Reactor vs. Diffuser - and - which one? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2006, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 170
Reactor vs. Diffuser - and - which one?

So, I have started seeing posts that suggest that diffusers are superior to reactors...which is frustrating to find out now that I have purchased a much more expensive reactor.

So - two questions:
1. is this really the new conventional wisdom? That diffusers are better than either in tank or in-line reactors? and
2. Which diffuser would you all recommend for a large tank? 75G+

Thanks!

Patrick
pbohart is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2006, 04:30 AM
Guest
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 853
Try out this reactor that you purchased already, an let US know.

I have tried both on my 75G. An inline reactor and a diffuser. I am currently using a diffuser. Its set up right under my XP3 intake. It is sucking up 60% of the diffused gas. It is working great, but dont really see that much difference. I will be switching back to the inline reactor here pretty soon I believe. I just dont want all the equipment in the tank.
bastalker is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2006, 05:45 AM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ft.Laud,Fl.
Posts: 126
Send a message via AIM to andrewwl
It's so hard to measure. I wish there would be periodic experiments pushed for on this site. Like two identical tanks, except the co2 methods. Show measurements, show plant growth.

But you can simulate these methods in your mind. My simulation thinks that a diffuser is an airstone with pretty glass around it while the reactor dissolves co2 without letting it escape to the surface. I believe (but not know) that the reactor is superior.

But I use a diffuser - sacrificing efficiency to get rid of complicated tubes and reduced flow from my weak xp1. If I had a stronger cannister and an enclosed stand, I'd probably switch back.
andrewwl is offline  
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2006, 06:19 AM
Guest
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,231
Of course a serious experiment would require far more than just two tanks.

IMO-- they both work great from what I've read. So don't worry about it too much.
Steven_Chong is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2006, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 170
Well....I will give you all the anecdotal evidence I can.

Plantbrain, Wolf, etc. keep indicating that my CO2 is too low for my lighting. I run a powerhead driven reactor inside my tank and I have it cranked as high as it will go, but I still have BBA and GDA problems.

So....my CO2 delivery system was called into question.

I think it will be easier to increase CO2 absorption in a diffuser style model since the reactor has a theoretical maximum?

Who knows.

Patrick
pbohart is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2006, 04:52 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Robert H's Avatar
 
PTrader: (31/100%)
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Salem Oregon
Posts: 2,328
That is because Plant brain is the one who came up with the whole notion that diffusors are better and he has his own little cult following. I'm not going to get into the whole debate again, I am sick of it. A reactor mixes the gas with water and pumps that water into the aquarium. You can reach as high a C02 level as you want this way. You can't turn up the reactor, but you can turn up the C02 with the needle valve as much as you want. You can tell if its working by how much your pH goes down. The more C02 you add, the lower your pH goes.

Make sure you do not have any heavy water splashing at the surface as this will deplete C02.

Robert Paul Hudson

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Kindness like love is unconditional
Robert H is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2006, 05:05 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,012
Robert, it isn't necessary to refer to people as a "cult follower". There are advantages and disadvantages to every method for getting CO2 into the water. What is unacceptable to one person is fine with another. The goal is to get enough CO2 dissolved in the water, or to use a CO2 mist system that lets the plants get their CO2 in the undissolved gas form. Either a reactor, that dissolves the CO2 into the water, or a mist generating system, which dissolves some of the CO2 into the water, but leaves much of it as tiny gas bubbles, will work well.

One problem we face in discussing CO2 is that few people really know how much CO2 is in their water, as ppm of dissolved CO2. If you use a "drop checker", which is about as cheap and easy to use as we can hope for, at least when you tell people you are running 30 ppm CO2, it means something. That lets us discuss the issue using real numbers and not just meaningless ones. But, no cult is involved here.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2006, 09:42 PM
Guest
 
PTrader: (7/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,231
The very fact that there's a debate means that both methods work. That's my opinion.
Steven_Chong is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2006, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 170
My Struggle

Although I think my GDA was a result of a major rearrangement, I have never been able to control BBA. It shows up in my tank in the form of a black paint that covers my Annubias and Swords.

I follow Tom Barr's EI method and do religious water changes.

It is very frustrating to see the gallery and look at member's tanks were you have to hunt to find any sign of Algae...then on the other hand, I feel like I follow the same methods of they do and my sword leaves turn black

My water has KH=0 out of the tap...but my eco-complete substrate and my CaCo3 dosing raises it up. The funny thing is - no matter how high I turn up the bpm, I cant seem to stress my fish. The reactor fills up with CO2 and the nice mixing of bubbles and water goes away.

When I ask about this - I continually get told that my CO2 is too low. But how do you turn it up????? Since I cant seem to do it with the reactor, I will try the diffusor and really crank up the CO2 (and watch my fish closely of course).

I also dose Excel.
pbohart is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2006, 01:14 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
WfxXx's Avatar
 
PTrader: (125/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 3,037
Hi

Once you figure it out, it is very simple.

If you have BBA or any kind of algae issues for that matter, and you dose according to the sticky, then you have a light/C02 problem.

With highlight, pressurized C02, you have a hotrod/racecar, you get in, start it, put it in gear, then you floor it, everywhere you go, wide open, crazy huh?

The light is the throttle, how does a throttle work??

BBA says your C02 is not good enough to supply the plant uptake will all the carbon it need's for the amount of light you are driving, throttle it back some.

A large glass diffuser will give you much better control for this kind of environment you are forcing on the plants, as I said before reactors can and do work, but only up to a point, PVC reactors are so DIY, any of them.
You did the upgrade to pressurized, but didn't upgrade your diffusion method. hate to say this but even amano uses all glass diffusers, you have better control and better results.

