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Old 09-12-2003, 08:47 PM   #1
mattrmiller
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It's long, like my problems... sorry:

OK, so I have posted way too many posts about Co2 lately. But I would rather be over educated then under-educated. So far I have tried the Hagen in my 20 gallon, and found that it's not for me it was returned... enough said. So now onto the DIY approach. And with this I have found that there are a million ways for this to be accomplished. I am so confused with reactors, diffusers, etc. There are just so many ways to accomplish this. So for starters...

I am planning on doing some CO2 in my 29 gallon, I think the 20 gallon is a little more fragile in water size right now. Aside for a really expensive pressurized system, what is the best way to accomplish this? I was thinking about a modified gravel vac system. But my concern with this is the power of the pump. I do not want it to be too low that the reactor does not work, but I do not want it to be to high so it has the potential to blow my fish around or for them to get stuck on the intake. Is this kind of reactor OK for a 29 gallon? Also how long do the yeast bottles last for? I have heard anywhere from a week to a month.

My last question is somewhere down the road I will be re-attempting CO2 in the 20 gallon long. What would be ideal for this? The same concerns as above are still present, and now we are working with a much smaller tank.


Thank you for everyone who has helped me, and continue to.
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Old 09-12-2003, 09:45 PM   #2
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Ok you could try an atomizer running into a canister filter or powerhead
A membrane diffussor which will need some water flow around it as well
Both will work with a diy system.
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Old 09-12-2003, 09:49 PM   #3
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reactors are powered by powerheads usually and the co2 enters and is bombarded by pressure from the powerhead breaking it up against some item like bioballs

Atomizers push the co2 through a fine membrane to make smaller bubbles

Membrane diffussors do the same
forgot to add that
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Old 09-12-2003, 10:23 PM   #4
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But what size pump (gph) would you recommend for a reactor in a 29 gallon tank?
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Old 09-12-2003, 11:31 PM   #5
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I used a Rio 90 in mine.
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Old 09-13-2003, 01:58 AM   #6
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90 or 900? Just wondering because on article said 900... I think?
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Old 09-13-2003, 04:44 AM   #7
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90, it is small. The sort of sponge you use on the end of the tube is important, and the lenght is important. Mine is too short, and the kitchen scrubbie is too loose. I got some black sponge material from BigAls that might be better.

My reactor is more like the Plant Guild Vortex reactor, not the gravel vac reactors that you are probably looking at.
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Old 09-13-2003, 02:36 PM   #8
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What is the difference between yours and the gravel vacs? Do you have a picture or blueprints? Thank you.
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Old 09-13-2003, 11:55 PM   #9
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Go the plantguild.com and see the Vortex reactor. I used an old plastic spice jar for the cylinder, upside down, mounted the pump on top, ran the airline into the middle, and plugged the end with a kitchen scrubbie. The Rio 90 has 4 tiny suction cup feet so it holds everything up.

To cover the outlet, I've also used ballet-type netting from Walmart, and rolled up thin black sponge material from the pond pump. The netting was too fine, the sponge wouldn't seal well as it was thin and rolled up and left gaps. The scrubbie, actually half a scrubbie, is Ok but lets big bubbles accumulate on the bottom and then they release eventually. I just got a chunk of black sponge from BigAls for a few dollars and I'll use this to make prefilters for all the filters and a new plug for the reactor. I also got some larger netting but never got around to trying it. I just wad it up and stick it in the open end, but since there is no edge to hold it in, it eventually slides out. The sponge might do better, we'll see.

Like the Plant Guild reactor, most of the action is from the bubbles churning around in a circle since the input is off to the edge of the cylinder and this sets up a spinning motion. The sponge/netting/scrubbie is just to trap any bubbles that want to go out the bottom. If this was a bit longer I might not have even needed that, I've run it with no sponge and most of the bubbles wanted to stay in until dissolving. A few inches more length and it might have worked better. It is 4 inches long, maybe 1 1/2 inches wide, 5 or 6 inches would have been enough.

Comparing mine to the gravel vacs, which I've never built or seen first hand, I think mine has more spinning motion due to the offset water input and less gpm probably.

If I had it to do all over again, I'd keep the shaker top on the spice jar and put a thin sponge inside. And my pump airlocks when I turn it off, and the DIY gas keeps going (like during tank cleaning or short power outages). I have to tip it horizontal to get it going. I'm not sure how to make that not happen. I'm just too lazy to tear it down and try again.

With this next tank, I'm just going to buy one from Aquabotanic and get one that works right all the time.
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