Problems with AquaMedic/Eheim hook up-
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Old 06-16-2004, 08:59 PM   #1
wonder woman
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Problems with AquaMedic/Eheim hook up-


Wow! What a p.i.t.a.!
Last night, I tried to hook an Aquamedic 1000 co2 reactor to the outlet tube of my Eheim 2028 canister. What I thought might take an hour or two took all night! So many problems, and maybe it's me (I'm a chick, and not too "handy"), or maybe it's the equipment and the instructions (or lack thereof for the reactor). Who knows?

If there's anyone out there who has the same equipment and has had these same problems and come up with satisfactory solutions to them, please post here. A list of some of the problems I encountered:

1)- MAJOR PROBLEM- apparently, my DIY co2 pressure is not strong enough to push through the co2 tubing and against the water pressure into the reactor to begin with. This is frustrating, because the main reason I BOUGHT the reactor is so that I'd have better co2 diffusion. So now, the reactor is now just a continuation of the outlet tubing. Completely useless for it's intended purpose.
2)- The whole reactor/ outlet tubing connection and placement is just a big mess. Firstly, as Falcon mentioned in another thread on setting this up, the outlet from the canister goes to the TOP of the reactor, and from the BOTTOM of the reactor, goes to the spraybar (TOP of the tank). So, essentially, the tubing needs to make two cumbersome u-turns.
Because the intake/outlet holes of the reactor are 12/16mm, and the canister tubing is 16/22mm, I had to use a short length of 12/16mm tubing, connecting to a 12/16-16/22 reducer/enlarger, and then connect that to the reactor and outlet tubing. Of course, the 12/16mm tubing has thinner walls and is weaker, and I didn't want it to kink (collapse), so I made the smaller tubing's length as short as possible- just long enough for the reducer to fit through. And the 16/22mm tubing is so rigid that it requires a lot of space above and below the reactor for the tubing to curve up and down.
So, I have a lot of rigid 16/22mm tubing taking up a lot of space in the cabinet below my tank.
3)- In the interest of aesthetics, because of the problems with the tubing mentioned above, I chose to temporarily mount the reactor underneath the tank (with a bungee cord). The mounting plate that came with the reactor was- in my opinion- impractical for mounting directly onto a wall or onto the wood of the cabinet. There's an awkward gap of about 1" created by cylindrical outcroppings on the mounting plate and the actual plate itself where the screws should go. If anyone has come up with a better way to mount this this, please post photos!
4)- I had a h*** of a time slipping the tubing onto the barbed reducers (especially the thinner 12/16mm tubing), even when greasing liberally with Eheim's included grease. My palms this morning are still feeling raw. I finally got help from my boyfriend, but even he had a very difficult time with it. Are there tricks to doing this that I don't know about?


If anyone can help with suggestions, improvements, pictures, diagrams, tips, etc. on this set up, they would be GREATLY appreciated.
Thanks!
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550g pond= koi, comets/shubunkin, water lillies.
165g RES turtle pond in progress.
100g planted tank= 240 watts c.f., 1 DIY 1-gal co2 jug, platies, angels, lace gouramies, congos, black neons, otos.
30g= cories, platies, platy fry, ghost shrimp.
18g= platy fry
10g= baby RES tank- Turtlebuddy
30g= temp. adult RES tank- Myrtlemamma
20gL= temp. juv. RES tank- Tweak and Mertle
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonder woman
4)- I had a h*** of a time slipping the tubing onto the barbed reducers (especially the thinner 12/16mm tubing), even when greasing liberally with Eheim's included grease. My palms this morning are still feeling raw. I finally got help from my boyfriend, but even he had a very difficult time with it. Are there tricks to doing this that I don't know about?
I can't help with most of this since I don't have a reactor similar to yours, but at least you know the reactor won't leak at the tube connections, unless it's too tight and causes your tubes to split... something to consider.
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:42 PM   #3
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1) Believe me, it is... Never read about exploding soda bottles? http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/yeast-disaster.html#0

Perhaps you have to wait a little for the pressure to build up, or maybe you have a little leak somewhere which now leads to the problem.

