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Thread: HOB Calc Reactor ... AquaMaxx CR-1 Nano Calcium Reactor

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    Insightful Reefer mpcolson's Avatar
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    HOB Calc Reactor ... AquaMaxx CR-1 Nano Calcium Reactor

    I'd like some opinions about adding a calcium reactor to my 55 gal tank. I am considering this new fangled and affordable HOB unit from AquaMaxx. I can't find any reviews on it but I assume it works.

    I am trying to keep my Ph up so I can eliminate my on going battle with alkalinity. I am already in the process of changing out my substrate to sand from the black Hawaiian gravel I had. Also I am going to swap out my algae covered LR with Marco Key West rock. In essence I am starting over or going back a few steps.

    I know I made some errors when putting this tank together ... now I need to make corrections.

    Back to the Calc Reactor, are they that much of a benefit? Or would the $140.00 be better spent on something else? I keep reading about a fully equipped set-up and they all have a reactor so I thought this would be the next piece of the puzzle.

    Heres the link of the unit that Marine Depot sells, Maybe you Jedis can read through the BS and determine if it's worthwhile.

    AquaMaxx CR-1 Nano Calcium Reactor
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    Grand Master Reefer Amphibious's Avatar
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    They are only painting a partial portrait assuming you know that besides that piece of equipment you need a Co2 cylinder and pressure gauge., another $100 minimum. But I assume you already knew that, just being sure.

    Calcium reactors can be very useful in eliminating dosing 2 part. Like everything else mechanical in life they are subject to fidgety adjustments and failure, usually at the most inopportune time. I have never had one and will not because of the ease of dosing with 2 part. Some with reactor experience swear by them others swear at them, some return to 2 part dosing. In life I’ve learned the KISS method, KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID. I’ve found that to be wise advice.

    I’ve also found the CHEAP is most often not the way to go. The money you save in the beginning cannot compare to the frustration, anxiety and money lost upon replacing the CHEAP with QUALITY later.

    Not sure why you are fighting pH and Alkalinity variables. What are you dosing with?
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    Insightful Reefer mpcolson's Avatar
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    I guess the answer is my Ph is always dropping off. I was using an additive buffer from LFS. A Sea-Chem product simply called buffer. It claimed to be able to keep your Ph at 8.3 and never go over that mark.

    Also I had been adding Calcium additive from Sea-Chem reef Calcium to get that up into the 400 range. Again a additive sold to me by the same LFS.

    Dick, you have been following my problems with this same LFS so I am looking for ways to avoid them at all costs and also I am questioning their "advice and professional opinions".

    So I began looking at this Calc Reactor as an alternative because I thought if I keep my Ph up and calcium high I would rid myself of the hair algae I am growing in mass in my tank. I have done everything else I can think of so far to rid this .. stop lighting the tank over 6 hours a day. I put API Algae Rid in the tank once and killed it all off.. It was a ugly brown mess for a couple weeks and then it grew back. I bought the Yellow Tang to eat the stuff and it died as you know. and my my critters in the tank aren't keeping up.

    So, The Sand bed will be changed as soon as I get it in the mail, that should help with Ph, The stuff in my tank is a source of Magnesium and other trace elements... not Ph. Carmie suggested that the sand substrate will provide a Ph buffer.

    And I think I will still want to removed the worst algae covered LR to get a fresh start.... And maybe you can give me a few pointers.
    Matt Colson

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    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    I don't run a calcium reactor but I believe that the pH in the reactor has to be ~6.7 in order for them to work and because of this the tank pH tends to be low. You run one because you have so many stony corals that you can't keep up with the calcium demand by using 2 part or dripping kalk.

    Low pH can be a symptom of high indoor CO2. (Think ocean acidification.) Have we had you aerate your tank water and then recheck the pH? Have you read this article? http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-06/rhf/index.php

    I don't think that a calcium reactor would help with the algae problem that you are having. Are you running a phosban reactor?

    If you haven't tried it I'd recommend getting some Ocean's Blend 2 part from Dick.
    Last edited by CarmieJo; 11-07-2010 at 10:11 PM.
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    Insightful Reefer mpcolson's Avatar
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    Hey Carmie...

    I'll have to read that article tonight when I get home. Briefly, I am not running a Phosban Reactor. Honestly I don't know what they are. I'll look them up tonight as well.

    Since I have no coral ATM I guess I am heading the wrong way, thanks for clearing that up.

    After I read all the suggested sites I'll see what steps to take next.
    Matt Colson

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    Insightful Reefer mpcolson's Avatar
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    Well CarmieJo, It seems a Phosban Reactor would be a better addition for the algae problem. A good call there and far less cash out of pocket. I have a Mag-5 pump sitting here that would run it I believe and do the trick.

    I thought my skimmer was supposed to remove the waste that caused algae along with the UV filter. Either my UV is junk or I don't have it's flow rate set right because it really doesn't do anything noticeable to me.

    Anyhow, I think I'll look at adding a Phosban after the substrate switch to sand.

    Thanks for the tips.
    Matt Colson

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    Grand Master Reefer CarmieJo's Avatar
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    Always glad to save you some $$$. The UV kills free floating bacteria, parasites and algae cells that pass over the light.
    Carmie


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