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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Folks,

I'm doing CO2 addition through via 10lb CO2 Tank and a small store bought reactor. I'm controlling pH to 6.5 to determine the appropriateness of adding CO2.

I need to increase the overall flow of my system... as this Reactor feeds 6 (well currently 5, but soon 6) 20 gallon long aquariums that are moderately to heavily planted.

I know many of you are doing a Cerges type, but for the space I am working it, that would introduce too many extra bends. So I'm looking at adopting Tom Barr's Dual Venturi Design (sans the boost pump) as it would make for very nice pathways between my equipment with it's top to bottom flow... (Dual venturi DIY External CO2 reactor)

I'm looking to simplify the plumbing by having all devices plumbed for 1" from the sump to the point that I start breaking off to the individual aquariums. The flow will leave the sump via an Active Aqua 1000 submersible pump, rated at 1100 gph, but sees ~ 600 becuase of 6' head, many bends, many parallel branches, restrictive tubing diameters. Simplified design will be 1" from Sump Pump to 1" into Reactor (no bends, just a nice sweep from the pump to the top of the reactor), down the reactor to the bottom where it will make a 90 turn to feed the bottom of a 25Watt UV Sterilizer that has an internal diameter of 3" (but fittings will be 1"), out of the top of the UV Sterilizer it will take a90degree turn, feed into a 1" Flow Meter, then leaves to split into two 3/4" parallel branches to feed 3 aquariums each branch. This is a tremendous simplification.

My thought is dwell. If I'm moving 700gpH through the Reactor, if I make it out of a 3" pipe that is say 20" long, filled with bioballs, will I get good dwell so that the CO2 difuses properly? I would follow idea Tom has to bleed any bubble that would form at the top of the reactor back to my sump right into the intake sponge of the pump.... so that there would be some recycling.... given undissolved CO2 a 2nd chance...

Toms idea is different.. in that his CO2 Reactor is completely seperate from the principle FLow.... he powers it with a separate pump... and feeds it back to the sump just prior to his main circulation pump... I think with the high velocity I have.... coupled with making it longer and wider.... I can dissolve it without losing overall system flow and achieve good turnover rates to all 6 planted aquariums.

Here are the display tanks:

Plant Water Wood Gas Grass


Here is the mess I need to straighten out.. it's the result of parallel 1/2" paths through lots of equipment. (I want one path that is 1" going forward):

Motor vehicle Plant Electrical wiring Automotive exterior Cable


Here is a quick and dirty sketch of the simplified sump to tanks pathways that I hope to achieve...

Handwriting Font Material property Rectangle Parallel
 

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i built Tom's dual venturi reactor (albeit for one 20gal) out of 2" pipe and 17" total height on a closed loop. pushing about 200gph through it and 2bps co2. i didn't install the venturi tube down far enough so the recirculating started after only about 1.5 hours after co2-on. i didn't notice much mist, nor did i see any differences in growth, and didn't like listening to the pffit of each bubble as it passed through the impeller well of my pump. so i disconnected it.

i would eliminate the bioballs--slow down flow and need to be serviced more often. do i see 2 returns and 2 outlets per tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
i built Tom's dual venturi reactor (albeit for one 20gal) out of 2" pipe and 17" total height on a closed loop. pushing about 200gph through it and 2bps co2. i didn't install the venturi tube down far enough so the recirculating started after only about 1.5 hours after co2-on. i didn't notice much mist, nor did i see any differences in growth, and didn't like listening to the pffit of each bubble as it passed through the impeller well of my pump. so i disconnected it.

i would eliminate the bioballs--slow down flow and need to be serviced more often.
Mine would be installed after the pump... so I'd never hear an impleller striking bubbles... except for those that go the route of the venturi..

