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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 Options

Hey guys,

Stats: 46g
Light: around 70 PAR
Co2: yes, pressurized
Filter: marineland magniflow 360

Currently have a Rio 800 plus pt being fed co2 through venturi to distribute co2. Works well but with a couple of problems. The pump makes a lot of noise from the impeller being hit with bubbles constantly and the water is super 7 up-like. I don't mind it, I know the plants don't mind it, but my wife hates it. I have a canister that uses big hoses, so id rather not run anything inline. My questions:

1) can anyone suggest a dedicated loop setup for a reactor? Something small but with minimal bubbles.

2) a better way to mist/smoke my co2.

I'd prefer a dedicated loop with a reactor, but space is also an issue so it can't be huge.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 02:48 PM
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Some things need a bit more "definition" to make clear what might work best. Define huge? Would a Grigg's style reactor, fed by a stand alone pump to make a loop, work if it was a total height of about 18" X 1 1/2"? One could try for shorter but then run the risk of getting it too short and bubbles being blown through to the tank. A bit of "guessimate" there as the length needed changes with how large a pump volume, how much CO2 bubbled in versus length. A 46 gallon likely doesn't use a ton of CO2, so cutting the reactor size back a bit and using a less powerful pump can work. The reactor can be set most any p[lace from under to tank level as it only requires moving the water through.
My guide for reactors:
How To Build A CO2 Reactor | Build a Regulator | Test Kit
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply!

My tank sits against a corner on the right and back sides. I have a stand with a huge canister, 5lb co2 and all the plugs to keep my kids from it. I've got a little bit of room on the other side, maybe half a foot width. The clearance vertically is about 20". I've also got a canopy, so that elimantes anything hanging on the sides. Something tall and skinny would work and would be ideal. In the past, I used only a cerges style reactor and it took up quite a bit of space width wise. To recap:

It's have to be able to stand on its own inside my cabinet and be tall/skinny. I also don't know what I'd drive it with. A tiny canister? A pump?

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Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
Some things need a bit more "definition" to make clear what might work best. Define huge? Would a Grigg's style reactor, fed by a stand alone pump to make a loop, work if it was a total height of about 18" X 1 1/2"? One could try for shorter but then run the risk of getting it too short and bubbles being blown through to the tank. A bit of "guessimate" there as the length needed changes with how large a pump volume, how much CO2 bubbled in versus length. A 46 gallon likely doesn't use a ton of CO2, so cutting the reactor size back a bit and using a less powerful pump can work. The reactor can be set most any p[lace from under to tank level as it only requires moving the water through.
My guide for reactors:
How To Build A CO2 Reactor | Build a Regulator | Test Kit
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 05:06 PM
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Okay, good info for thinking of design. Yes, the Grigg's style could be made much smaller on width but taller height. They both use the same idea in that the CO2 is held in contact with the water for long enough to let the bubbles be absorbed into the water before going out into the tank where we see them.
Depending on how you find parts available, there are some points which can be changed/adapted to make it fit somewhat better on different points. One of those is always the decision on how to best get the tubing laid and connected. Nice big sweeping curves and straight fittings into the reactor are better for flow but I almost always agree to give a little on flow and use 90 degree fittings into it as that allows me to have a flat bottom on the reactor to simply set on the floor, sometimes with a strap to hold it steady. I do leave them so I can swivel them up to allow air to pass through the water on restarts of the canister.
Always takes compromise!
I find using a fitting at the bottom the diameter of the body with a threaded opening on the side of outlet will let me then use a plug in the bottom which is flat versus using a cap which tends to be rounded on those I find. Left used a straight in to avoid one 90 but takes a ton of space for the curve, middle used a nice compression fitting I found in the irrigation section but can't often find and the right is what I use most often.
One of the cheaper canister filters , like Sunsun might be a logical way to move the water if just left without media to max flow, if other filtering is used. Or a canister of this type might be worthwhile to do both and do away with HOB?
Did I mention there are no perfect answers for us all?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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I don't have any HOB, but my canister uses 3/4in ID tubing, which is a pain to work with. I wouldn't want to kill the flow on it so that's why I'm wanting a dedicated loop. I'm not sure how much flow would be lost with a Griggs reactor, as I've never used one, but bending 3/4 ID tubing sucks for routing. I guess I could look for something more pliable, but then I could just use a dedicated loop and use it for circulation too, as that's what I currently do with my rio. Too many options.


