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Old 05-11-2011, 1:12 PM   #21
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Okay, so I think I followed your primer to setup my MRC CR2, but I'm definitely having issues getting it dialed in. The biggest problem I'm having is keeping the pH down inside the reactor.

I've got roughly 315 total water volume... though its likely more like 250 gallons of actual water. Mostly SPS frags at this point. A fair amount of frags at that. I've been doing a 20 gallon water change with Salinity every 1-1.5 weeks.

I bought fine media... before finding out I probably should have gone with large... oh well. I filled up my first chamber and half of the second chamber, hooked everything up and let it run without CO2 for a few days. Turned on the CO2 at 60 BPM and then adjusted my effluent to ~50mls per minute and let it sit for a day. At 60 BPM, the pH within the reactor never went below ~7.2. So I adjusted the effluent to ~30 mls per minute at 60 BPM. This had the effect of lowering the pH to ~6.9-7.0. Let that stand for a few days as well and it never really got any lower. Finally, the most recent adjustment was to change the bubble rate. Currently I'm at ~90+ BPM and 50 mls per minute and the pH is 6.77.

Am I doing this right? The solenoid never has to turn off because I had it set to 6.6.

Here are the results of my testing:

Last Monday
ALK - 2.5 Meq
CA - 350ish? (Seachem test... can hardly notice the color change)
pH system - 8.10-8.20
pH CaR - 7.20-7.40

Last Weds
ALK - 2.5-3 Meq
CA - ~350ish
pH system - 8.10-8.20
pH CaR - 6.90-7.10

Last Night
ALK - 3.5 Meq
CA - ~375-400
pH system - 8.10-8.20
pH CaR - 6.75-6.80

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Old 05-11-2011, 1:50 PM   #22
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What is the best calcium reactor to geT?

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Old 05-11-2011, 2:19 PM   #23
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What is the best calcium reactor to geT?
I think that has more to do with user preference. I think geo is the best and their customer service is best I've ever seen. I hear MRC also makes great reactors
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Old 05-11-2011, 2:24 PM   #24
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Maybe you need to lower effluent rate. And make sure hot not collecting co2 at the top.



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Old 05-11-2011, 2:30 PM   #25
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Maybe you need to lower the bpm and also lower the rate of effluent. You are looking for drips per min not mls per min.

?... the primer says Mls per minute?

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Old 05-11-2011, 2:40 PM   #26
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?... the primer says Mls per minute?
+1. Even the geo manual states ml not drips.
But then again, different reactors require different drip rates. My first reactor which was a Corlife says drips per min. So it all depends. That's when you have to refer to your manual.
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Old 05-11-2011, 6:34 PM   #27
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Okay, so I think I followed your primer to setup my MRC CR2, but I'm definitely having issues getting it dialed in. The biggest problem I'm having is keeping the pH down inside the reactor.

I've got roughly 315 total water volume... though its likely more like 250 gallons of actual water. Mostly SPS frags at this point. A fair amount of frags at that. I've been doing a 20 gallon water change with Salinity every 1-1.5 weeks.

I bought fine media... before finding out I probably should have gone with large... oh well. I filled up my first chamber and half of the second chamber, hooked everything up and let it run without CO2 for a few days. Turned on the CO2 at 60 BPM and then adjusted my effluent to ~50mls per minute and let it sit for a day. At 60 BPM, the pH within the reactor never went below ~7.2. So I adjusted the effluent to ~30 mls per minute at 60 BPM. This had the effect of lowering the pH to ~6.9-7.0. Let that stand for a few days as well and it never really got any lower. Finally, the most recent adjustment was to change the bubble rate. Currently I'm at ~90+ BPM and 50 mls per minute and the pH is 6.77.

Am I doing this right? The solenoid never has to turn off because I had it set to 6.6.