In the end, I've decided to construct mine with a pure reactor section of 2" x 24", (so total height about 30") ... I'll feed 700gph via a 1" line entering and exiting. I will use some bio balls. I will have a venturi that will feed back to the sump just prior to the sump pump.. I'll have a bypass section to slow it down through the main reactor section if necessary... this will give me good CO2 dwell time without affecting overall flow... Something like this:

Rectangle Font Parallel Slope Diagram


I think with the high flows I will have I shouldn't dissolve everything in that 2" x 24" space... If I see way too much mist in the display tanks.... I'll do a bit of bypassing to increase dwell time in the reactor... I won't fill it completely with bioballs... Just a few... very large ones... I don't anticipate having a very big bubble needing to be taken up by the venturi either... but who knows.

I feel like feeding 1" to 3" might actually introduce eddy currents.... and slow down flow.... I'll be honest, I don't know all of the theory behind fluid dynamics... but I don't think I want to go tooo big.

In the end... what did you end up doing to dissolve the CO2 for your single 20 gallon tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
do i see 2 returns and 2 outlets per tank?
Each tank has 2 x 3/4" discharges.... However, I do join 2 adjoining discharges at each level.... so think of it this way.... on the top level.... the right 3/4" discharges are eventually joined for both tanks on that level.... and they travel down 1 3/4" discharge to the sump. So, although there are 12 3/4" discharges in total, there are only 6 3/4" pathways to the sump..... yeah PLENTY... Just trying to stay ahead of leaf debris plugging a discharge in one of the display tanks if I get inattentive.

Each display tank is fed by a 1/2" line.... However... those 1/2" lines are just 6" long.... going to a 3/4" trunk fo reach stand ( or 3 tanks)... Soon, those 2 x 3/4" trunks will be sourced off from 1 1" feed that originates from the sump pump and flows through the CO2 Reactor, UV Filter and Flow Meter. Basically there is a size reduction at each parallel branch... That's the change... Right now everything starts as 3/4" instead of 1"... and the CO2 Reactor, UV Filter, and FlowMeter are on these small parallel 1/2" circuits. There are WAY too many T's, Reducers, and 90s present in the system.
 

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I like your back pressure valve. I just re-did my Cerges, driving it with a pump, and the pump was too powerful which resulting in a glurping noise! Installing a back pressure valve solved that, of course now I'm thinking I'm not getting the CO2 in fast enough, but that's another issue. Nice rack BTW!
 

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The bio balls do help a little bit, but they eventually pack up with gunk and become like a filter that never gets cleaned. I see the clean out so maybe you plan for that. If you cant clean them out easily, say every few months I wouldnt use them. They dont make a huge difference to begin with
FWIW, this is the very top of my Cerges Reactor after several years of continuous use. The inside of the tube within the cerges looked about the same. If bio balls are not cleaned on a regular basis, they will pretty much look just like this.
1026697
 
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In the end... what did you end up doing to dissolve the CO2 for your single 20 gallon tank?
still using the same reactor minus the venturi. i get a 1-pt pH drop in about 2 hours.

i think you'll need more circulation in each tank as plant mass increases.

Mine would be installed after the pump... so I'd never hear an impleller striking bubbles... except for those that go the route of the venturi..
where does your venturi line go back into the system? the venturi line is pressurized but to get the mist and to recirculate gas in the pocket back to the system, it should be fed prior to pump's impeller. merely routing it to your sump does not buy you anything, except reduced back pressure in the reactor, which may or may not be a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
where does your venturi line go back into the system? the venturi line is pressurized but to get the mist and to recirculate gas in the pocket back to the system, it should be fed prior to pump's impeller. merely routing it to your sump does not buy you anything, except reduced back pressure in the reactor, which may or may not be a good thing.
when I say re-route to the sump, I'm referring to re-routing to the infeed of the SumpPump (I modified the picture to say that).... So the chopping noise would move to my sump pump... which being submerged under 9 inches of water should remain relatively quiet.

still using the same reactor minus the venturi. i get a 1-pt pH drop in about 2 hours.

i think you'll need more circulation in each tank as plant mass increases.
I've thought about that... One of the things that I do in each of the 20gallon long display tanks is that I have a Hydor 240 wave pump installed in each.... I turn these on every 4 hours for 15 minutes. (they are just a little too powerful to run full time). The idea is just to move anything out of the dead spots caused by dense planting and location within the tanks. Perks the fish up and I will see the cordoras start to search out debris to consume immediately after (though there is not much debris at all as the tanks are very clean).

