DYI CO2 Reactor - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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DYI CO2 Reactor

I am going to be making my own CO2 Reactor and have a question.

I know if i make it to short the co2 won't get fused in the water and will just be blowing out into the tank but is there any problem with making it to long ?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 06:39 PM
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The only downside I would see is the pressure loss. My diy reactor is two feet tall and is powered by my sun sun canister. I love it. I would say 95% co2 diffusion.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 06:53 PM
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Here's my personal co2 reactor. It's been running for more than a year now with excellent results:



I recently attached a bubble counter:





~Cristian
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 09:55 PM
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I've built several and find going simple works for me. Part of that is making sure it is not too small so I go about 19 inches total for 75 gallon and above. I find no loss of pressure as the larger diameter of the pipe passes water better than the smaller tubing diameter. Fittings like elbows do tend to reduce flow though. Mine are built on the original Rex Grigg's plan and it works great including the point of just sticking the tubing through an undersized hole.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2014, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
Here's my personal co2 reactor. It's been running for more than a year now with excellent results:

I recently attached a bubble counter:

~Cristian
what size tank do you have that working on
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2014, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl View Post
what size tank do you have that working on

Using it on my 55g tank:

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2014, 02:06 AM
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What sizing would I need for a 150 Gallon tank?

Also wondering how much noise does it make?

I would imagine not much?

Cheers,

Larry
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2014, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Using it on my 55g tank:
How long is it and what size pipe you using
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2014, 03:00 AM
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PVC reactors can get quite noisy towards the end of the day when the water becomes saturated with o2 and it starts to accumulate in the reactor making a pocket of air that can get noisy.

When it comes down to it, there are many ways to get co2 to the plants, just depends on what your goals are in terms of cost, appearance, and wether or not you like micro bubbles.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2014, 04:03 AM
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Also wondering how much noise does it make?

I would imagine not much?

Cheers,

Larry

On the contrary, I do not hear any noise at all. The reactor sits inside the cabinet and I can't hear anything when closed. If the cabinet is open there's nothing audible unless you put your ear next to the pipe.

This could be because I am not blasting co2 so that it accumulates. It's a nice flow of roughly 1bubble per 2 seconds.

My drop checker turns green in less than 2 hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl View Post
How long is it and what size pipe you using

It's about 30" tall and the PVC is 2".

Last edited by Darkblade48; 04-26-2014 at 10:42 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2014, 06:09 AM
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Try this... smaller quiet design, lower water flow and fully saturated CO2 water on the outflow...and self regulating CO2 solenoid, bubble counter not needed.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-26-2014, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Try this... smaller quiet design, lower water flow and fully saturated CO2 water on the outflow...and self regulating CO2 solenoid, bubble counter not needed.

i was under the impression that the water level should never be low in the reactor so please explain the high/low switch. I have not seen that on a dyi reactor before
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-28-2014, 08:54 PM
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i was under the impression that the water level should never be low in the reactor so please explain the high/low switch. I have not seen that on a dyi reactor before
The principle of CO2 absorption is that the rate is driven by surface area achieved by a thin liquid film on the media. The other factor is that the liquid film should be rapidly replaced (reasonable water flow) on the media (it has to do with the much slower diffusion of CO2 in water than in air).

This is the same design principle used on industrial CO2 absorbers. Our lungs work on the same general principle too.

The reactor is never really dry as the media with high surface area is constantly being wetted. The CO2 rapidly absorbs and equilibrates with the thin liquid film. The flow of water has to be fast enough to wash out the CO2 saturated water but not too fast to flood the media - which in turn reduces the air-liquid surface area. So the reactor is never truly 'dry' while the pump keeps delivering water.

On the very top - the internal nozzle is paired with a venturi to mix CO2 in the reactor dome with water and spray that out in a coarse spray.

The float switch is a neat way to regulate the delivery of CO2. It keeps the water level from inadvertently rising and choking off the media. The second purpose of the lower water layer is as an air/bubble trap - this eliminates the 7UP effect from your tank.

When the water flow stops CO2 is no longer being absorbed and removed from the reactor and the water level does not trigger the solenoid.

I hope my explanation makes sense...
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