Calcium reactor effluent rate and bubble count

Den2636

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#1
Hello there! I've been running a aquamaxx s-2 Calcium reactor for 2 and half years. Its been running okay.. Only because i test parameters al the time. I've been have trouble dialing it in. Yes all this time lol. Was easier the first year. My issue is the drip rate and bubble count. I dose my tank to the right parameters but I notice my alk drops faster than my calcium. Effluent is 80ml per minute and about a bubble per second. I have a 180 gallon display mostly sps and lps and a stock sump with about 60 gallons in it with sps and mixed reef corals. This reactor is rated for 400 gallons heavy bioload but its not like my tank is even super full. Well kind of lol.. I have constant drop rate and ph info it reactor. Here's what I'm wondering. Is my effluent too much and that's throwing alk off or should i up the effluent to keep up with alk? I keep adding super dkh to keep up alk and ass calcium too but not as much as alk. Sorry Im asking for too much info! Does anyone have this reactor? What are your guys flow rates and bubble counts?? Seems like no one ever really gets into these topics.. Thank you guys so much for any info!!!
 

RogerO

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#2
Hi,
It seen that your reactor can't keep up with the demand, if the reactor is rated for 400 gallons it shouldn't be a problem.
Do you know much muck alk your tank is consuming during the day? how do you supplement magnesium ?
I run a reactor and alk and calcium are stable all the time, also I add magnesium granulate to one of the chamber.
Hopefully this help.
Roger.
 

Den2636

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#3
Hi,
It seen that your reactor can't keep up with the demand, if the reactor is rated for 400 gallons it shouldn't be a problem.
Do you know much muck alk your tank is consuming during the day? how do you supplement magnesium ?
I run a reactor and alk and calcium are stable all the time, also I add magnesium granulate to one of the chamber.
Hopefully this help.
Roger.
I do supplement magnesium in the chamber with granules also.. My alk drops about .2 to .3 daily. When I measure every day and that's with the reactor running.. Thanks though

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MikeG

Well-Known Member
Moderator
#4
is your calcium balanced for the alkalinity you have in the tank? What are alk, calcium and magnesium levels?

Easiest way and the only way I run calcium reactors is with a pH controller of some sort either a stand alone or part of an APEX or such. Then you set the pH in the reactor measuring the effluent and dont care about bubble count other than trying to set it so the solonoid isnt turning on and off every few seconds. Once this is stable all you have to do is increase or decrease effluent to keep up with tank needs. Obviously if you increase the effluent out of the reactor you will need more CO2 coing in to maintain the same pH.
 

Den2636

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#5
is your calcium balanced for the alkalinity you have in the tank? What are alk, calcium and magnesium levels?

Easiest way and the only way I run calcium reactors is with a pH controller of some sort either a stand alone or part of an APEX or such. Then you set the pH in the reactor measuring the effluent and dont care about bubble count other than trying to set it so the solonoid isnt turning on and off every few seconds. Once this is stable all you have to do is increase or decrease effluent to keep up with tank needs. Obviously if you increase the effluent out of the reactor you will need more CO2 coing in to maintain the same pH.
I use a Milwaukee ph probe In the reactor.. I try to keep my ph at 6.6 and alk coming out has been around 18 dkh... I guess my coral load needs a constant drip but it just doesn't feel right to have a bubble every .8 seconds. I dosed up alk yesterday and my magnesium is always at 1350 or 1400. My alk today is 10.4 and calcium is 404. Salinity is 1.025. I go to work for 24 hours tomorrow morning so I'll check again on Friday morning.. I upped the effluent rate to a steady pore lol.. Thanks Mike


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EddieM

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#6
Increasing your effluent isn't going to help unless you also adjust your bubble rate. Your effluent ph will need to be around 6.5 in order for your media to dissolve. The faster the effluent, the faster the bubbles you'll need to maintain your ph. 80ml is a lot, I have a 240 gal SPS and only run 8ml (masterflex) on a 8" CaRx. What media do you use?
 

Den2636

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#7
Increasing your effluent isn't going to help unless you also adjust your bubble rate. Your effluent ph will need to be around 6.5 in order for your media to dissolve. The faster the effluent, the faster the bubbles you'll need to maintain your ph. 80ml is a lot, I have a 240 gal SPS and only run 8ml (masterflex) on a 8" CaRx. What media do you use?
I was using ARM coarse but I just bought a Seachem brand. I'll show a pic. My tank has many corals. I know ill be using a good amount of effluent. Im talky just trying to see if I'm really having to up it by this much. Maybe I'll try to start with small effluent rate but that had lead to alk swings and my corals dont like that. Sorry about so many pics. Just letting you know I have lots of corals I think.. Maybe this reactor just isn't doing it?


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EddieM

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#8
I'm not familiar with that brand of media. Could be that it just has a lower melting point and you need to lower your ph. I personally love TLF Reborn, which is perfect around 6.6. You could try lowering yours in .2 increments and see if that help, I suspect it will.
 
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Den2636

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#9
I'm not familiar with that brand of media. Could be that it just has a lower melting point and you need to lower your ph. I personally love LTD Reborn, which is perfect around 6.6. You could try lowering yours in .2 increments and see if that help, I suspect it will.
Thanks! That will be my mission for this week lol

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MikeG

Well-Known Member
Moderator
#11
With an Alk of 10.4 your calcium should be much higher. Or you should lower your alkalinity. They are unbalanced and could lead to some of the issues of them not depelting at the same rate.

Old but good reference
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-04/rhf/feature/index.php

I use a Milwaukee ph probe In the reactor.. I try to keep my ph at 6.6 and alk coming out has been around 18 dkh... I guess my coral load needs a constant drip but it just doesn't feel right to have a bubble every .8 seconds. I dosed up alk yesterday and my magnesium is always at 1350 or 1400. My alk today is 10.4 and calcium is 404. Salinity is 1.025. I go to work for 24 hours tomorrow morning so I'll check again on Friday morning.. I upped the effluent rate to a steady pore lol.. Thanks Mike


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dz6t

Acro Garden, BRS Sponsor
BRS Member
#12
Calcium reactor size has little to do with capacity but how frequent you need to fill the chamber.
Small to mid size reactor normally works better due to better mixing and less channeling on media.