DIY Power Reactor Pump Question - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-31-2004, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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I plan to make myself a diy power reactor since its a simple and easy concept and provides great carbon dioxide diffusion. My only question is what is a good flow rate for the pump? I plan on starting out using this reactor on my 10g planted and later buying a new pump and using it on a 45g.

So my question is, what is a good pump and good g.p.h. for a 10g tank ?

Also ive looked at the PLANT GRO CO2 SYSTEM BUBBLE COUNTER and was thinking about trying one of these also for comparison in better diffusion. Has anyone had good results with these and could recommend me purchasing one? Thanks in advance.

- depthC

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-17-2004, 04:29 AM
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Yeah, I am wondering the same thing.

-50 Gallon Acrylic, 36"x18"x17"
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-17-2004, 04:47 AM
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It all depends :mrgreen:

In a 10 gal, using a powerhead reactor, due to the good diffusion you can easily overdo it and reach toxic CO2 levels.

For this reason, and for aesthetic reasons, I imagine you would want a rather small reactor tube. So you would look for a small pump, with perhaps around 100 gal/hour rated flow (which translates into less when obstructed by a sponge).

It's hard to say though... this could be something where you just have to try it out, and if it doesn't work out one way or the other, just exchange it at your friendly and understanding LFS.

That bubble counter ladder thing works great in a 10 gal tank! It doesn't look great, but it is kinda fun to watch the bubbles gliding up the ladder (even for your interested fish).
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-17-2004, 01:59 PM
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I strongly agree with wasser about the ladder. I had a DIY power reactor in a 10 gallon and the thing just took up too much space. The hagen ladder seems to do as good a job and it's almost unnoticeable.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-17-2004, 03:55 PM
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I used a Rio 90 on my power rreactor but I think the 50 would ahve been better, to keep from blowing so much CO2 into the scrubbie at the bottom. the Plantguild Reactor has a Rio 50, and it works great.

I also have several ladder diffusers. When I was using a DIY generator placed under the tank with the ladder, I got bubbles that were too large and they ran up the ladder too fast. Mayby the silicone tubing was squeezed too tight going thru the bottle cap and presented an obstruction that the gas had to build up a bit of pressure to overcome, maybe the silicone line was stretchy and it popped out bigger bubbles, I don't know why, but even now, my DIY makes two bubbles sometimes.

So if you have irregular or large bubbles, the power reactor is better. If you have regular bubbles the ladder works fine. I don't know how the Hagen canister makes the bubles so regular, maybe the hard bottle, the short line, the Hagen bottles make regualr smaller bubbles, sized correctly to the length of the ladder run. My bigger bubbles were wasted as some got to the top unabsorbed.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2004, 02:14 PM
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I had the same problem before with my DIY CO2. Sometimes blowing a few bubble straight then slow down. At the end, I found out what the problem was. It was the check valve. Before, I didn't use the gas seperator, so when the bottle was shaken, some of the mixture went in to the line and kept going until it reached the check valve (stop right there and went in to the check valve compartment). The problem is when the solution in the check valve dried of, it becomes sticky (sugar). The rubber opening in the valve becomes sticky also. It needs more pressure from the CO2 bottle to pass thru the valve. When there is enough pressure, it will blow a few bubble continously (even bigger ones). After that, it'll wait until the next high pressure and so on. I get a very constant flow after I replace the sticky check valve. And I also added a gas seperator to prolong the valve life.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-28-2004, 05:54 PM
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I can vouch for the hagen co2 ladder. I hooked it up to pressurized CO2 and kept a 75 gallon tank at optimal levels for a week (until my powerhead reactor was shipped).

It's actually over 90% effective at dissolving CO2. if you have decent water circulation, CO2 will reach the entire tank. It would be more than adequate for a 10gallon tank, and 75% less space taken up, one less cord to plug-in, and less of an eye sore.

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