Question re: DIY CO2, reactors, diffusers, filter... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question re: DIY CO2, reactors, diffusers, filter...

Hi! This is my first post! I have a 20 gallon high that I'm considering doing DIY CO2 on. i've been checking out reactors, diffusers and the like. There are some great ideas out there. My first question is, why can't I just have my CO2 line go into my filter? I have an Eclipse hood. I was wondering if I could just take the tube from the CO2 and stick it essentially under the filter? It would then have to rise through the black plastic grate and the blue filter screen to get to the top of the water. I was thinking that the bubbles would probably burst before getting there and that would dissolve the CO2 into the water. Then it would flow into the chamber that spins the biowheel then out into the tank. Would the gas be released from the water before it ever got into the tank? Second question is, if I don't do that, how effective is using a mist-style air stone? It just seems to me that using the air stone or even a glass/ceramic diffuser which makes very fine bubbles still just has the bubbles rise to the top.

Also, one last question. I was reading an article on here the other day and found a link that showed how to make a reactor from a small in tank filter. It described how to remove the internal parts and insert the CO2 tube and the filter was only about $7 at petco or someplace like that. But, now I can't seem to find the article again. Anyone know what I'm talking about or where to find it? Thanks, this site is great!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ok, you can disregard my last question because the post right below mine just quoted the article! That's great. The other questions still stand though. Thanks!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinah View Post
Hi! This is my first post! I have a 20 gallon high that I'm considering doing DIY CO2 on. i've been checking out reactors, diffusers and the like. There are some great ideas out there. My first question is, why can't I just have my CO2 line go into my filter? I have an Eclipse hood. I was wondering if I could just take the tube from the CO2 and stick it essentially under the filter? It would then have to rise through the black plastic grate and the blue filter screen to get to the top of the water. I was thinking that the bubbles would probably burst before getting there and that would dissolve the CO2 into the water. Then it would flow into the chamber that spins the biowheel then out into the tank. Would the gas be released from the water before it ever got into the tank?
I am not too familiar with the Eclipse filters, but just bubbling CO2 into the inlet should work. Things to keep in mind are the possible noise of bubbles hitting the impeller (if that happens with this design) and/or the possibility of airlocks, for example if the power goes out and the CO2 replaces water and breaks the filter siphon.

Biowheels are very efficient in removing CO2, the best thing would be to remove the biowheel, or your DIY CO2 might not be that effective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinah View Post
Second question is, if I don't do that, how effective is using a mist-style air stone? It just seems to me that using the air stone or even a glass/ceramic diffuser which makes very fine bubbles still just has the bubbles rise to the top.
If the bubbles are very small (almost mist) CO2 is dissolved into water almost 100%. The problem is that this doesn't work well for DIY CO2, 1) because it creates a lot of back pressure that might be too much for the seals and 2) because DIY CO2 contains "things" (yeast & stuff) that clog these diffusers over time which can lead to exploding bottles.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 06:23 PM
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One of the best 'DYI CO2' reactors is just a powerhead with a CO2 line going to the intake and a piece of sponge over the output.

In fact, the Hagen Elite 2.5g filter is just such a beast, you can basically turn it into a DYI CO2 reactor setup in about 2 minutes
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 06:26 PM
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Yeah, the Eclipse filtration system seems a little too open to really allow for effective CO2 circulation. The top of the filter is largely open to the air (it has a snap on cover that won't prevent diffusion at all. The water drawn up flows across the top of a carbon cartridge where it sinks down is drawn across to the biowheel chamber, before flowing out. Sort of like a Penguin filter, but maybe even more open at the top.

I don't think CO2 will work all that well, but I have never tried it in my Eclipse.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, the Eclipse filtration system seems a little too open to really allow for effective CO2 circulation. The top of the filter is largely open to the air (it has a snap on cover that won't prevent diffusion at all. The water drawn up flows across the top of a carbon cartridge where it sinks down is drawn across to the biowheel chamber, before flowing out. Sort of like a Penguin filter, but maybe even more open at the top.

I don't think CO2 will work all that well, but I have never tried it in my Eclipse.
So, is it your opinion that CO2 won't work at all in this tank, or just that it won't work putting it in the filter?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 07:57 PM
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You'll have trouble w/ the whole tank b/c:

1) The Eclipse filters aren't that sturdy. The motor will eventually break down if injecting CO2 through the inlet, not to mention the noise.
2) Whether you diffuse through the inlet or another way, CO2 will dissipate when H2O falls onto the filter pad, again through the biowheel, and then through the 2 scoops below that.

So, diffuse the CO2 another way, but you'll have to inject a lot more into the tank than others have to, b/c your filter will constantly be outgassing it. Also, get rid of the biowheel, and keep your water level high so there's no unnecessary splashing back into the tank.

I'll always recommend (for planted tanks) getting rid of the whole Eclipse system as soon as you can afford to replace the filter and lighting/hood. The filtering isn't great, and the lights being bunched at the front of the tank make it difficult to grow background plants and aren't powerful enough anyway.
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