Since I was setting up a reactor on my other tank I figured I would see about one for this system. I did not want to spend the same money so I looked for something cheaper and was happy with what I found.
I end up and bought a ViaAqua ACRO-Cal reactor. The thing was only $35 and I still had plenty of ARM to fill its chamber. It came with a bubble counter as well as 1/4" hosing. I was originally planning on using a gravity feed for it so there was not need for a feed pump, but more on that in a second. All I needed to buy was a CO2
cylinder as well as a regulator. I could have bought another 5lb bottle, but I would not have room for something that big in this little cabinet. So I bought a 20oz paintball cylinder instead. Red Sea actually sells a 20z bottle MUCH cheaper than you could buy one from Dick's or Sports Authority. In addition, Red Sea also makes a regulator for the paintball style cylinders.
Here is the reactor set up and running. It's been stable for a few weeks now. Up front you can see the reactor - water enters in from the yellow line where it is mixed with the CO2
. The blue valve controls the effluent while the white valve is the bleed valve. Behind it you can see the 20oz CO2
bottle with the Red Sea regulator. The interesting thing about this regulator is that the needle valve & bubble counter are completely independent.
Now, I tried to use a syphon to keep this thing primed, but in trying to run such a slow effluent return, it was pretty difficult. I could have used another small pump, but I figured I would just tap into my return pump since I was only needing a tiny bit of flow. So I went to HD and bought a threaded reducer which I then reduced to a 1/4" Gest fitting. From there I wanted to be able to regulate the flow a little better than could be provided by such large ball valve so I bought a small 1/4" valve. With both the large and small valves closed at about 90% it works like a charm!