I have been wanting to do this project for the last 6 months or so and finally found time to build it. I have been running an Aqua medic 1000 post needle wheel pump for some time now and while it has worked okay I really haven't cared for the Aqua medic reactor. The flow is really restricted by the bio balls especially after they get dirty and it's a pain to clean out so I decided to build a cerges reactor using a whole house filter. I don't really like the term reactor since the only reaction going on is the contact time co2 has with the water so I would rather refer to it as a bubble collector since that is the goal is to keep the micro bubbles out of my tank since running a needle wheel can make your tank look like seltzer water.
For the most part the Aquamedic has kept most of the bubbles out but I feel I can get the co2 to dissolve better with this new set-up and the maintenance should be a million times easier, I guess only time will tell though. Another thing about the Aqua medic that was really annoying was the gas build up that I would get in the top of the reactor about halfway through the lighting period. I ended up opening up the false gas bleed valve slighty and letting it run into my sump right by the return filter but as the gas would purge out I would get burst of bubbles in my tank. All in all I have about $40 in this new setup and I'm hoping it works as I planned. Here are a few pictures of the pieces used and it all assembled.
Dupont whole house filter and mounting bracket
2 3/4" mnpt elbows and 3/4"mnpt 18" flex riser
1/2" pvc inserted into top of filter housing
If you were going to use this as a reactor and injecting co2 into the filter it would need to be inserted were the red pressure relief button is.
And after all of about 10 minutes of assembly:
I will add a prefilter sponge on the strainer to help slow down the bubbles but might try running it without it as that is just one more thing that will need cleaned constantly. I have a ball valve on the outlet side to control the flow if need be. The return to this goes back into my sump and points directly at the main return pump for my tank.
On another note I will be adding some new plants tomorrow and doing some major trimming. The elatine triandra will be getting a major hacking and I'm not sure where I will be using it yet but it won't be allowed to take over the entire foreground like it has been. I will be adding some monte carlo from Tom to the foreground and I'm hoping it will be a little easier to maintain and stays closer to the substrate. I got it today and it looks great.
I will also be putting in a good amount of crypt affins 'metallic red' from Don on one side of the foreground. It should be here tomorrow so it will be a busy night tomorrow. I will try to post some new pictures after all this maintenance and planting is done