Arid c30 & e24

pecan2phat

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So I picked up an ARID C30 & E24 on 4/27/15 and placed them in service on 4/29/15.
A little background on the systems that I am using the reactors on and also my reasoning as to why:

The C30 is going on a System in which I will call SystemA for future reference. SystemA has a 180g fowlr and a 102g Nem/Euphyllia tied into a 75g sump. This system is extremely high in nutrients due to the amount of fish and it's feeding requirements. Currently there are 37 total fish in both tanks, there were probably more at one point but at the present sizes of some of these guys, the system is probably max'd out biologically wise.
System is 8 years running and probably around the 3 year mark, my No3 & Po4 were out of control even with regular water changes. While GFO media was always in use and changed out weekly I decided to experiment with lanthanum chloride in early 2010 because my Po4 was always at the 2.75 ppm mark and I also put into service a sulfur denitrifier in an attempt to lower the No3 that was hovering the 200 ppm mark. While lanthanum chloride lowers Po4 extremely well, I did not like the side effects that I was experiencing and the sulfur reactor could not keep up with the No3 buildup so towards the end of 2010, I stopped the lanthanum chloride dosing and took down the sulfur reactor and started using bio-pellets. The bio-pellets took about 3 months to start lowering my No3 and fast forward 4.5 years to 2015, bio-pellets keep my No3 at 5 ppm consistently but does nada for my Po4 which has been 2.75 ppm or higher for the past 5 years. ( I did lower the Po4 to 1.62 ppm with a ton of GFO for 1 week prior to the ARID arrival)
While the Nems/Euphyllias have had no adverse effects and the fish were, well just fish :) I still wanted to lower the Po4 and switched to the all-in-one bio-pellets in 2014. After using the aio pellets for a year, I find that their claim of 10x higher removal of Po4 did not come true in my system.
So now I come to the decision of whether to invest in new technology (A.R.I.D) or continue the use of AIO pellets at a rate of $75 per 1000ml bag every 2 months (500ml depletion per month in pellet reactor) and have extraordinary results with No3 combined with little to no removal of Po4, ARID here I come :Up_to_som




No3 & Po4 readings on day of C30 setup:





The E24 is going on a system that I will call SystemB for future reference. This system has a little better nutrient management but certainly not text book numbers.
This system is composed of a 120g and a 66g tied to a 30g sump with mainly SPS coral. The 120g has been running for a little over 7 years and the 66g was tied into the common sump probably around 5 years ago. Historically, the No3 and Po4 were always higher than what SPS keepers are comfortable with but again, with little maintenance time available due to my 200 mile daily work commute, it is what it is and to be honest, I grew SPS at this elevated level without problems for years contrary to a lot of naysayers :lol2:
System also has a sulfur reactor and GFO to manage N03 & P04. Here again comes the fish. As you can probably figure out, I like fish :fish: There are 31 fish in total between the 2 tanks and with nutrient management along with the heavy feedings I still consistently hover at 50 ppm in N03 and the P04 can be anywhere between 0.35 to 0.80 ppm dependent on how often I change out the GFO media.
In SystemA, constant consumable aio bio-pellets were a cost factor but with SystemB, consumable cost factor was not relevant. My reasoning for changing the nutrient management was to further lower the N03 & P04 that the sulfur denitrifier and GFO was not able to do for me.




N03 & P04 readings on day of E24 setup:





Here is the size comparisons between the E24 & C30



A little about what I can remember about the specs on these reactors:

C30 can handle up to 400g tank volume and recommended flow through the reactor is 500 gph. (I used a Marineland Utility 1800 pump rated at 475 gph)
C30 comes with quick disconnects and only option is their Calcium reactor feed assembly @ an additional $59 which I did not purchase since there is no CaRx on SystemA.
C30 reactor body measures at 32.75" tall but with the heat sink, about 37" in total. The lid is 12" in diameter but the bottom plate has a 2" extension for the input fitting so figure 14"x12" on the bottom if your measuring for footprint.

E24 can handle up to 220g (might have been 240g) tank volume and a Maxi-jet 1200 was recommended so I'm guessing around the 250 gph mark. (I'm using a Mag 3 rated at 350 gph because I'm tee'ing off a pinch for my carbon reactor)
E24 does not come with quick disconnects so the options available are the quick disconnects and Calcium reactor feed assembly @ $49 each which I added both to my E24. The Ca feed assembly works incredibly well, keeps the CaRx pressurized and eliminates the feed pump that was utilized previously but I do not recommend that you add this option if you have no plans to run a CaRx because you will need to put a JG shutoff valve on the feed side of the Ca assembly to keep it operational.
E24 reactor body measures at 26.5" tall but with the heat sink, about 30" in total. The lid is 8.25" in diameter but the bottom plate has a 1.25" extension for the input fitting so figure 9.5"x8.25" on the bottom if you are measuring for footprint.

