Reactors, Diffusers, Bubble counters....
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Old 01-20-2004, 08:08 PM   #1
cruizer
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Ok, so i have been doing some searches and reading up on these topics here in the forum, and I think the more I read, the more confused I get.

I have a 29 gallon tank, going to use a layer of peat moss, then eco-complete and tahitian (sp?) sand. I have an XP2 canister filter as well.
Since it not curretly not going to be heavily planted, i've read I can get away with a DIY CO2 setup (my finances agree). But after that is where I get too confused.

I haven't figured out the difference between a reactor, diffuser, and bubble counter. In fact they all seem like the same thing. Can I get away with just hooking up my Co2 to the outlet side of my filter? Or do I need to go in the input?
Anyways, can someone please clarify to me what these things are?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-20-2004, 08:24 PM   #2
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It is a little confusing. Mainly because "reactor" can mean both the bottle which contains the CO2 producing solution, and the device to dissolve the CO2 in the water.

A bubble counter is used to count bubbles. Why is that a good idea? It's a simple way to verify if the setup is producing CO2 or not, or if it is producing a lot, or declining, etc. You can't see from looking at the soda bottle if it is still producing or not, and just changing it in regular interval results probably in a waste of sugar, yeast, and your time.

Another advantage is that a bubble counter cleans the CO2 gas from yeast and whatnot that is produced by the DIY setup.

Once the CO2 is being produced, you need a way to dissolve it in the tank. This is where diffusors and reactors and vortex designer devices kick in. It doesn't really matter how the CO2 is dissolved, as long as it doesn't just bubble out. There are too many ways to list them all, but this is what diffusors and reactors do, they prolong contact of CO2 with water until it dissolves.
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Old 01-20-2004, 08:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruizer
Can I get away with just hooking up my Co2 to the outlet side of my filter? Or do I need to go in the input?
Can you explain what "your CO2" is? If you have a canister filter, bubbling the CO2 into the inlet is a simple and efficient solution, but you need to see if that causes problems with the filter (burping, airlocking).
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Old 01-20-2004, 11:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for the little explination.
My setup will be a DIY CO2 setup. That's all I know for sure right now. A bottle with some water, yeast, and sugar, and some tubing. I got nothing beyond that....
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Old 01-20-2004, 11:40 PM   #5
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As far as I see it, you could use any of these methods:

- bubble it into the inlet of your filter, and see if it will work, or gives you problems with the filter

- build or buy an external reactor to be used inline on the outlet side of the canister filter

- build or buy a forced reactor, basically a powerhead with an attached gravel vac or similar container, in which the bubbles are mixed up with water and dissolve that way

- use a "Hagen ramp" to dissolve bubbles

Each of them have their advantages and disadvantages. There are other less common methods as well.
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