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    Vertex Ventures into Calcium Reactors with new RX4 & RX6

    Vertex Aquaristik is not stopping their progression at the Royal Exclusiv built Alpha Cone Skimmers. Expect to see these new RX Calcium Reactors hitting retailers in the near future. First up is the smaller RX4 which looks like it has taken cues from successful European calcium reactors in the past. If you were to take […]

    Vertex Aquaristik is not stopping their progression at the Royal Exclusiv built Alpha Cone Skimmers. Expect to see these new RX Calcium Reactors hitting retailers in the near future. First up is the smaller RX4 which looks like it has taken cues from successful European calcium reactors in the past. If you were to take one part Schuran Pico and one part Aquacare Turbo Chalk Reactor, combined into one compact unit… this would be very close to what you would achieve.

    rx4-angle

    Rather then mount all the individual parts to a board, a la Aquacare, I do prefer this compact rack design that these reactors utilize. The large bubble counter is a nice addition as well.

    rx4-parts

    rx4-detail

    The RX-6 is noticeably larger allowing more media for higher calcium and carbonate demanding reefs. In addition to the larger media chamber the RX-6 sports two additional add on chambers. (The RX4 only has one.) Based on the design these could be used or adjusted  for a myriad of things. 

    rx6-duo-front-angle

    The most logical option would be a dolmite magnesium chamber to maintain that 1300ppm Mag that reef aquarists strive for. In addition to the magnesium, the other logical choice would be more calcium media to use up any left over CO2 that can cause frustrating pH suppression issues. 

    Based on the design is also looks like the last chamber could house aluminum based PO4 remover to absorb any phosphates that can be potentially released from the calcium media. Phosphate leaching does occur with most medias, but the amount is really dependent on the brand and quality. To be safe, soak new reactor media in 0TDS RO/DI water for at least 24 hrs. This will help leach out most of the phosphates that are bound within the aragonite or coral skeletons.

    rx6-duo-parts

    With the large bubble counter, CO2 recirculating design, add on media chambers and compact size these Vertex Calcium Reactors ought to pack as much punch as any Acropora nut can handle. As of now the only potential negative I can see is the pump utilized which looks to be a Resun model, like the standard Vertex skimmers utilize.  In the end this less expensive pump will keep costs down and with todays economy and yesterday’s market performance, that may turn out as the biggest pro of the entire Vertex line.

    6 Comments

    1. Nicholas Sadaka
      February 24, 2009 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

      Any word on price yet? What’s kept me away from using a calcium reactor so far (I’ve never had any experience with one) is the cost as well as finding a place to refill the CO2 canister. I’ve looked around and can’t find anything within a half hour or so of my house which is shocking considering I live in Baltimore. Seems like people who use these must know something I don’t as far as getting their tanks filled and refilled.

    2. February 24, 2009 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

      Nicholas, I haven’t looked into CO2 specifically for reef tanks, but I know in college we had kegerator that required CO2, and we went to a local fire supply place.

      Actually, searching google for kegerator c02 refill pulled up a link with info on baltimore: http://www.micromatic.com/forum/us-en/kegerators-kegerator-kits-home/851-where-do-you-refill-your-co2.html

      I’d maybe broaden your search if you haven’t already. I know you can get refills on CO2 tanks from beverage supply companies (for the pop dispensers), fire supply (fire extinguishers I believe), and looks like paintball places. I’m sure there are a bunch of other places that do this, as long as you bring in your CO2 tank.

    3. February 24, 2009 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

      I find it quite interesting the companies are still producing CA reactors especially in the light of how popular dosing supplements via dosing pumps as become. I still love well designed CArx’s (this one by Vertex Aquaristik is a beauty!), don’t me wrong, but I think they may be a dying technology?

    4. bloodyshoes
      February 24, 2009 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

      agree with curveball. i think dosing setups are simpler and offer greater control on what you are adding to the tank. for some reason it seems that ca reactors still dominate in the US where dosing has become more popular in Europe.

    5. February 24, 2009 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

      Most walmarts fill the canisters..or anywhere that fills co2…the reactors should start at around 324.99,,,

    6. Nicholas Sadaka
      February 25, 2009 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

      Hmmm, thanks guys (Richie and Richard). All interesting thoughts. It certainly seems like it would be cheaper and easier not to have one, but it also seems like lots of people with tanks over, say 55 gallons or so that house mostly SPS seem to use them-although from your guys comments maybe I’m completely off making that assumption. I’ve been okay just dosing, but I also keep my coral stock low so they can have lots of room to grow out rather than packing the tank with tons of stuff-just a personal preference. Thanks again guys!

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    1. […] or utilizing a small po4 media chamber to absorb any phosphate coming from the effluent. [Certain new reactor models are beginning to implement […]

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