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Keep the pics coming. I need one of these to. When you get it up and running, can you post a detailed parts list?
 

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grazhopr

Just a little input, I built one a while back. I would change your lid. All that I read, from others, who made it with your lid hated it. They said they couldnt get it to seal. They said they couldnt find an oring to seal it, then eveytime they had to take it off they had to use teflon tape...a big pain in the _ss.

The only disadvantage to my lid is 2" opening on lid.

Look at link
http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16154
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Tpeck!

I had read the claims about the lid, but thought that using teflon tape wouldn't be such a pain. Though, certainly, I have to hear from the ones who have gone thru the hassle.

I don't see the disadvantage with your lid. Is is because it is more difficult to access your reactor for maintenance chores?

How do you purge the air out of the reactor?

Thanks again!

mnreefgeek said:
Keep the pics coming.................. can you post a detailed parts list?
Count on that, bud!. I can give you the list right this minute. What I don't have is the $ bill at this moment tho. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Part list:

Main body:

4.5" OD acrylic tubing, 3 ft long, cut in two pieces, one 12" long, the other is 24". From Aquatic Ecosystems $12.45 / ft. They can cut it for you, no charge.
4" PVC cap. As you can see, I cut 1" ring to have better visibility of the bottom (mine is round ended, some are flat). from Lowes or Home Depot. I found HD to be a lil cheaper.
4" closet flange, for the base. I made a 45 degree chamfer to the upper edge for the PVC cap to have a better bonding. from HD
4" PVC coupling (slip x slip) to connect the upper and bottom acrylic sections. This is where the intake/discharge of the powerhead goes. I will also put the RO water supply in this section. from HD
The top lid is a 4" PVC female slip adapter with its threaded cap. Check Tpecks comments on this. He's got a good suggestion. from HD.

Connections and tubing:
4 - 1/2" PVC adapters (slip x FNPT). They're the white ones in the picture. Home Depot, Aquatic Ecosystems.
2 - Male Adapters, 1/2" NPT x 1/2" Barb, for the powerhead intake and discharge. from AES.
2 - Male Elbows, 1/2" NPT x 1/4" Barb for the RO water supply and the Kalk water discharge. from AES
1/2" clear PVC tubing. I got 2 ft from AES. $1.82 / ft.
2 - 1/2" PVC elbows (slip x slip).

1 - Rio 50 powerhead. $ 9.95 from Premium Aquatics.

If I use the top lid I have now, I will need to install a chrome valve on top of the cap to purge air out of the reactor. The water/kalk mixture can't get in contact with C02 from the surrounding environment.

More details soon!

I'll check the website link where I got this design from and post it here. I'm just copying what other DIYers have done for their setups.

:beer:
 

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Jay it stores and mixes a lot of Kalk that has top off water running thru it to replace evaporation. The powerhead is on a timer so that the kalk mixes at set times, but it sealed up so it isn't exposed to atmospheric CO2 :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
A nielsen reactor is a somewhat automated way to add kalwasser to the tank water (calcium addition). Many people recommend it for tanks up to 150 gals and small population of calcium demanding creatures (like sps corals). You can keep sps with it to a certain limit of quantity and size (that limit I don't know :D ). But a DIY nielsen is a cheap way to start adding calcium to the system, until the system demands a higher end calcium reactor (CO2 based for example).
The Nielsen Reactor works by stirring the kalkwasser mix in RO water. This process takes place in the bottom section of the reactor. This supersaturated mixture flows upwards. A stream of RO water enters the reactors and mixes with the supersaturated solution and exits the reactor thru the top carrying calcium into the tank water. This method is usually combined with automated top off systems, be it using a float valve, a dosing pump, or any other means. One important thing is that the system has to be air tight. The kalkwasser can never get in contact with surrounding air, because the C02 in the environment causes the kalkwasser solution to degrade, precipitate, or something like that :D. :rolleyes:
This my brief, uneducated explanation. ;) :beer:
 

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so is this just another name for a calcium reactor?

ive seen people mention (and photos) of calcium reactor, kalk reactor, nielson reactor. ahhhhh too many reactors.

i thought they had to have a co2 container with all those pressure guages and dials?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There are two types of calcium reactors:
The Nielsen reactor: it works with kalkwasser solution (calcium hydroxide)
The CO2 based reactor works dissolving aragonite in an acidic environment. This reactor releases calcium carbonate, instead.
 

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looks good.

i opted to use the rubber cap on mine instead of the screw on. mainly for convienence sake.

Jay- a lot of people use both kalkwasser reactors and calcium reactors on thier reef systems. the kalkwasser reactor adds some calcium, but also helps in keeping the alk levels up. kalkwasser reactors can maintain CA levels but generally can not raise them. calcium reactors can really affect the calcium levels in the reef systme. they are able to raise the CA to some amazing levels.:rolleyes: calcium reactors need the CO2 tanks to dissolve the aragonite sand.

G~
 

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Grazhopr,

This was a post I put on RC, just some links for you.

The cost (all aprox)

Liter Meter III 300.00
Plastic Tube 40.00
Power head 20.00
Kalk 10.00
Homedepot trips 40.00 (drill bits, connectors, new hack saw blade, teflon tape, PVC cement, PVC, hose clamp, PVC end cap)
RO storage tank 20.00

as you can see this 60-80 dollar project turned into quite a lot, but is well worth it for me. No more dosing, no more adding RO water, and soon auto water change this is why I went with Liter meter. Just waiting on spare funds. In process of building new canopy with dual 400w MH. Below you will see pretty much all links used to make this. Would I recommend this= YES

This was the link http://www.mv.com/users/besposito/reef.html I started with and used his final entry of his data log to start mine. I also came across another design http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/...ank/nilsen.html which I took the top of for mine. I got my plastic from this link http://www.regal-plastics.com/regal.../round_tube.htm and the most expensive purchase was from here for my Liter meter III http://www.premiumaquatics.com/Merc...ory_Code=Dosers

I hope this helps

Hobby Experience: 25 yrs
 

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OK guys, get rid of that cap. If you want a cap like that go to a 4" to 2" threaded. A 2" cap is much easier to close and open. Better yet is go 4"to2" and get the rubber test cap. Bleeding the air out is easier with the rubber test cap as well. If you use the screw cap, tap your dosing line into the top, that way the reactor automatically purges air. Grazhopper: great description however it is only a saturated solution not super saturated. In order to get a supersaturated solution, you have to add energy in some form to force more of it go into solution. IE: pressurize, add heat etc etc. So basically you mix the kalk in the bottom, the particulate matter (undissolved kalk) Falls back to the bottom waiting to mix with fresh water, and the saturated solution fills the rest of the container waiting to be dosed to the tank. I recommend them up to 100gallons. If your going mixed reef with a few SPS then they are great for larger systems as well. I also always suggest, if your going to get a CA reactor, compliment it with a kalk reactor for for pH control etc etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for your input guys!

Stoney Reef: fair comment! and thanks for the correction. I'm like a parrot and tend to repeat everything I read, not always accurately :rolleyes: :D

I plan to have a calcium reactor in the mid term, after I get a fair amount of corals that demand consistent calcium supply in my tank. Actually, when I started this project I bought almost everything to be a C02 based Ca reactor. I even have the C02 bottle (It was an opportunity deal!). I had to shrink the tank's budget so I didn't buy the regulator and some other special gadgets, and thought that it could wait a little longer. Maybe later, I won't have to DIY it. Instead I'm going to buy one (I hope!)
 
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