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Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
Okay, good info for thinking of design. Yes, the Grigg's style could be made much smaller on width but taller height. They both use the same idea in that the CO2 is held in contact with the water for long enough to let the bubbles be absorbed into the water before going out into the tank where we see them.
Depending on how you find parts available, there are some points which can be changed/adapted to make it fit somewhat better on different points. One of those is always the decision on how to best get the tubing laid and connected. Nice big sweeping curves and straight fittings into the reactor are better for flow but I almost always agree to give a little on flow and use 90 degree fittings into it as that allows me to have a flat bottom on the reactor to simply set on the floor, sometimes with a strap to hold it steady. I do leave them so I can swivel them up to allow air to pass through the water on restarts of the canister.
Always takes compromise!
I find using a fitting at the bottom the diameter of the body with a threaded opening on the side of outlet will let me then use a plug in the bottom which is flat versus using a cap which tends to be rounded on those I find. Left used a straight in to avoid one 90 but takes a ton of space for the curve, middle used a nice compression fitting I found in the irrigation section but can't often find and the right is what I use most often.
One of the cheaper canister filters , like Sunsun might be a logical way to move the water if just left without media to max flow, if other filtering is used. Or a canister of this type might be worthwhile to do both and do away with HOB?
Did I mention there are no perfect answers for us all? <a href="https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/images/PlantedTank_net_2015/smilies/tango_face_grin.png" border="0" alt="" title="Big Grin" >:-)</a>
I'm wondering if this cheap Chinese style canister could be turned into a reactor by just drilling a hole in the lid and siliconing the co2 tube into it a few inches. It looks to me that it's basically a media canister with an inline pump.

https://www.chewy.com/sunsun-hw-602b...ster/dp/158799

Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-06-2019 at 11:52 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 01:38 AM
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Sorry about the HOB thought, I lose track of which post I've read---or lose my mind occasionally !
Yes, I would think that filter might be an easy, cheaper way to get both a pump and the canister to act as a reactor. The idea is the same and as long as the water is not going through so fast that bubbles that are still large enough to see get pushed down and out into the tank, it should work as a reactor and then if you want to change up and have a filter instead, it might be pretty simple to just add a bolt and some silicone in the tubing hole to seal it. I do like to keep the options open as I do change my mind.
One point that I do like is the way Grigg's did a bit harder work to pull the tubing through an undersized hole and let it come out more in the direct water flow, rather than using a fitting and adding CO2 right at the side of the reactor where water flow may be less than in the center of the stream. Have you noticed how creeks and rivers have faster current in the center with slower near the edges? I think that applies to reactors as well, so I do go for the somewhat harder job of drilling a really tight hole and using the trick of a really sharply tapered tube and pulling it hard enough to stretch to make it fit really tight and then when I release the pulling, the tube opens and really does a good job of sealing that doesn't need silicone, etc.
I can't say much about the flow but it would seem like a good bet to try at that price and ease of doing the addition. I like to check several sites before jumping and it takes the combo of shipping and price but that seems like a decent value, to me.
I use several Sunsun and they do have thinner plastic but the cost of repair parts is so much lower that I feel I can replace something if/when I do break it. So far, so good.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 11:41 PM
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i'm running a closed loop griggs co2 reactor. i used 1/2" pvc pipe and fittings to make the input (1st picture). i epoxy puttied a 3/4" x 3/4"mip (iirc) nylon hose barb to the impeller cover of a maxi-jet 900(225gph) (2nd), then output to the reactor, and from the reactor into the tank with a lily pipe (3rd). for scale, tank is a 20h. practically no bubbles are emitted.
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Last edited by milesm; 05-07-2019 at 11:45 PM. Reason: just noticed the maxijet looks like it is resting on the table but is is actually suspended by about an inch.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 12:12 AM
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Pictures don't lie --- but they don't always tell the truth, either?
Good of Milesm to throw in some more light on things that we can do to make something fit what we need.
I've thought of using some of the old Marineland powerheads that are gathering dust but never thought of keeping them flooded full time in this way. I would probably overworked the idea with trying to put the pump in some form of "sump" which I can see is not needed. Good show! Thanks for sharing.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 08:08 AM
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What's everyone's thoughts on the gulfstream reactors?

