It's Week 32 of 52 Weeks of Reefing, and this week we are diving head first into calcium reactors! We will cover how they work, benefits and challenges, the main components of a reactor, and then show you exactly how to set up the Vertex RX-C calcium reactor on a system like the BRS160.
If you have made it this far in the 52 weeks series you already know that corals consume calcium and ions and components of alkalinity called bicarbonate or carbonate to create their skeletal structure, calcify and grow because we have basically beaten this important concept to death.
In the past few weeks we have covered two other methods of calcium and alkalinity supplementation, with kalkwasser and two part, and calcium reactors are a cooler and flashier way to do this.
The concept is super simple. We are going to fill a large container with pieces of coral skeleton which are primarily composed of calcium carbonate. We are then going to bubble small amounts of carbon dioxide into the chamber which creates carbonic acid and dissolves the old skeleton into its primary components of calcium and carbonate ions. We then drip the liquid in the reactor which contains these elements to add calcium and carbonate alkalinity.
Honestly it is as simple as that. melt dead coral skeleton into the individual components living corals can use for their own growth. I find the concept really attractive because it seems like a very natural approach to reefing.
Would you like to see us use a calcium reactor on the 160? How about two-part or kalkwasser? Be sure to vote for your choice in the Youtube Poll during the episode!