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Calcium reactor setup

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Craigar, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. Craigar

    Craigar Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    Ok so with the lates tank crash decided i should take advantage and try a calcium reactor out. I have a pm622 with the extra reaction chamber. I have a kraemor perilostic pump to feed it. Apex with one probe in calcium reactor the other in the sump. A Milwaukee regulator. I have the reactor circulating water now just to check for leaks everything’s good there. my questions are...

    What flow should I start out at on the feed pump? I can go 0-120ml per. Hour

    What pressure should I run the co2 at?
    What bubble count should I start at?

    on apex here is what I was thinking about programming am I missing something? Or I need to change on programming?
     

    Attached Files:

  2. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    I have a very long PM chain with Doug @jda123 helping me set mine up. Very knowledgeable and patient.

    This was his set up advice to me, you may want to check with him to make sure it wasn't specific to my reactor...but I don't believe it was.

    From Doug -
    Start with 10 bubbles per minute and then 40 drips of effluent. This is a good ratio to start with. This should get the pH in the low/mid 6s. I usually like to wait until overnight to let stuff settle in, or maybe even tomorrow afternoon. Once you get to 20-25 dKh on the effluent, then we measure the effluent in MLs and count bubbles - this is your golden ratio. Then, you increase or decrease in this same ratio until the tank demand is met - this can take a week, or more. It is tedious at first, but after this exercise, you can almost look at the reactor and see if it is working right since you get a feel from what the bubbles and effluent should look like.

    Sometimes pH in the reactor is high at first when you just set them up... this is the dust from all of the media. It will dissolve quickly and the pH will drop. You are going to need to get to about 6.3 to 6.5 to do any good in the chamber.

    I would just monitor the pH right now. Eventually, you could use the Apex to turn the SOLENOID off if the pH gets too low - keep the flow going. For right now, need to have it running constantly so that you can get it tuned. The tune should hold, so most of the time when a pH controller shuts the co2 off, the probe needs calibrated or replaced.
     
  3. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    I would advise NOT to use the pH controller. They are inefficient and do not help anything. Learn how to tune it by hand and you will have a lifetime of knowledge.

    It is easy to learn how to tune... what usually happens is that people ask me questions at first and then sometime during the process, they stop. This is whey they "get it." It is kinda like tuning a carburetor and timing in the olden days... seems hard at first, but then you get it to where you can just listen to an engine and know what it needs.

    Get a good alk test kit like Salifert where it is easy to test into the 20s and 30s. Cheap, accurate and easy to just add more of the final syringe and add the numbers together.

    Pressure on the regulator is not consistent from brand to brand, but start with about 15 PSI on the output side and see if it holds a constant bubble rate. If not, then add a PSI every 12 hours, or so, until it stays consistent. 10 on my regulator might be 25 on yours, so this is just trial and error.

    Here is a paper that I wrote and linked to my RC signature. It is mostly gathered from posts that I wrote over a few months.
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VVDp1UOhxK1by9ofK0K83q2RyArEAEYtueOuUFy4SzI/edit

    Whatever you do, do not follow that clowns video on YouTube that tells you to throw away your CaRx instructions and just set a range in your Apex or pH Controller. I have had to help more people with media turning to mush or chronically low pH because of this crap... and the dude failed and is not even in the hobby anymore.
     
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  4. Craigar

    Craigar Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    Got it running on Tuesday I’m at 20 dkh increased my bubble count hopefully I’ll be able to get 25-30 tomorrow’s test and see how that does for a week then I’ll increase both bubble count and reactor feed ml
     
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  5. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Sounds like you are on your way! Is the Kamoer pushing water into the reactor, or pulling out? I was assuming pushing in.
     
  6. Craigar

    Craigar Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    Pushing it in should I be pulling it out?
     
  7. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    I think that's one of those hotly debated questions. Ask @Dr.DiSilicate I think he's got that same Kamoer and using it on his CaRx. If you were to draw fluid out I think you might still need a small feed pump of some kind. But then you get the exact mL out that the Kamoer is designed to do....I don't know if there is any loss in efficiency when you push the water in? I guess it wouldn't be that hard to test, set the Kamoer to push in 50mL a minute and measure the Effluent and see how close you get to 50mL?
     
  8. Kayvon

    Kayvon Amphipod

    I think the rule of thumb is a peristaltic pump is pull and a maxijet type pump is push
     
  9. jbanman14

    jbanman14 Copepod

    The one benefit I heard to pulling is that if there’s ever a leak it just sucks air instead of spit out all your tank water. It sure you can pull water without a peristaltic though. I pull water in mine.
     
  10. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Be patient with your tests and stuff. It can take days for reading and stuff to settle out, especially if the media is new and has some easy-to-melt off stuff like dust. It will get stable soon. Some people don't have the patience to wait overnight to retest things and then they chase a moving target all of the time.

    When I used a Kangaroo (masterflex before masterflex), I pushed with it, but I don't think that it matters much. Gunk will still end up in your reactor and IMO most of what people call benefits are fringe. The Kangaroo was pretty powerful and did not need another feed pump. I just use MaxiJet (or equivalent) or a Main Line T now. I have needed new tubing for my Kangaroo and I have not gotten any in many, many years... just too stupid or lazy, I guess. I don't find tuning with a MajiJet or T to be an issue. My pump of choice lately is a QuietOne 1200.

    Lastly, some reactors really help move water through them with their design and barely need a feed pump, if at all. This is why you see some peri-pump setups not need a second feed pump, and some do. These things are so highly variable that there are no static answers to anything. People don't understand why you just cannot use cc/m of co2 and mls of effluent, but each piece of media melts differently, bubbles and drips are not uniform size and tank pH matters some too. Even the reactors are hand built most of the time and vary slightly in operation.
     
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.

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