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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking that I am going to have to get a calcium reactor before two long and thought I would start getting some feedback on different brands and sizes My system is a 75g mixed reef with about 12 small (1-2") sps frags. Currently I am dripping kalk mixed with vinegar to keep my ca at about 420. I know that as my SPS get bigger though the calcium demand will grow. So any thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Anybody use koralin reactors. I cant believe how expensive these are. As of now I think I would lean towards the MRC packages which include all the accessories you need for the price of some reactors by themselves by other manufacturers.
 

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IME: Calcium Reactors are simple devices. Will there are some features that do help with Co2 diffusion etc. the actual benefits are for the most part pretty negligable as far as any operating costs etc. are concerned and wouldn't spend a large amount of money for any of those features. This is also one of those areas where DIY can really save considerable money without giving up much functionality IME.
 

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I haven't reviewed any DIY PVC type plans since 1998. If you have experirence working with acrylic basically just copy some of the existing models. I'm sure a search of most any DIY forum here or RC will produce many versions. If you find some interesting ones and want to bounce them off me as if any good just let me know. For the most part though there is only so much variation you can have to the basic reactor so most all should do the trick.
 

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I have never owned one so take my opinion for what its worth . when i was looking it seemed most the differences were just looks and the one feature that was really worth anything was a a top that comes off easy.

anyways i had decided that the GEO was the best value for my dollar. cheap and pretty much everyone gives them the thumbs up.

http://www.geosreef.com/index.html

a bunch ofonline retailers now sell them
 

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kalk top off and water changes.

i decided i don't need to achieve maximum growth rates and i don't want to pay for and maintain another piece of equipment.

i was going to try this but i got lazy.

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/index.php

Personally, the first thing id do is ask spazz about making one for me and if he was too busy id go with the geo because of the price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What size is your tank (s) and how large are your sps's. Heh if I can get by without one I would rather save the money too. I actually have time over the next week if the invitation still stands to come out and build a few maxijet mods.
 

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I have a Korallin reactor. It is well built and functional but I agree that it is over priced. I like the looks of the MRC reactors. I would also recommend a two stage reactor.
 

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I'm pretty sure the 2 part homemade recipe thing could work pretty easily with a dosing pump or possibly the aqualift pumps on a timer. I plan to try it myself but for now Kalkwasser and an occasional addition of CA/ALK is fine.

I'm not really fond of CA reactor ( ran one for over 6 years ) unless you really large tank with large demands. The CO2 depressing your PH is a downside that I like to compensate for by using Kalkwasser. On a 75g, I'm sure you can come up with some automated alternatives without having to invest until you have bigger demands where it makes more economical sense to run a CA reactor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Some of the DIY two part additives sounded like a good idea. I just didnt know for sure as to whether or not they could handle the calcium load over time, but I guess you could just add more to the tank as long as the two are balanced. I could get another dosing pump and use that to add the two part additives. Does anybody know if can I still drip Kalk as my makeup water while dosing with the two part additives?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I could get another Sentry II dosing pump with accessories and make enough 2 part additive for probably last 6 months for about $200.00 Vs. $600.00 for an entry level CA Reactor. That sounds good to me. I have been using a Sentry II for 6 months now dosing my kalk and it was worth every penny i paid for it and I would gladly buy another one if it was warrented. Now I just need to figure out about how much I would have to dose per day to keep the Ca over 420.
 

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You would need 2 dosing pumps as you can't dose the CA and Alk parts together. They have to be seperate.

Definately the 2 part recipe will handle any CA/ALk load you can throw at it. Just not quite as automated as a reactor would be out of the box.

I'm thinking that a dosing pump would certainly work but could be even cheaper with the use of aqualift pumps on a timer to run say 1 or 2 minutes a day or probably every other day. You dilute the solution down to match you needs but the amount per minute flow from the aqualift pumps ( like $12 each ) should be consistant like a dosing pump.

My only thing right now if getting some of the Mag flake locally for 3 part of the recipe. I have plenty of the Calcium chloride portion if you need it since this isn't icemelt season probably hard to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I think the Sentry has an optional 2-channel set that can be used that works on the same pump but can dose from two solutions. Not quite as cheap as the Aqualifter pumps but could be quite precise down the road. It is amazing how cheap you can do some of this stufff if you do some research and dont just buy things because you want to. That is why i have been asking questions usually a few months before I make any decisions or purchases so that my money is hopefully not foolishly spent (since I dont have much to foolishly spend anyways). I do think I am going to go with the 2-part system now I just need to start collecting some of the items for the recipe.
 
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