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Calcium Reactor and Media Reactor


Aquarium reactors are used to help maintain healthy water parameters in your aquarium.

A calcium reactor, for example, is an excellent way to maintain calcium and alkalinity levels within a reef aquarium. Mixing CO2 with aquarium water causes a drop in the water’s pH. This lower pH water dissolves calcium-based media inside the reactor allowing an effluent to flow back into the tank that is higher in calcium. Calcium reactors are excellent additions to mixed reef tanks or SPS-dominated reef aquariums. Check out our What is a Calcium Reactor? infographic to see a typical calcium reactor setup to acquaint yourself with the various components and how they work together.

Media reactors are specialized aquarium filters designed to make the most out of granular ferric oxide (GFO), carbon or biopellet filter media. A water pump fluidizes media inside the media reactor to increase contact time between your tank water and the filter media you are using.

GFO is a great way to reduce phosphate while carbon removes odor and water discolorations. Carbon also effectively removes many types of aquarium medications from tank water. Dialing in the proper water flow rate within the reactor is crucial for optimizing the performance of your filter media. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommended flow rates to ensure you are making the most out of your media. Generally speaking, GFO requires a much slower flow rate than carbon. Read How to Set Up a Media Reactor and watch the accompanying video to learn more.

Biopellet reactors are a more recent type of fluidized media reactor that has gained popularity in recent years. When given time to become biologically active and used in conjunction with a protein skimmer, biopellets will reduce the nitrate and phosphate levels in a saltwater aquarium. Biopellets also require a higher flow rate compared to media reactors running carbon or GFO.

To learn more about calcium reactors and media reactors, read 5 Reactors for Reef Aquariums, Reactors and the Reef Aquarium, 4 Signs It's Time to Get a Calcium Reactor and How to Setup a Calcium Reactor. Our aquarium experts are happy to recommend the best calcium reactor for your tank or help you find a suitable nano calcium reactor if your reef is on the smaller side. Contact us today for personalized recommendations!