Rex's DIY reacotor- getting low dissolution rates - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Rex's DIY reacotor- getting low dissolution rates

I built a DIY Rex reactor- The tube is 3 feet long, basically because I had the space and I didn't want to cut it again (can you say LAZY)

Problem is I am getting large bubbles blowing all the way down into my spray bar (which I have positioned vertically) out into the tank. So I am not getting very good dissolution rates right? I also have not been able to kill off the BBA - a sure sign my CO2 is too low, right?

I think my pump is moving too much water too fast, right?

I can't make the reactor longer, I just don't have the space-

I can not increase the angle any more- it runs from the top of the stand where the water and air enter, all the way to the bottom of the stand on at the other end.

so what can I do to increase the dissolution rate? should I cut it in half and fill with bioballs? I would prefer to do something that isn't going to be high maintenance or high cost- any ideas?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 09:17 PM
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can you get a tube with a larger diameter?
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 09:30 PM
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Test one is to turn off the CO2 and see if you are still seeing large bubbles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbosaurus
Problem is I am getting large bubbles blowing all the way down into my spray bar (which I have positioned vertically) out into the tank. So I am not getting very good dissolution rates right? I also have not been able to kill off the BBA - a sure sign my CO2 is too low, right?

Moved to Tucson.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 09:44 PM
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no media...

A few things can be done but more information please.
What filter/or pump are you using? What diameter pipe are you using? 3' long seems excessive but who knows.
As mentioned you could increase the diameter but I need to understand what you've built here. My reactor is based on 2" PVC and is no bigger than 2' tall including the 2" 90 at each end.

There are all kinds of variations that can work. The main thing to try and avoid is placing media inside the chamber. That is specifically what Rex has avoided.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kzr750r1
The main thing to try and avoid is placing media inside the chamber. That is specifically what Rex has avoided.
I thought the addition of bioballs was benificial to breaking down the CO2 bubbles

Ehfipimp #273 ( Eheim Classic: 2260, 2217, Eheim Ecco: 2236, 2232 ) Fluval FX5

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 10:07 PM
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Bioballs work in my reactors. I like to use this analogy. Some like Chevys, some like Fords. The important thing is not to put Chevy parts on Fords.....DC

Quote:
Originally Posted by fshfanatic
I thought the addition of bioballs was benificial to breaking down the CO2 bubbles
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 10:07 PM
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Probably a stupid question, but just the be thorough, the CO2 is floating upward against the flow of the water, not with it, right?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 10:20 PM
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Two issues, media of any kind slows down flow and clogging is an on going issue. Media will increase resistance on your pump and cause early failure if not monitored carefully. Never had a failure personally but I think it's the main reason for Rex trying to build one without media in the chamber.

Having a longer reaction chamber has helped me remove the media and extend cleanings. I run less BPM and these days run CO2 at lights on only. I'm probably running a bit higher BPM this way but I was having issues with too much when running CO2 7/24 at a lower bubble count. So these days I'm using a HOB for extra surface movement and let it turn off at night. It's been working great so far. I was tired of the constant drop in pump pressure and the muck cleaning. These days I hook up the hose jet it out a couple of times with a good shake till its all clear, done. No pulling out tools and Teflon tape to get the bio balls/lava rock/plastic scrubbers out for replacement and/or cleaning.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endparenthesis
Probably a stupid question, but just the be thorough, the CO2 is floating upward against the flow of the water, not with it, right?
Yes.

RIP - 55g - Eheim 2026 and 2217 - DIY CO2 reactor - Turbo Twist 3x - Tek Light t5 pendant w/ 2x54 6500k - ecocomplete mixed with Red Sea florabase.
"Better to be shot out of a cannon then squeezed through a tube" - HST
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2006, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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My reactor is 2" diameter, 3' long. At the top I have a T valve, water coming inline, the perpendicular end of the T faces down, this is where my CO2 enters so it will rise into the water flow. At the bottom I have a eblow to which the line out is conencted, its not a hard 90 degree turn, but a curved elbow.

The tank is 180 gallons, the pump is a 900gph pond pump (I know, probably overkill) but I have it turned down as low as possible, so your guess is as good as mine as to actual flow rate considering it has to push the water out of the sump straight up about 2" to get to the top of the reacotor (where my CO2 enters it) then down to the bottom of the reactor and 4' or so from the bottom of the reactor straight back up into the tank, then down the spray bar which is 18" long mounted vertically. It pushes water fast enough to carry dime sized bubbles from the top of the reactor all the way to the bottom most holes of the spray bar...
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2006, 03:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueRam
Test one is to turn off the CO2 and see if you are still seeing large bubbles.

That is what I would do first ,sometimes there is bubbles or air trapped in the reactor and it comes out like small bubbles but its just air not co2.
As your last resort try adding a few bio balls in the reactor,it worked for me(I had the same problem)I also decreased the pump pressure to about 250gph.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2006, 05:07 PM
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You can put a by pass in to reduce the flow rate through the reactor if you need to. I had to burp out the air from my reactor because it did not desolve. Only my C02 desolves now 100 %. The only time I get air is after cleaning the filter and then I just need to burp it.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-08-2006, 08:11 PM
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Sounds like pump volume to me too. As discribed it sounds to be mounted vertical (correct me if I'm wrong). You could go to a 3" shorter main chamber and crank the pump back up a bit. Sounds like your pump can handle it if tried.

It took me several variations to find what works for my gear. All were different lengths of 2" going longer and longer till it worked great.

Keep trying, youll get it.

For the post clean air pocket just let it run for a while and the air will gas out. Good to turn off the CO2 for a little bit. Mine getís a little noisy for 4hrs or so then I turn on the CO2 again.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2006, 09:14 AM
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I think that one problem with not having any media at all in the reactor chamber is that you could get a jet stream through the center of the reactor, i think that this could pull gas with it even if the reactor is fairly long.

Just a thought, if you tilt the reactor slightly (maybe 20-30 degrees) the gas might drop out of the stream because it has some "will" to go to the side instead of straight up the stream.

/Niklas

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