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AM Reactor 1000 vs UP Aqua Atomizer

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by MrFish, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. MrFish

    MrFish Junior Poster

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    Hi,

    Ive have lurked here and there but haven't posted till now, so hi everyone :)

    Now my question is, whats a better way of injecting co2? Keeping in mind co2 economy and the way plants prefer to absorb co2(which i still am not sure about).

    Ive been using the AM 1000 for over a year now and been very happy with it.
    It dissolves 100% of co2 into a solution ready to be absorbed for plants.

    Recently ive been reading up on the UP Aqua inline atomizer and seems people have been getting really good results. From what i understand, this being a misting method compared to the reactor method would normally be less economical on co2. But apparently people have had to reduce the bubble rate after installing these atomizers as their co2 checkers go from green to yellow quite quickly and plants pearl like crazy in no time.

    Here is a link to these atomizers in case anyone hasn't seen them:
    http://www.up-aqua.com./00-dm-page/00up_dm-co2-big.jpg

    Has anyone here used both and able to say which one is the better choice and why?

    Thanks in advance :)

    Mike
     
  2. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    It's always hard to say. Anything different can cause all kinds of changes. If the plants are doing better with brand X equipment now, is it because of the CO2 method change, or is it more likely that they have also gone around and trimmed some plants, cleaned the filter, etc? Also, when doing the diffuser styles you typically place it in a location and then tweak locations to adjust the flow of the device and the water moving the bubbles as well. Was it the method, or the did the change in flow direction, or additional flow, make the difference? Was your CO2 from the filter hitting that sword plant that "ate" all of your CO2 and now the diffusor disk is downstream so the CO2 "drought" to the rest of the tank is now over? Lots of variables.

    That said, it looks like a nice unit and I'm rather interested to see how it works. I'm getting kind of tired of the piles of bubbles in my biocube since I'm just stuffing the CO2 into the main pump for it. Not very elegent and I'd love to have a cleaner method for it since I haven't modded the impeller for better chopping. It's hard to tell whether this is designed as an atomizer or if they're expecting the bubbles to dissolve in the tubing on the way to the tank though based on their 3rd bullet point.

    If you did get one of these you'll probably be in the best position to see if it's really a method/product change as you're swapping out an inline reactor for an inline diffusor. It should be rather easy to hold all the other variables I mentioned the same and come down to CO2 usage for ppm in the tank. Bear in mind that your BPS may change anyway due to the back pressure from the diffusor that would not be there with the AM1000. So you may be better off just swapping out the part and leaving the CO2 settings alone to see what happens. Obviously with the caveat that you monitor the fish and adjust downward if it's too much. :)

    -
    S
     
  3. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    I have an AM1000 on my 60gal, and just got 2 of this UP atomizer. One in 16-22mm for my 60gal, to compare with AM1000 and the second is 12-16mm to go on my in start nano

    My 60 gal is very steady now, low light, slow growth plants with a majority of swords/crypts, CO2 is very stable on AM1000

    I'll compare both units, but don't expect results before a few weeks, and final results before months. I'll give a preview in 3-4 weeks when installed. Then, I'll have to wait a while before seeing which is better. The bubble count can't be compared between units, so it will be the life of canister. Sadely, I'm moving from a 2.5Kg to a 7.5Kg canister, so, before it is empty, some months should pass...
     
  4. MrFish

    MrFish Junior Poster

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    Thanks for replies guys.
    I took the plunge and got one to do a comparison myself. Waiting for it to arrive at my door.

    shoggoth43, i know what you mean about many variables.
    The place i have mainly read about this new unit is on an Australian forum im quite active on. The guys there are pretty good so comparisons done are approached realistically, as near as possible. Most were done in a "bolt off, bolt on" fashion when installing the atomizer so no changes done, no plants trimmed, well circulated etc...
    I have been told though that the mist generated from these is actually very fine. Finer then you would normally expect and when compared to the Cal Aqua inline diffuser it quite clearly out performs it.

    See how we go and what differences we notice....
     
  5. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Let me know what you think when you get it. I'd be curious to know how it compares to an unmodded powerhead for misting. It looks like it can be run submerged as well which might be a decent way to stuff it into the biocube if it's any good.

    I'm always amazed that this is one hobby where in order to order some of the more esoteric stuff those of us in the US have to go out of our way to find it and have it shipped in. Most of the other time it's the other way around and I hear about people catering only to the US and how they have to lump it. Go figure. :)

    Please keep us posted.

    -
    S


     
  6. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    I'll also put my preview in 1-2 weeks when I install the 12-16mm unit on my nano, but no comparison then...

    By the way, I read all the stuff on that Australian forum, that's why I bought it. But something important to keep in mind is that people there speak of bps. It is impossible to compare bps between 2 units. Bubble size will be different, and CO2 rate would have to be adjusted. Also, moving from the AM1000 to the atomizer, you should expect a big bump in your bps if you don't reduce pressure. In fact, you will loose the pump pressure you have with the AM1000, the CO2 path on the atomizer being behind a ceramic will limit the pressure effect of the same pump on the bps.

