Very First Calcium Reactor Settings

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PeterC99

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Just setup a Reef Octopus Various CR140 Calcium Reactor, Carbon Doser, and pH probe through my Apex. Currently dripping effluent into sump but may upgrade to pump in future

Migrating from dosing 2 part. Learning about bubble count, pH monitoring, and effluent Alk.

Appreciate any tips to ramping up calcium reactor and ramping down the dosing, setting up Apex to shut off CO2 when pH gets to low, etc.?

Thank you!
 

Deep

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If you are going to control the CO2 solenoid using Apex code you do not have to worry about the bubble count. Also do not worry about the solenoid switching on and off, so do not attempt to try to keep it on all the time. Infact a solenoid is built for shutting-off and coming-on constantly so running it on all the time may not be the greatest.

Also I have posted this information below in another thread regarding how to calculate how much Alk you are dosing into your tank and match that with your 2 part usage -

What is key for this transition is that you have a good idea of what your daily Alk consumption is in Meq/L (lets call it C).

If you have that, then its really quite simple.
Lets say your tank volume is 200 L (T)
Lets say your current Alkalinity in your tank is 7 DKH. Thats 2.5 meq/L.
You measure the output from your effluent from the Carx. Lets say the carx output is 20 DKH (7.143 meq/L)

So you are adding 7.143 minus 2.5 meq/L = 4.93 meq/L. Alk via the effluent (D)

now measure the effluent flow rate. Lets say it is 30 ml/min or 1.8 L per hour (f)

So the alk you are adding per day = (4.93 * 1.8 * 24)/200 which is 1.06 meq/L or 2.9 DKH

(D*f*24)/T = C is when you can retire your 2 part.
 
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PeterC99

PeterC99

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If you are going to control the CO2 solenoid using Apex code you do not have to worry about the bubble count. Also do not worry about the solenoid switching on and off, so do not attempt to try to keep it on all the time. Infact a solenoid is built for shutting-off and coming-on constantly so running it on all the time may not be the greatest.

Also I have posted this information below in another thread regarding how to calculate how much Alk you are dosing into your tank and match that with your 2 part usage -

What is key for this transition is that you have a good idea of what your daily Alk consumption is in Meq/L (lets call it C).

If you have that, then its really quite simple.
Lets say your tank volume is 200 L (T)
Lets say your current Alkalinity in your tank is 7 DKH. Thats 2.5 meq/L.
You measure the output from your effluent from the Carx. Lets say the carx output is 20 DKH (7.143 meq/L)

So you are adding 7.143 minus 2.5 meq/L = 4.93 meq/L. Alk via the effluent (D)

now measure the effluent flow rate. Lets say it is 30 ml/min or 1.8 L per hour (f)

So the alk you are adding per day = (4.93 * 1.8 * 24)/200 which is 1.06 meq/L or 2.9 DKH

(D*f*24)/T = C is when you can retire your 2 part.
Thank you!

Do you know where I can get code for Apex for using pH to control solenoid?
 

Rick.45cal

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I personally prefer to not allow my Apex to have any control over my CaRx other than being a way for me to shut off outlets that control aspects of it. (Turn off pumps, solenoid etc if I am refiling it or doing maintenance on it). I control the reactor by controlling the CO2 and or the effluent rate. My CO2 solenoid stays open all the time 24/7/365. To me it’s much more simpler and much more stable to allow the reactor to attain it’s own equlibrium with the system. In all honesty in the last 3 years of running my reactor this way I’ve only had to make a minor adjustment once or twice a year at most.

The only time I have to readjust the regulator and start the process over is when I swap CO2 bottles and I use a 20lb cylinder so that doesn’t happen very frequently.
 
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PeterC99

PeterC99

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Yes this code is for the solenoid connected to your co2 regulator (carbon doser). Leave the pump running - that shouldnt be a problem.

Second day running my Calcium Reactor and my pH in the reactor has come down to 7.51. Should I turn the bubble rate up from 2 bubbles per second?
 

Deep

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Second day running my Calcium Reactor and my pH in the reactor has come down to 7.51. Should I turn the bubble rate up from 2 bubbles per second?

2 bubbles per second is a lot, did you mean 2 seconds per bubble ?
For every change you make , wait for 24 hours.
Also what is the effluent output rate ? Did you happen to measure that ?
 
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PeterC99

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2 bubbles per second is a lot, did you mean 2 seconds per bubble ?
For every change you make , wait for 24 hours.
Also what is the effluent output rate ? Did you happen to measure that ?

You are correct- 2 seconds per bubble. Getting a pump for the output this week. Currently about 1 drip/second.
 

Deep

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You are correct- 2 seconds per bubble. Getting a pump for the output this week. Currently about 1 drip/second.

1 drip per second is probably not much, so you may want to up that especially if you are not using a peristaltic pump. A steady drip is good, somewhere in the range of 35 - 60 ml/min. If you increase the effluent output the PH in the reactor will rise a little.

You can increase the bubble rate as long you have Apex code to shut off the Co2 regulator if the PH get too low.
Depending on the media you are using, they will usually not start melting unless it less than 7 ph.
 
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PeterC99

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Have installed a peristaltic pump to control output.

After one month, replaced the media (CaribSea 1 Gallon ARM Reactor Media - Extra Coarse). Replaced because Alk dropped to 7.86 from over 9.

Have bubbles/per second at one bubble for every five seconds and CO2 on at pH 7 and off at 6.5. Peristaltic pump at 30ml/minute. Hoping to get back to alk at 9 dkh.

Most corals doing very well except a couple of torches. Seems like Alk swings did them in.
 
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