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Looking for advice on calcium reactors

Discussion in 'Lighting and Equipment' started by Pth03001, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. Pth03001

    Pth03001 Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Morning everyone,

    So I am taking the plunge and switching from dosing to a calcium reactor. With that said I have already purchased a vertex rxc d6 reactor and a kamoer peristaltic pump. Now I'm looking into ph controllers, media and the like. A few questions though, as I dont have experience in the calcium reactor world.

    - what kind of ph controller would you go for off BRS? A few different Milwaukee brands are on there but I'm having a hard time finding the differences in them... aside from the price.

    - what type of co2 regulator to use? I'm looking at the carbon doser one which has a hefty price tag and good reviews but dont know if it's worth the price if I'm going to be using a ph controller as well.

    -what type of media do yall recommend? I'm looking at 2 little fishes for the araganite and magnesium types but would like to know everyone elses experience. Also with the size of the reactor would 1 8 pound bag be enough?

    Thanks for taking a look everyone and hope to hear back from yall soon!

    Sent from my SM-G930T using MASC mobile app
  2. TheRealChrisBrown

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

    @jda123 is a very knowledgeable resource here in the club. I am running the carbondoser and I like it, it seems to simplify a lot of the tuning, but I ran a regulator that needed tuning before it and it wasn't overly complex to get it set. I would guess the carbondoser vs bubble counter and tuning would depend on how much you trust "automation" in the sense that the carbondoser is a mechanical thing controlling a pretty important part of the complex system, if it fails or goes wonky...then what? I will say that the brass regulator that comes with the CD is junk, I replaced that part of the CD unit almost immediately. I think @JuanGutz and @Legonch also run the CD units, they might be able to add more.

    I'm still on my first bag of media, I went with ARM course and added a bag of Zeo Mag to help keep mag up.
    Pth03001 likes this.
  3. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    Carbondoser with changed our reg via masterflex pump is gold standard in my opinion.

    I like reborn media
    TheRealChrisBrown and Pth03001 like this.
  4. jda123

    jda123 Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    I do not prefer to use a pH controller with any CaRx. You don't need them and they end up being the most failure-prone part with pH probes being incredibly unreliable. I would only ever use one to monitor, but even then, I have not used one in more than a decade.

    Any regulator with a precision needle valve, or carbondoser box will work well. I am using a M3, Tunze and a victor with a CD box on it and they all work fine. Even a regular needle valve is reliable, just harder to set until you get used to it.

    I will use ARM or reborn - whatever is on sale. Seems to make no difference to me.
  5. flagg37

    flagg37 Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    I have a stainless dual stage regulator with a needle valve.
  6. TheRealChrisBrown

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

  7. Cake_Boss

    Cake_Boss Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

  8. quackenbush

    quackenbush Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    I have a GEO reactor (thanks Halmus) with an RO/DI cannnister for a secondary chamber to scrub the excess CO2. I use my Apex to monitor the pH.

    Regulator is probably my weakest link in terms of stability. If I remember right, I got my regulator at a homebrew supply house. I run a high flow setup with the output set at just past a trickle. Ph currently around 6.9. When I want to increase the bubble rate, I usually just increase the regulator pressure slightly, rather than fiddling with the bubble thing.

    I use two little fishes aragonite and magnesium. My tank demands about 1 tbsp of soda ash a month to keep the Ca/Alk balance in check. I just started adding the magnesium with the latest aragonite replenish so we'll see how that goes.

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