Co2 reactors - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Crazyjayb View Post
@BOTIA I saw that same quote from him but it didn't make much sense to me as too why. Does anyone know the reason? I can only imagine it is because the bubbles get trapped under leaves and the directly expose the leaves to pure co2?
Yes direct pure contact, apparently is much better.

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post #32 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 04:12 AM
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I've seen those as well and been interested in trying them. I have seen much better reviews for reactors though and therefore would like to make one. I'm also not too keen on seeing micro bubbles

I don't love the bubbles either, however it easier and faster stop the ph from dropping.
With reactors there is always co2 remaining in it, do when controller shuts off it's still adding more co2 .Where difuser is on or off.

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post #33 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 04:35 AM
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All in tank and in inline diffusers are subject to getting dirty or algae covered. So the CO2 flow rate can vary, and it will need cleaning or replacing over time.

IMO, do yourself a favor and just build a reactor. I messed around with other methods for a while, and to me they were a pain to manage. After I built the reactor, I wished I had just quit fooling around and did it from the beginning.

Personally I don't like bubbles in the tank, and my reactor leaves my water crystal clear no bubbles at all.

Besides Griggs, there are also Cerges reactors. That is what I use. Basically a home water filter housing adapted to a reactor. I use a 20" filter housing on my 120G. Brought the unit to the hardware store, and a guy helped me pick out the parts. Once I got the parts home, about 10 minutes to build it.



Research is your friend. Like most things, seems complicated at first, but the more you learn the easier it becomes.

Good luck and look forward to seeing what you come up with.


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Last edited by Greggz; 02-05-2020 at 04:49 AM. Reason: typo
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post #34 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by BOTIA View Post
Yes direct pure contact, apparently is much better.
Yes, I was going to bring this up too, but to say something is better, in what regard? Every method works, although I think a case can me made that efficiency with full dissolution being the goal is not really true.
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post #35 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 06:54 AM
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Super happy with the new ones that GLA put out. Got one for my 120 and loved it so I ordered one for my 100 and installed it today. Only thing is I would not recommend having a CO2 reactor and inline heater hooked up to the same filter. But I run two filters on all my tanks so not an issue for me.

GLA CO2 Reactor added to my 100 gallon by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
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post #36 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 07:14 AM
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Yes, I was going to bring this up too, but to say something is better, in what regard? Every method works, although I think a case can me made that efficiency with full dissolution being the goal is not really true.
Even in a reactor I would be very surprised if full dissolution was achieved.
There are bubble pockets that form in a reactor even after being burped and what not it's not really 100% at all.

I think that what is better is completely on the individual to decide.
In tank diffuser, you don't have to deal with plumbing and possible leaks that go along with it.
Inline diffuser, you don't have to worry about a large reactor so it allows more room under the cabinet.
Reactor, you don't have to worry about cleaning it and if setup correctly you don't have to worry about bubbles from the Co2 tank.
A reactor will also last for basically as long as you're in the hobby, sure a bigger one might need to be made if the setup changes to a much larger size, but overall with a bypass pretty much any size pump can be plumbed in and fittings can be changed to accommodate any setup. Whereas with an inline diffuser unless they make the size needed for your hose it has it's limitations for as far as you can take it.
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post #37 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Quesenek View Post
Even in a reactor I would be very surprised if full dissolution was achieved.

There are bubble pockets that form in a reactor even after being burped and what not it's not really 100% at all.



.
if you're getting bubble pockets in the course of operation, i suspect you need to evaluate the balance between more flow, less co2, or introducing back pressure. or check out @Ken Keating1 's variable flow reactor

one should be able to get mininal or no pocket if you work with it enough.


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post #38 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Triport View Post
Super happy with the new ones that GLA put out. Got one for my 120 and loved it so I ordered one for my 100 and installed it today. Only thing is I would not recommend having a CO2 reactor and inline heater hooked up to the same filter. But I run two filters on all my tanks so not an issue for me.

GLA CO2 Reactor added to my 100 gallon by Kaveh Maguire, on Flickr
Is it suitable for use in a bedroom or is it noisy? Read some reviews in Amazon staying the turbine was noisy. What's the risk of using inline heater and diffusor on the same hose? I'm thinking about doing that very thing.
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post #39 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Crazyjayb View Post
Ok, for something that completely diffuses co2 I think I can live with that.

