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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to get a calcium reactor for my 180 and was looking at the prices of several last night and I can't understand the huge variation in their prices. I'm looking for a reactor that is large enough so that i can fill my tank with SPS's and clams. The ones that seemed like they would fit my needs are:

<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cols="6" frame="void" rules="groups"> <colgroup><col width="121"><col width="110"><col width="86"><col width="143"><col width="86"><col width="86"></colgroup> <tbody> <tr> <td align="center" height="20" width="121">Reactor</td> <td align="center" width="110">Dual/Single</td> <td align="center" width="86">Base Size</td> <td align="center" width="143">Media Amount</td> <td align="center" width="86">Height</td> <td sdnum="1033;0;[$$-409]#,##0.00;[RED]-[$$-409]#,##0.00" align="center" width="86">Price</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="20">MRC CR-6</td> <td align="center">Dual</td> <td align="center">14”x14”</td> <td align="center">18lbs</td> <td align="center">21”</td> <td sdval="386" sdnum="1033;0;[$$-409]#,##0.00;[RED]-[$$-409]#,##0.00" align="right">$386.00</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="18">Knop HD</td> <td align="center">Single</td> <td align="center">17”x6”</td> <td align="center">??
</td> <td align="center">20”</td> <td sdval="590" sdnum="1033;0;[$$-409]#,##0.00;[RED]-[$$-409]#,##0.00" align="right">$590.00</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="17">PM CR622D</td> <td align="center">Dual</td> <td align="center">15.1x11</td> <td align="center">16.5lbs</td> <td align="center">24”</td> <td sdval="688" sdnum="1033;0;[$$-409]#,##0.00;[RED]-[$$-409]#,##0.00" align="right">$688.00</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="19">Korallin C3002</td> <td align="center">Single</td> <td align="center">6.5”</td> <td align="center">13.2lbs</td> <td align="center">28”</td> <td sdval="460" sdnum="1033;0;[$$-409]#,##0.00;[RED]-[$$-409]#,##0.00" align="right">$460.00</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="left" height="26">Deltec pf6000</td> <td align="center">Single</td> <td align="center">9.5”x7”</td> <td align="center">18.5lbs</td> <td align="center">24”</td> <td sdval="716" sdnum="1033;0;[$$-409]#,##0.00;[RED]-[$$-409]#,##0.00" align="right">$716.00</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>
For what amounts to a box with a stirring pump these all seem expensive, but what I really don't understand is why some are almost twice as expensive as others. Am I missing something?

Any help in making my decision would be appreciated.

Bob
 

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If you want to be cool, go Deltec (You're paying for the name only IMO)
All the others should be fine....from what i read it's just mainly the amount of media they can hold. Larger units will slowdown the refill process only.
 

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Coral Master
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For your 180 I would go with the Korallin 1502... Its a bit cheaper and smaller but you would have to rrefil it about every 3 months... It needs to be feed with a good feed otherwise you can kick in the co2 safety on it and lock the thing up... I feed my reactor right off my return line and all works great.. No issues at all.. It can be a very Frustrating reactor to setup because of the Co2 Safety feature but once you get the hang of it you will like it a lot... I run the 1502 on my 224g tank and it has no problems keeping up however I did add on a second reactor chamber..

James
 

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DUDE
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Did ya figure one out yet? Like James says I think you could get by with one thats a little on the small side. You would just have to fill it up more. Later Ryan
 

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mrc with spray bar option. i dont have one, i have a diy version from GEO that he designed a couple years ago. VERY similar to MRC. i love it though.
 

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Nemo's Chamber Boy
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are you concerned about phosphate comtamination? answer that and we can go from there :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sure, but I'm not sure how that relates to the reactor choice. I thought it would have most to do with the choice of media. Right now I'm leaning towards the MRC. It seems like the most reactor for the least cost.
 

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Nemo's Chamber Boy
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not all media can run in all reactors. for high dkh output without huge ph fluctuations you need to use an aggressive recirculating reactor for maximum effeciency, or a lot of co2 and several chambers to reduce the ph differential... this dissolves a lot of media.

therefore you either need to use a media that does not release phosphate, which is really only available in the form of non-marine media (fluidizing media like rowalith), or you need an aggressive plan to scrub the phosphate out of water that comes from marine based stuff, which cooincidentally is all of the arm, crushed coral, and assorted coral skeletons.

so, if you are indeed worried about phosphate, do you have room to set up a scrubbing system, or would you prefer the easier (though admittedly more expensive) route of using non-laden media in the first place? both will work just fine, it is simply how you want to get to the end product. fluidized reactor, or non-fluidized reactor followed by a phosphate reactor set up to recirculate the effluent.

fwiw if you have the time and space to set up the latter, you can get better magnesium levels. i think this is going to be the way to go in the future, but you need to add into the cost the part of doing a diy on the project as nobody is making them, factor in the cost of a phosphate reactor, and the phosban/rowaphos expenses.breaking down coral skeletons (in whatever form they come, sand, cc, chunks) is going to release the exact building blocks that corals need (obviously) but you have to take the bad with the good, and take steps to not let the P build up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My inclination is to use the crush coral type media due to its trace element content. One question I have is why the natually occuring media has excess phosphates. Won't the phosphates that is released from the reactor media be reincorporated just like the trace elements?
 