As Gomer mentioned in your other thread, a check valve is a must!

Combining backpressure and DIY isn't really something I would recommend anyway... but it might work until you get the pressurized setup.

2) I am sure you have your reasons... but why not place the spraybar lower, even on the bottom of the tank, facing for-/upward?

4) Carefully warming/heating up the hose ends makes it much easier to fit them over barbs.
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Old 06-16-2004, 10:51 PM   #4
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Wasserpest-

When I realized that the DIY's pressure wasn't enough to fight the water pressure, I felt it best (and wisest) to give up with the AquaMedic until I get pressurized co2. When the co2 tube filled with water, I just put a check valve on the end to cap it off and left it. I hope that's safe enough for now.
Placing the spraybar lower wouldn't solve my awkward tubing arrangement- I'd still have to get the tubing from the bottom of the AquaMedic to the top lip of the tank. It would actually be worse if I then had to extend the tubing down to the bottom of the inside of the tank. If i'm understanding you correctly...
I'll try the heating technique next time i go through this (hopefully, not soon).
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-Christina-
MEMBER: #15 Eheim Pimps Club, Cory Addicts Anonymous, COAST, AGA.
550g pond= koi, comets/shubunkin, water lillies.
165g RES turtle pond in progress.
100g planted tank= 240 watts c.f., 1 DIY 1-gal co2 jug, platies, angels, lace gouramies, congos, black neons, otos.
30g= cories, platies, platy fry, ghost shrimp.
18g= platy fry
10g= baby RES tank- Turtlebuddy
30g= temp. adult RES tank- Myrtlemamma
20gL= temp. juv. RES tank- Tweak and Mertle
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Old 06-16-2004, 11:22 PM   #5
Q
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Sorry to hear about your problems setting your reactor up. I have the reactor 1000, but I use pressurized CO2 so it's not an issue. The mounting plate for my reactor was glued together and I couldn't take it apart, so I cut the top of the plate off and then mounted it directly to the inside back wall of my stand. I also checked the tubing sizes out ahead of time, so I ordered a Eheim 2217 classic just for this reactor and it fit without any mods. It may take some more planning or adjustments, but once you get everything set up just right you'll be happy with the reactor.
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Old 06-16-2004, 11:27 PM   #6
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...and regarding the two cumbersome u-turns, you could try to put some 90 degree fittings in place to cut down on the turn radius. I barely had room to make the turns in my cabinet without crimping the hose.
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Old 06-16-2004, 11:36 PM   #7
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Q-

I'm glad you mentioned the mounting plate being glued together- I thought it was just me, because the instructions showed that the top part came off, but they're epoxied together. Maybe later on, I'll try a more permanent solution like yours.
Good idea about the 90 degree fittings- that's something I'll look into, but probably not until I go pressurized. So, the pressure from your co2 tank is strong enough to get the co2 to the reactor "chamber"?
Thanks!
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-Christina-
MEMBER: #15 Eheim Pimps Club, Cory Addicts Anonymous, COAST, AGA.
550g pond= koi, comets/shubunkin, water lillies.
165g RES turtle pond in progress.
100g planted tank= 240 watts c.f., 1 DIY 1-gal co2 jug, platies, angels, lace gouramies, congos, black neons, otos.
30g= cories, platies, platy fry, ghost shrimp.
18g= platy fry
10g= baby RES tank- Turtlebuddy
30g= temp. adult RES tank- Myrtlemamma
20gL= temp. juv. RES tank- Tweak and Mertle
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Old 06-16-2004, 11:37 PM   #8
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Sorry Christina, got myself all confused thinking that the reactor was inside the tank of course not. Nevermind me...
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Old 06-16-2004, 11:52 PM   #9
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Wasserpest-

