of the best purchases I made for my aquarium. Keeps everything nice and stable once dialed in. Very few adjustments are needed here and there. Almost set it and forget and the media and CO2
    last for a very long time.

    I hope this helps. My advice is if you have a Calc Reactor its best to have a controller to control it. One PH probe in the reactor to maintain PH and controller will turn your electronic co2 reactor on off
    as needed to keep ph right.
     
    geo likes this.
  19. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Well-Known Member

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    Yeah are you having problems with Ca dropping on you? Have you tried a dosing pump first? Are you running kalk?
    Or like so many of us, you just look for an excuse for a new gadget? I know I do!! GL!
     
  20. billw

    billw Acroholic in Training R2R Supporter Big Blue Reef Member Partner Member 2018

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    You probably need a "if no, how large" section. One reason for going to a calcium reactor is that mixing up 2 part gets out of control.
     
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