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Nemo's Chamber Boy
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the problem is that there are too many uncontrolled phosphates into a closed system, and not enough ways to get it out. if all you added to your tank was the phosphate that was bound in the reactor media, then yes, it would be taken up and deposited into the coral structure and everythign would be fine.

in reality however fish enter the system, food enters the system, inverts enter the system, all of these inputs strain the already delicate balance of phosphate in the tank, ultimately stunting coral growth (which is why we are phosphate phobic).most folks have some problems with phosphate before introducing the additional variable of that which is locked in their media, which is why it is best to remove that input alltogether, either through the dissolution of phosphate free media, or by the chemical removal of it from the effluent, before it hits the tank.as for other trace elements, they either A. don't adversely affect coral growth or B. do not have the range of inputs that phosphate has (food, livestock, etc.), which is why we rarely talk of them.

ideally you want to find a reactor that you can put in as large of media as possible (to avoid channeling) crank up the circulation inside it to allow maximum opportunity for co2 passthrough and thus dissolution and ph fluctuation, and then remove the phosphate at the end of the process, as this will, as you reason, promote the most natural release of elements into the water (save for the phosphate as we know is detrimental). since this is space consuming the europeans (wacky as they are) decided to go around mother nature and use phosphate free media, and then figured out a way to reverse engineer mother nature to make this work for us, thus the deltec style reactors.

if you wanted to go a step further, you can look at reported problems with phosphate scrubbing compounds that high profile reefs have, and take that into account when you make your decision.

i know it is a significant investment, but we are teetering right on the edge of a fundamental way we introduce calcium in my estimation... the folks doing the experimentation to get us there are just not being very public at the moment, or are talking about it in places most folks don't normally browse.

plug in some different combinations of key words into rc and see what comes up... phosphate, recirculation, schuran, leaching, gfo, rowa, deltec, alkalinity, dkh, merk see what comes up and who is discussing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'll try to do some searches on RC, but every time I have in the recent past it tells me it is too busy to do my searches.
 

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Coral Master
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A good Recirc is the Korallin... Its a fairly decent reactor and Extremely pH friendly on the tank... My tank runs from 8.15 - 8.31 and thats with my First chamber pH of 6.5 and the second chamber pH of 6.7

Its a very nice Efficient Reactor that uses reverse flow.. Its not True Recirc as the media doesnt boil but Its enough to where you dont get any channeling... I run Both Rowalith (imitation) and Arm in the Reactor... Second chamber is Arm and the first is the other...

Seems to work really good..

James
 

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Nemo's Chamber Boy
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yep korallin works well, as does the precision marine recirc. again if you are running big media then the fluidization isn't that big an issue, you just need to make sure that it has aggressive flow.of course this is all just personal opinion, you should go with what you are most comfortable with.

also the pf500 is what you would want for your tank, still expensive at 620, but it does bring it back into line with some of the other reactors.
 

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Coral Master
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Well I might know someone with a complete Korallin 1502 setup for 450$ If your interested... He decided that he didnt need a Ca reactor... He has really only used it a few months and I know he takes care of his stuff well..

James
 

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Nemo's Chamber Boy
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aah no wonder james keeps pushing the 1502 :) j/k would be a good match up if you want to go that route.
 

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Coral Master
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Ahh I just found out about the 1502 might be for sale yesterday afternoon... To me I like the Korallin reactors... I hated them in the beginning trying to set mine up but once I figured everything out I cant say that I hate it anymore... Works good and does not affect the Tank pH... What more can I say...

James
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
James:

Thanks for the offer, but I'm not yet ready to decide which reactor I want. What I have decided is that I will be using a Ph controller to contol the CO2 injection rate and maybe a peristaltic pump to control the flow rate through the reactor. I've decided that these would be better investments than expensive acrylic tubes. From Ryan's comments sounds like I should also be looking into a phosphate reactor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
How does this http://www.melevsreef.com/dj88.html reactor compare to the ones mentioned above. It seems that a reactor like this could be build for much less than any of the commerical reactors. As far as I understand these reactors the first chamber is really just a big mixing chamber to dissolve the CO2 that is bubbled in. This lowers the Ph which inturn disolves some of the media. The purpose of the second chamber is to allow futher reaction time to allow for futher dissolution of the media which in turn raises the pH of the effuelent. None of this seems to depend on the reaction chambers being round.
 
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