Very compact diy CO2 reactor - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-27-2019, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Very compact diy CO2 reactor

After 10+ years without a planted tank, I am about to jump back in the game with a 400 L tank.
Back then, I worked part time at the local pet-store, and was able to test a lot of reactors. Both internal and in-line reactors.
The best reactor I could find was this little thing from Sera.


It seems like this is not produced anymore. I fint this a bit strange, as it supplied very good surface area between gas and water, making it extremely efficient for its size.

Some months ago discovered a new infill pattern for 3D-printers called gyroid.


I printed a small sample right away to see if it would work within a reactor. The print was a cylinder with 50 mm (2") diameter and a lenght of 100 mm (4").
This has been tested for some weeks at my local pet-store.
It is placed within a siphon tube in a 1200 L (317 gallon) tank with overflow and sump. Water is supplied by a throttled Aquaclear 50.
I did not have high hopes as it came out half the planned lenght due to printer failure, but was really surprised. The pH fell form 7.8 to 6.7 (3 dKH water) in less than half an hour! It was stopped at 6.7 by the pH-controller.

PVC parts has been ordered to test how compact I can make it for my 400 L tank when it is up and running.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 01:53 AM
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I'm interested in this, keep us posted!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-13-2020, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torhav View Post
After 10+ years without a planted tank, I am about to jump back in the game with a 400 L tank.
Back then, I worked part time at the local pet-store, and was able to test a lot of reactors. Both internal and in-line reactors.
The best reactor I could find was this little thing from Sera.


It seems like this is not produced anymore. I fint this a bit strange, as it supplied very good surface area between gas and water, making it extremely efficient for its size.

Some months ago discovered a new infill pattern for 3D-printers called gyroid.


I printed a small sample right away to see if it would work within a reactor. The print was a cylinder with 50 mm (2") diameter and a lenght of 100 mm (4").
This has been tested for some weeks at my local pet-store.
It is placed within a siphon tube in a 1200 L (317 gallon) tank with overflow and sump. Water is supplied by a throttled Aquaclear 50.
I did not have high hopes as it came out half the planned lenght due to printer failure, but was really surprised. The pH fell form 7.8 to 6.7 (3 dKH water) in less than half an hour! It was stopped at 6.7 by the pH-controller.

PVC parts has been ordered to test how compact I can make it for my 400 L tank when it is up and running.
This is pretty interesting, I would love a picture of the setup. I assume this is a tank with co2 being supplied to the siphon tube? Also this tank has a hang on back and a sump?


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Parts are coming in. Just waiting for some hosetails to arrive. Have parts for two complete units with clear acrylic tubes at the moment. This will be helpful to see the level of CO2 within the reactor and which flow to be used, without releasing microbubbles.

One reactor will be used for my own tank and the other for the tank at the LFS.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-02-2020, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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Both reactors are now finished. One is installed in my 50 gallon tank and the other one at the LFS.
They seem to be very sensitive to flowrate with the current design. I have reduced the diameter of the pipe from 50 mm to 30 mm, which might be too small.
Unfortunately my printer is out of filament, and the new batch I recieved was bad. I will do some minor adjustments as soon as the printer is up and running.

Testresults this far:
In the 50 gallon tank I have the opportunity to control flow, and the reactor is doing the job very well.
The CO2 level in the reactor is well below 10% of the reactors lenght, with a pH drop of 1 point @ 4 dKH.
In the 317 gallon tank at the LFS we used a too large powerhead. If the reactor is filled with more than 75% CO2, it releases microbubbles. It can still drop the pH about 0.7 @ 4 dKH. Here I will try to make it less sensitive to flow, rather than reducing the flow.
If I can't figure this out, I will increasethe diameter back to 50mm (2"), as I know it was able to drop pH a full point at that diameter.
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