Cerges Reactor questions! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Cerges Reactor questions!

Hey all!

Planning on perhaps putting together a Cerges reactor to diffuse co2.

Couple of quick questions;

1) I've seen folks use bio-balls in them, along with the Rex and other reactors. Is there any genuine benefit to this?

2) I've also seen folks use powerheads, in some form, before or after the reactor. I'm assuming to up the water flow. What's the story behind that? Seems like an extra spot to potentially leak and I'm not sure the reactor is really going to reduce flow; but figured I'd ask before I put something together!

3) Recommended 'water filter' (to use as the body) for a 29g tank fed by a Cascade 1000? I was thinking just one of the smaller ones ought to be plenty; but as the Canister is a relatively big one, thought I'd ask!

4) Might not make a difference, but, for grins I'll ask. Is the spray bar or 'direct flow' discharge (powerhead style output) a better option for the final output? (The Cascade canister includes both options; I generally use the spraybar)

Thanks!
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 02:44 AM
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1. I see no benefit. It seems something to add when we are not certain the bubbles will stay in the reactor long enough to be absorbed into the water. The downside as I see it is that the balls add a further restriction to flow, are prone to collecting gunk like algae and add expense.
2. I don't favor this due to the way the speed of the two separate pumps operate. If the powerhead pumps faster than the filter, the filter impeller will not turn faster. It is controlled by the 60 cycle electrical current. More expense, more cleaning and more nuisance with little gain.
3. no help on this?
4.Personal choice based on which you and your tank/fish/plants need. If you want a wider spread of faster flow at a point like the surface, the spray bar is good. But if you want a larger more direct flow that will flow across the tank further and move the water at the other end of the tank, no bar might be good. But that is an easy change to make at any point by just adding or removing the bar. I changed mine several times before going bar free. The cascade bar tends to clog a little more than I liked.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! That's helpful!
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 03:05 PM
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Keep in mind that any info that comes from a forum is based on personal opinions and those can vary>>
What works for one doesn't always work for another.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
Keep in mind that any info that comes from a forum is based on personal opinions and those can vary>>
What works for one doesn't always work for another.
I agree very much so with PlantedRich.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like I was mistaken and the people using powerheads that I discovered in my internet searching were NOT using canister filters; and were using powerheads and canister filter tubing in place of a canister filter; simply to make the cerges reactor work on a tank that uses HOB filters. That makes a lot more sense.

WHILE I have you in here; what sort of limitations are there for long-range co2 tubing?

I have two tanks in my dinette; where this 29g planted tank is. The other is a little 10 gallon that I mostly use as a hospital tank; it's only permanent residents are 3 old cory cats that have lived with me for quite some time, and have moved with me twice. They are the remainders of a formerly larger school and have actually lived in every single one of my tanks at some point or another. Anyway, I'd like to plant that tank, maybe. Could I run co2 tubing along the baseboard back to that tank, with a second needle valve of some sort? Though the tank is only about 12 feet away, it would probably be 20-25 feet of tubing as it would be running along the baseboards.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 03:12 AM
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Thinking about my air compressor setup in the garage, I see little draw back to 25' of air line tubing vs say 2' of tubing. You are just not passing that much volume of air (gas) to make any real difference. 500' of tubing might be a different story.
Biggest issue would be how many connection joints you will have to make the longer tube.


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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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I'm HOPING I can find longer co2 proof tubing somewhere. Then just a tee off of the main valve, and a second remote needle valve to dial down the pressure to the 10g. In theory, even after the needle valve on the regulator, the pressure will be higher than what the 10g would need so it would only ever need to be stepped down. It wouldn't need more co2 than the 29. That's the theory.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 05:07 PM
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At one point I di run a tube up to the attic and about 30 feet to come back down to another tank. It works but there are some things that get kind of wonky. Depending on the quality of tubing as well as what type of diffuser is on the end, the tubing will do what I call "balloon". It can make it interesting to get the bubble count started and adjusted on the two tanks. Adjusting more flow at "A" will also changes the flow at "B".
Not out of reason but just a bit wonky?
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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In that case I would just run it through the floor but there's no good way for me to run the tubing without making unsightly holes. If I had carpet in there, it would be easy to run it through the floor, into the basement. So the cleanest solution is on the baseboards.

If it won't work it won't work. Just though, since I've got this co2 tank sitting here, I could add some plants to the 10g.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 12:34 AM
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Oh my, aren't basements great? Here we deal with slab floors!
A secret to drill without really doing too much damage can depend on the age of the house. Do you have wood trim with a base shoe like 1/4 round or shoe at the bottom? If lucky enough the easy way to avoid a big deal of damage is to drill down through the top of the base trim. Drilling at an angle so that the drill bit is about 45Degrees from the wall as well as 45 degrees left/right will give you a really good shot at drilling through the base trim, through the floor and still not get stuck in the top of a floor joist beam.
This will give you a hole of course but it is easy to fill and conceal once you want to move, etc. If you are lucky enough to have white painted wood trim, toothpaste makes a nice filler for hiding the hole. Caulk is good but toothpaste is handy!

Be very cautious if there is carpeting that might be run under the trim if you are using a power drill. A brace and bit are safer but power will do. The problem is that a power drill doesn't stop if it snags a thread in the carpeting. It can unwind a big patch out of the carpeting before it stops turning.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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If there was carpeting it would be easy. Pull the carpeting back a bit, drill underneath it.

I have hardwood floors and stained wood baseboards. Just don't wanna deal with drilling there.

One last question; which is better, running the co2 directly into the reactor, or running it via a "T" fitting before the reactor?
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 09:03 PM
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"T" just before the reactor is how it is typically done. Less chances for a leak


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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 10:56 PM
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If it were a Grigg's style I would advise pulling the tubing through the PVC wall so that it extends into the center of the water flow. But with the Cerge's, the operation is different and may not matter.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 09-01-2015, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Actually, Rich, your method is kind of how I did it.

After driving an hour and visiting 4 hardware stores absolutely nobody carried a nipple small enough for the co2 tubing. So I decided to drill a hole right on the top of the water filter. I made it just big enough that I could BARELY get the co2 tubing into the filter. Lots of twisting and pushing and forcing and I had it in, and inside the tubing for the in-flow. With a bead of silicone on each side for good measure. Seems to work in mock-testing; but I snapped one of the nipples right off of the bubble counter so I'll have to await another one to actually know that it works. There are no fish so I wasn't concerned about 'gassing'. So I did pump some co2. I did find that bubbles are coming through even with a tiny amount of pressure. But I'll await a bubble counter to know for sure what my pressure is looking like, and will then investigate from there. Perhaps I'll need to add something into the reactor to break up the bubbles.
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