I have considered a 2nd Active Aqua 1000 right in the sump.... I'd install venturis on them (which would slow each of them down a little, but give me the advantage of adding a bit more oxygen to the water)... I could then connect them in parallel and feed to the 1" line that goes to eveything after....

I like your back pressure valve. I just re-did my Cerges, driving it with a pump, and the pump was too powerful which resulting in a glurping noise! Installing a back pressure valve solved that, of course now I'm thinking I'm not getting the CO2 in fast enough, but that's another issue. Nice rack BTW!
Thank you. It's a fun rack. It makes maintenace so easy on multiple tanks. I did a whole build thread on it here:

This reactor is part of the 3rd major change I've done to plumbing since having it operational since end of November. Flow losses from height, equipment and plant density surprised me. Once I've completed these 3rd set of changes, I'll document the water path better in that thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I guess I could include a photo of this in use, as it's been on line more than a week now.

Wood Gas Cameras & optics Machine Metal


Here you can see it installed... From the SumpPump I go through a check valve, then into the Top of the Reactor (the top fitting is white now as I redid it to add stronger brass nipples and a 3rd line to quickly bleed off air on a startup). Presently, I'm not bypassing any of the Reactor.... I go out of the Bottom of the Reactor and into the Bottom of the UV Filter (can't see that much of it in the picture), then out the Top of the UV Filter and through a Axial Flow Meter before heading up to the all of the Display Tanks.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Vehicle Automotive exterior Auto part
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
how is it working out in practice? Are you getting enough CO2 into the tanks? 6 of them if I'm not confused. Quiet or noisy? Are bubbles making it into the tanks?
I don't see bubbles in the tanks, but I do see them travelling into my reactor. My sense is that it is so big, with so much flow, that it is really dissolving the CO2 well. I have good plant growth. I don't hear anything from it at all.. I have 5 tanks.... with the 6th going online over the weekend (maybe even tonight... we'll see)...

I'm shocked how a 6'6" head and a 1" flow meter and 1" check valve have reduced the flow of my single AAPW1000. With bigger lines feeding this reactor and my UV filter.. and fewer turns, well I thought I'd see really powerful flow. I would describe what I have as adequate for the 5 tanks. We will see what happens with the 6th.

I'm considering adding a 2nd AAPW1000 that I already have (bought as an unused open box for $30usd).. The idea is to have my 2 AAPW1000s in parallel with their venturi options.... They would both exit at 3/4", but within inches go through a Y that would take them to the single 1" line through my system. Perhaps I could turn down the flow just a bit on each of them if I am overwhelming the 6 Display tanks. I think I could eliminate my piston powered air pump.

I need to install my new submersible pH probe and calibrate it. I also want to get the GH/KH up just a bit (2 to 3 deg), as I'm running pure RO. Additionally, I have new Ecoxotic E-Series LED lights to add which will greatly increase the light output too. So lots more work to do... I'll blog these changes on my existing SonoraDesert FishNook Build Thread here on PlantedTank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I ended up adding the 2nd AAPW1000. I still seem to be able to dissolve CO2 effectively and knock down the pH despite the fast flow. I've started to knock the GH/KH down a bit 4 and 2 respectively.

Now that I"ve had the FIshnook run in for 5+ months, I know which fish are suitable for the setup. I'm considering knocking pH down to 6.5 now (I know that's where I need to be for good plant growth). I'll just watch oxygen depletion at night. I've installed a DO sensor, but I'm unhappy with the numbers I am seeing from it... Despite electrically isolating it, I seem to be picking up allot of noise. Oh well. I'll keep at it.

That said, this CO2 reacotr is doing very well. Using the 1" check flap valve keeps the reactor from draining down when the pump stops... so I don't have to go thorugh any air purge cycles at all.. I see no gas accumulation at the top of the reactor, I guess the venturi feeding to the 2nd pump is working very well.
 
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