Ex Filter too weak for Reactor? No Problem! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Ex Filter too weak for Reactor? No Problem!

Hey all i just wanted to share with you guys my DIY for diffusing co2 with 2 diffusers!. Hope this helps people who have gotten a reactor and was disappointed because you were unable to have close to a 100% diffuse rate. This method should be able to work nicely with any other setup that is not diffusing at 100%.

Equipment:
* ISTA Turbo Reactor & Aquarium (about 30 bucks)
* CO2 Atomizer System Diffuser 12/16mm (Some chinese no brand ones) (about 20 bucks)
* Ehiem Ecco 2232
* Arksen 225PC O-Ring (Make sure to wash with hand soap for a few seconds then rinse off, cause these felt oily when i took them out).

Initially when i started the Tank i picked up an Ehiem Ecco 2232 external Filter. And not wanting to mess with the glass diffusers i came up upon the reactor. After reading good reviews about the ISTA turbo Reactor i made sure i had enough GPH, which i did. When i got it going at 2-3 BPM i was clearly wrong.

This is what i got



A whole 2nd issue also arose because the reactor was not diffusing fast enough which was suppose to be, even though i had enough GPH on what was required on their Website. Since the reactor was not diffusing fast enough there were pockets of co2 case trapped in the reactor (not air) which caused the propellers to stop spinning every few hours or got really loud because essentially it turned into a waterfall inside.

So i looked for another alternative and got the Co2 Atomizer



Getting this also did not solve the issue with the 7-up, So i decided to combine Both!

Which looks like this now



It was working great till every 4 hours or so the propeller would get stuck. So i decided to take out the bottom propeller and put o-rings into it.

Which looks like this


O-Rings used were



And now tank is running Perfectly with very minimum bubbles. You literally have to be 2-3 inchs away from the tank to see the bubbles but even at that point you can still barely see them. Since there are 2 diffusers there will be 2 holes for the co2, i ran mine from the co2---->Atomizer----> Reactor. So the Co2 line was going to the Atomizer, with the extra co2 hole in the reactor, i put a check valve and taped the end so air would not get sucked in.


See no more 7-up! (ignore my diatoms being everywhere LOL, and waiting on shipment of jungle vals to come in to fill right side). Been going 2 Weeks strong with no issues

Last edited by Hsunami; 03-08-2016 at 12:15 AM. Reason: Added Addition Information
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 03:33 PM
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I would not want to argue with what you have doen as you seem to have found a solution for what you needed. But then I also might have a totally different view of the problem? I find that when I have CO2 bubbles blown into the tank, I have a problem with either of two things. Either the water flow is too high, giving the CO2 too little time to be adsorbed into the water or my reactor is too small.
Would either of those seem to fit to solve your problem?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-08-2016, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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No worries man we all here to help each other out. I know thats why i decided to share how i did it.

As far as ur situation i would do 4 things.

1. Adjust ur out bound valve only on ur canister. If you cant then u may have to do 2 and/or 3.

2. Increase ur tubing length- So that co2 has more time to dissolve in the tubing. Home depot has tons of these tubing. Thats where i got mine.

3. Try adding another diffuser- like i have the atomizer.

4. If u have 2 propellers and the 2nd one doesnt have blades, u can slice little indents into it like how my blades are. So u have two blades chopping co2 and not just 1.

What filter u using? And if u do try it make sure to post some screen shots on what u did. I would be interested to know the result. Theoretically speaking the suggestions should work.

You can skip the oring step since u have too much flow lol.

If anyone has done something similar please share too.
starfire12 and starfire12 like this.

Tank: 29Gallon
Light: 24" Finnex 24/7 & 24" Ray 2
PH:7.5 Water Temp: 72-75F GH/KH: 180 =10 Nirate/Nitrite: 0
Tank Mates: 7 Galaxy Rasbora/ 20+ AdrianHD Endlers/ 3 Amano Shrimps/ 20+ Cherrys Plants: Pogostemon Erectus, Java Moss Wall

Last edited by Hsunami; 03-08-2016 at 09:47 PM. Reason: info
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-09-2016, 01:54 AM
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In my case, I'm very slow to give up any flow so the cutoffs are not in my plan.
The longer tubing is a worthwhile thought but I am more involved in DIY than many so go a different way. I like the Grigg's style reactors so well that I use them on almost all CO2 tanks. So far I have been able to avoid bubbles by just oversizing the reactors. Another point that I use and seems to work for me is to keep the reactor very simple and as close to the original design as I find practical. I use a 90 elbow at the base so the unit can set on the floor better. Some of the complaints with the Grigg's style are related to what I see as poorly thought out design changes.
That's where I am always glad to see that folks like yourself are motivated enough to really search out a solution that works for them. There are so many that just throw up their hands and decide the whole idea of CO2 is not their game.
Got to be a bit dedicated and a bit perverse to stay around this game for long. Just lots of little things that can make us scream?
Thanks for showing what you did to solve your puzzle.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 12:21 PM
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Having the very similar Sera 500 reactor I am not surprised. I have the largest eheim eco filter on mine and it is barely moving the impeller properly, can only imagine using the smallest eco filter. I also removed the second blade a while ago. But just cut of the blades from the plastic ring holding them. Working a bit better now and I can reach my desired co2 levels but it takes a long time to get there so I cannot use a selenoid properly so it is always on for now. Gonna try an AM1000 reactor without the balls in and see if that works better.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-16-2016, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Mines not event a sera though...lol its a knock off ISTA made.

Yeah i just went with the smallest cainster needed for my 30 gal. Needed one with not much flow because of the fish. In the wild they r mostly in stagnant water and not in streams. Im just glad the 7 up affect is gone and co2 is diffusing properly.

Tank: 29Gallon
Light: 24" Finnex 24/7 & 24" Ray 2
PH:7.5 Water Temp: 72-75F GH/KH: 180 =10 Nirate/Nitrite: 0
Tank Mates: 7 Galaxy Rasbora/ 20+ AdrianHD Endlers/ 3 Amano Shrimps/ 20+ Cherrys Plants: Pogostemon Erectus, Java Moss Wall
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