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VarioS CR140 5.5 inch Calcium Reactor
Footprint: 12.2″ x 9.1″ | Body Diameter: 5.5″ | Height: 23″
Recirculation Pump: Reef Octopus VarioS 2
Rated for Aquariums up to 200 Gallons
Heavy -- 100 gallons
Medium -- 150 gallons
Light -- 200 gallons
Variable Speed, Apex Ready Pump
Reverse flow and CO2 Recirculating Design
Auto Fill Bubble Counter
Probe Holder w/Plug*
Easy to Remove Lid
Precision Effluent Control Valve
1/4"quick connect fittings
* Does not include PH probe.
VarioS CR140 DC Calcium Reactor
The VarioS CR is perfectly capable of meeting the challenging task of maintaining alkalinity, calcium and trace elements on a demanding reef system. Quality, design and controllability define the Reef Octopus VarioS Calcium Reactor series. Available in 3 different models that feature the new VarioS variable speed pump and reverse flow water current reactor design to maximum water and Co2contact time with the media. All models come with PH probe holder(probe and PH controller sold separately) to monitor Ph levels in the main reactor chamber and built in bubble counters to monitor Co2 drip rates.
How it works
A calcium reactor is essentially a chamber full of aragonite, which is the crushed skeleton of ancient hard corals. Aquarium water is pumped through this chamber along with pressurized carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 lowers the pH in the chamber to an acidic level which dissolves aragonite media into the aquarium water. In addition to dissolving the calcium, this process also dissolves nearly all the minerals and trace elements the coral used in order to grow.
Automated Calcium and Alkalinity supplementation - When set up properly and used correctly, a calcium reactor can maintain or increase calcium levels with little to no maintenance.
VarioS CR-140 Technical Specs
Body Size: 5.5in
Footprint: 12.2in x 9.1in
Total Height: 23in
Media Capacity: 3.8L (1gal)
Inlet Size: 1/4in
Max Feed Rate: 150GPH
Note: Suggest a feed pressure slightly higher than a full flowing influent
Recirculation Pump Information
Reef Octopus VarioS 2 variable speed pump
Max Wattage: 25w
Apex Ready Control via 0-10V
Warranty - 2 year warranty on pump and 1 year on reactor body
Necessary CR Components- CO2 regulator, PH controller, CO2 Tank, Small feed pump (Flow rate should be set at 1-2 liters per hour), CR media
In-sump or external applications
Media Replacement: You should only need to replace the reactor media as needed (approximately every 6 months to one year depending on demand)
CO2 Replacement: Replace carbon dioxide bottle as needed (also approximately every 6 months to one year, depending size and setup).
Commercial grade CO2 that is mostly used as a shielding gas for welding is good enough although grades used for beverage, medical or anaerobic applications could be cleaner but not readily available. Stay away from CO2 used for paint ball guns as it is often contaminated with oil or hydrocarbons.
PH Set Level: For calcareous media to dissolve efficiently, the pH will need to be around 6.5.
Calcium reactors are not built to sustain high pressures A slight pressure of 2 to 5 psi is about the range they can operate safely. At between 5 to 10 psi most reactors will start leaking and at 10 psi you will be applying a 330 pounds of force to the top flange of a 6.5” dia. reactor chamber so anything above that is running the risk of blowing the top or cracking the reactor cylinder.
OPERATING AND ADJUSTING THE REACTOR
It is not difficult to operate and set up a calcium reactor if you get familiar with some basic principles of operation.
Basic rules of calcium reactor operation:
A calcium reactor adds balanced amounts of calcium and alkalinity. If you start with unbalanced levels, do not expect the reactor to balance the levels back. If the levels start unbalanced, they will remain unbalanced.
A calcium reactors are not intended to increase or adjust alk or calcium levels.
Your reactor system should be able to maintain a continuous and a stable effluent flow and CO2 bubble rate.
Be very patient. The reactor will take several hours to stabilize after each adjustment.
The Reactors Two Main Controls
The CO2 needle valve which is used to adjust the amount of CO2 being added to the reactor to lower the PH and the effluent valve that is used to adjust the amount of water that passes thru the reactor.
The more CO2 added, the lower the PH in the reactor will be and the faster the media will dissolve resulting in more alkalinity in the effluent. The media starts dissolving at a PH of about 7.7. A PH range between 6.5 and 6.7 is acceptable for most CR medias. When PH levels reach below 6.5 the media will have a tendency to melt turning the media into a mud. *Note that calcite media will require a lower PH as far down to about 6.3.
The effluent control, the higher the effluent flow for a given PH in the reactor, the more alkalinity will be added to the aquarium. Note that changing the effluent flow rate will have an effect on the PH if the amount of CO2 is not changed. When increasing the effluent flow without adding more CO2, the amount of CO2 in proportion to the effluent will be reduced and as a result the PH in the reactor will increase.
So in summary, changing the CO2 rate (bubble rate) will change the PH and amount of alkalinity in the effluent but will not affect the effluent flow. Changing the effluent flow will change the PH so adjustments to the CO2 rate will be needed if it is desired to maintain the PH level previous to the effluent volume change.