Advice on DIY CO2 reactors....
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:27 PM   #1
Rex Grigg
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Today while doing water changes I noticed that the output of the Rena XP-2 on my 29 gallon was nonexistent. So I unplugged it and started cleaning it. The filter media was very clean as it was just cleaned about three weeks ago. So I started trouble shooting the setup. Figured out it was the CO2 reactor. I thank my lucky stars I built the reactor with a removable top. Dumped out the bio-balls and they were fine. I remembered that I had put some dish scrubber at the bottom of this reactor and it was yellow. Got a flashlight and looked in the reactor and all I could see at the bottom was a black mass. It's not fun trying to pull a dirty dish scrubber from the bottom of a 16" long reactor. But I got it out and it was clogged with gunk. So I just decided I was not going to go through this again and removed it. Put everything back together and then noticed that the impeller on the XP-2 was FUBAR from trying to pump against the back pressure. Well I needed an excuse to go to the LFS today.
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:30 PM   #2
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Whats "FUBAR". I have a feeling you can't print it here. But you can give me the gist.

Marcel
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Old 07-22-2003, 04:39 PM   #3
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Marcel,

See PM for info on FUBAR! LOL

:lol:
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Old 07-22-2003, 07:14 PM   #4
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FUBAR = Fscked Up Beyond All Repair.

Rex, my external inline reactor just has bio-balls, it works just great. No visible bubbles get through. I wouldn't worry about having the pad in there. Too bad about your filter though.
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:22 PM   #5
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Well now it only has bio-balls in it. I'm not going to chance the pad clogging up again.

Three stages of any Military Operation.

SNAFU - Situation Normal, All Fouled Up.

TARFUN - Things Are Really Fouled Up Now

FUBAR - Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition

Of course if you have ever watched Full Metal Jacket you know that Marines substitute another word for fouled.
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Old 07-22-2003, 11:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Of course if you have ever watched Full Metal Jacket you know that Marines substitute another word for fouled.
Is that the movie where the recruit goes berserk and kills the drill instructor in the head ?
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Old 07-23-2003, 01:05 AM   #7
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How about the Seven Ps?
Now thats one to live by!

Mike
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Old 07-23-2003, 12:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomer
Quote:
Of course if you have ever watched Full Metal Jacket you know that Marines substitute another word for fouled.
Is that the movie where the recruit goes berserk and kills the drill instructor in the head ?
Yeah that's the one!
R. Lee Ermey is a hottie for an old guy, I could drop and give him 20................but of course that's a whole nother post, for a whole nother forum
But such a sad movie........

Anywhoo back to the topic. Sorry to hear about your filter Rex
.
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Old 07-26-2003, 03:41 PM   #9
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Old 07-28-2003, 03:47 AM   #10
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Just My .02

You would get the co2 to disolve better if you put that dish scrubber back in. Reason being... the bioballs are being used to break the c02 up into smaller bubbles thus giving you more surface area. By adding a 30-50 CuCm fluidized bed into the bottime of the reactor on the output side you are trapping the bubbles into pockets while water passes by them. At the same time any co2 that is being depleted out of the water due to the turbulance caused by the bioballs will be recollected wiht the pure co2 state. Remember... CO2 in the presurized tank is pure... as it gets desolved into the water is turns into carbonic acid. If it remixes wiht pure C02 once again it can be redesolved or else it just trickles to the top of the tank and you loose it so why not use a fluidized bed and recaputre it and let it redesolve? THink of it as a glass of soda.... you do not have to agitate the sufface to remove the C02... just a slight bump on the side of a glass will get CO2 releasing from it.

As an Added .02.....

IMHO inline reactors stir the water up too much as the water runs thru it @ in most of our cases 150-300GPH.. thats like shaking your beer bottle gently every 10 mins. after an hour it's flat.

My stats....

46 Gallon heavilly planted tank. 4wpg plantguild reactor = 30ppm CO2 after 2 hours of the co2 being on @ get this... 1 bubble every 15-20 seconds.

Can we say... a 5lb thank that should last a year and less stress on my rena?

I was having to do 1 bubble every 3-5 seconds wiht my DIY inline system close to what rex was describing.

reactor can be found here:
http://store.plantguild.com
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Old 07-28-2003, 11:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossi32s
IMHO inline reactors stir the water up too much as the water runs thru it @ in most of our cases 150-300GPH.. thats like shaking your beer bottle gently every 10 mins. after an hour it's flat.
I have been sitting for a while reading that and thinking about it... but it still doesn't make sense to me. If you shake a beer bottle, the CO2 goes into the atmosphere. In an inline reactor, the CO2 dissolves in the water. Does it matter how much it is stirred up? As long as it all dissolves?

... getting another beer, this one is flat ...
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Old 07-28-2003, 11:43 PM   #12
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Oh... and if forgot: my inline reactor is empty :shock:
It's actually a gravel vacuum tube, and since it is wider than the rest of the filter tubing the water speed is reduced, and the CO2 bubbles just dance around until the get so small that they are sucked into the filter where they totally dissolve. Bioballs or whatever would reduce this width, increasing the water velocity which would suck the bubbles just through the reactor (I think).
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Old 07-28-2003, 11:58 PM   #13
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visibly desolved and actually desolved are 2 different thing... you can shake the crap out of a co2 buble but your just breaking it to pieces giving more surface area so tha tis desolved faster. then your shooting it backinto the tank where the water reentering the tank is mixed wiht tiny co2 bubbles(this is not carbonic acid) well... that water creates an upflow and ast it reaches the surface you loose most of your carbonic acid and pure co2 that was just tiny bubbles.
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