External Powerhead CO2 Reactor - The Planted Tank Forum

 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2003, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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I've been thinking about building an external CO2 reactor just to get the equipment out of my tank and to increase efficiency. The problem is, I haven't seen many external reactors powered by powerheads.

Gravel cleaners are basically 3 parts, the wide tube, the thin tube, and the non-clear part connecting the two, you might call it an adapter. Well, I have an extra gravel cleaner that I could use this adapter from. I was thinking I would put bio-balls in the tube, tightly put these adapters (they are green for me) on both ends, and possibly seal them with silicon. Then I would drill a hole towards the middle-top of the clear tube and run the CO2 tube through it. I would silicone seal this. So this is the main reactor. Then, I would use the thin tubing to run it to the reactor (from the powerhead) and from the reactor (back into the tank). I would probably silicon seal the connectios just to make sure.

Do you think this would work? The powerhead is a Rio 600, which works fine now. Thanks for any replies!

-Tim
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2003, 07:08 PM
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Sounds like a good setup. It would probably work fine just as you described, but I'd still put the co2 beneath the powerhead and let the impeller crush the bubbles before sending them to the diffusion chamber. Two benefits from doing this: 1) More surface area for absorption into the water column. and 2) You can count the bubbles as they exit the tube in the aquarium and enter the powerhead. - free bubble counter.

I'm actually thinking of taking my external reacor out of line with my Fluval canister and putting it on its own powerhead and doing just that.

- Sam P -
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2003, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, I didn't think about putting the CO2 under the powerhead, but that would mean one less hole in the tube so less of a chance for leaks! Also, the bubbles would diffuse faster.

The only possible problem is that since the tube from the powerhead has to go in an upside down "U" curve out of the tank and into the diffusion chamber, would the bubbles possibly stall at the top of this tube before entering the diffusion chamber? I was planning on having the gravel vac part as close to the top as possible, so if bubbles got out through the bottom they would still have to go down some tube to get to the top, so that would lessen the chance of that happening. When I set it up, I'll try it with the CO2 into the powerhead first, and if that doesn't work, I'll flow it directly into the diffusion part.

Also, I need something to hold the tube going back into the tank in place so it doesn't fall or something. I think I saw some replacement suctions cup heater holders at my LFS a while back, if they are the right width, then maybe those could hold it in place? I'll see if I can go to my LFS and get some parts tonite... if not it will be Saturday when I go to my piano class since the LFS is across the street from my music school 8) !

-Tim
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2003, 08:33 PM
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Just build or get the Plant Guild Products reactor.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2003, 08:34 PM
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If you have a cannister filter you can use a in-line external CO2 reactor on the out flow line.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2003, 09:33 PM
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As long as you use a fairly small diameter tube (around 1/2"), the velocity should be high enough to carry the air bubbles and keep them from catching at the top of the u-bend you'll have.

- Sam P -
plantedtanker in limbo - all tanks currently in storage
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-03-2003, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have a canister filter, so that is why I am using my powerhead. I might put some of it together tonight to see how it works...

The diameter of the tube is larger than 1/2 an inch, but the inside diameter is a little less than 1/2, so it is the inside diameter that counts, right?

The Guild one looks cool, but what I am going for is an AB 1000 reactor kind of thing.... Fast efficient diffusion is hopefully what I'll get...

-Tim
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2003, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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This isn't working, I set it up like mentioned above. I ran the bubbles through the powerhead, they ran into the "diffusion chamber": a gravel vac filled with bio-balls, but then I got tons of tiny dust-like bubbles coming out the other end. Even if I am diffusing CO2, I don't like the bubbles, they look like dust and since there are so many, I don't believe this is much more efficient. I'm thinking if I got a smaller powerhead it might work, but if I can find something that will trap these bubbles, that would be even better. Any suggestions?

-Tim

Tank in transition! 55 gallons, hard water.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2003, 01:20 AM
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How about a piece of sponge just before the outlet?

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2003, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
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We'll see if a sponge in this reactor does any better than the sponge in the current reactor! Thanks!

-Tim

Tank in transition! 55 gallons, hard water.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-06-2003, 05:28 AM
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The little bubbles are what you want!

Little bubbles=good
Big bubbles=bad

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37 gallon AGA Black Seal, Emperor 400, Ebo Jager 200 W, 100% Flourite Substrate, 2x55 Watt AH Supply PC Lighting (5300K & 6400K) @ ~3.4 WPG, High-Pressure CO2.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2003, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I just think with the bio-balls that they broke up the bubbles into tiny pieces and not as many were actually getting diffused. But, I did try it with sponge and filter floss and no small bubbles! I had to silicon a leak though (just a minor drip every ten seconds), so it is getting set up tomorrow!

-Tim

Tank in transition! 55 gallons, hard water.
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