C02 Reactor on Timer - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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C02 Reactor on Timer

Would it have the same effect to put the C02 Reactor on a timer instead of the solenoid. I've heard stories of solenoids getting stuck in the on position and screwing with peoples water ... but if I put the reactor on a timer and had turn on and off with the lights so that the C02 isn't being dissolved while the lights are off would it have the same effect?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 10:18 PM
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Yes and no. The Solenoid is there to stop the flow of Co2 at night. If you just simply turn off your Reactor (assuming it has a powerhead or other stirring motor) then you are going to still be wasting your Co2 because it will just bubble away. You could just simply turn your regulator off every night by hand, but I bet that would get old quick.

If I understand it correctly, plants won't use the Co2 at night with out light. They will use O2 instead. I haven't set up reactor yet because I am actually waiting on two solenoid valves. Once I have them I will hook them between the regulator and the bubble counter to tell how much is actually getting to my reactor. I have a powerhead churning up the Co2 bubbles inside the reactor. At night I have the main lights go out, and plan to hook reactor and the solenoid to the same power strip as the lights. If I get more time I will hook up a T fitting and the other Solenoid valve so that the reactor will mix in Air instead of Co2. The valve for air will be hooked to the same strip as my Moon lights, wich come on when the lights to out.

If I remember it correctly from Biology class:
Photosynthesis needs light, H20 and CO2 to make glucose
Respiration takes glucose and O2 to break it down into energy
Hence, CO2 while the lights are on, O2 when they go off.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 12:42 AM
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I have a pressurized CO2 system connected to a controller attached of course to a solenoid. The controller is set for 6.3 the solenoid shuts off the CO2 at 6.3. I also have the system connected to a timer and when my daylights kick off and moon lights kick on the power to my CO2 system is shut off. There's very little room for error with this set up.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 08:23 PM
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Here is a crazy idea... why not just put both on the same timer. I have never had any problems with my cheapie jbj selenoid yet but if your worried the selenoid might stick open then put both the selenoid and reactor on the timer.

I also have an extra powerhead that kicks on my night timer oposite the co2. That powerhead is placed nearer the top and generates a current at the top (not splashing though, just some ripples and movement) and also changes the waterflow in the tank just to stir things up a bit. I dont cut power to my reactor/diffuser since its a powerhead and I like to keep the water moving, but if I also cut the power to it then I have a 3-way protection: co2 selenoid shut-off, reactor shut-off, and added surface agitation at night.

I understand your concern though, I have had problems at night b4 when I ran my co2 24/7 with insufficient surface agitation and lost many fish in two incidents. However, since my setup is better now I havent yet had any problems or gasping fish and I am running double the co2 ppm as I did when I lost the fish.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 01:50 AM
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That's what I'm saying I did. The strip they're both on is plugged into my Coralife timer.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 04:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadmonkey View Post
If I get more time I will hook up a T fitting and the other Solenoid valve so that the reactor will mix in Air instead of Co2. The valve for air will be hooked to the same strip as my Moon lights, wich come on when the lights to out.
You will want to be very careful with that. Unless you have unusually high flow through your reactor, you will get an airlock since air doesn't dissolve in water as easily as CO2.
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