Just built a DIY CO2 system - powerhead noise
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Old 01-12-2004, 06:35 AM   #1
Mauser101
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The other day I finally invested in more than adaquate lighting for my 25gal (a Coralife 50/50 at 96watts) and decided that it was now justifiable to start pumping in extra CO2.

So, using the articles (thanks depthC and Dr. Jay) I built a Pepsi CO2 system & a reactor made out of a small gravel vacuum & a Rio powerhead.

My LFS did not have the Rio 600 in stock so I bought a Rio 400. It looks like the 400 pushes 144gph and the 600 would push 200gph.

Problem. When it's all hooked up the Rio is making some noise. I discontected & reconnected one piece at a time and it appears that the noise (sounds like very small rocks in the pump) only occurs when I've got the whole reactor set up. I'm thinking the pump may not have enough juice to push water beyond the bottom of the reactor (though I cannot tell for sure) so it's making some noise of protest.

Just how much foam should I have in there?

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-12-2004, 12:11 PM   #2
SCMurphy
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Are you getting a "vapor lock" in the powerhead? Does it sound like the powerhead is running dry? Where are you introducing the CO2 to your reactor?
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Old 01-12-2004, 02:56 PM   #3
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The sound is similar to what it sounds like when you have some air in the powerhead, like when I first started it up and had to get enough water running through it. But I know there's no air in there.

I am introducing the CO2 directly into the vacuum tube about 3inches from the top of the vacuum.

Whole vacuum is probably about 11 inches long.
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Old 01-12-2004, 03:17 PM   #4
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See if removing the sponge will help. If it does, the backpressure is what makes the pump noisy. Use less or no sponge (depending on if bubbles escape the gravel vac or no).
If it doesn't help, you might have a noisy pump. I have been using a "MiniJet 606" powerhead which I love, it is dead silent and pushes a lot of water for it's size. I bought a MaxiJet 600, expecting same good things, and returned it because it was vibrating and noisy... so it might depend on the kind of pump. I have no experience with Rio pumps, but I haven't heard good things about them.
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Old 01-12-2004, 03:18 PM   #5
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I wonder if you are missing part of the impeller and it is rattling around in the housing. You could be right though, you could be supplying too much "back pressure" on the powerhead. Does this powerhead have an aeration tube port? Is there a piece of tubing in place? If not, is water coming out of the port when you run the reactor?
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That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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Old 01-12-2004, 05:30 PM   #6
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Back pressure. That was the term I was looking for last night. Indeed, that's what I think the problem may be. I had about 3-1/2 inches of sponge foam in there and after posting cut it down to about 2 inches. Still noise but I believe it got a bit quieter.

I'll try cutting it down again tonight and if that doesn't work I may just try removing it. The bubbles only seem to get about 1/2 way down the tube anyway.

There is no noise when I run the Rio without anything attached.
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Old 01-12-2004, 07:35 PM   #7
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I had the exact same problem with my Aquaclear ph...

I took the sponge out and 3 of my fish (at different times across 3 days) became stuck in the tube!!! I think the current attracted them (like salmon swimming up stream).

I took another gravel tube cap (the nipple between the wide stiff tubing and narrow flexible tubing), drilled a few holes around the main hole, and stuck it on the end of my current tube...works like a charm...and no rattling...

Thanks,
Steve
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Old 01-13-2004, 02:49 AM   #8
Rex Grigg
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On a side note you might want to switch the bulb out in your light fixture as the 50/50 bulb is not the best bulb you can get for plants. In fact the blue side is hardly used by the plants at all.
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