efficient co2 reactors for larger tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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efficient co2 reactors for larger tanks

I've tried both Cerges and Rex Grigg style reactors on a 55g tank. I've found the Cerges works better, is more efficient, and over all much less work building. If not a little more costly because you're buying a commercial product.

For my 125g w/ 40g sump I naturally chose to go with a Cerges stlye reactor using: http://www.lowes.com/pd_89378-59019-...t=water+filter as the base.

Easily enough, water goes in, water goes out. I tapped the PCV going into this for my co2 line, and currently have some sponge filter media inside it, along with clear PVC tube inside.

Currently, I get a TON of microbubbles. I blame the flow rate of my pump, which i believe is a rated 1800gph fluval submersible. But i also wonder if the cerges reactor is efficient enough for a tank of this size with a pump rated at that?

After HOURS of the co2 blasting into the tank, my drop checker remains blue. Which leads me to believe that all those micro bubbles mean that the co2 isnt dissolving, but just being shoved into the tank.

My next step, i think, is going to be shoving pillow stuffing into the reactor as well and hope that is enough to break the co2 into finer bubbles before exiting the tank.
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 02:31 PM
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If you have the space, you could just add a second filter housing to push the bubbles through the same process again.
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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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If you have the space, you could just add a second filter housing to push the bubbles through the same process again.
I don't like that redundancy, not for $60... but it's a possibility.
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 02:58 PM
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I don't like that redundancy, not for $60... but it's a possibility.
I got an OMNIFilter form Menards for $14 that's clear and works great. Why was yours so expensive?
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 03:26 PM
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I have a 90g with a 29g sump. I also have a cerges reactor that I built myself. What size is yours? It might be that it is just to small and needs to be bigger. I stuffed mine with small bio balls and I only get very fine bubbles. My co2 goes into the water about 3" before the water goes into the reactor.
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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the size difference I'd assume. and having purchased from lowes...

mine also supports 1" piping
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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 03:29 PM
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I am using a 20" filter housing with a dedicated Rio 2500 that likely is only putting out 400GPH, no bubbles in tank, pH drops 1.2 points in less than an hour after gas turns on.

I'd try splitting the return and putting a valve on the Cerges line to drop the flow going through without wasting flow.

I'd also be taking pH measurements from the tank rather than looking at a drop checker. Take samples from all over the tank, from the cerges outflow and from the overflow boxes, before gas goes on and every 15 minutes or so after it is on to see what is going on.

And you may very well need a larger housing for this large tank.
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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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I'll keep track of the pH for now and see what's going on. I can live with the microbubbles for the time being, but will probably end up splitting the line like you suggest and hope that resolves that.

for now, i'll check the pH .

Thanks
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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 03:53 PM
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How does your sump setup look?? Everyone seems to be overlooking this, you would not believe how much co2 a sump can off gas co2 any water turbulence going over a weir, falling, splashing etc is going to cause off gassing.

Before I add a second reactor make sure your sump is sealed this will make a huge difference, there are several methods a cheap way to test it, just get some glad press and seal.

Also what kind of overflow is in your tank?

Etc etc

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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 04:02 PM
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how about water bypass to reduce flow?
stuffing media correctly may work, meanwhile it narrow the react chamber, thus increase the flow -> push bubble out before it float up
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post #11 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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How does your sump setup look?? Everyone seems to be overlooking this, you would not believe how much co2 a sump can off gas co2 any water turbulence going over a weir, falling, splashing etc is going to cause off gassing.

Before I add a second reactor make sure your sump is sealed this will make a huge difference, there are several methods a cheap way to test it, just get some glad press and seal.

Also what kind of overflow is in your tank?

Etc etc

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
pic is slightly older than co2 being hooked up. I have it tapped into the pvc tube going into the reactor itself. so right after the threaded joint.



The sump is also drilled in the side, but would require reducing to a 1" instead of the 1.25" piping. I found the reduction was way too noisy!

it does bubble in the overflow, though not terribly. I do know that this is a major point of degassing of the co2. But i think a bigger reason for the drop checker not changing is the massive amounts of bubbles. I think the flow is too much to have them break down enough.

I was really hoping to seal the sump, and it is still a possibility. I'd just have to make some cuts to go around the piping, and probably use some weather seal or something around the holes.

that doesnt really matter though, because the vertical pipes you see at the T's allow air that the durso brings in, to escape.

here are older pics:





there isn't much splashing, fortunately. and the water degassing occurs in the sump, not the main tank. so the main tank should still have enough co2.

Last edited by scapegoat; 07-02-2013 at 04:22 PM. Reason: d
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post #12 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 04:13 PM
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I don't see where the co2 actually enters.
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post #13 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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I don't see where the co2 actually enters.
these pictures are slightly older than the co2 being hooked up. I have it tapped into the pvc tube going into the reactor itself. so right after the threaded joint.
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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 04:24 PM
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Do you have to have a split after the reactor? That might be a big cause of so many bubbles.
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post #15 of 54 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Do you have to have a split after the reactor? That might be a big cause of so many bubbles.
yes, there are two return lines. I don't see how that would cause the bubbles though.
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