The BBA and algae issues are telling on you, I can grow some plants, I know what is happening and this is it.

If you want to push the limits of the plant uptake, you need better diffusion. period.

Keep dosing according to the sticky, keep running C02, but ease up off the throttle a bit, find that sweet spot where the plants are saying yes and the algae no. you don't have to buy glass if you don't want to, but you do need to ease up on the light for the reactor.

Clean out all the BBA and focus on plant growth and their health, see what happens... Promise!

Don't try to make the plants grow any faster than they can, without knowing their limits.

For a large tank get a 2" disc for best results, (AquaticMagic-ebay)get 3 of them and learn how to use them. always soak your diffuser disks a few minutes before use, don't use them dry.

Reactors and glass disc's both work, but if you want to push alot of light, go glass or back off the light some.

Robert, your such a child sometimes, just piss and moan, no help at all. grow up!

Craig

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
WfxXx is offline  
post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2006, 01:46 AM Thread Starter
Guest
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 170
Wow - 3!

I bought one Rhinox 5000 off of ebay. I didnt realize I would need 3.

Wolf - how do you suggest getting 3 hooked up to the regulator? Manifold with 3 needle valves? Or just a 3 way splicing of the CO2 tube out of my single NV?

Thanks!

Patrick
pbohart is offline  
post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2006, 02:37 AM
Guest
 
PTrader: (16/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 853
Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx View Post
Hi

Keep dosing according to the sticky, keep running C02, but ease up off the throttle a bit, find that sweet spot where the plants are saying yes and the algae no. you don't have to buy glass if you don't want to, but you do need to ease up on the light for the reactor.
Hey Craig! I didnt mean to single out just one of your statements! I do think it is an important one. Damn man you taught it to me.

A lot of people start out with far to few plants in their tanks, an immediately start dosing to the EI sticky. Bad move IMO. There is just not enough plants in alot of new tanks I see to actually use EI. Before ya know it the tank is over dosed, the plants have had their fill, an algae just steps in an eats the left overs. This is just an opinion mind you...

As far as diffusion goes. Diy reactors are cheap. Glass diffusers are cheap. Try em both an see what works best for you.

As Craig stated, the more c02 in yer tank the lower the ph. I have learned in my tank anyways, if I have ph of 6.4 , my co2 is fine. That is with a constant Kh of 4.
bastalker is offline  
post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2006, 06:34 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
WfxXx's Avatar
 
PTrader: (125/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 3,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbohart View Post
I bought one Rhinox 5000 off of ebay. I didnt realize I would need 3.

Wolf - how do you suggest getting 3 hooked up to the regulator? Manifold with 3 needle valves? Or just a 3 way splicing of the CO2 tube out of my single NV?

Thanks!

Patrick
The Rhinox 5k is a nice diffuser for the $
I recommend three because they are glass, it is nice to have some extra and they are cheap enough, I change them out weekly, they do collect umm stuff, soak it for a few days, if you clean it, which "they" do not recommend, I use a very soft toothbrush very lightly on the disc, cleans up nice, let dry ready to go next time.

Always soak the disk a few minutes before use, don't run it dry.

You would have to have a manifold, can't splice off a single NV, thats ghetto
Two 2" would prolly be more than enough for a 75g, start with one 2" see how that goes, easy with the lights, remember what I said ^ there?

Learn to drive the light while you are building your system, takes time, be patient and dilligent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bastalker View Post

A lot of people start out with far to few plants in their tanks, an immediately start dosing to the EI sticky. Bad move IMO. There is just not enough plants in alot of new tanks I see to actually use EI. Before ya know it the tank is over dosed, the plants have had their fill, an algae just steps in an eats the left overs. This is just an opinion mind you...
Those are just nooby growing pains..lol
Got to have plenty of plant mass for the tank to stablize, the more plant mass you have, the faster it will stablize.
all the information is right here on this site, start slow, build the tank right, be patient, read and ask questions, and above all, slow down and remember to enjoy your tank/s

I sold a large plant package last weekend, after cutting, pulling, moving this and that a bit, water change, I took a shot of it, this is my 46g after a large hack, nothing scaped just growing weeds. some of the plants were shaded, they are filling back in nicely.
Maybe I will update it in a day or so, if I can find the time.
It takes a bit of time to do a decent photoshoot, download, crop, resize, then upload and post..... lol sheshhhh
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Picture 148.jpg
Views:	131
Size:	124.5 KB
ID:	3521  


Craig

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
WfxXx is offline  
post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2006, 06:39 AM
Planted Tank Guru
 
Betowess's Avatar
 
PTrader: (27/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Skagit County, Washington State
Posts: 3,199
Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx View Post

I sold a large plant package last weekend, after cutting, pulling, moving this and that a bit, water change, I took a shot of it, this is my 46g after a large hack, nothing scaped just growing weeds. some of the plants were shaded, they are filling back in nicely.
Maybe I will update it in a day or so, if I can find the time.
It takes a bit of time to do a decent photoshoot, download, crop, resize, then upload and post..... lol sheshhhh
Oowaahh. That does look nice Craig!





Three Tanks...Eheim 2128 & XP3-90G, Eheim 2128-65G, Eheim 2232-25G.... Tek 4x54 watt T5-90G, Aqualight 96watt PC 65G low tech, 65 watt Aqualight-25G.... Hydors-90G & 65G ... Flourite in 90, 65, & 25 Gallons, .... Auto Water Change/Auto dosing on 90 & 65 gallon..... AGA member......
Betowess is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome