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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to pressurized CO2 and a tank of this size, so bare with me. I'm trying to figure out if my equipment isn't working properly, or my expectations are out of line, or if I'm simply confused/missing something...?

I have an 140 gallon (48x24x29) which I've recently set up. CO2 is being injected/mixed via an AquaMedic Reactor 1000. Water flow is (downwards) via the outlet of a new Eheim 2217 (there's another 2217 and a 2213 on a surface skimmer rounding out the filtration & circulation). Right now my bubble count is 5-6 per second. This seems to be right about the reactor's limit for the flow rate; there are large bubbles of CO2 at the top and a higher feed rate causes buildup of a true "layer" of gas at the top.

This bubble rate strikes me as high and yet, it can't seem to keep up. The CO2 solenoid is on a PinPoint controller and has yet to shut off (yes, I have it plugged into the right outlet and no, neither are stuck). The pH drops a bit over night towards my target, but actually rises slowly throughout the day while the lights are on.

pH is about 6.6 (maybe 6.5x) nighttime and ~6.7 at the end of the photoperiod. Tank's kH is about 3.5 degrees, which is in line with our tap water here. While this would suggest 20-26 ppm CO2, I measure it as only half that; 10-13 ppm (both via a drop checker and a Red Sea CO2 test kit). There is driftwood leaching tannins into the water, so I'm not that all that surprised that the kH-CO2-pH relationship is off.

The pH probe is new and matches two-point calibration, so I don't suspect it. I don't have a reference stock to test against my kH kit, but things are in line with my municipal water quality reports. Are CO2 tests worthless? I could see me botching one attempt, but two different measurements repeated several times...?

Surface agitation is minimal. I've experimented with moving the pH probe around the tank without observing an impact; i.e. - I think the CO2 is well-mixed.

Is the reactor lousey? Am I using it wrong? I've never seen any CO2 bubbles exiting the spray bar into the tank.

Thoughts, comments, help?
Thanks in advance,

- Aaron
 

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I have a DIY reactor that I bought from rex. It still works good, but it makes a little noise, like water noise sometimes...is that normal rex?
 

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It can be. I have noticed since I got my hearing aids that one of my reactors has some water noise once in a while. There is no gas pocket in it so I have yet to figure out what is causing it.
 

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ok, i was just wanting to be sure all the gas was getting disolved properly in the reactor...

any way, falcon...i would recommend one of rex's reactors or build one yourself. He has a DIY thread on how to make it in the DIY section...
 

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Aaron FWIW, I had 2 AM 1000's on my 125 each being driven by an Eheim 2026, and each getting about 3 BPS during lights on.
With that flow, I was getting .5" gas layers at the end of the day.
With the 2217, you should (and sounds like you are) dissolving more than I was.
I have recently rebuilt some DIYs and are much happier with the way the CO2 is being dissolved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, it seems that the consensus is that the reactor is garbage. Not the first waste of money I've made on this project. Nor probably the last... :icon_wink

I like(d) the AM 1000 because it is transparent and lets me see what exactly is going on with the gas/water mix. Which brings me to a question for Rex/Rach: how do you know if there isn't a gas pocket if you can't see inside it? How can you tell if the CO2 injection rate is too high for the reactor to keep up? The noise it makes?

Naja002 - yes, that's what I thought and was trying to imply with "the reactor can't seem to keep up." My lights are 4x T5HO + 2x T5 (non-HO). All have Tek reflectors. Bulbs are a mix of Giesemann 10K, 6K, and CoraLife ColorMax. The plants are pearling away; not madly, but certainly active (I haven't killed them yet! :biggrin:).

Thanks for the advice,
- Aaron
 

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Well, it seems that the consensus is that the reactor is garbage. Not the first waste of money I've made on this project. Nor probably the last... :icon_wink
- Aaron
I don't think the reactor is garbage, but I do think that it can get overpowered in a big tank. If you had been running a lower bubble count, this post wouldn't exist.

Now for the sound of a gas pocket: think of the splashing caused by a urine inducing waterfall. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't think the reactor is garbage, but I do think that it can get overpowered in a big tank. If you had been running a lower bubble count, this post wouldn't exist.

Now for the sound of a gas pocket: think of the splashing caused by a urine inducing waterfall. :)
I can't get enough CO2 into the tank with the bubble rate as it is, it seems. I'm interpreting the feedback so far as indicating that my measurements and reasoning are OK; I just need more CO2. And the single AM 1000 isn't going to cut it since it seems to be at its limit already.

A second AM 1000 also getting 5-6 bps might work. So might a single large DIY. Or dual DIY. I guess one of those three options is what I need to pursue now.

Cheers.

- Aaron
 

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For a 140 gal.tank you definitely need to source of co2 diffusion,and a couple of power heads to circulate the co2 all over your tank .
For your second diffuser ,you need a manifold, and two of everything(needle valve,check valve,bubble counter) and to diffuse the co2 ,just insert the co2 line in to the inlet of a powerhead.
Having two diffusers in my 100 gal tank has given me better control on how much co2 I can dissolve in the tank.
 
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