Here are the results of my testing:

Last Monday
ALK - 2.5 Meq
CA - 350ish? (Seachem test... can hardly notice the color change)
pH system - 8.10-8.20
pH CaR - 7.20-7.40

Last Weds
ALK - 2.5-3 Meq
CA - ~350ish
pH system - 8.10-8.20
pH CaR - 6.90-7.10

Last Night
ALK - 3.5 Meq
CA - ~375-400
pH system - 8.10-8.20
pH CaR - 6.75-6.80
Grant,
At the settings you have, you should not have any issues with the pH of the reactor getting to a 6.6 or lower setting. MRC recommends using fine media, so you are good there as well. The CR2 is a dual chamber reactor, correct, with a reactor chamber and a passive 2nd chamber to pass the effluent through prior to it going back into the sump? And your recirculation pump is working? The top of the reactor has a pH probe port I assume, so the probe is inside the reactor water and you are not measuring effluent output in the sump, right? And I assume both your reactor chambers are filled with media?

What kind of controller are you using, and is your probe calibrated? If I were to guess based on your information, I would guess that your probe needs to be calibrated or is defective. Because at a bubble count of 60-90/minute and effluent rate of 50-60 ml/minute, your reactor should be regularly coming on and going off. It should have no issues getting to a 6.6 setpoint.

Your rector is a fine size for your system, and shouldn't have issues keeping up with your tank's ca, mag and KH demands.

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Old 05-11-2011, 7:48 PM   #28
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Hey Dave!

Your assumptions about the reactor are correct. I have the second chamber roughly half to two thirds full of media. I'm controlling it with my apex unit through a pm1 unit. The pH probe was new and I calibrated it a few weeks ago. I suppose it needs it again? If I turn off the co2 the ph in the reactor will approximate the display pH reading after a few hours.

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Old 05-11-2011, 8:12 PM   #29
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Hey Dave!

Your assumptions about the reactor are correct. I have the second chamber roughly half to two thirds full of media. I'm controlling it with my apex unit through a pm1 unit. The pH probe was new and I calibrated it a few weeks ago. I suppose it needs it again? If I turn off the co2 the ph in the reactor will approximate the display pH reading after a few hours.
I would calibrate the probe/controller and report back. You really do not calibrate probes. The popular jargon is to "calibrate the probe." You actually calibrate controllers to the functioning of the probe, which is done thru the pH 7 and 10 solutions.

You pH probe sits inside the reactor thru a probe port, right? These are an option on MRC reactors.

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Old 05-11-2011, 8:19 PM   #30
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I'll puck up some calibration fluids this weekend and recalibrate the probe to see what effect there is. I had MRC install the probe holder in the lid for me and I have the probe sitting approximate one or two inches into the first chamber.

Thank you for the help!

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Old 05-23-2011, 5:00 PM   #31
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Okay... update time:

I was finally able to locate an LFS that had 7.0 calibration solution and recalibrated my pH probe with 4.0 and 7.0. At the same input and output parameters as my original description, I'm still having issues getting the pH to go down.

At ~90 BPM (possibly more... its difficult to count em when there is more than one per second), and 60mls per minute of effluent, my pH is at 6.69 right now and ranges between 6.68 and 7.02.

Tested a day after and my Alk was at 3.5 meqs. Calcium is ~375.

I should note that I can tell myrecirc pump is working, but I can see air or gas building up at the top of the reactor chambers?!

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Old 05-23-2011, 6:59 PM   #32
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Its been said 100 times before in this thread, but for a first time viewer this is a great read to get started on learning calcium reactors.

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Old 05-23-2011, 7:27 PM   #33
Acroholic Acroholic is offline
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Okay... update time:

I was finally able to locate an LFS that had 7.0 calibration solution and recalibrated my pH probe with 4.0 and 7.0. At the same input and output parameters as my original description, I'm still having issues getting the pH to go down.

At ~90 BPM (possibly more... its difficult to count em when there is more than one per second), and 60mls per minute of effluent, my pH is at 6.69 right now and ranges between 6.68 and 7.02.

Tested a day after and my Alk was at 3.5 meqs. Calcium is ~375.

