Aquarium engineering calcium reactors

So I finally bit the bullet and ordered a calcium reactor from Bill @ aquarium engineering after not being able to buy esv b-ionic for a month plus and everyone having expected dates of another month out. I am picking up my hopefully last batch of 2 part to tie me over for the week.
I am was curious if anyone here has used his reactors and especially if you have used the automated ones. I didn’t see the videos of how people were using it externally and if I have to feed it from my return pump or if it feeds off the pumps on it. It’s a bright new world for me so any useful info would really be awesome. Hoping to have it all running this weekend if everything arrives when it says.

Well it’s here and this thing belongs in a aquarium not at my house standing at 29". Bill recommended this for my future build plan I told him about. This thing looks like it belongs on the 500 to 1,000 gallon club lol. Unfortunately true value did not have the adapter I need for my return manifold to plumb into this monstrosity. So a home depot trip will shortly follow.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
I’m also curious, how long would the media last on my small system? It is only maybe 100 to 125 gallons with the displacement… I got a mix of extra coarse and regular coarse media. I was told to use about 22lbs of calcium stuff and 8lbs of magnesium

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That thing is massive. But can’t help you good luck with it.


@TheProfessor and @houndsbayman both run reactors.

I plan to have this plumbed in Sunday. I have everything to hook it up just waiting for the instructions since not all the hoses from the controllers to the reactor were hooked up.
He also dials them in to be around where your demand is, so hopefully that was done. If not I have a full bottle of reagent to check alk twice a day.

Finally got this thing set up. the reactor chamber is bubbling like crazy which I hope is just settling in or normal. I have made sure of no leaks though I was having a slight issue as I ran it overnight with it leaking at the stack o-ring. It uses plastic screws and I did tighten them all roughly the same and in a pattern like you would with pipe fasteners that are similar to this setup. co2 was turned on this morning after I purged the system. I believe this sized reactor is actually for 1,000+ gallon systems but I could be wrong it is bigger then the ones online for 800g systems. I did lower my effluent to turn on for 1 second every 300seconds.

How fast do new reactors get to full strength on the effluent liquid?
any tips would be great as well. I have been lucky to find some reviews that showed the setup on this reactor cause the guy that makes them is impossible to get ahold of. 1 week of asking for instructions to be emailed and texts along with phone calls to no avail. quality of the product does look to be right on par with what everyone says though. Time shall tell

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don’t know if they still make them , but the PRO - CAL was the ultimate calcium reactor , back in the day…Had an auto purge at the top to vent excess co2…

I think they just went out of business recently. They do have a excellent reputation along with AE only problem with AE is the customer service aspect. I did see a post on r2r that mentioned his wife was having problems so maybe that is why but who knows.

Is it normal for the reactor to be constantly flowing bubbles though? I thought when running no bubbles should be visible. My line going from my return does not get micro bubbles but this this is like a huge bubble chamber. I am going to test the effluent tonight as well.
How long does it take for the reactor to start breaking down the media and get to its normal stable levels?

No - it’s not normal…you should only see Co2 bubbles up at or near the top of the 1st reaction chamber…my 2 pro-cals i had over the yrs had an auto purge valve that looked like a toilet bowl flapper at the top of the 1st chamber to vent excess co2…every other cal reactor i ever owned (Knop C, Korallin) was a pain in the butt to get dialed in and i had to manually purge excess co2 once in a while…
My 2 cents is that you have introduced too much c02 before the reactor could catch up and process it…shut of all co2 and let it run it all out - till therre’s no visible bubbles anywhere…then start over and introduce the co2 very slowly…
Unless somebody buys the patent from Leo @ MTC for that pro cal …life is gonna be tough for those owning any other reactor without an auto purge…

Thanks, I thought something was wrong. When you kick this thing on the co2 solenoid box goes kinda crazy for a while then once its loaded up stops but but then it was loaded with bubbles after I already purged.
What pressure is normal for the co2 tanks output? It was at almost 20lbs and I lowered to what the guy in the review had which was 8lb

I used to use a CARBON DOSER regulator .electronic and .digital…best and most accurate…It’s been a while since i had a reactor -so not sure of the pressures…make u tube your best friend…lol

I’m pretty sure solenoid box is a glorified carbon doser.
This morning I tried a few things to remove the bubbles and purge with no luck once I put it back in its level spot it would go crazy again. When its level as the air bubbles rise the pump sucks them up and takes them down stream to rinse and repeat.
Bill does sell a auto purge kit as well. I finally got accepted into the acr owners page on fb but still no response from Bill. Customer service just sucks these days and for what I paid for this setup I would definitely expect more.

So here’s a update. After having leak issues with the pumps impeller cover/threaded intake i managed to spike my alk twice now but I am leak free and now have a back up recirc pump just in case. Thanks to no help from Bill at AE. Still no response so in reality I could never recommend the guy, I imagine the lifetime warranty is about as good as his response time.
Other then that dilemma it is a nice piece of equipment hopefully I will have it dialed back in this week. I can’t wait to see the growth rates when it is dialed in. Everyone I have talked to say growth rates usually explode with reactors.

Yikes! That’s not what you want to hear about their support…

Happy to know you’re getting it all working though.

So everything has been running though I believe I am running into issues forcing me to have to purge it. I don’t have any micro bubbles coming in my clear tubing from the return to the intake of the reactor but my alk keep dropping even though I keep increasing its time on.
I talked to Mike and he mentioned Geo told him about the Arm media not being stable. So I saw on my acr fb group that reborn was in stock so I hurried up and bought 2 44lb boxes and it sold out within minutes of me getting my boxes checked out. So I will more then likely switch to that and see if it holds more stable.

I am maintaining 7.6 to 7.8dkh lately. I’m up to 3seconds on an 160 off which should be for a higher demand system. Some of my acros have been showing some more recent( past 2 weeks) growth so that could be it but I dont think so. Next is to check the effluent dkh coming out everytime I check its ph its at 6.38-6.40. I think I am going to order the trident soon depending how my clutch goes for my car. Another huge expense coming with that since the clutch couldn’t hold the power ill now be upgrading in a much bigger way. Trying to hold off for black Friday sales, so we shall see.

Reef hobby and a fun car just don’t seem to mix well. You always want to do more on both ends :laughing: