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CR Reactor


PicoSavvy

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Has any one ever seen or heard of anyone running a calcium reactor in a Pico system ? I know a calcium reactor on a pico sounds crazy and overkill when compare to more simple and less costly ways of adding supplements back to the water like 2 part dosing, Kalkwasser (Limewater), and weekly water changes.

I am asking because the other day i saw this http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-04/totm/ the system has a display volume of 8.32 gallon and is running a calcium reactor and thought wow if it had 3 less gallon and this could be called a pico

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It wouldn't be a lot of water to handle the pH stability. You would have to aerate out all of the CO2 prior to introducing the effluent back into the system (as the pH of the water in the reactor is in the lower 6's). This could be done by running the effluent directly into a CO2 resistant skimmer, a second chamber, or even a DIY degassing tube like:

CO2_DIAGRAM.gif

Note that instead of a RO line, you'd run the effluent into the tube. You might also drip Kalk in the degassing tube to raise the pH.

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When you say CO2 resistant skimmer are you referring to the same system that is used in rebreather, were they pass exhale air through a scrubber (Most of the time this scrubber is filled with soda lime) to remove the co2 from the air ?

rebreather-workings.jpg

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Oh, I'm sorry, I bet I was thinking about an ozone resistant skimmer (and not CO2). Ozone will degrade certain plastics if you run the output into them. I know there is special tubing for CO2, maybe that's what got me thinking it was CO2. Anyway, the idea is to aerate (degas) out the CO2 to raise the pH back up to normal; and a skimmer can assist with this.

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When you say CO2 resistant skimmer are you referring to the same system that is used in rebreather, were they pass exhale air through a scrubber (Most of the time this scrubber is filled with soda lime) to remove the co2 from the air ?

rebreather-workings.jpg

 

You get water in a rebreather closed circuit and it leaks into the co2 scrubber canister and you will be bailing to open loop. It scrubs CO2 from gas, not from solution. That wouldn't work. You can run the air source of a skimmer through a CO2 media to boost the PH, but not the effluent of a CaRx.

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Of all the methods mentioned above which one would you say is the most efficient at raising the ph.

The degassing tube efficiency seem like it is limited by it high. The co2 scrubber efficiency is limited by how much air your skimmer use. Kalkwasser is limited by how much water evaporate from your system.

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There are a number of people with pico tanks that do 100% water changes to maintain levels. The small water volumes makes this doable. Another option is to use two part solution to replenish levels.

 

While it would be neat to try, I'm not sure how practical a calcium reactor would be on such a small tank. It might make more sense if you had a sump.

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I agree with you that a calcium reactor sound crazy on a small system like a pico. Part of the reason why I asked this question is because in the future I am thinking of doing an sps only pico and I know that sps are calcium and alkalinity hungry corals and I keep hearing from people that use calcium reactor that it is set and forget and i really like the idea of have one less thing to take care of.

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