https://www.amazon.com/Gulfstream-Tr...ateway&sr=8-15

Maybe it's an option for the OP? (Though it won't serve as a standalone loop unless you attach another canister to it. I used to use them a lot with good results, but then I upgraded to in-line atomizers after hearing plants can more effectively use CO2 microbubbles than dissolved CO2 if the plant leaves make direct contact with the microbubbles.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 03:04 AM
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I built my own regulator and reactor. I don't have the pictures now, but search my recent posts to see what I did. Only change I made from the directions mentioned earlier was to use straight barbs. I also run it inline with my fluval 306.

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140lbs of CarbiSea Eco-Complete, Black
Finnex FugeRay Planted+ - 9 hours/day
2X Fluval 306s w/ Seachem Purigen
2X Fluval E 300-watt heaters
Pressurized CO2 - 5lb tank, HPT500 regulator, Clippard Mouse Solenoid, Fabco NV-55-18, CO2 dropper
1 Jumbo Mopani
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 02:17 PM
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I think that I'd probably just build a PVC Griggs reactor and get a smaller inline pump (Lifegard Quiet one 1200?) and plumb it directly to the bottom of the Griggs. The pump is about the same price as the canister, but you'd get a better quality, customizable product.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Yup. I think I'm going to actually just suck it up and plumb it into my canister so I can get a hydor for circulation and eliminate the Rio. I think the co2 is degrading the impeller pretty quickly. Thing is super loud already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunsen Honeydew View Post
I think that I'd probably just build a PVC Griggs reactor and get a smaller inline pump (Lifegard Quiet one 1200?) and plumb it directly to the bottom of the Griggs. The pump is about the same price as the canister, but you'd get a better quality, customizable product.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 02:46 PM
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Small point that might help if vertical space is a problem? The sizing is always going to be a bit of guesswork due to different water flow and CO2 demands, so it can be tempting to go small and get bubbles blowing through into the tank. That's where I have learned to allow myself the freedom to make a few mistakes if it costs little to solve and making a Grigg's longer is not that much trauma.
If we get caught being too short. we can saw the reactor in two, add a pair of couplings and a short section of pipt pretty cheap and easy. I don't mind screwing up if it costs so little to redo!
Small hint on working with PVC to save some small money and make it look better. IF you are using somewhat new fittings and pipe and doing the work in moderate temperatures and dry, the primer can be avoided to avoid all the purple slobbered around! Use a moderate grade sandpaper to sand the fitting and pipe, test for fit, and leave the primer for cleaning/prepping old pipe or where conditions are tough. Use the medium thickness solvent as it drips less.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-09-2019, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info Rich. I've worked with pvc before so I think it'll be ok. I played with the idea of adding the internal tube of a cerges to the Griggs to make the contact longer but it'd probably slow flow too much.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trickerie View Post
Yup. I think I'm going to actually just suck it up and plumb it into my canister so I can get a hydor for circulation and eliminate the Rio. I think the co2 is degrading the impeller pretty quickly. Thing is super loud already.
The bonus with this approach is that you can try it and not really be out anything if it doesn't work. The Griggs reactor is so simple and inexpensive that I have a hard time seeing why more folks don't use it.

“Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.” -Jules Verne
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