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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, sorry if this has been answered already I am having a hard time finding opinions so I wanted to start this thread.

I have a SunSun 304B on my 75G. I am also running a small AquaClear 20 as well to keep the BB alive for a quarantine tank if necessary.

I just started with CO2 injection and EI dosing (I am new in all aspects of this hobby), I made myself an inline reactor which is working well. I am still getting some small bubbles coming from my spray bar which I understand is normal. My main question here is if I should remove the spray bar and use a powerhead or circ pump just below the output to "chop" and disperse any small CO2 bubbles that are coming out?

The SunSun is rated at 525gph, obviously I am not getting anywhere near that especially with the reactor inline and the filter full of media. I am noticing some plant leaves are quickly developing a film of diatoms or algae of some kind, they are on young leaves as well as old and I am not sure if this is due to a circulation problem? The fish seem fine hanging out in the output from the spray bar. I do have two angels in the tank and the others are fine swimmers, with all that considered, what is your advice? Keep the spray bar or go with a powerhead/circulation pump?

Thanks in advance.

Bump: ..... Also a note, I have 3 of the 4 sections of the spray bar connected, spraying into my tank on a 45 degree angle downwards across the length of the tank from left to right, not along the back, if any of that matters in decision making.
 

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I shoved a piece of bamboo chopstick into my CO2 tubing right before it enters my reactor. This makes lots of tiny bubbles rather than big bubbles. That stopped the bubbles from coming out of my spray bar.

Also, it looks like that reactor might be undersized for a 75g. It is hard to get scale from the pictures. I used twenty inches of 1.5 inch PVC pipe for my reactor. Pretty long, but definitely dissolves all the CO2.

I have also seen people who run their CO2 line into the reactor center by making a small hole and pulling the line through. That way, the CO2 is deposited into the center of the water column and not drawn up the sides. This also helps with CO2 dissolution.

Your plan of a powerhead/circulation pump would likely be effective as well and help with your circulation.

Ben
 

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Plant Clown
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I agree that a single 304 is underpowered for a 75g, and even with the AC20, you're still probably very low on filtration. Adding a powerhead or two wouldn't be a bad idea, but more filtration would be better.

But that's not directly related to your question. I like the reactor design - simple and effective. One question - is the CO2 inlet at the intake or outlet of the reactor? It *should* be near the intake (top) of the reactor.

As for algae, what color is it? And how new is the tank? Brown diatom algae is very common in newer tanks and will work itself out over a few weeks. Otocinclus will help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I shoved a piece of bamboo chopstick into my CO2 tubing right before it enters my reactor. This makes lots of tiny bubbles rather than big bubbles. That stopped the bubbles from coming out of my spray bar.

Also, it looks like that reactor might be undersized for a 75g. It is hard to get scale from the pictures. I used twenty inches of 1.5 inch PVC pipe for my reactor.
The PVC is only about 12" total between the inlet and output on the reactor. I made this thing last minute as the inline diffuser I got with the order of my CO2 regulator was too small for the large tubing on the SunSun. The videos I watched showed something a little smaller. I never considered going much larger as you suggest, I was scared that it would even further decrease my gph output the bigger it got. The good news is that I can easily get rid of that pool line PVC and attach something longer to try, thanks for that idea!

I don't quite understand where the bamboo comes in? Should I remove the tubing from the brass compression tap and stick some up the tube before putting it back on? Unfortunately I cant go straight into the PVC pipe with the CO2 line (which I never considered) as I would need to replace both the input end because I drilled into it and then the PVC tubing. Good to note for future builds though.

Do you think the flow of water around the tank is not enough for the or the filtration capacity?

Thanks for the reply!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree that a single 304 is underpowered for a 75g, and even with the AC20, you're still probably very low on filtration. Adding a powerhead or two wouldn't be a bad idea, but more filtration would be better.

But that's not directly related to your question. I like the reactor design - simple and effective. One question - is the CO2 inlet at the intake or outlet of the reactor? It *should* be near the intake (top) of the reactor.

As for algae, what color is it? And how new is the tank? Brown diatom algae is very common in newer tanks and will work itself out over a few weeks. Otocinclus will help.
From what I read before I set the tank up I thought the 304 would be enough for the tank, I used the AqAdvisor for stocking purposes and as per them I have it at 88% with livestock. I guess that does not take into account the plants and things.

