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  #1  
Old 01/06/2008, 06:10 PM
gflat65 gflat65 is offline
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Questions on calcium reactor set up

Okay, so after having the CR6 for almost a year now, I've finally decided it is time to hook it up. What are some pointers on what to look out for. Treat me like I'm completely ignorant.

I rinsed and soaked the ARM media over night. I have the ACIII set up to shut the pump down if the pH drops as low as 7.85 (otherwise always on, solenoid/CO2 on from 8.25-8.35).

I know I need to test my alk and calcium very frequently in the beginning. What is your average bubble counts (looking for ballpark starting point)?

TIA.
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  #2  
Old 01/06/2008, 06:29 PM
cee cee is offline
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Don't know about your specific unit, but here are some general guidelines which I used when I had one and found they made it easier:

Use the pH to shut the solenoid valve, not the feeder pump. If you don't, you'll keep pumping CO2 into the reactor and turn the stuff to mush.

Fill the bubble counter with mineral oil. It doesn't evaporate and you won't have to hassle with refilling the chamber.

ARM can turn to mush if you run too much CO2. Others, like the acro/stylo/pocillo branches, won't.

Add some of the Mg additive (can't remember who mfgrs them) and you'll never have to supplement for Mg. About 5% or so by volume.

Refer to the MRC page for initial setup and contact Andy if you have specific setup questions unique to that unit. He's extremely helpful.

If you have a large bioload like I do, you'll probably eventually need the spray bar thing and a 2nd chamber.

You can measure the output alkalinity by diluting 5:1 or 10:1 with RO/DI. That, combined with knowledge of your tanks alk. consumption and the effluent flow rate can help you calculate the proper setting and dial it in quickly. I don't remember the formulas but could come up with them with a little thinking (not tonight, though).

Good luck. I got rid of mine due to phosphate and pH concerns and clogging of the needle valve, but it was probably undersized for my system. I now much prefer 2 part solution and peristaltic pumps.

Dave
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  #3  
Old 01/06/2008, 07:05 PM
bkv1997 bkv1997 is offline
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Just to add to what Dave said.

Is a link to the magnesium product I use.
http://www.fragfarmer.com/ZeoMag-1kg-p-990.html

You can also purchase dolimite from premium aquatics, but it has to be at a much lower PH to desolve which might be an issue with the Media your using.

Hope this helps.
Brandon
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  #4  
Old 01/06/2008, 10:14 PM
gflat65 gflat65 is offline
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Thanks for the info on the magnesium additives. That'll kill another bird. I'm running a CR6, btw. I went ahead and got the spray bar with it.

On the controls, I had the pH shutting the solenoid off at 8.25, and if it were to drop to 7.85, the pump would drop out, too. I was thinking of it as a fail safe in case the solenoid stuck open, etc. Bad idea or counter intuitive?
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  #5  
Old 01/06/2008, 10:21 PM
fishdoc11 fishdoc11 is offline
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I've ever run one and I'm guessing Dave's advice is spot on as usual but another resource that might be helpfull is: http://www.cnidarianreef.com/
Click on Ca reactor primer.
hth, Chris
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  #6  
Old 01/07/2008, 06:27 AM
cee cee is offline
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Gary:
I can't keep above 8.25 pH w/ no CaRx in the winter most of the time. That seems a bit high to me. Also, if the solenoid valve fails, shutting off the feed pump will prevent addition of more solution but it will likely ruin your media in a day or two. Ever consider an audible alarm for the 2nd condition?

Dave
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  #7  
Old 01/07/2008, 01:27 PM
gflat65 gflat65 is offline
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Looks like I should check into an alarm. It could have multiple uses with the ACIII, so that makes it justifiable...
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