03-08-2009, 05:26 PM
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I have a single DIY reactor, that I alternate using carbon and phosban in it. It was cheap, so I should just do like onefish2fish and build a second one, so I can run them both at the same time.
As far as your question: "necessity or not", the answer is of course it depends. It won't hurt anything to use phosphate absorbing material, how useful will depend on how much phosphates get introduced into your aquarium from other sources. I think the main two sources are if you use tap water (tsk tsk) for water changes and top-offs, and also from frozen foods that you use to feed your fish and corals.
So even if you have an RO/DI unit or use RO/DI water from your LFS, you can still be building up phosphates by dissolving frozen cubes of food in a cup of tank water then dumping it in your tank. Onefish2fish suggests straining your frozen food out before adding it to your tank, to reduce how much phosphate gets added with the food.
Running a phophate reactor will also help to combat it. I think it's useful, and since it doesn't really hurt anything and is cheap, why not do it? Of course, you have to keep up with changing out the media as it "expires" or fills up, and regularly cleaning your reactor.