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Old 03/07/2000, 09:41 AM   #1
reefgal
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Location: Goodyear, AZ
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I printed out the plans, and was a little more than a little daunted by the prospect. :O

I'm looking to add a calcium reactor, not because I'm a technology freak, or because I have a tank full of SPS coral that suck the stuff down faster than I can add it.... I'm looking to make the tank more "self-sufficient" so I don't have to worry about it when I leave it alone for a few days. (Which I frequently must do.)

I've checked various sites and seen several types of reactors. I haven't a clue how to decide which way to go. Any recommendations? My tank is 90 gallons with a mixed bag of softies, LPS and a few SPS corals. My goal is calcium at 400-415ppm.

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Now, how do you pronounce (and/or spell) that again?

Reefgal in the desert

http://msnhomepages.talkcity.com/Dec...reefcover.html


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Old 03/07/2000, 10:17 AM   #2
David Grigor
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Both Larry M and myself have build from Sanjay's plans. I was a lot of fun and easy to build with no real special tools required.

Reactor itself only cost about $40-60 to make. Expect the total to be around $200 after all the CO2 equipment and recircualtion pump is added.
http://www.aquariumfrontiers.com/fis.../2/default.asp

And here are Larry's notes/modifications:
http://www.reefcentral.com/northernr...um_reactor.htm

I have a 90g heavily populated tank with SPS. This unit easily maintains my tank at 10-11 DKH and 420-440 CA.




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Old 03/07/2000, 12:24 PM   #3
Larry M
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If you have the bucks and don't want to build one, almost any of the commercially available reactors will do the job with the possible exception of the Knop C. The technology is simple, basically it's a holder of media into which co2 is injected, and water circulates through the mix. That's truly about it, so shop for a good deal and buy your co2 needs from the local welding shop instead of aquaria shops.
Good luck,

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Larry M

See my tanks at Northern Reef


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Old 03/07/2000, 12:28 PM   #4
FOX
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What's the deal with the Knop. Why does it not seem to be able to handle tanks over about 75 gallons?

FOX

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angelfire.com/ak3/korysreef.htm


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Old 03/07/2000, 12:41 PM   #5
David Grigor
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I feel the main reason my Knop could not handle my 90g tank was the media compartment.

From my experiences the larger the media the more contact time with CO2 for it to disolve.

No matter how hard ( higher bubble count ) I ran the Knop I could not get KH higher than 9 and CA 380. Plus had to keep a close eye on the outflow becuase it would get clogged up easily.




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Old 03/07/2000, 01:03 PM   #6
Larry M
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I had the same problem as David, the Knop C is just too small IMO, plus the design does not seem to be as trouble-free as some others. Mine did plug up on a regular basis as well.

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Larry M

See my tanks at Northern Reef


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Old 03/08/2000, 10:27 AM   #7
bjmumy
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Where's the best place to get the CO2 equipment? I have been thinking about building a DIY reactor too because of cost considerations mostly. Burning through the B-Ionic is getting pretty expensive. I haven't found a good price on the CO2 equipment though. I figure I can build a reactor with a bubble counter and a pump for $100 or less, but when I add in $200+ for a CO2 tank, regulator, and valve, it blows my cost savings over B-Ionic away. Any suggestions?

Brian


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Old 03/08/2000, 10:29 AM   #8
FOX
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Brian,

Find a welding supply shop. They will rent you the tank dirt cheap. They should also have the regulator for somewhere around $65-75.

FOX

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angelfire.com/ak3/korysreef.htm


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Old 03/08/2000, 10:39 AM   #9
bjmumy
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Thanks, FOX. Should they have a valve, too, or am I best to go with the one Larry used and has listed on his web page? When you say dirt cheap, how cheap do you mean? If I can get/build everything for $200, I should be able to recover the costs in less than 1.5 years (depending on exactly how much media/CO2 I go through and how much it costs). That would make my wife happy. She's not thrilled with me buying $60 of B-Ionic every 4 months.

Thanks,
Brian


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Old 03/08/2000, 10:50 AM   #10
FOX
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Brian,

Most of them will give you the tank full for like $10-15 and then they just charge you to refill it, which is only about $10, and unless you have a huge tank, you should only have to refill it, at most, 4 times a year. Probably only 2 times a year. I'm sure they'll have the valve too, but Larry's valve may be better. I'm not sure about that.

FOX

------------------
angelfire.com/ak3/korysreef.htm


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Old 03/08/2000, 12:42 PM   #11
Larry M
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Here are some prices for the co2 equipment from my welding supply shop:

5# co2 cylinder filled with gas: $65. (I had to buy this, they don't rent the small ones)
Regulator: $50 (used for a beermeister)

The only other thing you need is a needle valve--I would highly recommend you get ahold of a Hoke, Nupro, or Whitey instead of using the ones your hardware store or welding shop have available. They do not have the fine adjustment needed for our purposes. In other words, they are junk. I spent months trying to get a reactor dialed in with a cheapo needle valve, and about 5 minutes using the Whitey that I paid $20 for.

------------------
Larry M

See my tanks at Northern Reef


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Old 03/08/2000, 06:09 PM   #12
bjmumy
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Thanks, guys. I'll give a welding shop around here a call and see what I can find. Larry, where did you get your regulator, a brewer's supply store? Is there such thing? Would that also be a good place to look for CO2 bottles? Is a 5# bottle the size to go with for a 75r reef?

Thanks for all your help,
Brian


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Old 03/08/2000, 06:19 PM   #13
Larry M
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quote:
....so shop for a good deal and buy your co2 needs from the local welding shop instead of aquaria shops.


quote:
Here are some prices for the co2 equipment from my welding supply shop:


In other words, I got all the stuff at:

WELDING SUPPLY SHOP

LOL good luck.


------------------
Larry M

See my tanks at Northern Reef


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Old 03/08/2000, 08:52 PM   #14
bjmumy
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LOL!

So what does this mean: "Regulator: $50 (used for a beermeister)"? I thought maybe you got the regulator from a home brewing supply store, since that was one of the places Sanjay mentioned in his article. But I didn't know there were such places and couldn't find any in the yellow pages. I guess I'll stick to buying everything at a WELDING SUPPLY SHOP!

Thanks again for the help. Hopefully building the thing will be easier than understanding where to buy the stuff!

Brian




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Old 03/08/2000, 11:05 PM   #15
Evets
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Brian,
In my neck of suburbia, stores such as "Liquorama" sell homebrewing supplies. Perhaps you have a liquor warehouse near you?
ReefGal,
KW makes/has designed a very nice Kalkwasser reactor. If, by chance, you already have a good dosing pump, this might be an effective solution for you. If you don't have a good dosing pump, this setup is as expensive as many professional calcium reactors. Just a thought.
-Steve


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Old 03/09/2000, 05:55 AM   #16
Twinspot99
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Hi bjmumy,
Have you tried looking under "Beverage&supplies" category?


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