CO2 reactor ??????'s - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2005, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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CO2 reactor ??????'s

hello again all. i just have a couple quick questions. i am thinking about building my own CO2 reactor and was just woundering what else i would need besides:
power head
gravel vac tube
some filter floss for the bottom
maybe some bio balls.

is this all i need? also ive seen diagrams of some and not too sure about the placement of the power head, is the water flow flowing out the bottom, or is the CO2 bubbles getting sucking into the power head and then out the power head into the tank? also if the flow of the power head is out the bottom is it the bio balls and floss that break up the bigger bubbles of CO2?


thanks alot for any advice anyone can give. like i said a couple diagrams i looked at were not to clear in my eyes.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2005, 05:37 AM
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The powerhead is blowing water from top to bottom. The foam or floss used to keep the CO2 bubble from being directly blown out of the bottom of the tube.

Most plans call for a CO2 line to be inserted into the tube by drilling a hole and sticking the CO2 line in it. I guess you could just as easily attach the CO2 line to the powerhead's intake and let the bubbles get churned by the impeller before being blown into the tube itself.

óBill

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-01-2005, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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well thank you very much. as sfor stuffing the tube into the intake, wont the power head just suck out all the CO2 bubbles till there are no more and then suck out the fermented crap into the tank. this is why you insert the hose in threw a drilled hole correct.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2005, 04:11 AM
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There's a fine difference between "stuffing into the intake" and attaching it in a way that bubbles get sucked in, but no negative pressure "vacuum" occurs which might indeed suck the bottle empty.

Churning bubbles up in the impeller didn't work for me, the result was bubbles so small that they went straight to the bottom and out of the reactor. So now I just let them bubble into the reactor, where they swirl around and slowly get smaller.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2005, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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so you do the drilling of the hole in the tube and put your hose into there?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2005, 05:32 PM
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Yes, just drill a hole into the gravel vac top cap, a little bit smaller than the CO2/airline, and push/pull in there.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2005, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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thank you for the advise. have to made your own reactor? if so may i see a pic of it so i have a better idea of the different styles out there
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-02-2005, 08:40 PM
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i recently saw a bit on tom barr's site about internal co2 reactors, and since I'm still without a canister, decided to give it a try. the interesting thing i saw in his model that i haven't seen anywhere else is the use of a venturi line (either pre-assembled or DIY) to get those pesky pockets at the surface of the tube out into the tank. I don't remember precisely how the diagram presented it on the site, but what I did was take my powerhead, attach it to a gravel vac in the standard fashion, put an elbow connector inside the vac tube to create swirling, and plug a couple of airline connectors into the tube. one as close as possible to the bottom, the other on the blue lid of the gravel vac. the one at the bottom is where the CO2 bubbles in from the source, and the one on the top is where the venturi line is connected to the powerhead, sucking out air pockets, churning up CO2 and spitting out oxygen, nitrogen, etc., that collects in the bubbles that diffuse into the pockets at the top of the reactor, and forces them out into the water column as either dissolved gases or bubbles that drift to the surface. since incorporating the venturi into the reactor, my CO2 levels have jumped up about 10ppm at the same bubble rate, my o2 levels are most likely higher as a result of healthier plants as well as O2 constantly being churned and dumped into the water column by the powerhead, my algae is all but gone, and my fish seem more feisty than they have been in weeks.

Oh, to DIY a venturi line for a reactor that doesn't have one, just stick some flexible airline tubing (silicon is perfectly acceptable for this purpose) into the inlet strainer of the powerhead and connect it to the syphon tube as close to the top as you can practically place it to suck out as much of the trapped gas as possible. Thanks for the great tweak on an old design, tom!

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