I have read so much back and forth about the filtration power of two Eheim 2217s on one tank. My feeling in the end is that it's enough filtration, but I might need more motion down the road, as you suggest. That's fine with me; coming from the world of saltwater I've a good store of circulation pumps in house already.
I canít comment on the Eheim 2217, as Iíve never had one. I see itís rated at 264gph, and I would think two of them would be good. For comparison, I run two Rena Filstar XP3ís (350gph and one XP4 (450gph). The XP4 output goes to the Cerges. I also keep a well stocked tank of Rainbows, so I go a little overboard on filtration. I also run two Koralia 600 pumps, and two Jebao RW-4's, again a little overboard on flow. The trick is getting it to where the plants are gently swaying rather than being uprooted.
About surface ripples: in troubleshooting my CO2 system, one thing that the GLA responder said was that rippling was the reason I couldn't get CO2 up to where I want it. He said that spray bars were passe, and that most planted tank enthusiasts don't use them. But I've read so much about the need to oxygenate as well as gas the plants. Thoughts?
My surface has a constant ripple, and I have no trouble with co2 concentration. And like I said, the fish will certainly appreciate the oxygen. Notwithstanding what GLA told you, I think you will find many here who believe in good surface agitation. I believe it's one of the main components of a healthy tank. But it's a topic that I am sure is open to debate.
So, yeah. I'm a bit confused on reactors. I had hoped that my manifold would work as a reactor, since most reactors (at least the DIY ones) seem to simply be a large channel of water that gives CO2 time to more fully dissolve. Is that not the case? Do reactors do more than that?
Yes, thatís exactly what they do. I have no visible bubbles coming from the reactor.
At first, we were getting NOTHING through our diffuser. After running it at 50 psi, we "cracked" it (according to GLA advisors) and now there are good bubbles going through. I know that the bubbles need to be diffused in order to spread through the tank well... right? CO2 is totally new to me! Today will be the first time that we can confidently run the CO2 for the full 8-hour photo period to see if we can gain a green drop checker. How fast is your CO2 stream?
Thatís a great question. As you are going to find out, counting bubbles is virtually impossible with a larger tank. You are going to basically have a steady stream of co2. I use a flow meter rather than a bubble counter (see my journal for more information). I also use a ph controller and drop checker, but that is personal preference, and once again those subjects are always open to debate.
We ARE having trouble getting enough CO2 to register on the drop checker the tank. Did you remove your inline diffuser altogether and just run the CO2 straight through the reactor? IF so, do you think it would be worth a try to run it straight through my manifold?
Yes, no diffuser, just running co2 directly into Cerges. I switched when I had an inline diffuser fail (crack open). The panic and water everywhere was enough for me to switch to a reactor. Iím not sure what you mean by running it right into the manifold?
I hope some of that helps. I just went higher tech about a year ago, and have been right where you are now. I'm still no expert by any means, and can only speak from personal experience, and the observations of how things have developed in my tank.