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Need Calcium Reactor Advice

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JB, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. JB Veteran Reefkeeper

    Marion
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    I think I'm to the point where I need a calcium reactor for my 125G SPS tank.  The problem is that I don't really know much about them or the regulator/solenoid combinations.
    Can anyone recommend a decent model for a 125?   I'm not interested in spending top dollar on a deltec unit or anything like that.   I just want a reasonably priced one that will do a good job.
    Also, I have heard several people say that a quality regulator is a must with a CA reactor.   How do I know what constitutes a good one?   Is there a certain brand that has a decent reputation?
    If anyone sees that they believe is a good deal on a CA Reactor and/or C02 regulator, please let me know.
    -JB
     
  2. B-Rad

    B-Rad Inactive User

    999
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    JB I have a custom reactor that I built for my self that I'm not going to need for a long time! (I can just build another one later!)

    I would be willing to trade for some frags, (once my tank is done cycling)

    Or I could build one to your needs? If your not interested no problem just trying to save a guy some money.

    As far as regulators go. Most of the brands out there are OK, just get one with a bubble counter.

    As for solenoids valves go they are normally closed until power is applied to them, (via controller).  If a solenoid goes bad it will generally just close or stay in the close position.

    I have a Milwaukee MA957/co2 regulator with bubble counter & solenoid valve on it, looks like nice quality stuff. I think I payed $99.

    Here are some pics.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. REEFer Madness

    REEFer Madness Inactive User

    867
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    I think someone is going to get some great frags.
     
  4. JB Veteran Reefkeeper

    Marion
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    Wow, that's a pretty impressive DIY project! I have the start of a DIY reactor, but it wasn't nearly as nice as that... Is that a PH probe port I see on the top?

    I'll have to keep your offer in mind, but I don't know that I have enough frags to make it worth your while...

    Right now I'm really trying to figure out what features are really make or break in a calcium reactor.

    It sounds like the Korallin, Geo and MRC units are all nice but they are really expensive. I see that there is now an Octopus Calcium reactor that seems to have all of the features and it's a lot cheaper, but I can't find much information from people using them other than one positive review.

    -JB
     
  5. B-Rad

    B-Rad Inactive User

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    Posted By jbrunken on 01/01/2009 04:13 PM
    Wow, that's a pretty impressive DIY project! I have the start of a DIY reactor, but it wasn't nearly as nice as that... Is that a PH probe port I see on the top?
    I'll have to keep your offer in mind, but I don't know that I have enough frags to make it worth your while...
    Right now I'm really trying to figure out what features are really make or break in a calcium reactor.
    It sounds like the Korallin, Geo and MRC units are all nice but they are really expensive. I see that there is now an Octopus Calcium reactor that seems to have all of the features and it's a lot cheaper, but I can't find much information from people using them other than one positive review.
    -JB
    Thanx JB
    Yes, that is a PH probe port on top. Its not perfect but for my first C/R its not bad.
    I just want to do what I can to help other club members out. I have the tools and the abilities to build this stuff, so if I can help someone save $100 I will.
    If you would rather I can build you one with all the features you want, You pay for the materials and give me some nice frags for my labor?
    Some good features to look for:
    PH prob port, to monitor the PH inside the chamber.
    Dual chamber, to utilize as much of the co2 as possible before it leaves the C/R.
    I like the up draft designs, keeps media from packing in.
    Easy to clean lids.
    The Octopus line is a good product for a fair price!
    I hope this helps on your search!!
    Good luck, Keep me posted.
    -Rick-
     
  6. JB Veteran Reefkeeper

    Marion
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    Rick,

    Have you ever tried to build a dual chamber reactor? Home much do you think materials would be for that?

    -JB
     
  7. B-Rad

    B-Rad Inactive User

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    Not yet. I was going to do that to the next one.

    If you give me some dimensions on the hight I could give you a ruff Idea.
     
  8. Travis

    Travis Well-Known ReefKeeper GIRS Member

    648
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    Looks like your reactor actually has everything my really expensive Koralline does and then some. I do like the idea of a dual chamber, but I don't know if they are really worth the extra time and effort. The extra acrylic and reactor media are not cheap.
     