I should note that I can tell myrecirc pump is working, but I can see air or gas building up at the top of the reactor chambers?!
This one is a head scratcher for me. You should not have any issues getting your reactor below 6.69 with the bubble count/effluent rate you are using. And if you see gas collecting at the top of the reactor chamber, then you are bubbling CO2 too fast. Cut it back to 70-80 bpm. You are putting CO2 in the reactor faster than it can dissolve. I suspect you may have a bad pH probe. You can check this.

Do you have an in-tank pH probe? Here is what I would do next. Stop your reactor feed pump, recirculation pump, and unplug the CO2 solenoid. Remove the pH probe from the reactor, and place the reactor pH probe in the sump and see if it agrees with your system pH monitor. Assuming it is good, it should be in close agreement with the tank probe. If it is showing a very different reading than the tank probe, then you probably need to replace it or it is defective.....and I know you said it was new, but over the years I have had my share of defective "new" probes bought straight from the manufacturer, particularly when the liquid the probe tip is supposed to be in has dried out prior to my purchasing it.

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Old 05-23-2011, 10:33 PM   #34
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Hmmm well... I'll add to the head scratching. The calcium reactor probe reads 8.12 in the sump... The display tank probe reads 8.19. Different, but only by .07. Is that enough to say the probe is done? Could this be a regulator issue?! (I highly doubt this since I can control the bubble rate).

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Old 05-23-2011, 11:08 PM   #35
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Hmmm well... I'll add to the head scratching. The calcium reactor probe reads 8.12 in the sump... The display tank probe reads 8.19. Different, but only by .07. Is that enough to say the probe is done? Could this be a regulator issue?! (I highly doubt this since I can control the bubble rate).
Sounds like your probe is OK. That difference is not significant enough to say the probe is bad. Your display pH is fine, same as mine a lot of times

Regulators tend to either work or not work. You are probably fine there as well.

Your calcium reactor is pulling the pH down somewhat, but not as much as it should. That is the part I don't understand.

I may need to make a house call on this one! I am out of reasons for it not going to where it should go. You should have the ability to take that reactor pH down to 6 or less.

I'd be happy to come take a look if you like. Send me a PM.

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Old 05-24-2011, 12:40 AM   #36
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Grant to me it sounds like your feed pump/drip rate is to high I'd lower that down and see if that helps.

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Old 05-24-2011, 12:55 AM   #37
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50-60ml/minute is the recommended starting flow rate for MRC and GEO reactors. If the pH in the reactor doesn't drop if he lowers the rate below that, then there is something really wrong. My point is, Grant shouldn't have to lower it below the rate of 50-60 ml/minuted to reach his controller setpoint.

The above is assuming he has collected the effluent for one minute and the volume is 50-60 ml. Eyeballing it is not the best way.

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Old 05-24-2011, 8:25 AM   #38
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Hey Dave,

THAT would be awesome on a number of levels... be warned... I'll try to pick your brain on a number of different topics!

I'm actually going to be out of town for a few days so we can work something out. I'll shoot you a PM. Thats an incredible gesture.

As for collecting the effluent, I basically took one of the measuring cups I got with my BRS two part setup and collected for a minute. The valve is definitely touchy. I can barely squeeze the valve and the effluent will go up or down depending on which direction I'm pushing obviously. Right now its sitting at ~65mls/minute. It had dropped down to 30mls/minute?

As we sit right now, my Apex is telling me that the pH in the reactor is 6.62, but this is still with the high bubble rate.

One more thing, the air that is in the top of the chambers remains from when I turned the feed pump off and the water level came down. Since the water bubble sits above the outlet fitting... its trapped.

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Old 05-24-2011, 9:18 AM   #39
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Grant,
What is your Apex controller setpoint right now, and what is the hysteresis? Is the CO2 still on continuously?

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Old 05-24-2011, 9:34 AM   #40
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Apex is set to Low 6.60 and High 6.65. CO2 is on continuously. Given the control I imagine that works out to a setpoint of 6.60 with a hysteresis of 0.05.

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