Inline heater/co2 reactor reduction of GPH - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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Inline heater/co2 reactor reduction of GPH

Looking to clean up my tank by getting rid of the heater and co2 diffuser and plumbing them inline on my eheim 2213. I've been reading many DIY's over the past few days on making your own inline heater and co2 reactor but I'm worried about how much this will affect the flow of my filter. Certainly it would, yes, but would it be enough to warrant NOT doing something like this?

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 06:56 AM
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I think they need to both be plumbed after your pump output. I've heard that impeller pumps can't handle resistance on the intake side.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 06:59 AM
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Depending on the type of reactor you DIY, it might actually affect your GPH a lot. This is only what I have heard because I created a similar thread on the DIY board, but not from personal experience. I would recommend that you consult with the crew over there. :P

Here are two ways of making an inline heater that I found, one of them combined with a CO2 reactor:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...er-module.html
http://www.instructables.com/id/Exte...uarium-heater/

Here is the original CO2 reactor project:
http://www.instructables.com/id/CO2-...nted-aquarium/

Chances are that if you have researched this project of yours, you would have stumbled upon these links, but just in case I posted them for your convenience.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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This is actually the plans I had for the heater. This seems like where the most resistance would be, so as Al Slick said, this would probably go on the output.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...eater-56k.html

And this is what I had in mind for a co2 reactor. Pretty simple design and doesn't look as though it would impede flow too badly.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHf2wHJ3Zpk&t=40s
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 07:41 AM
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The only problem with this CO2 design as Al Slick stated, is that any bubbles that are still left in the water that are not dissolved, while they will be further dissolved by the filter, they may damage the impeller over time as it smashes up the bubbles. Just keep that in mind if you do decide to build this thing, and listen for any funny noises that your filter makes with the new addition.

Also, I would put the heater on the outtake of the filter, as you want the shortest path from the heater to the aquarium so that less heat is dissipated before it reaches the aquarium. While in the tubing, the water has increased surface area, and therefore heat will dissipate much faster than in your aquarium where all the water is consolidated.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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I don't think that would be a problem with the eheims. Since the input is at the bottom of the canister, then the water travels up through the filter media, then it reaches the impeller at the top where the output is. So the bubbles (if any) would be going through all the filter media prior to reaching the impeller. I could be wrong, but unless any big pockets of air make it's way through, the impeller wouldn't even see a bubble no matter how small.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 08:21 AM
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I would recommend using a Cerges style reactor. Its what im using now. Its very effective at dissolving the Co2 at or close to 100%. My tank doesnt have tons of bubbles floating around in it but my drop checker runs yellow all day. only takes it about 30 minutes to get there with the bubble rate I run. BUT the nicest thing is my flow out of my Canister has not dropped at all. I took a gallon jug and measured the flow without the regulator. Basically timed how long it took to fill the jug. After the reactor was in place I timed it again. Its within 8 seconds of filling the jug at the same speed.

I thought about the longer tube style Grigg reactor but everyone that ran one said they noticed a big reduction in flow. I run my reactor on my Canisters output. You could easily run the heater inline before the reactor.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 09:04 AM
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if your co2 reactor is a straight tube on the intake side of filter as shown in drawing
it will have no negative effect on water flow
if the tube is wide and long enough there will be no un de-solved bubbles going
into your filter
you will have to somehow get the trapped air out of the reactor with some sort of air escape valve to bleed the line

this is the beauty of putting the reactor on intake side
the water is already going down from gravity
if you put on out let side you have to go, up, down and up again. thru extra bends , tubing adding friction

the heater i would put on the out let side of filter
you will get less grunge build up because the water passing is cleaner
you dont want to over heat your filter
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 09:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willknowitall View Post
you will have to somehow get the trapped air out of the reactor with some sort of air escape valve to bleed the line
You're gonna have to clarify that a bit more. What trapped air would you be talking about?
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 09:32 AM
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when the water goes down thru a small tube to a larger tube the speed at which the water travels slows down alot, as well as the volume of water per sq inch
a 2 inch reactor pipe can slow it down about 30 times the speed at which it is flowing thru the eheim pipe
there will not be enough flow to discharge the air in the reactor
you will get a air gap at top of reactor that will slow diffusion to a crawl
on the top of the reactor or top of bend coming from tank you need a t fitting with a valve you can open so the air pocket has a place to go out of the reactor chamber
once the air is bleed shut valve then your fine
i make mine with a t going to valve that has a hose barb on it that i attach temporarily to a small hose
this way its easy to bleed the line at first or if there is a build up of non co2 gasses over time
and if any water comes out it will go thru hose to a temporary bucket or other container
if your tank is drilled its not a problem because if you stop the filter the air goes straight out the top
into tank