My initial observation on the 2 reactors is that the C30 body is made of what looks like a finished white PVC with a clear acrylic lid plate and the E24 is done up in clear acrylic for the body and lid plate but comes with a white foam wrap around for the body.
After setting these 2 reactors up in an open fish room, I clearly like the C30 body much more. While I understand that the light bleed from the E24 will decrease as the Chaeto grows in, the room is lit up extremely bright especially when it's on a reverse light cycle. I could imagine how much brighter it would be without the foam wrap around!

So I've been asked what my startup procedures were.
On SystemA, temporary GFO media was discarded, bio-pellet reactor was taken offline and removed, 10% water change performed and carbon media changed.
On SystemB, GFO media removed, sulfur denitrifier taken offline and removed, 10% water change and carbon media changed.
I ordered 1lb of Chaeto from Live Aquaria to seed the 2 reactors and the next day I started adding the iron/manganese supplement to both systems. On SystemA, I have been adding 28ml of the nitrate/molybdenum supplement because i knew my N03 to P04 ratio is out of the Redfield ratio zone. I've dosed this daily for 7 days but unfortunately, the dosage only minimally raises the N03 and I don't really know if I want the N03 to purposely get to 162 ppm from a start point of 5 ppm. I've stopped dosing since the bottle is almost done anyway.

My initial 7 day results are not in the positive numbers yet, but I'm not deterred since the whole concept is nutrient removal via macro algae harvesting and the short time has not allowed this to happen yet.
My 7th day test yielded:
SystemA - No3 @ 25 ppm (from 5 ppm), Po4 @ 2.40 ppm (from 1.62 ppm)
SystemB - No3 @ 50~100 ppm (from 50 ppm), Po4 @ 0.76 ppm (from 0.43 ppm)

I am currently still running large protein skimmers on both systems. (Deltec AP900 on SystemA and H&S A200 on SystemB) My plan is to eventually wean down the use by only having them run when the ARID reactors were off (not lit) after the first full pruning of Chaeto. Then if results and testing numbers were trending positive 30 days later, I would take the skimmers offline completely.
The ARID reactors are lit 1 hour before the tank lights shut down and goes off 1 hour after the tank lights are on. (14 hours on, 10 hours off cycle)
I will try to update the No3 & Po4 numbers weekly, positive or negative results.
 
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Mattl22

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Thanks for posting this thread I'm interested in the c 30 and if it works I think I'll pull the trigger on it! Gfo , carbon, bacteria additives, box salt every month for a lg system costing me easily over $100 a month so if I can eliminate the additives Gfo and cut salt use back this reactor will pay for itself in 6-7 months
If it is really effective !!!
 

MO~IDOL

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Warren thanks for the info! I'm running bio pellet and phosguard no3 around 5ppm, po4 0.04 but am tired of wc and changing media lol. Hopefully the c30 works please keep us update.
 

Macropora

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Excellent write-up. I was contemplating on getting two of the C30 reactors with the white pvc for my system. It's great you are sharing your weekly log on the progress of these reactors. Tagging along...

You have a 200 mile daily commute, which is a lot of driving.
 

pecan2phat

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Well it was 100 miles each way and that is all in the past now, enjoying retired life currently. :party:

From what I understand, you need a balance of 100:1 (nitrates to phosphates) for effective removal of the phosphates hence the nitrate additive. (Steve, your right at that ratio)
The real test would be on SystemB since it is more inline with the 100:1 ratio.
SystemA is so out of whack that I'll accept just normal No3 removal with a small side dish of Po4 removal.
Of course this theory did not work with the All-in-One bio-pellets nor any other brand including Ecobak. I literally went from 150+ ppm down to 5 ppm No3 and the phosphates didn't budge much at all. At the 100:1 rate, even Ecobak should have taken down the Po4 from 2.75 ppm to 1.30 ppm and this is using pellets for 4+ years so definitely not a 1 time occurrence.
I've also pondered the theory that my Po4 is consistently high because of the large amount of nori that I feed besides my home brewed (rinsed) frozen food concoction. The nori could possibly be very high in Po4 but I never bothered to do any testing, maybe I should but that would not stop me from feeding it to all my fish unfortunately.
 
