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Old 03-03-2013, 7:23 PM   #1
ddaddy2420 ddaddy2420 is offline
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Calcium Reactor vs Dosing Pumps

I have the opportunity to either get a Korallin 1502 Calcium Reactor or get a Bubble Magus Dosing Pump and dose. Which would you do and why? Correct me if I am wrong but you wouldn't do both right? Wouldn't you use either a calcium reactor or use dosing pumps for Ca, alk and mag?

I already have the Bubble Magus Dosing Pump but I can get the calcium reactor in a trade. What else would i need for the reactor? I know with the dosing pumps all i would need are the chemicals. I think...

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Old 03-03-2013, 7:39 PM   #2
MrFlameangel MrFlameangel is offline
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To me it depends on the size of the tank. I have a 180 and went the dosing route. I go through the cal and alk pretty fast. I am saving up for a reactor.

They say a reactor is hard to dial in and get correct. But with the doser it was very simple to get to the right amount of each dose. I like my doser and would buy it again if need be. The only down fall is how fast the tank will eat up the cal and alk.

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Old 03-03-2013, 7:42 PM   #3
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Calcium reactors are easier once they are set up. You would need co2 tank, regulator and some calcium media. You would not dose, calcium or magnesium unless they are low to start. Get levels right then reactor will keep it right.

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Old 03-03-2013, 8:10 PM   #4
Reefjunkee Reefjunkee is offline
 
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I dosed for years(manually) and after switching to a calcium reactor and figuring out how to dial it in,i`d never dose again,unless of course it was a small nano tank.

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Old 03-03-2013, 8:50 PM   #5
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Ca reactor 100%!

Once you get the hang of a ca reactor, and "learn" how your particular model works and understand how to properly set a ca reactor, they can be an excellent tool.

I think a lot of people mess up when they try to use the reactor to raise levels. That is not the intended use.
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Old 03-03-2013, 9:54 PM   #6
Darth Reefer Darth Reefer is offline
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It all comes down to the size of the tank and how many and what type of corals you are trying to keep. Without that I can't really vote. Right now I'm using dosing pumps but will eventually have to get a reactor.

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Old 03-03-2013, 10:34 PM   #7
Acroholic Acroholic is offline
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I did some cost comparisons of purchasing manual dosing ingredients vs buying and starting calcium reactor use a couple years ago. I think it was based on a 180 gallon (not sure).

Basic facts: A calcium reactor setup is a higher initial cost setup than manual dosing of ca, mag, and alk. chemicals.

IIRC, the costs became equal at about 1.5 years time, meaning the total amount spent on the reactor setup was about the same as the cost to buy/dose calcium, magnesium, and alkalinity supplements for 18 months. Past 1.5 years, you start to save money over manual dosing.

I'm sorry I don't remember all the specifics, but it was posted here a long time ago, and the cost comparison was based on manual dosing (by hand), not using dosing pumps, so it would not include the cost of a Bubble Magus dosing setup, which would skew equal cost results even earlier than 1.5 years.

But from a which is better point of view, they both will work. Just base your decision on how much work you are willing to do. Dosing will require a bit more tweaking of the individual components than a calcium reactor setup, since most calcium reactors will release ca, mag and bicarbonates in the proper ratios as the media dissolves. OTOH, the ability to vary each one can be an advantage as well, as some reefs with calcium reactors will require supplemental magnesium dosing, and some will not.

Personally, I use and prefer a calcium reactor, but I do not think it is inherently any better than dosing the components separately.

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Old 03-04-2013, 4:43 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies, are there any reactors to avoid? Or they all pretty much the same, is the korallin reactor a good one? If I go the reactor route, I can either trade for the korallin or I can sell the bubble magus and get a better reactor than the korallin. What about the regulators, those all about the same as well? Or is there a preferred one as well?
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Old 03-04-2013, 2:49 PM   #9
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i CAN tell you thats my MRC reactor I bought from Ripped is a great little reactor.......

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Old 03-04-2013, 2:50 PM   #10
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ImageUploadedByTapatalk1362430231.124929.jpg

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Old 03-04-2013, 6:01 PM   #11
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Reactor is the only way to go on a big tank
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Old 03-04-2013, 6:16 PM   #12
ddaddy2420 ddaddy2420 is offline
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I don't have a big tank but I am all about automating as much as possible.
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Old 03-06-2013, 8:16 AM   #13
ddaddy2420 ddaddy2420 is offline
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Well my Bubble Magus finally came in, so now I need to decide Calcium Reactor or Dosing. If I go the reactor route I can sell this Dosing pump to put towards the cost of a reactor and get a really nice reactor. Are there any particular regulators that are better than others and is there any sort of controller I can purchase to hook up to this system besides the apex or DA ones?
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:26 PM   #14
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CA reactor FTW!
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:31 PM   #15
glxtrix glxtrix is offline
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Not all regulators are the same.....get the one from aquarium plants...it's a little more, but it's well worth the money! I've had the cheaper ones and they eventually fail or need adjustments. I use to run a reactor (MRC CR4 Dual....AMAZING!) I have a completely different tank now and will try to dosing with the simple dosing pumps from BRS....so we'll see how that goes. If/when I need another reactor, I will not hesitate to get another MRC....hands down the best out there.

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Old 03-07-2013, 7:36 AM   #16
ddaddy2420 ddaddy2420 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glxtrix View Post
Not all regulators are the same.....get the one from aquarium plants...it's a little more, but it's well worth the money! I've had the cheaper ones and they eventually fail or need adjustments. I use to run a reactor (MRC CR4 Dual....AMAZING!) I have a completely different tank now and will try to dosing with the simple dosing pumps from BRS....so we'll see how that goes. If/when I need another reactor, I will not hesitate to get another MRC....hands down the best out there.
can you post a link to the aquarium plants regulator? are you referring to the electronic co2 regulator from the aquariumplants.com website? That website has all different types of regulators.
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Old 03-07-2013, 1:39 PM   #17
glxtrix glxtrix is offline
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yup, that's the one.

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Old 03-08-2013, 5:04 AM   #18
ddaddy2420 ddaddy2420 is offline
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Ok and from the sound of it, the best way to run a calcium reactor is via some sort of ph controller? Whether its an Apex or a DA controller or a simple Milwaukee ph controller, any should work!!! Or am I way off base here?


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Old 03-08-2013, 7:46 AM   #19
Ripped Tide Ripped Tide is offline
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I have an MRC cr-2, with a JBJ regulator and solenoid, and apex for ph control. It's pretty much a set and forget type deal.
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Old 03-10-2013, 6:45 PM   #20
ddaddy2420 ddaddy2420 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ripped Tide View Post
I have an MRC cr-2, with a JBJ regulator and solenoid, and apex for ph control. It's pretty much a set and forget type deal.
Ripped you mind explaining it a little? What does the apex control? If the ph gets low does it turn on the pump for the reactor or someting?
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