Co2 reactor question???
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:28 PM   #1
jeffdenney
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Co2 reactor question???


So I built my own co2 reactor some time ago and I have a few questions on its operation..

It is a rex style reactor and it works well..been in operation for over two months. Previous diffuser was up inline diffuser(hated the 7up look).

Anyways the way I have been operating it was that co2 comes on hour before lights start to fade on. Lights take an hour to reach full intensity via fade timer on typhon board. So by the time full intesity is reached, co2 has been running for 2 hours.

And heres my dilema; about half way through the day I can here splashing in my reactor..sounds like a bubble of co2 at the top.. so I figure the co2 can go off earlier because there is a bubble still diffusing even after I stop adding co2...correct??? So I have been cutting back my co2 shutoff time until the splashing stops about the time the lights start fading down.

So schedule is as such.
Co2 on 9:30
Lights start 10:30
Lights full 11:30
Co2 off 4:30
Lights start fade down 5:30
Co2 reactor stops splashing about 6
Lights off 6:30

Anyone else with a reactor try this yet?? Im mainly hoping to not gas my fish with that co2 bubble dissolving all night. And I figure it might save a little co2.. do u think this is good or should I leave it on until 1 hour before just to be sure of co2 fluctuations??

Thanks jeff
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:34 PM   #2
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IMO it's not that big of a deal. I just run mine with the lights.
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Old 12-16-2013, 09:47 PM   #3
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Splashing sound is an issue if creates micro bubbles and ending up getting blown around in the tank. You will get that 7up look. You should only turn off the CO2 when you have reached a desired CO2 level via a ph controller. What is causing the splashing is the amount of CO2 gas getting buildup inside the reactor. These extra CO2 has no way to go until the water movement inside the reactor can dissolve the gas fast enough. One way I deal with this is to insert a CO2 tubing at the top of my reactor, Creg style reactor with a GE all house water filter housing chamber. And this tubing is ending up feeding back to the tank water. Basically, you are allow the extra gas to escape back to the tank.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetra73 View Post
Splashing sound is an issue if creates micro bubbles and ending up getting blown around in the tank. You will get that 7up look. You should only turn off the CO2 when you have reached a desired CO2 level via a ph controller. What is causing the splashing is the amount of CO2 gas getting buildup inside the reactor. These extra CO2 has no way to go until the water movement inside the reactor can dissolve the gas fast enough. One way I deal with this is to insert a CO2 tubing at the top of my reactor, Creg style reactor with a GE all house water filter housing chamber. And this tubing is ending up feeding back to the tank water. Basically, you are allow the extra gas to escape back to the tank.
Yeah I dont get micro bubbles. Sometimes a few here or there but that doesnt bother me. Its not like how my inline was..

At best I can guess by my drop checker and using ph/kh charts, im about 60ppm. I drop my ph from 8.4 to about 6.4.

Now I have read about this line you speak of.. I have never seen a picture or diagram to explain it better to me tho... u say you run the gas line from top of reactor to tank??

Would it b more efficient to run the line from top of reactor/gas bubble to the water-in line to the reactor?? Would the low pressure area of the water flow pull the gas out of the top of reactor and inject it over and over again until fully dissolved???

Maybe I need a picture? Lol
Im not sure if that last paragraph will make sense to someone else.. im not so hot at technical writing.

Thanks for your replies tho..
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:30 PM   #5
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I run my reactor off a pump. There is a release valve at the top of the reactor. I attached CO2 tubing to that valve and fed the other end back to the pump where the air tubing intake is. The excess CO2 gets fed back to the reactor although it doesn't end up going through the pump impeller which would be better i guess. Works great for me. My reactor is not DIY but I'm sure you could do something similar.
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Old 12-16-2013, 11:50 PM   #6
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Sometimes we miss small things that might help. Is there any spot in your lines to and from the reactor that could be run better? Bends like 90's can work to slow the filter flow down a lot. The type of fitting may also be hurting some. When we use a 1/2 ID tube and then put a 1/2" fitting in, the inside of that 1/2" is way smaller inside. If you can spot a place or two where you can redo to increase flow it may help get the bubble cleared better. Sounds like the CO2 injected is just a bit more than the flow will cover.
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Korya View Post
I run my reactor off a pump. There is a release valve at the top of the reactor. I attached CO2 tubing to that valve and fed the other end back to the pump where the air tubing intake is. The excess CO2 gets fed back to the reactor although it doesn't end up going through the pump impeller which would be better i guess. Works great for me. My reactor is not DIY but I'm sure you could do something similar.
I would attempt this but the valve has to operated manually and if im not here to do it.... I like everything automated and consistent... I might try a similar idea vut would have to be without the valve.





Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
Sometimes we miss small things that might help. Is there any spot in your lines to and from the reactor that could be run better? Bends like 90's can work to slow the filter flow down a lot. The type of fitting may also be hurting some. When we use a 1/2 ID tube and then put a 1/2" fitting in, the inside of that 1/2" is way smaller inside. If you can spot a place or two where you can redo to increase flow it may help get the bubble cleared better. Sounds like the CO2 injected is just a bit more than the flow will cover.
Good point I will try to increase the flow a little.. shouldnt be too bad. I actually have two canisters on a 25gal. One rena xp1 that feeds to the reactor and then flows to a diy inline heater/water dump valve. The rena xp2 just flows straight to a diy spraybar.. maybe ill toss the inline heater on the xp2 output line. I kind of like them both on the xp1 tho.. that way I can totally shutdown the xp2 if need be. I clean that filter about twice as often as the xp1.


I saw a thread recently by scapegoat where he made a cerges/rex griggs hybrid reactor.. thinking I might make a similar setup. Just smaller..

No comments on the routing of an airline from top of reactor where bubble is to water-in line??? Maybe like a venturi effect??? Its all under pressure tho so idk if that would work??? Theres gotta b a way to get that gas back thru the system a second time.
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:52 AM   #8
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Something isn't quite right! If you drop your pH from 8.4 to 6.4 with CO2, you have increased the CO2 concentration by a factor of 100! If you added no CO2 at all, the CO2 in the air dissolves into the water bringing the water to about 2-4 ppm of CO2. Multiply that by 100, and that will kill all of the fish in the tank, very quickly.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:38 AM   #9
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I run a small DIY reactor that runs a venturi line back for further enrichment that makes micro bubbles. In my case the micro bubbles are very small & are not that noticeable in the aquarium. I also drilled a small hole in the side about half way down to burp excess CO2. However, My DIY reactor is powered internally by a small powerhead hung sideways to avoid vapor lock. The reactor points straight down pushing the CO2 out the bottom & around the tank.
Since the CO2 is running pressurized inline with a solenoid I can burp out or stop the CO2 any time I want via a timer. The extra CO2 will hang inside or burp out the reactor when the timer kicks off.
I really like this system a lot , but it is internal & some may not like that , but it is great in my opinion for tanks 40 gallons & down.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Something isn't quite right! If you drop your pH from 8.4 to 6.4 with CO2, you have increased the CO2 concentration by a factor of 100! If you added no CO2 at all, the CO2 in the air dissolves into the water bringing the water to about 2-4 ppm of CO2. Multiply that by 100, and that will kill all of the fish in the tank, very quickly.
I have a glass of water sitting out right now and ill check the ph of it tomorrow. I was wondering about this myself hoppy.. today when I checked tank ph it was actually like 6.2 ish.. so idk. I have another tank in the house that everything should b the same except for co2 and low ferts. Ph in that tank is usually about 8.4 so thats why I used that number.. I dont remember what is was last time I let the water sit.

I also have very hard water so idk if that makes a difference either.. 20+dgh. kh is around 18. With no gh booster.

I inject about 4 bps via reactor in a 25gal. Surface agitation is fairly minimal i would say and no airstone.Drop checker never even turns darker than green.. ph/kh scales say 200ish ppm co2.. but with the kh that high tom said the chart is not very accurate. .

I admit I am dangerously close to what stresses my fish tho. Just under what makes them a little sluggish.


