Red Sea Co2 Reactor 500 (General Co2 question) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Red Sea Co2 Reactor 500 (General Co2 question)



^ That is what im talking about if you dont know. My question might be sorta technical regarding co2 and vortex reactors so I would like to get consensus.

My question is does bubble count really relate to how much co2 in the water with this setup? The reason I ask this is because all the air in the vortex should be co2 correct? Ive noticed anything more than 1 bubble every 30 sec or so there is too much co2 and its spit out in bubble form. If I turn the co2 off the reactor will dissolve the remaining co2 within 10-20min or so.

What this tells me is that it is indeed disolving co2 very efficiently like it should. What I also take from this is that bubble count doesnt matter so long as its enough to keep the vortex going correct?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 12:58 AM
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I have a friend with this one and it really is an amazing little unit - he uses much less co2 then I do in a much larger tank, and to see how few actual bubbles make it out of that unit because it is getting well dissolved speaks for itself. I'm not much of a DYI guy and have plants to purchase this unit at some point.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Well it was spitting out a bunch of bubbles if I had the co2 up more than 1 bubble every 20-30 seconds and the speed on more than half. However I just solved that issue by stuffing sponge into the bottom tray.

I am now injecting 1 bubble every 3 seconds or so and hardley no bubbles comming out. Pretty much none really except a very fine one every few minutes.

So im still wondering how efficient this thing really is.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 01:08 AM
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Bubbles per second doesn't really say a whole lot about CO2 levels in most cases. Tank size, flow patterns, plant types and density, surface agitation, and delivery method all work together to make every tank different.


That being said, I can't believe that 1 bubble in 30 seconds translates into any useable amount of CO2 being injected into the water. Remember that CO2 is being exchanged with the atmosphere constantly, and I don't know whether an injection rate like that could even keep up. Most of us inject something like 30-120X that much, if not more.

CO2 normalizes with the gasses in the water even across the surface of the "bubbles" so the air in the reactor isn't necessarily 100% CO2 depending on how long it's been in the water. If no bubbles escape the reactor though, you know that none of what you do inject gets wasted at least.

Don't worry too much if some air is getting out of the reactor. It's very tiny bubbles anyway, which roll around with the current, rather than shooting out of the top of the tank.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkfood View Post
Bubbles per second doesn't really say a whole lot about CO2 levels in most cases. Tank size, flow patterns, plant types and density, surface agitation, and delivery method all work together to make every tank different.


That being said, I can't believe that 1 bubble in 30 seconds translates into any useable amount of CO2 being injected into the water. Remember that CO2 is being exchanged with the atmosphere constantly, and I don't know whether an injection rate like that could even keep up. Most of us inject something like 30-120X that much, if not more.

CO2 normalizes with the gasses in the water even across the surface of the "bubbles" so the air in the reactor isn't necessarily 100% CO2 depending on how long it's been in the water. If no bubbles escape the reactor though, you know that none of what you do inject gets wasted at least.

Don't worry too much if some air is getting out of the reactor. It's very tiny bubbles anyway, which roll around with the current, rather than shooting out of the top of the tank.

Ok yeah like I said above im now running 1 bubble every 3 seconds with pretty much no bubbles escaping. Its also only a 20G tank so I wouldnt think its going to take too much to get enough co2. This co2 stuff is pretty complex lol.

Also I should mention I have very very soft water with pretty much no KH and like 100-120PPM GH. I have sorta fixed this with baking soda and epsom salt. Yesterday I added the epsom and today the baking soda. Now have about 180ppm GH and like 40PPM KH. I know KH is still too low I believe. But using a test strip for GH and KH and not sure how accurate it is. So I dont want to add anymore until my solution kit comes in.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 01:18 AM
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i have this reactor and am running about 4 bubbles per second. i don;t really see bubbles at all coming out. i was having some, but then i cleaned it really well and it is working great now. sometimes i notice big bubbles coming up, and that usually tells me that there is no vortex. i simply tilt it a little sideways and it starts working again.

in the booklet for this, it says it will vent non-dissolvable gases to the surface. i read somewhere that commercial grade co2, like i have in my canister, has small percentages of other gases in it, and these are what is seen coming out of the unit.


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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daverock1337 View Post
i have this reactor and am running about 4 bubbles per second. i don;t really see bubbles at all coming out. i was having some, but then i cleaned it really well and it is working great now. sometimes i notice big bubbles coming up, and that usually tells me that there is no vortex. i simply tilt it a little sideways and it starts working again.

in the booklet for this, it says it will vent non-dissolvable gases to the surface. i read somewhere that commercial grade co2, like i have in my canister, has small percentages of other gases in it, and these are what is seen coming out of the unit.
Hmm could be I guess. Although makes me wonder if thats just what they tell you so you dont care/notice you are losing co2.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 10:11 AM
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I just got one of these the other day. I am using it in my 30g long with pressurized CO2. I find the same problem as the other posters, anything over ~1bps will cause it to spit CO2 out. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, it is almost like a powerhead chopping the bubbles up. Yes, it is a waste of CO2 but at least it is chopped into fine bubbles that get pumped around the tank.

I think the only way to tell how well it works is to get a drop checker with 4dkh. I have a drop checker and solution coming in the mail this week. I'll post back here with my actual CO2 readings.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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And holy crappy suction cups batman. Woke up this morning to find the suction cups already broke lose during the night causing it to be on its side. This thing is really pissing me off now. What a crappy product.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 01:39 PM
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Yeah the four mini suction cups should have been replaced with one larger one, IMO. I've found pinning it against a corner has kept it upright for 2 days now. I'm thinking about using silicone to attach another larger suction cup to the side of the unit so I can attach it to two walls.

My biggest gripe is that the power cord comes out the bottom!
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah Im going to DIY with my exsisting gravel vac and the pump from this unit. I believe if they put on better suction cups, changed the power cord, and made the reaction chamber taller it would be great.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-30-2011, 12:01 AM
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Split impeller powerheads work really well if you need something to get by for a time. The only drawback is the "misting" effect.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-31-2011, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah thats the thing though I dont want any misting. So I think im going to get a aqua medic 1000 reactor for use with my eheim 2215. That should solve my issues. Guess I could also DIY but I suck at doing anything myself.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 04:12 AM
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I have had one of these also in my 75g and initially I really liked it (after I replaced the little suction cups) but I was constantly getting bubbles coming out of the base of it.
I've currently got a diffuser running but am contemplating setting this back up again, I wonder if it would be better to run a larger or smaller pump on it though.
Anyone else tried this?
I too used foam but found it didn't really work that great once a bit of "particulate" built up inside it.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-01-2011, 05:21 PM
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I run about 4 bps out of my RedSea Max, and I use CO2 from a home brew store, so it's a step up from industrial and I get zero discharged bubbles. Pearling is great, but my drop checker still shows blue. And yes, the suction cups suck. I just let mine hang in the tank from the power cord and CO2 line. Stays relatively upright near the bottom.

10 gallon acrylic fw planted. 6 neon tetras, 1 GBR, 3 Amano shrimp, 2 nerites, 1 BNP, Eheim Classic 2211, Finnex Planted+ 17W LED, Hydor ETH 200W In-Line Heater, InkBird temp controller.

10 gallon aquaponic setup, hydroponic basil, 8 HET rasboras, RCS, red ramshorn snails.
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