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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Co2 reactor questions diy

So im thinking of building a reactor and have a few questions

1. Is it okay to use brass barbs or will that potentially hurt fish/shrimp?

2. Is it better to be shorter and fatter or tall and skinny.

3. Craig's reactor (using water filter) vs diy PVC. Any big difference?

4. Are they very noisy or silent?

5. Is it worth putting some pot scrubbers inside to break up the bubbles more

6. How come no one puts a diffuser inside of a reactor to make smaller bubbles for quicker absorption
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 05:32 PM
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1. perfectly a-ok - brass is just more $$
2. my answer: short & fat (within reason). that also assumes you have a tube or straw taking water from the bottom, not top. I think too tall & skinny doesn't allow for enough water movement & turbulence, which is what breaks up the bubbles
3. not really - other than circumference & dimensions - see #2
4. I'm pretty sure a DIY will be pretty quiet. The biggest noise is the impeller blades on commerical models like the Ista Max Mix. DIY models, no moving parts, no noise.
5 & 6. The more stuff you put in, the more maintence you're asking for. Even if it's inline after the filter, pot scrubbers & diffusers are eventually gonna clog up.

...just my $0.02
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 05:34 PM
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1. I would not use brass because it will be in contact with the water and brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.

2. I've heard that taller is better but I don't think anyone has ever really compared the two (that I know of).

3. I have DIY PVC so I can't say.

4. Once all of the initial air bubbles are out of it it's pretty silent. Mines inside my cabinet and I can't hear it at all.

5. I put in some bio balls but I can't say whether it helps or not. I feel like it does though since it makes the water more turbulent. Which should enhance co2 absorption.

6. I think people don't do that because it would be difficult to do in the first place, and secondly if it got clogged it would be a huge hassle to take apart and clean. As far as I can tell I haven't had a problem needing smaller bubbles. Mine works fine as is.

I hope this helps.
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 05:45 PM
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I really like forums because I get to learn new things and see others' viewpoints. But I've gotta lob point #1 back: if the leeching of copper and zinc is significant and problematic, why is brass OK to use on plumbing for human consumption?
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 06:10 PM
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Well I think we're more tolerant to zinc and copper than invertebrates. (not sure)
And also, If it's going to leach I'm sure it will do so more readily under a lower pH which can be achieved with CO2 addition.

Also I'm a graduate student in fisheries and aquaculture and they always recommend to us that using brass is only ok when it is used for a valve that fills a pond or used very seldom vs. a valve that is used in a recirculating system.

You're welcome to use whatever material you want, I just see no need to since the plastic is cheaper and works just as well in my situation.

I'm assuming that you use brass WheeledGoat? What type of tank do you have this running on? Does it have invertebrates in it? I'd love to see an example where it wasn't a problem.
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 06:15 PM
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I've been using brass barbs with my AP.com carbon doser reactor (basically Cerges-style) for about six months, and my amano shrimp are doing just fine (snails, too).

"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook." -William James

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
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I've been using brass barbs with my AP.com carbon doser reactor (basically Cerges-style) for about six months, and my amano shrimp are doing just fine (snails, too).
Awesome man. See this is what I needed to hear. Apparently it isn't a problem so I guess brass and plastic are both fine to use.

I'll still use plastic though lol (I'm a cheapskate).
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 06:48 PM
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Brass barbs are fine for fish and snails, not sure about shrimp, the metal oxidizes and shouldn't leach much.
Tall and fat is best, you want those bubbles to bounce around until they dissolve.
Cerge's is more expensive to make but is easier to fit into your set up as there is less unwieldy hose to work with.
I think I can hear the CO2 turn on but it sure isn't very loud. Definitely no gurgling or anything with either the PVC or Cerges'.
Never have put anything in to break up bubbles
No way would I put something that needs to be taken out to be cleaned inside something that could leak and be a disaster when opened up that I made!
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 06:53 PM
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I built my own Cerge's style, bought a Ista Max Mix, and I'm going to be making my own PVC reactor as well. The Cerge's so far is the quiet one, makes some gurgling noises whenever a new bubble goes in but it's quiet.

The Ista is only quiet when there is no gas in it. I took out the impellers and that thing is still noisy!

The PVC I'm going with is 2" by about 8". Really hoping it's quiet.
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenderBendingRodriguez View Post
I'm assuming that you use brass WheeledGoat? What type of tank do you have this running on? Does it have invertebrates in it? I'd love to see an example where it wasn't a problem.
Naw, no personal experience w/ brass and aquariums. Your points make a lot of sense, though - (ok w/ a single pass, avoid w/ recirculating paths). I am going to build a manifold soon to better manage my inline doohickeys, and I would have probably gone with brass just for the durability. Now, I shall rethink!
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
Brass barbs are fine for fish and snails, not sure about shrimp, the metal oxidizes and shouldn't leach much.
Tall and fat is best, you want those bubbles to bounce around until they dissolve.
Cerge's is more expensive to make but is easier to fit into your set up as there is less unwieldy hose to work with.
I think I can hear the CO2 turn on but it sure isn't very loud. Definitely no gurgling or anything with either the PVC or Cerges'.
Never have put anything in to break up bubbles
No way would I put something that needs to be taken out to be cleaned inside something that could leak and be a disaster when opened up that I made!

i disagree on sizing. whether fat and short or tall and skinny
overall. increasing the amount of time the co2 stays in the reactor is key. the only turbulence you need is at the point of gass entry to get the gas to break up. from there, its all about dwell time.
co2 dissolves very easily. just having it in contact with water does a lot.

i personally believe short is better for plumbing and reducing head loss. bends and twists and added pipe length will reduce the flow much more than just a wide container of water that has a decent volume of water in it

my next reactor build will be 4 inch pvc with 2 reducers on each side to accept 1 inch pipe. on the inlet side of the reactor. i'll have a 2 inch T so that the water flow won't be a straight shot through.
flow will be very slow through it but will have plenty of time before it goes back out because there will be a large area for it to travel through
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Co2 reactor questions diy

So I have a fx5. An am thinking of using 3" pipe as the channel and about 20" high. How far down should I inject the co2? What would be a good fitting to tap into the pipe with (shooting or clear acrylic )

As a side note it will be going on a 84g tank. The fx5 takes up most no the cabinet so about 4" round and 23" high is my max. I will prob so 3" to ensure it fits
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-01-2013, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Co2 reactor questions diy

So it turns out 3" PVC fittings are actually 3 1/4- 3 1/2. There goes my clear tube with out ordering one specially
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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Co2 reactor questions diy

I'm currently in the hardware store building.. Any suggestions for what to use as the co2 injection barb?
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-02-2013, 01:03 AM Thread Starter
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Co2 reactor questions diy

Hopefully brass is okay because this is all I can find. Will co2 bubbling in from the side do the job or should I find. 2 way baby and have a airstone internally
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