Everyones co2 DIY Reactor/Diffusor Experiences - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Everyones co2 DIY Reactor/Diffusor Experiences

ok heres what ive tried.
Sintered Glass Rock (Ehiem Substrat i think) wedged and expoxied into half a check valve.. bubbles started fine but it soon changed into an airstone.

ciggerette filters, both sizes small and large.. they work for a while but dont really give me much desire to use them as they do the same as sintered glass.

various woods ive tried.. but not consitently tried, i think if someone used a peice of wood they should silicone or epoxi the sides so the co2 only escapes from the tips of the grains.. if that was done you would have pretty fine bubbles i think

Ceramic from a china cup handel which i epoxied into another half check valve. no air escaped i think the pores were to tight in this perticular ceramic.

reactor out of a gravel vac.... use to blow the sponge out and look a sight ugly in the tank.. not bad operation but you need to get the right sponges and the right gph pump for it to be best effective..

ive tried a ciggy filter into a powerhead to chop the bubbles even more.. this made one of my plants release a few bubbles from one leave which i was happy about but it also lost loads of co2 to the surface..

the gas strainers from inside gas ciggy lighters.. this was just like an airstone.

at the moment i have taken one of those nylon back scrubbers.. there like nylon webbing like you get fruit in.. they basicaly twist them into a plant and tie them and sell them as loufers i cut one up and took a sheet of it and stuffed it into an inch diameter polycarb tube which is about 11" - 12" long, a bung in the top and a canister outlet later i found the co2 gets quite stuck in there and this morning the co2 was all dissolved from inside.. i dont thimk it escaped as there was still 1 or 2 bubbles.. its quite small aswell.. ill post pics later

what about everyone elses experiences on this.

light is a very important factor in keeping a planted tank.. but if you use co2 so are the diffusion options lol
i havent got any choice for anything descent over here (UK) and co2 isnt really taking off at my lfs's so i need to find my own way. i think ceramic is the best but its finding some sutibly porous enough to be nice and effective..

i want to run the co2 into my canister but i cant think of anything other than an extremely fine diffusor to stop my canister airlocking.

anyways your experinces ladys and gents

jay
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 05:23 PM
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I tried tons of various of DIY contraptions too, the best thing is an inline reactor! Save yourself the headache and make one!
I wouldnt run co2 into the canister. The co2 destroyed two of my impellers over a year. The airlockign can destroy your motor and impeller too. I have lost a 303,403, and an xp2. They were old I have a 6 yaer fluval 303 still going strong w/o co2.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 05:34 PM
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Here's a link to an in-line reactor from one of our members. I built one and never looked back. Everything else I tried was ca-ca next to this... quiet, staggeringly efficient.

Only changes... if you can't find the clear PVC, nothing's wrong with white. And if you can't find a top piece with the angled whole (as I couldn't) just drill a hole and epoxy in a cheap plastic airline connector.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-04-2005, 10:04 PM
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I think the problem with the traditional gravel vac design is the powerhead is too powerful, you only need a slow flow to roll the bubbles around until they are gone. I have a DIY modeled after the Plantguild unit, one of which I bought after I did the DIY because it is slightly better built than my own. Mine used a Rio90 for the power, the Plantguild used a Rio50. The 50 is sufficient. The Plantbuidl unit has a much neater sponge, mine is a bit ratty. After 2 years of use, the Rio 90 suction feet have decayed and lost suction. I have yet to look into replacing them. The Plantguild unit is just fine at one year old.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-08-2005, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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well thanks for the reply guys.. unfortunatly im out of work at the mo so ill have to leave it till i can afford the parts but it seems there the best way of going about it..

the tank has (since fitting more lights) taken off quite nice but there are still the odd plant that rots out normaly the big leaf plants and every plant still shows some yellowish or holey leaves at the bases (stem plants) or in the leaves of big leaf plants but the top growing part of most plants in the tank are doing very well. i dont have the reactor i said about as i made it into a surface skimmer hehe but that was pretty effective because a few plants pearled from lights on to off... which was nice.

ill post when i get on with making one.
thanks guys
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 05:18 AM
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I've come up with a new way of getting better co2 injection in my smaller tanks.

I've been feeding a large syringe filled with foam co2 from a side tap (the main flow of water comes through the centre) and tapping some flow off my main powerhead to act as a mini reactor. the effect is rather good.

I am currently playing with the idea of teeing the powerheads in my larger tanks to do an enlarged system of this, by fitting a throttling valve to the water injector,so I should be able to control the flow of water into the reactor.
What do you think?
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 05:31 AM
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Hey scolley, James' plan was the inspiration for my DIY efforts when I got back into the hobby last year. Possibly a bit more complex than others have done, but if you can find all the fittings it's like putting together Lego™.

Of course, with the right tools and skills you can do it with just the pipe, two end caps and some hose barbs. Drill and tap the endcaps for the barbs and you're set with a minimum of parts. THe beauty of James' design is that you can get inside to clean it out if necessary.

—Bill

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 12:08 PM
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Most reactors can be serviced w/a bit of modification. Just make sure that one of the endcaps are threaded and by doing so, you can pull it apart later on to service it.

Eric


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bharada
James' plan was the inspiration for my DIY efforts... it's like putting together Lego™.
Agreed. I don't know James, but I'm definately indebted to him for his contributions to the hobby. And I know I'm not nearly alone in that!

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 06:59 PM
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I've been running my external, DIY reactor on the outflow of an XP3 since July. Looks very similar to the referenced design, though I put a flat cap at the bottom with a screw in adapter on the side, so I could stand the reactor on its side in the bottom of my stand. Total construction cost was $10-$15, as I recall.

I did build it with a screw in side plug and have it filled with bio-balls. I certainly *can* do maintenance on it....but when will I know that I need to?? The flow on my spray bar (which has been there since July also) is still good. So, I have yet to clean anything but the filter to date. Am I asking for trouble??

Brian.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 09:10 PM
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Just keep an eye on the flow rate BSS, if it slows and the filter is clean then you know the reactor is ready for a cleaning.
But then again, it would take only a few minutes to shut down the CO2 and check it... a bird in the hand I always say.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 09:28 PM
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I built an inline reactor much like the one shown. But the reactor is probably 15 inches and instead of putting whole bio balls in the reactor I cut them all in half. And then threw them all in there it created a whole lot more surface area on the way up. Changes the flow pattern quite a bit from what I see.

imnappy2
75 gallon eheim 2028, compressed co2, DIY everything possible.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-04-2005, 07:14 AM
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On my 10 gallon tank, I feed the CO2 directly into the water intake of a "Nanofilter", made for tiny tanks (5 gallons or so).

The "Nanofilter" is weak enough that instead of bubbles being sucked down into the impeller and smashed, most float in the top of the plastic intake and slowly dissolve as the water flows past.

Good CO2, virtually silent.

-DarkCobra
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