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Old 04/13/2018, 11:16 AM   #1
chappy121
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Switch CA Reactor for Dosing?

I'm sure the answer is yes, but has anyone switched from their calcium reactor to a dosing system? Not only do I get the impression it is easier, but I would like to save energy and noise from the tank that my GEO reactor provides. I'm thinking about the Neptune dosing system as I have an APEX.

Any thoughts and setup recommendations/needs for the Neptune?

Thanks!


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Old 04/13/2018, 12:58 PM   #2
murphreef
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I used to run a large 2 chamber (300G rated) CA Rx on my old 180. My 180 was filled with large sps and large clams so even the CA Rx had a hard time keeping up with the needs. I was always tweaking with the dumb reactor as well, such a pain.

If your tank doesnt have huge demands on CA and Alk then a dosser works really well.

I have one on my 25G Lagoon nano and I dose 12ml a day of each fluid broken up over 4 dosing periods. Tank stays stable and dont have all the CA Rx equipment.

Do you know how much your tank uses currently?


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Old 04/13/2018, 09:22 PM   #3
Kevin Guthrie
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IMO the only reason to dose is the cost of the CA reactor setup, which you have already spent.

I switched from dosing to a Korallin long ago for my 90 and it was a good move. I had to constantly test with the dosing system, and the stuff was expensive. Once I got the reactor dialed in it pretty much ran by itself and supplies both the CA and Mg, neither of which I've tested for in a long time (just alk). The pump is quiet.

OTOH I got tired of twiddling with the drip valves and use a dosing pump for that.


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Old 04/13/2018, 09:30 PM   #4
ca1ore
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There is an elegance to the CaRx that I think many people miss. To wit, dissolving coral skeletons adds minerals to the tank water in exactly the right proportions.


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Old 04/14/2018, 09:29 AM   #5
chappy121
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I have a 90 mixed reef. So the needs aren’t too high.

Sounds like dosing isn’t completely hands free. Plus I’ve been reading the the dosing systems are not completely quiet either. Maybe I’ll look into updating my CA pumps so they are quieter and more efficient.

Thanks for keeping me from buying more stuff!


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Old 04/15/2018, 06:34 PM   #6
jamie1981
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ca1ore View Post
There is an elegance to the CaRx that I think many people miss. To wit, dissolving coral skeletons adds minerals to the tank water in exactly the right proportions.
EXACTLY I would never go back to using 2 part. Reactor media adds everything together in the right proportions with no mixing needed. Once it's set i'ts much easier and less maintenance.


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Old 04/16/2018, 02:54 PM   #7
murphreef
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^ def agree if I had a large enough tank I would go back to a CArx just because of the cost and amount of 2 part I would have to dose.

CA reactors do work great and do keep water perfectly stable as they are always running and putting back into the system what has been removed.


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Old 04/17/2018, 12:26 AM   #8
mike810
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If you already have a carx, keep it. You will be testing for everything with a doser since you're now using three different pumps to dose. Even when dosing equal parts alk/ca, one pump will be off from the other. With the carx, you know you're getting true equal parts alk/ca. I switched to a dastaco from a GHL doser 2 about 8 months ago and it was the best move ever.

However, I have to say the doser 2 was a great dosing pump which was way more accurate than my old bubble magus doser.


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Old 04/17/2018, 06:18 AM   #9
cincyjim
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Question in regards to the reactor... what do you do when you have a power outage? Does the water go stale and need to be cleaned out before use again? With my dosing pumps, they are on a battery back up and keep on doing their thing which is the reason I'm asking about the reactor. My last power outage was 30+ hours straight.
Thanks.


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Old 04/17/2018, 03:42 PM   #10
Kevin Guthrie
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Two choices for power outage.

My original setup included a solenoid which opened when power was applied. Ideal since power out means both the feed pump and the CO2 stop together. The solenoid died long ago.

I leave both valves cracked on the Korallin. When power dies the CO2 bubbles keep coming but they vent out the valve. I have however had a case where the circulation pump lost its prime (valve was not open after all) and had to be twiddled with to get it to restart.


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Old 04/19/2018, 09:58 AM   #11
McPuff
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Great point above regarding the dead coral skeletons. The corals do seem to respond to that in their growth rate and pattern.

I used to think there was no reason to go to a reactor because dosing was easy enough. But once my corals grew a bit the demand became hard to keep up with... I had to tweak the dosing pumps every couple weeks and make sure the solutions were never empty. That meant mixing more solution about once a month. Then you have doser errors which can dump in excess solution and throw things out of whack.

So I decided to build a DIY calcium reactor. It was daunting at first but ended up being pretty simple to get the thing up and running. It is so much more stable than dosing and there really isn't a concern for overdosing ALK. Both ALK and CA remain very stable so even if I don't test in a week, I'm not worried about it. The worst thing that could happen is the values drift slowly (vs spike) up or down. All it requires is a simple turn of the needle valve on the effluent line and it's fixed.

My only concern now is that I need a larger chamber. But I've come up with a simple solution for that as well that will be free to me. Perhaps I'll post something about it when I make the change.

My opinion is stick with the CA reactor!


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