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MO~IDOL

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I've been running Ecobak for almost 2 years it did bring down NO3 to 0 but PO4 never lower than 0.1ppm then I start dosing KNO3 to push up NO3 to 10 ppm. PO4 still wouldn't go down so i start dosing Phosphate RX(blue life) it drops PO4 to 0.02ppm down side is cloudy water and stressed sps no polyp extension.
 

ming

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Well it was 100 miles each way and that is all in the past now, enjoying retired life currently. :party:

From what I understand, you need a balance of 100:1 (nitrates to phosphates) for effective removal of the phosphates hence the nitrate additive. (Steve, your right at that ratio)
The real test would be on SystemB since it is more inline with the 100:1 ratio.
SystemA is so out of whack that I'll accept just normal No3 removal with a small side dish of Po4 removal.
Of course this theory did not work with the All-in-One bio-pellets nor any other brand including Ecobak. I literally went from 150+ ppm down to 5 ppm No3 and the phosphates didn't budge much at all. At the 100:1 rate, even Ecobak should have taken down the Po4 from 2.75 ppm to 1.30 ppm and this is using pellets for 4+ years so definitely not a 1 time occurrence.
I've also pondered the theory that my Po4 is consistently high because of the large amount of nori that I feed besides my home brewed (rinsed) frozen food concoction. The nori could possibly be very high in Po4 but I never bothered to do any testing, maybe I should but that would not stop me from feeding it to all my fish unfortunately.
Warren
Where did you get the 100:1 ratio numbers from? I always thought it was 10:1
 

skiwez

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are you guys refirerring to the redfield ratio? I pulled the below from wikipedia

Redfield ratio or Redfield stoichiometry is the atomic ratio of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus found in phytoplankton and throughout the deep oceans. This empirically developed stoichiometric ratio is found to be C:N:p = 106:16:1. This term is named after the American oceanographer Alfred C. Redfield, who first described this ratio in an article written in 1934 (Redfield 1934). As a Harvard physiologist, Redfield participated in several voyages on board the research vessel Atlantis. Alfred Redfield analyzed thousands of samples of marine biomass across all of the ocean regions. From this research he found that globally the elemental composition of marine organic matter (dead and living) was remarkably constant across all of the regions. The stoichiometric ratios of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus remain relatively consistent from both the coastal to open ocean regions.
 

slowsoaks

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I believe the 100:1 ratio is on the ARID product description. Thanks for doing this in depth review looking forward to seeing how you progress with these.
Mike
 

pecan2phat

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What skiwez posted is accurate with the equation of 16:1 but in real life, 100:1 is more realistic IME. If 10:1 was a constant, anyone with nutrient export via macro algae (refugium) or bacterial consumption (bio-pellets) should have no problems getting to zero phosphates. If No3 rises along with Po4 through introduction of food and accumulation of detritus/decay, then Po4 should drop along with No3 in their proper ratio. I have yet to see this happen with bio-pellet use.
 

pecan2phat

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My 7th day test yielded:
SystemA - No3 @ 25 ppm (from 5 ppm), Po4 @ 2.40 ppm (from 1.62 ppm)
SystemB - No3 @ 50~100 ppm (from 50 ppm), Po4 @ 0.76 ppm (from 0.43 ppm)


Day 13:
SystemA - N03 @ 25 ppm (no change), P04 @ 1.67 ppm (decreased 0.73 ppm)
SystemB - N03 @ 100 ppm (increased 25~50 ppm), P04 @ 0.86 (increased 0.10 ppm)

Data is puzzling near the 2 week mark. Only conclusion that I can come up with is that SystemA started with more Chaeto since this was the C30 reactor and also without pulling the assembly out, it looks like the C30's Chaeto is growing faster then the E24 on SystemB through visual inspection from the top clear lids.
I was also dosing SystemA with the Nitrate/Molybdenum additive for 10 consecutive days, maybe that is why N03 did not change but P04 decreased. Until more data is collected, I'm just guessing at this point.
 
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pecan2phat

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One thing that I did find interesting is that both system's alkalinity have dropped to similar values 2 weeks after the induction of the macro algae reactors.
SystemA was consistently in the 9 DKH range and tested @ 7.6 DKH yesterday.
SystemB was consistently in the 9 DKH range and tested @ 7.4 DKH yesterday.
 

Macropora

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Are you still doing the 10% water changes or has that stopped? Wondering if that had some effect on your N03 and P04 levels as well.
 

pecan2phat

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I do plan to continue my 10% water changes for now. I do them 2x a month. As for the N03 & P04 rising, I see that as a result of taking the pellets, GFO & sulfur reactor offline and the Chaeto not at it's full potential yet.
Water changes will aid in terms of replenished trace elements for the macro algae, so I'm told.
 

