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- Jan 11, 2016
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Thank you so much for the detailed write up! This is super helpful. I was looking to get the C36 but now I am rethinking the whole design of the system.Hi There,
First off I'll say that if you decide to go the reactor route, the ARID is top notch quality, comes with very thorough instructions / FAQs and the company / owner is very responsive via email with any questions.
Having said that, I ended up removing it from my system in place of a traditional fuge for the following reasons:
There are other issues I faced as well such as limited flow but I see you're looking at a unit for a 400 gallon system which would likely not have flow issues given larger plumbing. I found it very difficult to get the required flow on 1/2" lines that the N24 comes with, especially when considering the requirement for a one way no spill valve on the inlet for those of us installing inside a cabinet (can't raise the unit to drain it prior to removal as Pax suggested - nor would I want all that detritus back in my tank even if I could). Pax Bellum should really consider 3/4" lines on these units (with optional no spill valves) so we don't need such large pumps to power them. I would have had to use a Varios S6 or similar on this unit to get the required flow which is ridiculous (Varios S4 barely cut it).
- The ARID required quite a bit of regularly weekly maintenance in my experience to keep the cheato trimmed (or clean of melted Chaeto) and clean of excess detritus. I was getting crazy amounts of detritus build up in the reactor very quickly and the only way I could really clean it out was to pull the reactor from my system, drain it completely, rinse the chaeto and then refill it with fresh salt water. Not something I really wanted to do regularly, especially since I don't normally mix new salt water with Triton on a regular basis.
- For whatever reason, after initial success with growing Chaeto in the reactor I had 4 straight rounds of chaeto melt on me with the reactor. However, immediately upon switching to a traditional fuge with a Kessil H380 my Chaeto took off like crazy with the same water chemistry (more details in my build thread if you're curious). I have no doubt these reactors can grow Chaeto so I don't want to sound too negative on this point, but my experience wasn't great. I will also add that my tank was not mature at this time which could have contributed to it not growing well. But again, same Chaeto in the same water took off in a normal fuge so go figure...
- Limited pod activity. For whatever reason I couldn't maintain good pod activity with the reactor. Not sure if other experience the same but that was mine.