I will update when I read the ph tomorrow. .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardstuff View Post
I run a small DIY reactor that runs a venturi line back for further enrichment that makes micro bubbles. In my case the micro bubbles are very small & are not that noticeable in the aquarium. I also drilled a small hole in the side about half way down to burp excess CO2. However, My DIY reactor is powered internally by a small powerhead hung sideways to avoid vapor lock. The reactor points straight down pushing the CO2 out the bottom & around the tank.
Since the CO2 is running pressurized inline with a solenoid I can burp out or stop the CO2 any time I want via a timer. The extra CO2 will hang inside or burp out the reactor when the timer kicks off.
I really like this system a lot , but it is internal & some may not like that , but it is great in my opinion for tanks 40 gallons & down.
yeah I hate anything in my tank. Im def looking into the venturi line setup tho.. could easily drill and tap a barb in there and run the line wherever.
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdenney View Post
I have a glass of water sitting out right now and ill check the ph of it tomorrow. I was wondering about this myself hoppy.. today when I checked tank ph it was actually like 6.2 ish.. so idk. I have another tank in the house that everything should b the same except for co2 and low ferts. Ph in that tank is usually about 8.4 so thats why I used that number.. I dont remember what is was last time I let the water sit.

I also have very hard water so idk if that makes a difference either.. 20+dgh. kh is around 18. With no gh booster.

I inject about 4 bps via reactor in a 25gal. Surface agitation is fairly minimal i would say and no airstone.Drop checker never even turns darker than green.. ph/kh scales say 200ish ppm co2.. but with the kh that high tom said the chart is not very accurate. .

I admit I am dangerously close to what stresses my fish tho. Just under what makes them a little sluggish.


I will update when I read the ph tomorrow. .




yeah I hate anything in my tank. Im def looking into the venturi line setup tho.. could easily drill and tap a barb in there and run the line wherever.

The venturi line only works if your CO2 reactor is powered by a separate water pump. In this case, the extra CO2 gas will get feed back to the pump impeller. If you connect your CO2 reactor to a canister filter, you can feed back the extra CO2 gas to tank iitself. Or feeding it back to the filter intake line. This will cause CO2 gas inside your filter and hopefully they can make it to the filter impeller and get dissolved that way.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:32 PM   #12
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Ah dam. Well thats out then lol. Im in school and too broke to buy a pump and fab another pvc reactor right now..


Anyways I did check the ph of my water that sat out. I left the water out for 24 hours...

Tank water ph: 6.2 yesterday at end of co2 cycle.
Ph of the Water left out with a couple splashes here and there over night: 7.8

So im dropping ph 1.6. Not quite the 2 I claimed but still a significant drop I think...

I guess ill just leave it run like this until I can build a that cerges/rex hybrid. Most likely going to copy scapegoats idea and scale it down... im interested in hearing his results.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:26 AM   #13
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The ratio of the ppm of CO2 for water with no CO2 added, to water with CO2 added, is 10 raised to the change in pH power. So, 10 to the 1.6 power is 40. That would mean you have about 40X 2-3ppm, or 80-120 ppm in the aquarium. I still doubt that you have anywhere near that amount.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
The ratio of the ppm of CO2 for water with no CO2 added, to water with CO2 added, is 10 raised to the change in pH power. So, 10 to the 1.6 power is 40. That would mean you have about 40X 2-3ppm, or 80-120 ppm in the aquarium. I still doubt that you have anywhere near that amount.
Not to sound like a smart ass but why? Im interested in why all these calculations are off

I see people claim 60ppm all the time on here. I would think I could prolly hit 80.

My fish selction:
Axolotl-can breath at the surface
Corydoras- same^
Snails-same^
And otos- not sure if they can breath atmosphere air?? They show distress signs from high co2 first..

Dont fish build up a slight tolerance to co2?? Or is 80ppm too much even with a tolerance? ?

And finally what would u guess my co2 to be with the information I can provide?

Drop checker: yellow all day. Light green by time co2 comes back on.

Ph 6.2
Kh 16

Ph drop from 7.8 to 6.2 during photoperiod.

No driftwood. Just plants sand and flourite substrate. I dose scaled back ei because low plant biomass right now if that makes a diff. Minimal surface agitation. . Always a film at surface at end of co2 cycle.

I was thinking about making some indicator solution for my drop chacker and aiming for 60ppm.. gotta get some distillled water.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:07 PM   #15
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Do u think my reactor will work better if I put my inline diffuser before it and inject my co2 thru it???

The smaller the bubbles coming?? Should be smaller going out right?
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