Live food reactor


New member
Hello everyone.

need your opinion and thoughts on this.

so I have a calcium reactor which I do not use currently, Vertex RX6 duo. it has 3 stages.

I am thinking of feeding it with tank water [high nutrition] at VERY slow Drip.

add live phyto to main chamber, turn the circulation pump on, and have small, Ikea LEDs all around the main chamber, so it can work as Phyto reactor.

so far so good ? any thoughts ? will low power LED work ? should I prefilter the water dripping in to make sure no zoo plankton is entering the Phyto culture ?

then it will go through 2 more stages before water drips back to main tank, so was thinking I could add live rotifers to last 2 stages ? so they are fed by the phyto and flow to main tank ?

problem I see with this is that through flow of the 2nd and 3rd chamber with live rotifers will be low, and no recalculation pumps, do you think it would work ?

perhaps newly hatched BB would be a better choice ? or maybe pods ?

thanks for reading :) just trying to think of ways to provide live food for Azoox corals.


New member
The main problems I see are:

a) the circulation pump could be hard on the phytoplankton and the shear forces could tear the algae cells apart faster than new algae grow.

b) you will not be able to filter the water well enough without a filter that will clog within a few hours. You could try a UV sterilizer, at those low flow rates it might be able to kill practically anything that enters the chamber (do make sure to get a device you can run at those low flow rates, most have a minimum allowed flow rate).

You need to be sure that no rotifers can enter the phyto part and to keep one or several backups of the phyto culture in case of contamination. I don't really see a problem with oxygen regarding a low flow rate in the rotifer culture other than some settling on the glass walls - if you can add an air hose it would however be easier to keep most in suspension. Copepods could also work well, maybe even better in this setting.

Edit: the Ikea LEDs should work, I use some to provide light to my backup cultures.
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New member
Oh, another potential issue I just remembered: you might not get enough CO2 into the phyto tank for it to grow very efficiently - but that might not be of much concern, since this is a recirculating system and maximizing production isn't necessary here.

I actually think many of the concerns could be addressed easily and it might work well.

Ender: cool link - the surge effect system looks nice!