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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just pondering something that has been bugging me for a while.

I'm currently running an AM1000 reactor powered by one of my XP3 filters. CO2 is provided by a 10lb cylinder and controlled by an Milwaukee controller with a pinpoint probe.

I fought a long and drawn out battle with algae. But with the help of Flourish Excel and keeping up my CO2 levels, I think I have finally won. My tapwater is KH-3 and I keep the controller set at 5.8 pH.

I'm concerned that either the reactor, or the filter powering it is not quite cutting it. By a few hours into the light cycle I get a CO2 buildup in the top of the reactor chamber. When the solenoid shuts down the CO2, I'm sure that the pH continues to drop from the gas left in the chamber. So the net effect is a pH/CO2 swing that tops out at 5.9 where the controller kicks on, to 5.7 where it shuts off. And it probably goes lower from the excess gas in the chamber. From all that I have read here, it seems that steady CO2 is as/more important than just having enough.

Am I overthinking it?
Is the CO2 buildup in the chamber a bad thing? Does it mean that there is not enough flow in the reactor, or that I need a bigger reactor?
 

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Glad to hear you are / have won the algae battle...

I never check my AM1000, but I do remember reading they will have some gas in the top at the end of the day - thats normal. Mine has it too and I may be running less gas at 2.5-3 BPS and pH 6.2. You could purge it with that little release at the top. But how could one ever remember to do that every day... It sounds like your tank is solid now, so maybe don't change anything if its working well.

Do you have two can filters on that tank? You could always plumb in a pump or powerhead to boost things, if you are only running one filter with lots of peripherals on it. The Eheim hobby pumps work great out of the water and last forever.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah Betowess, I am running two XP3's on there. The reactor is the only thing inline. So hopefully it's not impeding things too much. I have them set up as you recommended. Spraybar high on left and CO2 from straight pipe down low on right. Works wonderfully. Good flow throughout.

What I'm wondering is how you are getting by with only 2.5-3 BPS? I don't think that would keep my CO2 level where it needs to be. Am I missing something?
 

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You know, I have the newest Aquariumplants.com regulator with a clippard needle valve. I love this regulator "all in one", BTW. And they are BIG bubbles coming out, much larger than Milwaukee or JBJ bubble counters. And I just kind of guess at that flow so its just a ball park guess on BPS.
When the tank is on later I'll look at the AM 1000, cause I think the bubbles are smaller and more numerous there. But that tank, my 65 gallon, is algae free so I'm not changing a thing! lol. But that might explain it. Its a flourite tank.

Good to hear that pattern of outflow is working. I think I mentioned Wasserpest suggested it to me once. I think that design results in as good of circulation as one could achieve on a 4 foot 75-90 gallon. I also have my CO2 on the lower output. When I go to a 120 or 180 gallon, I might put one on each end.
 
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