I don't understand all these pipe and thread measurements which is why I'll look for a visual.

You know of any diy reactors with bypass valves that has pictures lol. I feel like a kid that can't read but I don't want to do this wrong.

I really want to make something like this
Because you asked - here is my DIY reactor with a bypass valve from several years ago. I have 2 of these units in continuous operation since they were built.



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post #40 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 01:47 PM
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I thought I posted yesterday, but I'm a noob so what do I know?

Anyway, I bought the Sera Flore 500 with a coupon from Petco for $20... It appears to be working wonderfully.

I have read some of these threads and I still can't figure out the point of the bypass. Can someone enlighten me?

Edit: I understand the purpose of the bypass now. It took me a while...

Last edited by Dirkomatic; 02-05-2020 at 02:36 PM. Reason: Read more and now understand the point of the "bypass" is to control flow rate.
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post #41 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Quesenek View Post
Even in a reactor I would be very surprised if full dissolution was achieved.
There are bubble pockets that form in a reactor even after being burped and what not it's not really 100% at all.
I agree, I actually said "with the goal of full dissolution" I think most will go to a reactor over the other methods with that in mind or at least superior dissolution.


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post #42 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 02:47 PM
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Yes, I was going to bring this up too, but to say something is better, in what regard? Every method works, although I think a case can me made that efficiency with full dissolution being the goal is not really true.
I should have said efficient , that is according to Tom Barre . For small tanks a diy reactor is just too big to hide ime. If you are between an intank difuser and a plumbed one its a no brainer to go to a small inline one like I posted. Diy is fun though so..have at it.

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post #43 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BOTIA View Post
I should have said efficient , that is according to Tom Barre . For small tanks a diy reactor is just too big to hide ime. If you are between an intank difuser and a plumbed one its a no brainer to go to a small inline one like I posted. Diy is fun though so..have at it.
Funny thing is I have an UP Aqua inline atomizer (smoky gray color, same one sold under 100 different names) I bought probably 5 years ago. I never used it. I always start up with the in-tank one and am happy with the results so I never switched it out. I'm sure there are better ones on the market now, but some of these atomizers I find to be inconsistent wit certain working pressures. I also like the easy visual check of the in-tank one. Maintenance is next to nothing since I always have an extra one, plus it's one less thing to plumb inline.

As mentioned all methods work and all have ad/dis.


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post #44 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-05-2020, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Crazyjayb View Post
Ok, for something that completely diffuses co2 I think I can live with that.

I don't understand all these pipe and thread measurements which is why I'll look for a visual.

You know of any diy reactors with bypass valves that has pictures lol. I feel like a kid that can't read but I don't want to do this wrong.

I really want to make something like this
I built two DIY reactors. The first one was not large enough and had continuous CO2 bubbles being leaked out into the tank, so I went with my version 2 and so far it seems to not only do better with dissolving the CO2 into the water, but my pH drop is much better than my first one based on 10-minute readings with a pH meter (automatically). Not sure if these are overkill, but I thought I would share:

Version 1


Version 2


I have images of it being built if you want to try it on your own, it was not very hard. Having said that, I am working on Version 2.5 now with a modification to my existing Version 2 to add a second bypass valve to more accurately control water bypass amounts.
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post #45 of 53 (permalink) Old 02-06-2020, 01:24 AM
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I agree, I actually said "with the goal of full dissolution" I think most will go to a reactor over the other methods with that in mind or at least superior dissolution.
Oh yeah, sorry for the confusion I misread your post originally.
I agree, with the goal of getting the most efficient dissolution possible a reactor would seem like the most straight forward choice for a hobbyist.
However as you stated originally everything works, so what does it matter about the reactor being more efficient?
In my experience and research a reactor provides a more stable Co2 level in the water when a large amount of Co2 is being added because it isn't relying on the bubbles to diffuse themselves while inside of the tank as is the case with an in tank diffuser.

However there are counter points to this also, like has been brought up in this thread. With in tank diffusers and inline diffusers it lets the Co2 bubbles come in direct contact with the plants which allows them to pull in what is needed from that source.

And this is where the whole thing comes down to using what you want and are able to and tuning it to fit your needs as everything works and the end goal is simply to add Co2 to the water for the plants to utilize. ADA has found a way to make in tank diffusers work for very large tanks so anything is possible with some trial and error.
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