I'll see if I can help you out some.
First the basics. A CA
reactor works by circulating water within its chambers that has ahd it pH lowered by the addition of co2
, this helps to dissolve the calcium carbonate media that is used inside of the reactor thus releasing calcium and trace elements back into the tank.
You still run a reactor (rx) at the same slow drip whether it be used on a nano tank or a large reef, it still takes the same amount of time for the media to dissolve and release the trace elements and calcium. You don't need a very high flowrate inside of the rx either, I would use a pump somewhere between 150 and 300 gph
for circulation inside the rx.
I prefer to have the flow within the rx going from the bottom up, this helps to keep all of the media from becoming packed down and it also keeps the flow even inside of the rx.
As far as a second chamber is concerned I am all for them as long as you have the available room. What the second chamber does is takes the water as it leaves the first chamber and gives it one more chance to use up some of the excess co2
by dissolving more media which in turn releases more calcium and trace elements. The second chamber does not recirculate the way the first chamber does, the water only gets a single pass through the media within the second chamber.
You will need some kind of valve (I have used a needle valve on mine) to regulate the flowrate coming out of the reactor, usually you want to run a steady drip but you will have to adjust the driprate according to the chemistry of the water exiting the rx (this water is called effluent). You will also need either a needle valve or a flowmeter to adjust the rate of co2
entering the rx, it is usually run somewhere around 30-45 bubbles of co2
per minute. Iti s best if you have a pH controller hooked up to a solenoid valve on your co2
regulator to make sure you don't add too much co2
to the rx. To test how it is working you have to test for calcium and hardness of the effluent water.
I know that I jumped around a bit but if you have any more specific questions or I wasn't clear feel free to PM me and I'll do what I can to help. Skip
PS Don't let this being my first post fool you, I have built reactors before and contribute on a regular basis to quite a few boards. I use the same screen name for all of the boards I post on. Somehow this board got lost for me and I just found it again. If you want to check out some of my posts check out ReefCentral, I have over 2000 posts there alone.