  9. B-Rad

    B-Rad Inactive User

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    Thanks Travis!

    Ya, The main advantage with the dual chamber is more efficient use of your co2, yes at the cost of a 2nd chamber.

    JB do you have a extra pump laying around, one that can be used externally?
    For a 6" by 18" tall dual chamber your looking at $130. Thats with out fittings and pump. ( should hold 16 to 18 lbs of media = 400g + tank)
    For a 4" by 18" tall dual chamber your looking at $100. Thats also with out fittings and pump. ( should hold 10 to 12 lbs of media = 250g + tank)
    The fittings and PVC shouldn't be to much more! ($20 to $30 ) 18" tall is just the chambers them selves add 4 to 5 inches for the base and top.
    My labor priceless.[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. xroads Veteran Reefkeeper Vendor

    La Porte City, IA
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    +1,014 / 6 / -0
    Wow that is some incredible craftsman ship!
     
  11. JB Veteran Reefkeeper

    Marion
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    Rick,
    A few more questions... :)
    • How long do you think it would take to build me one of those dual chambers?    
    • Which one would you suggest for a heavily SPS stocked 125?
    • Which Eheim pump would I need for it?
    • Where does the C02 get fed in?
    • If you built one for me, would you be interested in documenting the process for the club?  (Photos, etc)
    A few more questions for everyone in general:
    • What type of reactor media is the best?
    • What type of circulation pump is needed to feed water to the reactor?
    • How do you control the amount of water going into the reactor and the flow out of it?
    • Does anyone use dolomite in their reactor for magnesium?
    Thanks
    -JB
     
  12. B-Rad

    B-Rad Inactive User

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    JB hear are some answers to your ? .
    2-3 weeks max.
    How about a combo, 6" main chamber 4" secondary?
    As far as the main pump an Ehiem 1048 would be plenty, and a Maxi Jet 600 or a aqua lifter pump would be fine for the feed pump.
    The co2 is fed into the pvc tubing via speed fitting. Output is regulated by another speed fitting.
    Doing a DIY post would be fun!!! You bet!
    As far as media goes I would use a larger size for the flow of the 1048. (what kind is up to you).
    Hope this answers some of your questions!
    Just let me know what you think.
    -Rick-
     
  13. B-Rad

    B-Rad Inactive User

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  14. JB Veteran Reefkeeper

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    Rick,

    Let's do this!

    I love the idea of the 6/4 dual chamber.

    If you are interested in taking this project on, let me know what you need from me.
    I wouldn't mind driving over and lending a hand either!

    -JB
     
  15. B-Rad

    B-Rad Inactive User

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    OK sounds great!!

    I will order the acrylic, It will only take 2-3 days to get here.

    I'll start marking the templates out, to get things ready to go.

    I don't have to work next weekend so if you want to come over and give a hand that would great.
    If you could get the pump by then and bring that with you, that would be awesome. ( or if you want me to order it I can just let me know)!
    I will let you know if there is anything else that I will need.
    -Rick-
     
  16. JB Veteran Reefkeeper

    Marion
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Rick,

    Unfortunately next weekend won't work for me... The GIRS board is meeting next saturday to plan out the year and I don't want to abandon my wife with the kids for 2 days straight (tends to make her grumpy).

    Maybe we could make it the next weekend you have available or I could take a day off when you have a day off (that might work even better for me).

    I'll order an Ehiem 1048 and get it on it's way.

    -JB
     
  17. B-Rad

    B-Rad Inactive User

    999
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    No problem JB

    Please don't feel like you have to come and help! There isn't a whole lot you can do. (But it is fun to watch).[​IMG]
    If that pump comes just bring it over and you can check out the progress. (I don't work Friday if it were to come this week you could swing by in the afternoon)? UP to you!! 
    Acrylic is ordered and so is the glue, ships Monday!!
     
  18. JB Veteran Reefkeeper

    Marion
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0
    Rick,

    I've got the Eheim 1048 ordered. It should be here late this week or early next.

    -JB
     
  19. Wayne1

    Wayne1 Inactive User

    286
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    Looks pretty good to me.
     

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