Co2 reactor size - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
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Co2 reactor size

I wanted to know if my diy pressurized co2 reactor is sufficient for my tank. The tank is 210 gallons. I'm using a 10 inch python gravel tube with a coarse sponge at the end. The powerhead that I'm using is a Maxi-jet 1200.

Also should I be using a corse or fine sponge in the gravel tube.

Thanks.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 07:23 AM
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Use a wider and longer tube. GPH?
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 08:49 AM
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Yeah the reactor housing should be around 20" long and at least 2.5" wide (+20"Long x 4"Wide would be great) from what I am hearing for a tank that size. The 10" could "work/still do the job", but you would be getting undissolved co2 bubbles coming out (wasting co2).

The GPH of the MaxiJet 1200 is 295 gph in powerhead mode (1300 in circulation mode).
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 03:37 PM
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This is one of those spots where you may need to do some looking and thinking on what's needed. How much we each need for CO2 is a variable that depends on lots of things. Are you pushing as much CO2 as wanted/needed and not getting more CO2 bubbles released into the tank than you like?
What we each like is part of the question. Do you like to see the sparkle from bubbles or do you want none?
Got too many bubbles, you need bigger. But if you want more , smaller is the way to go. The reactor is just a place where the CO2 can hang out while it is absorbed into the water. Too little space and it comes out in the water. In general, I would guess that you are on the small side.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 06:29 PM
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Please understand what a CO2 reactor does. I shakes water and gaseous CO2 together and pours out the result into your tank.

The longer the gaseous CO2 is shaken with the water more of the CO2 gas will dissolve in the water which is poured into your tank.

Most hobbyist make the mistake of trying to use either a smaller than the needed reactors or faster than the required water flow in the reactor. They forget that the longer they retain the CO2 gas in the reactor - more of it will enter their tank in dissolved state.

I never found any reason to diverge from the Rex Grig inline reactor design except to introduce the CO2 into it in as fine a droplet as possible. Any error I made was towards retaining the gaseous CO2 longer than the optimum - that saves and does not waste CO2.

If you have a choice, you have a problem, till you elect your choice. No choice, no problem, only consequences, learn to live with them.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 11:25 PM
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Check your pH if you have a solenoid on the regulator. Once turned on how quickly does pH drop to the desired level? A 10" tube seems small for a tank of that size to me but if you have nailed the flow pattern so enriched water moves out to the tank quickly maybe it is fine. My 20" Cerges only gets bubbles half way down the reactor and there are very few bubbles getting into my tank, maybe I don't need all 20" of the reactor.


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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I'll look for a longer gravel tube. Not sure if I can find a wider one though. Any suggestions what, where and diy plans on a longer and wider tube?

Thanks for the input.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 12:14 AM
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I always used PVC on the ones I made. If you have to have clear there is clear PVC.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotfish View Post
Any suggestions what, where and diy plans on a longer and wider tube?
A Rex Grigg reactor is very simple to DIY and the components can be had from any place that sells PVC pipes and connectors. You can search the forum for "Rex Grigg reactor DIY", I did and found a thread with a picture of one such DIY reactor - https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-...ml#post5110458
- I have built them and used them inside my tank with DIY spray-bars made out of thinner PVC pipes taken from a T- connector to spread the flow - Haven't made a build thread about it but you can see the pictures from an old thread -
http://i965.photobucket.com/albums/a.../UGFsetup6.jpg
- Very simple to build - Don't put gravels, sponge, bio-balls inside as they are not needed.

Choose your own width and length of reactor - make your errors on the bigger side.

If you have a choice, you have a problem, till you elect your choice. No choice, no problem, only consequences, learn to live with them.

Last edited by essabee; 10-05-2015 at 01:16 AM. Reason: .
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 08:29 PM
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For sizing ideas to start, I find a 1 1/2" X18" PVC with a few fittings on each end will make a total 21" setup and it seems just about right for a 120, but then I'm not pushing the max on CO2 as the tank is not as much for the plants as for fish and the fish don't want any more than they are getting now.
When doing the search on designs, I advise to stay with the simple Rex designed and not try too hard to improve a good system. There are many threads where the poster has improved to the point that they have problems.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solcielo lawrencia View Post
Use a wider and longer tube. GPH?
Generally I agree with this response. The bigger the better for CO2 reactors IMO. Mine is like 3" in diameter and over 2' tall. I run it off of an EHEIM 2217

The bigger it is the more GPH and CO2 it can handle. You get screwed when you make it too small and it doesn't work well.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 12:47 AM
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Klibs points out something that should really be obvious but rarely gets put out there in a clear way. Where reactors stop working well is when they are letting bubbles go through. So the sure way to make sure they don't blow out the end is to make the end further away?
Too many worry so much about getting small size that they shoot themselves in the foot with too small. If space is a major problem, try small but if not, go large.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Another question. With this diy or any similar reactor, what prevents water from being pushed through the co2 intake when the solenoid is off. I know when it's on, the co2 pressure is keeping the water from coming back through the co2 tube.

Thanks.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 07:55 AM
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Nothing.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 08:16 AM
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In my system its the bubble-counter which is at much higher than the level of the tank's water surface. The tank's water surface, if your return-pipe and/or return spray-bar is not causing a large back pressure, should be about the height water should rise in the CO2 pipe.
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