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You're gonna have to clarify that a bit more. What trapped air would you be talking about?
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 09:50 AM
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The issues I have running it on the intake side are the reactor will get much dirtier faster. You would have/want to make the reactor able to unscrew so you can clean it out from time to time. (one of the reasons I like the Cerges) Is there a potential to have the reactor on the intake clog ever from debris? Could it kill your filter? Its possible but maybe not probable. You will be sucking the Co2 into the canister, Could it cause less bio filtration? Not sure as ive never seen anything done on it for proof. I find each side of the filter input and output has pros and cons. For me personally. Id rather have it on the output due to how fast stuff can build up inside using it on the intake. Id rather have to clean it less then more. IMO

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 10:21 AM
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i dont have a reactor on my intake side any more
but when i did, i didnt have any issues with getting dirty
if its empty and not filled with bio balls should be fine
you do have a good point about co2 into bio media
although there will always be lots of co2 being dragged in
it could be slightly in higher concentrations then in tank
the reason i say slightly is because i have a ph probe inline after my filter
the co2 goes into tank after the probe
between that and my drop checker and degassed water tests im showing
a very even distribution of co2 though out the tank and filter system
probable related to water turnover rates i would think

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquaticfan View Post
The issues I have running it on the intake side are the reactor will get much dirtier faster. You would have/want to make the reactor able to unscrew so you can clean it out from time to time. (one of the reasons I like the Cerges) Is there a potential to have the reactor on the intake clog ever from debris? Could it kill your filter? Its possible but maybe not probable. You will be sucking the Co2 into the canister, Could it cause less bio filtration? Not sure as ive never seen anything done on it for proof. I find each side of the filter input and output has pros and cons. For me personally. Id rather have it on the output due to how fast stuff can build up inside using it on the intake. Id rather have to clean it less then more. IMO
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 04:53 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so I finished putting together the co2 reactor 2 days ago. Gave it plenty of time for the pvc cement to dry and plumbed it inline to my filter today. Been running for 6 hours now and no leaks. The only thing that bothers me is I have to turn up my bubble rate to almost 3 bubbles a second for my drop checker to turn green. Before I had a GLA atomic diffuser in the aquarium and my drop checker would turn a nice pale green at ~1.5 bubbles a second.

So I guess I have two questions:

1. To those who have inline co2 reactors, did you find you had to increase the bubble count to maintain a good co2 reading?

2. Should I try plumbing into the output of my filter? Is there any reason to assume it would be more effective? Right now it's on the input side of my filter. Since it would have longer contact with water, I assumed it would be more effective.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 05:17 AM
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Yes you will have to turn up your bubble count. I'm running mine somewhere around 10 bps and it gets my drop checker yellow. But the nice thing is your water still looks like water. Not a tank full of 7up. The difference is the reactor dissolves the co2 closer to 100%. You get a better mix i feel. While the atomic diffuser you were using was shoving tons of bubbles out the into the tank. What do you think will be more effective? Lots of bubbles or dissolved co2? The drop checker reacted quicker to the atomic diffuser due to the free bubbles passing through the water are more easily taken into the drop checker. The dissolved co2 has to kinda emit from its current state to effect the drop checker.

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Last edited by Aquaticfan; 03-01-2012 at 08:40 AM.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 05:21 AM
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Aquaticfan has put it exactly correct. The better dissolved the CO2 is, the less CO2 the drop checker will be able to detect. The drop checker I feel is an inaccurate way of measuring CO2 anyhow, because it measures CO2 that's de-gassed from the aquarium, not all the CO2 that is dissolved in the water column.

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