Here's some photos of my latest acrylic project, a phosphate reactor. I decided to build one to try and get my phosphate levels down in the tank. I previously had 0.1 and since running the reactor with Phosban media for several weeks, have 0 phosphate.
I originally ran it with the flow upward and the media free floating but since changed to placing the media in filter bags (3) within the chamber. Reason being that I was getting a steady flow of media dust within the tank and the skimmer was constantly pulling it out. Placing the media in the bags has eliminated this completely. So, it's not so much reactor now as filter chamber but it's working the same.
The idea and thoughts behind running a phosphate reactor is that most calcifying corals are thought to grow better and faster in a low or no phosphate environment. I have noticed slightly better growth in my SPS but I have also changed a few other parameters in the tank. This would be the switch-over to Oceanic salt and the so far un-tested additions of magnesium. So to say the noticed growth increase is directly related to the reactor is impossible.
There has also been talk that adding a reactor has caused some RTN in SPS probably due to the obvious chemical change within the tank. These reactors have been found to alter Alk and Calcium levels slightly also. I did have one recently added SPS colony bleach-out since adding the reactor but I also had noticed this piece to have looked not-so-healthy from the beginning. The reactor could have been the extra push that sent the coral over the edge. All the other corals are doing great and as stated above, growing slightly faster.
Here's the reactor after filling it with the media and prior to placing it into the system. These following photos are all prior to placing the media in the filter bags.
Here's a shot of the internal brace that I glued in place to hold the filter guard to keep the media in the chamber. There's one on the bottom and top. I cut egg-crate to fit the inside circle and then cut it down the middle to create two matching circles of half the thickness. There's two of these at each end of the reactor with filter material sandwiched between. The brace has two threaded holes where I screwed in plastic bolts and washers to hold the guards in place.
Last of all, a shot from a distance showing the plumbing. I used the output from the circulation pump that I had previously used for water changes. This came in handy as I don't use it any longer due to the sump running dry just before the "dirty water" reservoir tank would completely fill. Now I use gravity feed off of one of the closed loop lines instead. The return from the reactor dumps back into the sump. Here's the shot.