The Genio CA Master from Genio Systems is the first calcium reactor to use an efficient and controllable DC pump. As you may have noticed from the preponderance of new dosing pump systems being released in the aquarium hobby, multi part dosing is gaining in popularity for it’s ease of use and simplicity, but when you need a device to crank out a ton of bicarbonates to keep your alkalinity high in a heavily stocked reef tank, a calcium reactor is a very effective ‘dosing’ tool.
The Genio Systems CA Master uses a quite novel design with the controllable DC pump in the base of the calcium reactor, placed in such a way to draw down from a central tube and providing an upwelling flow to the filter media to prevent it from becoming compacted. Having the pump in the base could lead to a maintenance hurdle but the CA Master has a removable base so that the pump can easily be serviced.
The ‘drop in’ CA Master is designed to be extremely amenable to being placed in sumps of all kinds but it excels at fitting into tight spaces with its remarkably small footprint. The CA Master is available in four models and two sizes, with the CA Master 100 and 120 having a footprint of 16 x 16cm (6.3″^2) and the CA Master 140 and 160 having a footprint of 20 x 20cm, or 8 inches square.
In addition to having a full suite of modern features including an integrated bubble counter and lots of fancy lil valves, the real take home feature of the CA Master is the controllable DC pump. The brushless DC motors used in the current generation of DC pumps are really efficient meaning they run cooler than typical AC pumps and powerheads, a detail which is often overlooked in calcium reactors which are designed to dissolve calcium.
You see, calcium carbonate dissolves at lower temperatures and it precipitates at higher ones, so anything we can do to reduce the water temperatures inside calcium reactors will also increase the solubility of CaCO3. In the Genio CA Master the pump already use less energy, and therefore don’t warm up the water as much, but since these pumps are controllable reefers will be able to experiment with running the primary DC pump at a lower speed and power, to find an optimum level where water flows well throughout the chamber and thereby decreasing CO2 demand and subsequent acidic effluent into the aquarium water.
Then you can also periodically ramp up the pump to higher power level to stir up the calcium reactor media and dislodge some of the little bits that tend to form when calcium carbonate is subjected to an acidic environment. If we were in the market for a calcium reactor, the controllable DC pump powered CA Master would definitely be at the top of our shortlist.
The two smaller models of the CA Master from Genio Systems cost 325€ and 340€ (~$390) while the larger CA Master 160 cost 540€ and 580€ ($616 and $662) and are available in Europe now from Genio Systems and Simply Aquaria in the UK.