Thoughts on improving blow by in RG reactors - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 01:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on improving blow by in RG reactors

I've always had an issue with my RG style based reactor in that the very small bubbles are able to exit the bottom of the reactor and escape into the aquarium where they may or may not end up dissolving completely.

Moving from a 2" to a 3" reactor body would more than double the cross section of tube, slowing the water flow too much and causing an air pocket to build up at the top of the reactor, which is noisy, and I just plain don't like it. Some deal with gas pockets by venting it occasionally, which wastes CO2, or recirculating into a venturi.

I'm thinking about taking a different approach, and would like to get some feedback on whether anyone thinks it will work, or if I'm building a square wheel.

I currently have a 2"x36" reactor, and am thinking about building one with a 2"x24" section which then widens into a 12" long section of 3" or even 4" pipe. My theory is that any bubbles small enough to be pushed out of the 2" section will still be too boyant to continue downwards through the 3" portion. They will circulate near the top of the 3" section and either dissolve, or combine and float back up into the 2" portion.

Does anyone know of anyone who has built something like this, or maybe even have built one yourself? I still have a few feet of 2" clear PVC laying around, so would just need a foot of 3" and a clear coupler to build the contraption. I will build it out of clear PVC just like my old one so that I can see what is going on inside rather than guess, which doesn't help much for finding methods of improvement.

If this works well, it could likely be scaled down to smaller diameter to eliminate air pockets for those who have that issue (I.E. 1.5" to 2" pipe).

Let me know if you think this will work. Let me know if you think it's a stupid idea also, and if this is the case be sure to be really condescending and insulting in your reply. Everyone needs to be knocked down a few pegs from time to time.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 01:32 PM
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I recently added a bypass hose and two 3/4 in line valves to tune the flow
through my RG type reactor. (one valve on the bypass line one at the reactor feed line)
It so far is working perfectly and has had no effect on my flow back into the tank or gas levels in the tank.
Once tuned the new design eliminates the bubbles from passing thru the reactor because of the flow rate.
Which for me quieted down the trickling noise I was getting because of the gas build up in my filter.
I do still get a small amount of lite trickling noise in the reactor about an hour prior to the lights going out but I really have to listen for it to hear it.

I have been meaning to take some pics and make a post but have been lacking the time.
I'll try to do that today and post them here if you are interested.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 02:03 PM
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I think to avoid the air pocket all you need to do is create a "V" like shape inside the reactor to funnel the bubbles back towards the inflow. Rather than getting caught up near the top. Here is an image of what I did with mine. Just imagine the RED is silicone. That is how I globbed it inside the reactor around the inflow. So as bubbles rise they do not get caught in the corners of the reactor.

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Thanks,
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 04:40 PM
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@Shark: What are you using for a pump to feed water to this and what sort of method did you use to introduce CO2 to the reactor, including size, and placement?

thanks

jim
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 04:42 PM
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@Chafire: How far into the pipe does your barb extend? Does it make it to the center of the 2" pipe or just past the edge of the fitting?

thanks

jim
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-03-2010, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input all.

Chafire, I appreciate the tips on avoiding a gas pocket, however I don't have any issue with gas buildup whatsoever. My problem is blowby.

Jim, I power my reactor off the outflow of a Fluval 405. I have an inline venturi before the reactor.

I've thought about splitting the outflow as Mr. Stephens suggested, and I'm sure it would work, I just kind of want to build a single piece of equipment that takes care of things on its own.

I think I'm going to go ahead and build a prototype anyway. I can always use another project that I don't have enough time for. Also I have an excuse to get PVC primer all over my hands again, which is a reward in and of itself.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 12:19 AM
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@Shark: Mazzei or homebrew venturi?

PVC = Tinkertoys for Adults!

go for it

jim
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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Homestyle. It's just a $0.80 coupler with a piece of rigid tubing going into it.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkfood View Post
Thanks for the input all.

Chafire, I appreciate the tips on avoiding a gas pocket, however I don't have any issue with gas buildup whatsoever. My problem is blowby.

Jim, I power my reactor off the outflow of a Fluval 405. I have an inline venturi before the reactor.

I've thought about splitting the outflow as Mr. Stephens suggested, and I'm sure it would work, I just kind of want to build a single piece of equipment that takes care of things on its own.

I think I'm going to go ahead and build a prototype anyway. I can always use another project that I don't have enough time for. Also I have an excuse to get PVC primer all over my hands again, which is a reward in and of itself.

Hey guys, first no Mr. here that would suggest I am a mature adult.
lol not really I breed snakes and enjoy tinkering with planted tanks and captive reptile environments.

I am assuming your "out flow" is the return to the tank from your filter?
Not sure I would valve,or increase size of reactor on that side of the filter.
Any mods would reduce flow.

Here are the pics of my current set up all piped in on the inlet hose for a XP4.
Using the valves you just adjust the flow to keep all the gas in the reactor until it's gone with out any reduction in flow into the filter.










Thought's?

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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I think that simply havin the reactor on the inflow would would make the reactor much more efficient. I think I'll try switching the plumbing around. I don't run any media in my reactor, so clogging won't be an issue. I've got to make some more 4dKH solution though so I can run a drop checker. I'm assuming I'll have to turn down the CO2. I don't think slight ruduction in the outflow is a big deal. It's far more damaging to the pump to starve it in the input.

What brand of timers do you use? I've had problems with the mechanical Brinks timers found locally. They often seem to have spots where the timer will turn off for 15 minute stretches, and have one that just fails to turn on sometimes.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-04-2010, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkfood View Post
I think that simply having the reactor on the inflow would would make the reactor much more efficient. I think I'll try switching the plumbing around. I don't run any media in my reactor, so clogging won't be an issue. I've got to make some more 4dKH solution though so I can run a drop checker. I'm assuming I'll have to turn down the CO2. I don't think slight reduction in the outflow is a big deal. It's far more damaging to the pump to starve it in the input.

What brand of timers do you use? I've had problems with the mechanical Brinks timers found locally. They often seem to have spots where the timer will turn off for 15 minute stretches, and have one that just fails to turn on sometimes.

Timers are Intermatic, and I have some that are close to a decade old and running perfectly.
I do agree that restricting floe is hard on any pump or filter.
I am using larger tubing for that reason and carefully tuning the valve on only the bypass line to adjust the flow through the reactor, which I valve
in case I needed to cut off the water flow to it for a repair or something to that effect.

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