Newbie Story & DIY Reactor Question - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-07-2004, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Newbie Story & DIY Reactor Question

Hi guys. I've been lurking around this forum for the last few months, and first want to quickly say thanks to many of you for the wealth of information I've discovered in your posts!

I put together my first planted tank this year. I've been playing around with the DIY 2 liter/yeast Co2 for the past few months. Honestly I hadn't had much luck until recently.

I had been using a "very" passive method for diffusing the Co2 through a piece of PVC, sliced in half, length-wise with endcaps on it, attached to the back of the tank with suction cups. The Co2 would enter the "umbrella" and maintain contact with the water, and the results were not very impressive to say the least.

I then decided to try and feed the Co2 line to the input line on my Magnum 350. This looked like it was going to work, until I came home one day to find my 2 liter trying to turn insideout. ;-) A little to much suction kind of scared me away from that method.

I have an undergrave PVC system for the return to create some nice currents on the surface of my substrate, but opted not to add the Co2 there...

Finally, I got off my rear and made a reactor, using a "vaccum cleaner" tube, a power head, an airstone, and some bioballs. The first two days were rather dissapointing, until I decided to change my tubing. I had been using some clear, cheap-o tubing, however, as soon as I placed some silicon rubber tubing, I started to see the magic work. I must have had a leak or something, because the Co2 flow rate increase big time after the tubing change.

Here's the question. After a days time, I have about 1" of co2 at the top of the reactor. The tube is at least 10 inches long, and there are several tiny bubbles dancing around the bioballs interacting with the water. Is it normal to have such a large space of Co2 at the top of the reactor? I'm not sure if I should be concerned about increasing the flow rate of the powerhead, which I can adjust...

Thanks,

Bobbo
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-07-2004, 02:33 AM
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Welcome to the Planted Tank!

If CO2 isn't dissolved, most likely the powerhead is too weak. If you can increase the throughput, see if it solves the problem.

Another possibility is that the first day(s) you don't get pure CO2, since there is initially some air in the bottle. Air doesn't dissolve as readily as CO2, so it collects for a while in the top part of the tube. But then it goes away all by itself.


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-07-2004, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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24 hours later and it looks good. Seems to have "bleeded" out what must have been a little air in reactor from the 2 liter.. Happy now to see only the few bubbles churning around and disolving into the water. I guess simply patience was needed.

Looks like the PH is finally dropping a little, so it must be working. :-D

Thanks Wasser...
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