Pax-Bellum LLC

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Warren can you confirm the flow rate coming out of the ARID E24 to be at least 180 gph? The easiest way to determine the flow rate is to use a watch and a 5 gallon bucket. If the flow rate is to low you can expect slow to no growth.

About how full was each chamber when you began, 1/4, 1/3, or 1/2?
When you harvest try not to remove more than 1/3 of the algae, and remember to rinse and fluff the Chaeto :)

Could you post your other water parameters such as salinity, KH, Ca, K,and Mg? If you have the tests, Boron and Iodine are important to Chaeto growth. Boron should be about 4.5ppm at 35ppt salinity. If it is deficient the Chaeto will become brittle and fall apart, but before that its growth stalls. Many salt mixes are deficient in Boron. Iodine should be about .06-0.1ppm

GFO will bind Molybdenum that is necessary for algae growth. With your previous heavy use of GFO your tanks may be deficient even after some water change. Interesting that the tank you dosed our Nitrate supplement (C30 tank) has faster growth. Our Nitrate supplement contains Molybdenum.

Thanks for posting your experience with the ARID system,

Tristan
 

pecan2phat

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Hi Tristan,

I'll need to do the 5g bucket test but I am using a Mag3 pump. I have a minimal flow tee'd off for a BRS carbon reactor. Visually I would say that it's stealing no more then 50~80 gph from the overall flow.

I ordered a total of 1lb of Chaetomorpha from Live Aquaria, 1/3rd went into the E24 & 2/3rd went into the C30 so if I had to guess, I would say the chambers were 1/3rd full or less.
I have not harvested any Chaeto yet, I was waiting for significant growth and or lowering N03/P04 numbers. I will remember to only remove 1/3rd and rinse the remaining by plunging it up and down in a 5g bucket with tank water.

Water parameters currently for SystemA with C30:
DKH - 7.6
Ca - 440
Mg - 1325
PPT - 1.025

SystemB with E24:
DKH - 7.4
Ca - 420
Mg - 1350
PPT - 1.026

The alkalinity has dropped on both system, I plan to dial up the CaRx on SystemB (also uses a kalk reactor for topoff) and add a kalkwasser reactor to SystemA. (use to have one but I took it down a year ago because the alkalinity was consistently over 9 DKH without)
I'll need to order a Boron test kit but I do blindly dose one drop per 35g of tank volume of Lugols iodine once a week for the past 6 years.
 

Pax-Bellum LLC

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Did you notice a rise in Ph even though your KH went down? Notice any changes in your livestock?

Your parameters look great. I wouldn't worry about the sluggish start. At this point I would attribute it to a small amount of Chaeto to seed it and its probably acclimating to the intense light found in the ARID. Some systems I've seen start with a handful and fill the entire ARID within 5 days, others it takes a few weeks to get going.

Regarding the Redfield ratio for N:p it was originally 16:1 Nitrogen Ion : Phosphorus ion by molar concentration. According to other sources (I have to track down and cite) the ratio in ppm is 20:1. This is an average found in phytoplankton found in surface waters. Ratio's found in macro algae can be 200:1 because of the algae ability to store nitrogen for times of N limitation. 100:1 is a ratio that I have found to work well with the ARID, is easy to calculate for, and in the middle of the range to buffer against drifts high and low.

Food input into our tanks may start with this 20:1 ratio but due to de-nitrification and biological demand quickly becomes 5:1 or even eventually the ratio inverts, like many people here have seen using bio-pellets or sulfur reactors...
Adding the nitrate supplement is analogous to the natural process in the oceans of nitrogen fixing (binding gaseous nitrogen into a water soluble, biologically available form) .This doesn't occur in our reefs at nearly the rate it occurs in the oceans.
 
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pecan2phat

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Tristan,
So after taking a better look at the output flow and shutting down the tee'd feed to the carbon reactor, I truly think that I was getting less then 150 gph out of the E24. I'm presuming that the calcium assembly feed might restrict the flow quite a bit. I switched to a Mag5 and the flow has doubled out of the reactor now.
Is there a potential problem if flow rate is too high?
 

Pax-Bellum LLC

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I figured the water may take the path of least resistance and push more through your carbon reactor. The Ca assembly does put back pressure on the pump in order to feed and pressurize the Ca reactor.

As long as the Chaeto is not pressed against the lid from the flow it should be fine. You also don't want the flow so high that the Ca effluent races through the ARID without sufficient contact time. I recommend starting at the low end of the flow rate 180-200 gph and working your way up to higher flow rates.

I determine the correct flow rate by observing the growth rate in each section of the reactor. Each section should be growing at the same rate. To slow a flow rate and the bottom section fills up faster than the top. Increase the flow rate until there is even growth along the entire body of the ARID reactor.
 

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