So, regarding your earlier comment about DIY co2 pressure being strong enough for a soda bottle to explode- do you think I should re-attach my DIY gallon jug (with a check valve in between, of course), and give it another go? The reason I gave up last night is that, after about 1 hour of being connected this way, I could see that there were no co2 bubbles in the reactor, and there was still water in the co2 tubing right up to the check valve. I even disconnected the co2 tubing with check valve from the jug and tried BLOWING into the tube with all my strength, and my face turned blue. (And yes, I had the check valve facing the correct way).
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-Christina-
MEMBER: #15 Eheim Pimps Club, Cory Addicts Anonymous, COAST, AGA.
550g pond= koi, comets/shubunkin, water lillies.
165g RES turtle pond in progress.
100g planted tank= 240 watts c.f., 1 DIY 1-gal co2 jug, platies, angels, lace gouramies, congos, black neons, otos.
30g= cories, platies, platy fry, ghost shrimp.
18g= platy fry
10g= baby RES tank- Turtlebuddy
30g= temp. adult RES tank- Myrtlemamma
20gL= temp. juv. RES tank- Tweak and Mertle
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Old 06-17-2004, 12:02 AM   #10
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Touch the bottles (assuming they are plastic!) to verify that pressure builds up. I usually shake/rotate them, which will increase the reaction and burst the output for a short time. Don't do that if your mixture is prone to foaming though.

Depending on the air space in the bottle it could take a longer time until enough pressure builds up. I fill my bottles up pretty high to reduce the air space.

After an hour or so, push the bottle and see if the water column in the tubing moves. If not, there is most likely a leak which didn't leak under low pressure.
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Old 06-17-2004, 04:23 PM   #11
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The directions on mine also show the mounting plate and hang on tank section as seperate pieces, however they are glued. I cut the mount to sit flush and used a couple of Stainless Steel screws to mount the plate. As for the hose, soak the end in boiling water for a few seconds to soften, then quickly and carefully slip it over the barb fittings, I used zip ties for hose clamps. Using 90 degree barbed fittings will take the stress off the hose preventing the kink. Or pack wet sand in the hose, soak in boiling water for a minute or so and slowly bend as to not kink, when cool will hold shape and sand can be rinsed out.

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Old 06-17-2004, 04:55 PM   #12
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Yeah i really like my aquamedic medic reactor and am really glad i purchased it. But it was a pain in the but. I still think i have the valves set up wrong but everything is working as intended so i'm not messin gwith it. I'm not sure if the ehiem tubing fits well because my understanding is that the aquamedic has 1/2 inch ports and they are not metric. So you probably just had a tough time putting the tubing on because it was not really intended to accpet the metric tubing. I usually boil a pot of water and then soak the tubing for a few seconds to get it really hot and flexible. Then you can just slip it on easily and wait till it cools to reharden. Perhaps setting up several DIY CO2 bottles in parallel would help you build up enough pressure, but i would just highly recommend just going to a pressurized tank. Nowadays i think you can do the whole deal for around $200. Well good luck.
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Old 06-17-2004, 06:40 PM   #13
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I do the same thing with the tubing Fishbulb. Boiling it for just a few seconds make the tubing pliable enough to slip onto tight fitting. As it cools, the tubing tends to shring up a little too.

However, when in doubt....add a hose clamp!

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Old 06-18-2004, 12:08 AM   #14
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Excellent idea with the sand, Gnaster! Never would have thought of that. Also didn't think to soften the ends of the tubing by boiling them. Oh, well...next time.


Wasserpest- I'll try one more time this weekend, with close observation so that nothing explodes. If still no co2, then I'll go back to old fashioned way, and save my money for pressurized.

Thanks!
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-Christina-
MEMBER: #15 Eheim Pimps Club, Cory Addicts Anonymous, COAST, AGA.
550g pond= koi, comets/shubunkin, water lillies.
165g RES turtle pond in progress.
100g planted tank= 240 watts c.f., 1 DIY 1-gal co2 jug, platies, angels, lace gouramies, congos, black neons, otos.
30g= cories, platies, platy fry, ghost shrimp.
18g= platy fry
10g= baby RES tank- Turtlebuddy
30g= temp. adult RES tank- Myrtlemamma
20gL= temp. juv. RES tank- Tweak and Mertle
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