Calcium Reactors In A Marine Aquarium

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Calcium Reactors In A Marine Aquarium
Calcium Reactors In A Marine Aquarium

Video: Calcium Reactors In A Marine Aquarium

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Video: Calcium reactor setup - The easy way for your reef aquarium | Reef FAQs 2023, January

As the addition of calcium to water has become more automated, one of the most sophisticated ways to accomplish what you want is to use a calcium reactor. Carbon dioxide is supplied in certain quantities to special equipment. Carbon dioxide lowers the pH level and results in an acidic environment that dissolves calcium in the water. This process dissolves minerals and releases elements necessary for coral growth. Alkalinity increases and the pH level stabilizes.


Calcium reactors are popular for several reasons:

- With long-term use, this method is very cheap, all you need is carbon dioxide and special equipment.

- when used correctly - a very convenient way to control the calcium content in the water

- wide choice - easy to match the reactor to any aquarium size.

Live corals and fish, photo photography reef aquarium
Live corals and fish, photo photography reef aquarium

Disadvantages of a calcium reactor

- in the early stages of use, a rather expensive method. In addition to the reactor itself, you will need carbon dioxide and special equipment

- the systems contain phosphates and, when used, they will certainly be released into the water. Fortunately, phosphate-free systems such as Coralite are now on the market

- closely monitoring the amount of carbon dioxide added to the aquarium. If you add too much carbon dioxide, the pH will drop dramatically. However, with properly configured hardware and control, problems should not arise.

- calcium reactors can greatly increase the alkalinity of the medium. This can be corrected by periodically adding calcium chloride and adjusting the carbon dioxide supply.


You will need:

- the reactor itself, - a carbon dioxide cylinder, - tests to determine the pH level, - lime systems like Coralite, - connecting equipment.

The calcium reactor must be placed either directly in the filter or next to it. The hardness level and calcium content should be checked before using the reactor. It is these data that will be used to determine the correct operation of the reactor.

Once all the equipment is installed, the carbon dioxide flow should be set so that the carbon dioxide is released at about 2 bubbles per second. The flow of water should be adjusted so that 1 to 2 liters of water passed through the reactor within an hour. The next day, you should test the water. The pH should be 6.5, if the pH is higher, increase the carbon dioxide feed or decrease the flow. Better to regulate the flow of CO 2.

Reef aquarium, live corals and fish, photo photography underwater world
Reef aquarium, live corals and fish, photo photography underwater world

After everything is done, you need to let the reactor work for several days, and then take the readings again. At this time, parameters must be equal to the original condition or to be a little higher if they are lower, the supply of CO 2 to be increased.

Service. The reactor is easy to operate, as well as to understand that the pH level should be kept at around 6.5. If it is necessary to increase the flow of water, then the supply of CO 2 should be increased accordingly. Avoid too high a carbon dioxide content. If this happens, the pH will drop dramatically and the water will be over-saturated with CO 2. Low pH harmful invertebrates, and excessive content of CO 2 will cause undesirable growth of algae. To eliminate the likelihood of such a problem, you can run the water leaving the reactor through a second container with reagents. This will prevent the formation of excess CO 2 and allow the calcium to dissolve better.

Calcium and alkalinity in marine aquariums. Ways to support them at the required level
Calcium and alkalinity in marine aquariums. Ways to support them at the required level

An article on Calcium and Alkalinity in the Marine Aquarium. Ways to support them at the required level.

Serious problems can arise without proper reactor maintenance. The main problem is that the outflow of water from the reactor can decrease over time. As a result, the alkalinity and the level of calcium dissolved in water can drop sharply. And therefore, you will have to control the outflow every day.

Another problem is that over time, the amount of calcium added to the water can decrease, even with normal carbon dioxide emissions. This can be corrected by replacing the reagents and flushing the reactor with vinegar, once or twice a year. You should also periodically clean the reactor and fittings.

For reservoirs containing large colonies of polyps and corals that consume large amounts of calcium, the flow of water through the reactor must be increased.

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