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CaRx help needed.

Discussion in 'General Reefkeeping Discussion' started by quackenbush, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. quackenbush

    quackenbush Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    I recently installed a Geo calcium reactor (Thanks, Halmus!) on my 120 and it's been running for a few weeks now. I am getting CO2 bubbles in my effluent line which get caught at the needle valve and cause drag leading to a gradually decreasing drip rate. I could set the drip at 15 drips per 10 seconds and within 24 hours, it's down to 6 per 10 seconds as the CO2 builds up in front of the needle valve.

    Any ideas on what to do? I was thinking of installing a small secondary reactor to scrub off the CO2, but I imagine the bubbles are just going to accumulate in the secondary chamber and need an occasional burping...

    Or I read something on reef2reef that I may have ramped up the reactor too fast and need to gradually bring down the pH to minimize CO2 bubbles...? I would have thought that problem would correct itself over a couple weeks if that was the case...
  2. quackenbush

    quackenbush Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    OK, new solution - put the valving on the supply side, not the effluent-drip side of the reactor.
    Feedback still welcome if anyone has any.
  3. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    How many CO2 bubbles are you introducing? 10 a minute is a good place to start along with 40 drips. That 10/40 is a good ratio to ramp up with.

    Leaks in the feed line can introduce bubbles as well.
  4. halmus

    halmus Cuttle Fish Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Secretary

    Let me know if you’d like me to stop by and check it out.

    Maybe a picture of how it’s set up currently? My first instinct is that if you’re getting a buildup of CO2, it’s being introduced faster than it can be introduced into the water. What PH are you at inside the reactor?

    As JDA pointed out, you also might have a small air leak that’s causing the problem.

    I’ve always tried to adjust the system so that there is no gas buildup and only the occasional “swish” as a bubble is sucked up the top of the reactor and through the circulation pump.

    So, you may have to decrease the pressure out of the CO2 bottle and or decrease the bubble rate.

    Let me know if you need a hand.
  5. quackenbush

    quackenbush Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    I have so much equipment stuffed under this tank that I don't know that pictures will do much good, but I will try to describe:

    The reactor is fed from a T off my return pump with a ball valve which doesn't allow much fine control. (I have a needle valve on order for the 3/8" line). I have not been controlling flow from the inlet side, but I think that's one idea to look at.

    The CO2 is set around 15psi. I found it easier to dial in the pH by adjusting the pressure from 10-25 psi and leaving the bubble adjustment fixed. However I think I ramped this thing up too fast - it's full of bubbles.

    pH is monitored by Apex. Typically around 6.7, but fluctuates because of fluctuating outlet flow.

    Outlet has a needle valve right at the end of the line that controls drip rate. As mentioned in OP, the bubbles keep getting caught just upstream of the valve which seems to be upsetting the flow rate.

    Based on feedback above, I think I ramped things up too quickly and have too high a bubble rate and drip rate. I am going to dial things back, flush out the bubbles and then slowly bring it down again and see what happens.

    My poor corals. All they want is stability.
  6. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    Perhaps your bubble size is too big sometimes better to have a faster rate with smaller bubbles.
    Could also be a leak allowing air in.
    Could be a million things

    Want stability? Look up masterflex calcium rx

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