ARGH!! DIY Filter + Reactor plans failing. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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ARGH!! DIY Filter + Reactor plans failing.

So I recently set up a 5.5 g tank which I'm trying to make high maintenance.

I didn't think I'd need filtration because I thought if I put enough CO2 into the water (via hagen co2 ladder) that simple diffusion would take placea and distribute it throughout the water. This is clearly not happening because although I have 40+ watts over the tank and two 1liters going, my plants are not pearling nor showing any significant growth.

Substrate is schultz enriched with laterite and plant mulm from another aquarium.
I'm dosing using GW ferts via estimative index.
lighting is 40+ watts over the tank using 2 screw in daylight bulbs. It's very bright.
Maybe it's the temperature?

I recently got outbid on a zoomed 501 canister filter. Can't do that anymore.

I've searched every local hardware and fish store. No small water pumps. I was going to make my own canister filter but that's not going to happen without a pump.

Wal-mart has the only non-HOB small filter that I was thinking of retrofitting to be a submersible reactor/filter. This is it:

Tetra Whisper 10I Internal Filter at Big Al's Online

You can see how it isn't truely submersible. My question is, do you think I could rig that up to be an effective way to distribute CO2 throughout a small tank?

If not. Any other ideas? Cuz I'm plum out.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 11:26 PM
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I made a really effective reactor cheaply using a protein skimmer that I bought from big als. It only cost 21.00 or so.

You can find the thread by using the search option available on this forum and typing "DIY Cheap Reactor".

Also, a quick search on this forum should give results for several different ways to go.


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply Lycosa. Would a protein skimmer be too much for a 5g?

So I went over to walmart. The whisper filter is powered by an air pump so that won't work for obvious reasons.

I'm thinking about buying any of these filters from big als:

Tom Dive Clean Micro Pump at Big Al's Online


Is that filter even powered? Or is it just a sponge attached to tubing?

http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...internalfilter

Fluval 1 Plus Underwater Filter at Big Al's Online

Which would you guys recommend?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 01:00 AM
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Actually, that would take up too much room in a 5 gallon. Why not get a small glass diffuser on ebay for 4.00? As long as you build a liquid/gas seperator into your DIY system that should work. Others may have alternative/better ideas as well.

As far as filters go, I haven't kept any tanks that small so I probably wouldn't be the best judge for the best filtration. There are many nano keepers on here so someone should chime in with a suggestion.


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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Well I have a ladder diffusor.

The biggest thing I'm worried about is the co2 reaching all the parts of the tank.

I thought convection currents + diffusion would be enough but it doesn't seem so.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone know where to find both a glass diffusor and small powerhead/filter?

I'd like to save a little on shipping.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Ok.

I just placed an order from bigals.
ordered a rio 50 submersible pump
a large sponge for filtering (dunno if I'll need it)
some airline bulkheads (wanna make sure my DIY co2 isn't leaking).
some airline suction cups.


I'm either going to make a venturi-ish reactor (may not work because pump might be too strong for a 5.5g) or a DIY canister filter.

I'll keep ya'll updated and hopefully include pics once the order arrives.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 12:49 PM
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Sounds good. Just be careful when using a venturi type reactor and DIY CO2. The suction from the venturi can be powerful enough to suck the contents right out of the bottle!


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 01:33 PM
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What I used to do for DIY CO2 in a 2.5 Gal tank was just use suction cups to hold test tubes upside down on the side of the tank. The suction cups were from a bubble wand, and the test tubes were the Wardleys round glass 10mL tubes. I ran the CO2 into a long airstone which was located under the row of tubes and most of the CO2 gas would get trapped in the tubes until it dissolved. Any excess CO2 would overflow the tubes and bubble to the surface, like after shaking the bottle.

I think that with a tank that small you might get more consistant stable PH if you use small containers to trap the large CO2 bubbles under the water instead of trying to churn it up and dissolve it as quickly as possible. This should compensate for variations in bottle output.

You might try one of those small internal HOB Whisper filters just to provide some small water circulation and prevent the scum film that builds up on stagnant water. You'd have to keep the water level high or even keep it completely submerged to prevent excess surface agitation. Not really using it as a filter just to keep the water moving.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies.

The problem with the whisper pumps is that they're powered by an air pump.

I think this would remove a good portion of CO2

I think I'm definitely going to make a small canister filter, a la:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...er-56-k-w.html

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...hlight=filters
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 06:51 PM
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Why not get one of those mini HOB filters they make for tiny tanks?

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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The whole point of this tank is to get extreme growth. I'm going to amp up my co2 to 2 1.5liters so I think if any of that was exposed to the air, it would be lost.

This is a plant only tank so far, so I'm not concerned about putting high levels of CO2 into the tank.


I want to see pearling!!
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 12:56 PM
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The Tetra Wisper 10i isn't air powered... I don't understand where you are getting your info from... Just read the Product Information...


Quote:
Quiet and convenient, the Whisper Internal Filter will operate in less than 2 inches of water, making it ideal for reptile tanks. Easily adjustable with mounting bracket and suction cups, these filters can be used for either high or low water levels. Since they sit inside the aquarium and the motor is under water these filters are exceptionally quiet. Each filter comes complete with one pre-assembled Whisper Bio-Bag Filter Cartridge. The 10i Filter is suitable for aquariums up to 10 gallons in size. 90 GPH. Replacement cartridges are the Bio-Bag-Junior (medium).
Sorry, but, I don't see anywhere in there where it says powered by an air pump it actually says there is a 90 GPH pump inside...

Just thought I'd let you know... I looked at one lastinght... ;-)
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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erm... my bad. I thought you meant the smallest version they made - which - is indeed powered by a tiny air pump.

Regardless, the filter's outflow comes out of the top, creating surface movement and decreasing CO2. If this wasn't a factor, I woudlda just gone with a small HOB.

I have a rio 50 coming in the mail. Once it arrives, I'm going to try and make a tiny venturi reactor or if that creates too much flow, a DIY canister filter.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-10-2006, 06:00 PM
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Sounds sweet! Are you going to write up a thread showing how you are doing it?
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