Custom CO2 Reactor.
Here is the CO2 reactor I made last night. It contains three chambers. Chamber one has blades to break up the CO2. The water has to go down the chamber then back up a tube in the middle, causing the CO2 to stay at the top and be continually chopped by the blades. The second chamber is an empty cylinder that basically just gives the CO2 mist more time in the reactor. The large final chamber is the biggest and has clay media to slow down the flow of the water to allow even more "dwell" time for the CO2. It also adds more media for my biofilter.
For reference I have a 120 gallon tank. I have VERY HIGH KH and was still able to drop the pH of my tank by from 8.2 to 6.5 in about 90 min. I actually had to turn down my CO2 rate significantly because my drop checker was yellow and my fish look a little stressed. That pH drop was achieved at about 7bps.
I am currently have a lime green drop checker, pH 7.0 (8.2 degassed), and my fish look good. This is being accomplished with only 4-5 bps.
Before building this, my old reactor was requiring such a fast rate of CO2 that it was basically a steady column of CO2 that was not measurable. I estimate I have decreased my CO2 usage by at least half. Consider it costs me $20 to fill my tank and I was doing that every month or so. I effectively cut my CO2 costs by $120 a year. Not that significant but mentally it was a win!
One thing I will say, if you are going to build something this big, you will need a very powerful bump. There is alot of pressure in this reactor and it will no way work with DIY CO2. I tried to splice in a VERY LARGE air pump and even with it's two ports Y-sited, there was not enough "working pressure" to get the air into the reactor. I also have my pressurized CO2 running about 35 lbs of working pressure to keep a steady flow of CO2 into the tank.
120 high tech cichlid tank journal
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