DIY Bicycle Pump Co2 Reactor - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-26-2015, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Bicycle Pump Co2

I know this is maybe now old news but I found out about co2 bicycle inflators and thought Id try out a little co2 contraption myself. Please let me know if Im doing anything silly.
The thinking was to use my sera Co2 reactor (which I already owned from a previous tank) and pimp it up to be used with the bike pump for manual co2 addition to the tank without the need for tablets and for injection straight into the filter for better diffusion.

Materials
1 Sera Co2 Reactor
6mm airline
1x Schrader Valve (from an old inner tube)
1x non return valve
1x regulator valve or clamp
1x Co2 inflator for mountain bikes and a 16g co2 refill.
1x All Pond Solution HOB Filter


Step 1
I took the Co2 reactor and widened the central hole at the bottom of the reactor (just enough for 6mm tubing)
The airhole at the top (which comes with a plugger) should fit the 6mm airline snugly without need to widen with scissors.


Step 2
I cut the valve out of the inner tube (secateurs worked well) and stripped back the rubber on the valve about 1.5cm to reveal that the metal underneath is just larger than 6mm Heated the tip of the airline and squeezed on (eventually).

Step 3
Two lengths of 6mm airline tubing.
The one attached to the valve should have plenty length for ease of adding co2. Cut and fit with a non- return valve to prevent water siphoning back down the line. This airline goes in the widened hole at the bottom of the reactor.

The other line is shorter (depending on desired length of reactor to filter with a regulator valve fitted in the middle. One end in the top hole of the reactor (with only a little in as you want the max amount of space in the reactor) and the other end connecting to the airline inlet of the filter.

The Bicycle Co2 Pump
Ive ordered one with a regulator which I thought was a must to prevent the gas being expelled too strongly.


I've tested it by blowing air into the reactor and tweaking the regulator valve to get the slowest release possible, and seems to work really well but will had to wait until Wednesday for the bicycle pump to arrive for more tests.

That's it for now but if you have any tips or advice please let me know.

P.S I've turned a bit aquarium mad again since joining this site and I love it!

Thought i'd add a photo of an in-tank shot and one leading into the filter inlet allowing Co2 into the impeller. Trying to see how long it can take emptying the reactor but my guess is quite a long time... I Keep fiddling with it to see if it's still working and ruining my experiment haha.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-28-2015 at 04:07 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-28-2015, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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The Co2 inflator arrived! Happy days. Managed to waste a refill whilst fitting it to the head by not screwing in tight enough but the second worked far better. (phew.)
Filled up the reactor to around the point (pictured) and it took around 30 mins to empty into the filter (did better in testing, may tweak some more/ add a second regulator). I dont want to fully fill it before I know how my 3.5g tank will react but I was thinking around that per day. Hoping to see some good plant growth for a change. Need to wait and see!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-29-2015, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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The second canister only filled the reactor once after the leaking too... I'm not sure if it's a faulty unit but I thought one refill would at least last enough to fill a bicycle tyre! Hopefully refill number 3 will be more promising otherwise the cost to run this thing would get sky high... Plants don't show much difference since starting yesterday but not expecting miracles just yet! C02 indicator on the way so I can find out for sure how much to dose. The reactor emptied much more slowly today over the course of around 4 hours.

Last edited by rosssavo; 10-29-2015 at 03:58 PM. Reason: typo
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-30-2015, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Refill number 3 seems to be the magic number and has lasted into it's second day...
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