    So, take with care their enthousiast affirmations. Only the life of your CO2 bottle, supposing you don't change your hardscape and keep same trimming/WC routines/EI dosing, can be a way of comparision. All other affirmations are subjective wrong assumptions

    What I will do, is:
    - weigh my canister when I install the new 7.5Kg, will be on the AM1000 (this weekend, as my 2.5Kg is now on its last breath)
    - in 2-4 weeks, weigh it again, install the atomizer.
    - weigh again the canister after same period and compare both values, and to my previous CO2 use of 2.5Kg/3 months

    So maybe this way, I could provide some reliable data in 4-6 weeks. Any other conclusions, bps/mist based, without a long run proof, can't be reliable
     
  7. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I would actually expect the BPS to decrease with the atomizer as long as you do not physically adjust the valve. I found the higher pressure in the line slowed the apparent BPS down and made them somewhat smaller when I used a fine airstone vs the jammed into the pump intake method. Of course each bubble contained more CO2 as well with the airstone and I had to turn the CO2 down quite a bit with the powerhead method to slow down the bubble count to something viewable.

    Providing you don't adjust the needle valve or the output pipe just swapping the unit may give you a good comparison in a couple of weeks. IF it's much better you may see an impact on your fish almost immediately if they head to the surface or you gas them. Or your plants may suddenly take off a week after you put this in. Again, that would only happen if this thing were much better than the AM or if your particular AM were somehow not working right. If they're close then you're stuck waiting and weighing tanks which isn't quite as much fun.

    If this works as well as it seems this may just be the next CO2 related thing for me to get. Then I'll have to get a manifold, needlevalve, and solenoid for a second CO2 line for the bigger tank....

    -
    S



     
  8. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Umm... so it needs cleaning? I would bypass it then. :p
     
  9. MrFish

    MrFish Junior Poster

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    Yeah only draw back for now...
    But not as bad as regular diffusers. Just pop the disc out, clean it and pop it back in...


    johnny_ftm - Yeah the bubble rate and size of bubbles is something ive been also thinking about a bit more since yesterday. My plan is to start off with the bolting off and bolting on and see what happens, then take it from there.
    I expect the pressure will build up in the lines and the bubbles may look the same size or even be compressed and smaller but containing more co2 under the pressure.
    Ive never really explored those aspects till now.
     
  10. Garratt

    Garratt Junior Poster

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    I have had the UP AA for one month and must say I am very happy with it. I have it on a 15g with high light - 6w/g. It gives a fine mist, very tiny bubbles, at 1 bps. Reducing the bps slightly will reduce the visible mist to almost none. I had to reduce the bps from around 1.8 bps when using a reactor. I am fine with the the mist for now, it gives a good view of the water flow. Don't think is anoying. Great quality, easy to install and takes little space under my small tank.
     
  11. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    I just thought at it,

    With a bubble counter installed separately on the line, it will be easy to compare, bps based, the drop checker colour and plants growth. I have one laying around, and I'll put it.

    About cleaning, the unit can't be desassembled. You must unplug it and use blash solution. Better is to use plug-in connectors for easy removal and maybe have 2 units to swap when cleaning is needed. On the Australian forum, they talk about a need of cleaning of only once /year maybe. The fact that the unit is outside tank reduces the dust. If CO2 is left 24/24, then it will stay cleaner for even longer
     
  12. MrFish

    MrFish Junior Poster

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    Interesting about the cleaning. I thought i saw someone say something about removal of the disc... Maybe was something else...
    I also did read that these atomizers can be inline or in tank? Can anyone confirm this?
     
  13. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Yes, they can, but I don't see why you should run them in tank. The light will induce the need for much more frequent cleaning
     
  14. MrFish

    MrFish Junior Poster

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    Good point.... :)
     
  15. Brian20

    Brian20 Guest

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    This works like a diffuser in-line i think.

    Maybe it works like a reactor. I don't know if works better maybe works equal but cheaper:)
     
  16. MrFish

    MrFish Junior Poster

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    So anyone have any updates on their experience?
    I have finally connected my UP Atomizer and noticed so far my PH isn't being lowered as well as it was with the AM reactor. I can see the fine mist of co2 in the water and haven't changed the co2 output at all. Plants are pearling but i don't think they are pearling as much as they used to.
    Could it be that my plants need to adjust?
    I'm starting to think that the reactor method is better after all.

    Thoughts?
     
  17. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    I didn't flood my nano yet (waiting for the ideal needle valve). Also, I'm too busy to be able to switch from my AM to the Atomizer in my 60gal. No feedback until about 2 months I think, sadely
     
  18. charlie

    charlie Guru Class Expert

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    After read this thread i got one to try(new up atomizer). unfortunately mine seem to be DOA, i installed it yesterday but the gas is not getting by the ceramic diffuser, as a result back pressure in the system, it`s as if the the thing is blocked solid right out of the box & sealed bag, i`m dumb founded, any suggestions from anyone?
     
  19. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Hi, I just installed mine yesterday, but only in the nano, didn't install it yet on main tank. I'll watch the results on the nano first to see if I upgrade my AM1000.

    When installed, even if no cap is put on CO2 inlet, it won't leak any water. I also was very suspicious fearing a block somewhere in the ceramic.

    When I plugged CO2, it diffused quickelyand needed a 1.6-1.8 bars pressure at least for the whole system to run.

    But it produces a magnificant mist.

    See my nano signature, updated soon for photos
     
  20. yashaswibs

    yashaswibs Prolific Poster

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    Where r u buying it from? ebay? Does it need a strong flow rate? Doesanyone have it on large tanks?
     
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