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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok, so after following Hendersonracings' thread I am no longer scared to death of a Calcium Reactor, and of course want one :funny: . So I started looking around and I like the Geo's and the Koralin reactors. Do these run like skimmers, ie. Get the biggest you can afford? Does anyone know about or have experience with the Koralin reactors? Do you include the sump in the volume? I would imagine you would and that leaves me with about 550 gal to work with...so do I go up to the 800gal size or down to 400 gal size?
 

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Does anyone know about or have experience with the Koralin reactors?
Yes, and I don’t like them.

I had problems with CO2 buildup in the reactor chamber (I don’t know why, since I wasn’t bubbling in much CO2). With the circulation pump on top of the reactor, it would go dry if too much CO2 built up. I also had valves leak. The CO2 check valve either got stuck open or closed. It was impossible to maintain a steady CO2 bubble rate.

I own a GEO 6x12 now. After using the Korallin, the GEO was very simple to set up. No problem with pump running dry (the pump is mounted down and to the side of the reactor chamber). No CO2 buildup in the chamber. No leaks. And the CO2 check valve is reliable. I would highly recommend a GEO.


As far as size is concerned, it largely depends on your calcium/alk demand and how often you want to service the reactor to replace the media. I use my reactor as a supplement to kalk, so my demand on the reactor is very low. I could, easily, go for three or four years on one batch of media (the reactor holds 8 lbs). Other people might not be able to last a year. If you have any concerns, you can always go with the GEO 6x18. It holds 12 lbs of media. Unless your tank is jammed full of rapidly-growing acros, you should be able to go for a well over a year without replacing the 12 lbs of media in a 6x18.
 

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spaceman spiff
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I dont know if you've considered the MyReefCreations hardware, but I very much enjoy my MRC CR-2. It's the only one I've used, but I've not been disappointed. This one holds about 14 lbs of media and is dual chambered, which I think increases the pH of the effluent. I've got this on a 80 gallon system, and I only run the CO2 about 8 hours a day to keep from ODing on alkalinity. They seem to be similar in price, too. Good luck shopping!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I checked out the MRC reactors, but I really don't believe I have the room for two canisters. For some reason the Geo makes sense to me, so I'm thinking of going with the 818. I have to get the co2 regulator and solenoid separately...they show different manufacturers...is one better than another, I mean I'm sure they are all good but I'm not sure if one material makes a better valve, and also I have seen special needle valves-is this an extra or something needed. I need an education on CO2 regulators and solenoid valves...please, what are your thoughts....
 

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I like the regulator with the bubble count attached....I ordered an extra needle valve to keep incase mine gets clogged.....also mine is a mrc single chamber...don't take up much room at all....good luck....
 

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I have to get the co2 regulator and solenoid separately...they show different manufacturers...is one better than another, I mean I'm sure they are all good but I'm not sure if one material makes a better valve, and also I have seen special needle valves-is this an extra or something needed. I need an education on CO2 regulators and solenoid valves...please, what are your thoughts....
I always found it easiest to buy all-in-one units, like this:


http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewItem.asp?idProduct=CO3111
 

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Viv, all of Geo's products are excellent quality and his customer service is also very good.
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just when I thought I knew what I was doing along came a few (two) more questions. Is the size of the reactor an issue. I mean other than placing in a cabinet? Mine will be placed outside the cabinet, so its not a concern about height...then I thought ask before you do something wrong...so is it about fitting in the cabinet or efficiency? 2nd question, how do you determine the feed pump?
 

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Hi Viv

You should also check out the Schuran Jetstream, very well made, and definitely should be able to handle your system. And it is a very slim design and can actually be mounted onto the wall or your cabinet wall.

As for feed pump, most people either plumb it from their return pump (save energy) or get a separate feed pump or peristaltic pump.

with most reactors you can control the effluent flow by having a valve on the effluent tube leading back to your sump...but with the jetstream you actually need to control the effluent by placing a ball valve before the reactor on the feed tube. They are on sale right now, so you can pick one up for a good deal. People also like the large media for these reactors.

Good luck with your hunting ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have a Dart for a return pump-that ain't gonna work...a peristaltic pump is slow, no? Is there a way to determine what size pump to what size reactor or is it a hit or miss...I mean what if you get a small pump and its not enough or too big a pump...I've seen recommendations for the Airlifter and also the maxijet 1200-they're very far apart in their pumping abilities. I'm not understanding this...
 

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Viv....you can still T it off your Dart.... use a PVC T, and after the T put a ball valve to control the flow going to the reactor... most of the water will go to your tank, and you can use the ball valve to control the flow going to the reactor. I can draw a diagram if you need it.

As I said , most reactors you can control the flow via a valve on the effluent drip line, so it really doesnt matter which pump you use, but some reactors are sensitive to this backpressure caused by this method such as the schurans so you need to control the effluent rate by controlling the flow in rate.

HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, I'm pleased to report that I am in the processing of receiving the Geo 6x24 calcium reactor:) Along with that I got the Deluxe CO2 Regulator with Solenoid, a Precision Needle valve, the Dennerle CO2 check valve and a Pinpoint PH controller with probe! :banana: :dance: Yea, I'm psyched-just have to find some media, and a local place to get the CO2.
:beer: Thanks for everyone's input, I'm sure I'll have more questions when it gets here, but for right now, couldn't be happier!!:fireworks:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Why are there different types of reactor media? Mine recommends the Large Type Schuran media-but when I look around I also see, fine grain-like sand media and well, everything in between. Do different types of medias melt differently? Then I saw one that boasted no phosphates-I thought the material was (argonite)sp? Are there certain types that carry extra minerals that I should be aware of?
 

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Some reactor media are "harder" than others. Aragonite is more easy to dissolve than its cousin, calcite.

Another consideration on dissolution rates would be the amount of surface area exposed to acid. Smaller size media, of the same mineral type, would dissolve more quickly than large media.

Finally, there is the phosphate content. Some media have higher phosphate levels than others.

I think the best combination of soft mineral, small size and low phosphate is CaribSea A.R.M. I don't quite understand the appeal of the larger media, like Schuran.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So, does this mean if you get the smaller size, that dissolves more quickly, you need more in the reactor chamber? This smaller size, would it mean the effluent would be less, but more potent?

On another note, just can't believe it, but got a UPS tracking that it should arrive tomarrow! We are suppose to finally get a little snow mix - maybe it will be delayed, which would be ok, gotta work tomarrow night and you know I'm gonna really want to be sick! :)
 

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So, does this mean if you get the smaller size, that dissolves more quickly, you need more in the reactor chamber? This smaller size, would it mean the effluent would be less, but more potent?
You know, I don't know whether the stories I've read about "recommended effluent pH" for Schuran media being in the low 6s is simply hype or really has something to do with the hardness or size of the media.

If you can keep acidic water in the reactor in contact with the media long enough, and the media dissolves fast enough, to return the carbonate ion concentration in the water back to near saturation, that's all that matters.

If you are getting Schuran media, I'd try running an experiment by starting out the effluent pH around 7 and see what happens. If you get good results, you can tune the pH down to around 6.7. It may not be necessary to run a pH down in the low 6s at all.
 
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