If I add a filter to the tank I would run the output next to the existing one? Do you suggest another canister or a larger HOB to make up what it is lacking?

The reactor is inline between the filter and the output back into the tank and the brass fitting with the CO2 is in the bottom (closest to the filter) of the reactor. The green tubing in the photo is to the spray bar in the tank.

The algae is brown, I had the initial shock of a huge amount of diatoms right after my fishless cycle, I cleaned a bunch of it out and it never came back. Some diatoms still remain on the rocks, I haven't been able to get them spotless and am now just used to the look of it. A small amount of green algae took its place however is currently under control and a treat for my SAEs. The algae on the leaves is brown, some can be wiped off the leaves while most remains stuck on them.

The tank was filled at the beginning of January this year, fishless cycle completed flawlessly in roughly four weeks and was slowly stocked to its current level over one month. I had 4 otto's initially and unfortunately they died one by one within a week of getting them. I am unsure if they were not healthy to begin with or my tank did not have enough for them to munch on, others on a forum told me they have a tendency to come unhealthy from the LFS from time to time.

Thanks!
 

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Plant Clown
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Yeah, the rated value of any filter will be lower than actual value, and the SunSuns have notoriously overblown ratings, even with that in mind. It sounds like you're doing fine, and I'd be patient with the tank for a few more weeks before really changing anything (though extra current in the tank, from powerheads, would keep leaves clearer). If you do put in another filter, I'd add a second spraybar to the opposite side of the tank. But you can, if you want, combine the outflows, but if you do that I'd recommend increasing the tubing size so as not to limit flow.

Ideally, the outflow from a canister should go into the *top* of the reactor, then come out the bottom and head to the tank. The reactor CO2 inlet should be closer to the top. If this doesn't describe your setup, you might have discovered why you're getting bubbles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ideally, the outflow from a canister should go into the *top* of the reactor, then come out the bottom and head to the tank. The reactor CO2 inlet should be closer to the top. If this doesn't describe your setup, you might have discovered why you're getting bubbles.
So as to push the bubbles and water downwards, more resistance and time for the bubbles to spend in the water going against gravity and dissolve, I see what you are saying. That's genius! I have it the other way around currently I would just simply need to turn the whole thing 180 degrees in order to accomplish what you are saying. I am out of tubing length for that currently however will look into that in the very near future, thats a great idea.

I will add a circ pump in the mean time to keep the leaves clear and maybe find another cheap SunSun to put on the other side of the tank. Everything is twice the price up here in Canada unfortunately...

Thanks alot for your advice, that's a huge help!
 

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Over the last year I have seem many variations on DIY reactors. Mine is probably a little over the top in complexity but thats just me.
The bottom line is this - co2 bubbles want to float up and join together.
Water current from your filter is directed down into the area where the bubbles are floating up.
The water current breaks up the big bubbles into smaller bubbles until they finally dissolve and are carried out the bottom and up into your tank.

Lots of different ways to do the same thing. In your case, your design will work - to a point. If you put more bubbles into the confined space than what the incoming water can break up, then you get visible bubble coming out the bottom. Solution - taller confined space or adjust the water flow to give the bubbles more time to dissolve.
 

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For the bamboo, in your case, you could just shove it into the end of your CO2 tubing and then place it back on your hose barb. Since it creates many more small bubbles, not just one large bubble, it provides more surface area to dissolve the CO2, sort of like the Venturi effect that can help aerate aquariums.

Ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Over the last year I have seem many variations on DIY reactors. Mine is probably a little over the top in complexity but thats just me.
The bottom line is this - co2 bubbles want to float up and join together.
Water current from your filter is directed down into the area where the bubbles are floating up.
The water current breaks up the big bubbles into smaller bubbles until they finally dissolve and are carried out the bottom and up into your tank.

Lots of different ways to do the same thing. In your case, your design will work - to a point. If you put more bubbles into the confined space than what the incoming water can break up, then you get visible bubble coming out the bottom. Solution - taller confined space or adjust the water flow to give the bubbles more time to dissolve.

Thanks for the reply. So basically I have the reactor upside down currently. I have the flow bringing the bubbles from the bottom to the top and into the tank, I need to flip this thing around. Will be buying the hose to do so very shortly, I will update this and see how it turns out. I will also try the piece of bamboo trick, sounds cheap and effective.

Thanks for all the replies and help!
 
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