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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

So i built Rexs' reactor, however, it doesnt seem to be working. I know my CO2 tank is putting out X amount of CO2, yet my drop checker never seems to change color. My CO2 ran all day and no change in drop checker color (a bluish-green color (not completely green). I have a 55G. In the reactor i can hear the water falling after the CO2 has been turned on for a little bit. Yesterday, when i leveled the reactor a bunch of bubbles came out, leading me to believe that the CO2 is not diffusing correctly. What do i do????
 

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Do you have a bubble counter on your CO2 regulator? If so, how many bubbles per second are coming out?

Can you post a picture of your reactor just for reference? There may be an issue of the gas not dissolving as it should, but I am not sure we have enough info yet to determine that.

I know that in my experience when I do a water change and have to prime my filter again I do hear water falling inside the reactor, but that generally only lasts a short time as water fills up the column. My bubble counter runs ~3bps and my drop checker is a nice green at the end of the day. Anything higher than 3bps will send my fish gasping for O2 within a few hours.

You didn't mention it, but you may need an additional power head to properly circulate the water in your aquarium.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So my bubble counter reads about 2 bps. My reactor is hooked up to my eheim 2217, which shoots water along the backside of my 55G. Like i said, i can hear a falling water sound and if i invert the reactor bubbles come out of the spray bar. Also my drop checker does not change color. Its a turqoise blue.. always..

Here is a picture of my setup:



What should i do? I feel like i set it corretly, however, it doesn't seem to be working! :(
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I set up the CO2 right below my drop checker to make sure it was working and it slowly began to change green. I dont know what to do about my reactor :(
 

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You could try to increase the bubble rate from your regulator. Test it on a day when you will be there to monitor your fish health as you increase CO2. I have cranked mine up for a short time during testing till my fish started gasping at the surface and then I backed it down.

Perhaps additional flow using a powerhead to circulate the co2 saturated water?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would think i would be getting good flow from the 2217. Its blowing some of my plants around. Is it possible the CO2 is being lost before it hits the other side of the tank? Should i try bioballs? They look like they are loud. Also, the more i crank the CO2, the louder that "falling water" sound gets. Im guanteed the CO2 is getting trapped somewhere.
 

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I would not suggest using bio balls as they would only serve to reduce flow. Have you increased the CO2 flow and let it run for a duration of time?

It is my experience that my 55g tank using a Rena XP3 wtih a very similar reactor hooked up in the same fashion as your needs a good 3bps. Any less and the drop checker doesn't turn the light green shade.

Just to clarify, you do have the reactor hooked up in line on the output side of the filter, correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, sorry it must be ambiguous. The intake is actually the output from the 2217. Does your reactor make a falling water sound? I feel like thats the problem. Ill incrase my bubble count tomorrow
 

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Yes, my reactor will have the falling water sound typically when I do a canister cleaning or large water change and the reactor has lost some water or air has entered.

The falling water sound goes away after a while though.
 

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My reactor also have the falling water sound (reactor is hooked up to 2217). I would say increase the bps rate to 4-5 bps and watch your fish closely if they're not gasping for air near the surface. I have to have almost constant bubble flow to get the drop checker turn yellow (don't know if it's usual) and the tank is 75g.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Increasing the BPS didnt change the color of my drop checker. The falling water sound is present ONLY when i have teh CO2 running
 

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Maybe too many drops of pH indicator in the drop checker? How are the plants doing, despite the color not changing in the drop checker?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, so i changed my bubbles per second and now the drop checker is starting to change green! I can also see tiny bubbles comming off a lot of my plants. Exciting. Ill have to see it is too much CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So im going to revive this thread because i have a problem. I can get my drop checker to change color to green, but i cant push it above that no matter how many BPS i have. I wonder if its a flaw in the design? My dad put an airstone in the middle of the inside of the pipe where the tube connects to help with diffusion. I always hear the waterfall sound so im assuming the CO2 is collecting and not diffusing?
 

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I found it helpful to have a bleed valve at the top of my reactor, so when I first started it I could bleed off the air in the reactor. It also made priming the filter after it had been removed for maintenance, a lot easier. You can buy a little brass bleed valve at Home Depot or Ace Hardware.

My reactor was never quiet. During the day a big bubble of CO2 would collect at the top, so the incoming water would always make some noise. This was only when I had a 3 bbs or so bubble rate, which I needed to get my tank water high enough in CO2. I don't think that is a flaw, just a characteristic of that design - it is limited in how much CO2 it can dissolve into the water as it flows through.
 

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im having problems with my reactor, i built the same one as yours. However, when co2 is off water goes into the co2 hose is this normal? i have 2 check valves just to be safe what am i doing wrong?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well obviously a check valve is supposed to stop this, however, i've noticed a little water flowing back into my clippard check valve. Nothing major so it never concerned me. But having 2 check valves and water is getting through both of them..? I would check to make sure they arent broken.
 

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yes, im going to get some new ones today, i noticed you have a brass check valve?

is that available in a local hardware store or did you buy it online?
 
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