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NeoReef

Question on effluent stability

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Hello guys , recently , ive been trying to tune my calcium reactor to meet the needs of my tank ,  but am unable to do so. The effluent drip rate reduces over time and eventually coming to a stop in about a week, even tho its on a fairly high drip rate. Im using a bubble magus wp200 calcium reactor , fed by a maxijet 1200 pump. Any advice?

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What is your targeted effluent drip rate or cc/min ? (video will help) Ideally go for fast drip (instead of slow drip).

What is your current pH of your calcium reactor? What is the lowest pH it'll hit?

Is the Maxijet a dedicated pump for the CR or T off for other purposes as well?

 

You can attempt to clean your effluent tube. It may be clogged with fine bits of melted CR media that has become mush. Looks like this...and may get clogged in the effluent tubes.

IMG_5089 (Small).JPG+

 

What kind of valve are you using for the effluent tube? Ball valve? Needle valve or Pinch valve (see pic below)

IMG_5090 (Small).JPG

 

IMO, a pinch valve is best for CR effluent as there are no sharp corners internally. It may still clog if its filled with mush but does reduce the chances. I try to illustrate below.

Pinch valve (Small).jpg

 

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Hey Leon , thank you for the detailed write up , i was aiming for 40ml per min but that wasnt possible with my set up as it eventually came to a stop in the matter of days . The pH that i have set is about 6.7(try to go as high as possoble to decrease alk output as my tank requirements is not that high) The lowest it will hit is 6.5 , but generally stays at 6.7-6.8.

The maxijet is used to feed only the calcium reactor , but i modified it such that water flows out of another opening as well , rationale is to not let the pump overheat.

Im currently using a pinch valve that came along with the reactor

The dilemma im having right now is that my tank's alkalinity demand is not very high since most of my corals are still frags or mini colonies. A cr is needed as kalk alone isnt able to keep up. Thus im trying to dial back my reactor by :

1) cutting my media to just 1/3 of the reactor capacity

2) raising the chamber's pH to 6.7-6.8(i found that 6.8 is still able the melt the media im using which is crushed corals)

3) cutting down on the effluent output (but im giving up on this. It seems to be impossible since low drip rate means clogging and hence unstable addition of alkalinity into the tank)

I am now trying to include a timer into my setup after recieving advises from fellow reefers and resding articles online , however there seems to be another problem. Where should the timer be placed? The solenoid or the feed pump?

If the timer was placed at the solenoid , theres a few issues thst i can foresee (please check my logic on this):

1) It takes a few hours for pH to rise above 6.8 when the solenoid is switched off , thus alkalinity will continue to be pumped into the tank after switch is offed , and it wjll alsl take another few hours before for pH to drop back to 6.7-6.8 when solenoid is switched on

If the timer was placed at the feed pump :

1) the chamber remains at 6.7-6.8 thus cr continues to melt and when the timer switches the pump on , alot of dkh will be dumped to the tank in a short span of time . (On the other hand i was thinking there must be a saturation point for the ca co3 ions and therefore once a certain level conc is achieved in the chamber , the media would stop melting, unsure about this theory though)

2) there could be an accumilation  of CO2 bubbles (tried it out yesterday and it did indeed happen) 

3) bacteria build up?  Im not sure

 

Anyways for now , i am putting my solenoid on a timer for 7h , assuming first 3h is to bring the pH down to below 6.8 , i would be left with 4h to melt the media , and assuming it takes about an hour to rise above 6.8 , i would have a total of about 5h run time for the CR.

 

What are your thoughts? Im keen to find out how you guys would run your calcium reactors

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There are many ways to run a CR (eg. CO2 on during lighting hours or leave it on 24/7,  drip the effluent or to have a flow  etc). Just different school of thoughts & they all work.

 

Generally, KH will typically be consumed more during lighting hours. And reduce consumption when lights are off. 

Let's take the approach to turn on the CR CO2 during lighting hours.

1) Top up the CR full of media

2) Set timer to the Solenoid (let's start with the idea to turn it on when lights are on. And off when lights off). One common practice is to start the CO2 1hr before lights come on so that KH is available by the time its really needed. Play with the CO2 on hours till you are able to maintain KH. Don't bother about KH rise/drop over the day (i.e. don't chase numbers). Don't bother about pH rising/dropping in the CR. Just as long as KH remains the same the next day at the same time. Lengthen/shorten the CO2 on hours till you find a sweet spot.

3) Keep the feed pump on 24/7. 

4) Feed pump needs to have enough pressure to push water into the CR. Need to make sure the other outlet has a bit of resistance as well.  

 

Wikipedia shows the solubility of CaCo3. It does melt at all pH levels with varying rates, so we can't really say "it stops to to melt above pH x"

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