Best CO2 reactor/distribution method

scottward

Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
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Brisbane, Australia
Hi.

I am currently injecting CO2 into my 100g tank by simply feeding the CO2 line into the input of a powerhead which is misting the CO2 throughout the tank. I seem to be chewing through CO2 very quickly using this method as I have to have the bubble rate very high to see any results in the plants. I want something more efficient.

What's the general consensus on what is the *best* reactor?

I see there is a DIY article where Tom has built a reactor, should I go and build one of these?

Is the counter-current device, i.e. feed CO2 from the bottom and push water downwards still the best way to go?

And as far as circulating the CO2 goes, I read in another post about using a spray bar that runs the entire length of the tank sitting on the substrate is the way to go? What does everyone think about this idea?

I'm not sure I want to go out and spent $$$ on something (AM1000?). Possibly I can DIY something myself and have just as good a result?

Please help!

Scott.
 

fjf888

Guru Class Expert
Oct 29, 2007
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I would save the money and build the DIY reactor just like the one Tom details here. See the Barr Venturi Reactor thread. If you build it as Tom lays out you will get misting, and it will work quite well. I have no DIY skills and was able to build it relatively easily. I think you would need to run it with a 300-500 gph pump to get the flow you would need in a 100G, depending on what other types of pumps you are using.

I think you could actually combine the needle wheel mod and the Barr Venturi reactor as well.
 

Tom Barr

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fjf888;38492 said:
I think you could actually combine the needle wheel mod and the Barr Venturi reactor as well.

The old one I use to sell had that.
It was not a dual venturi, just a single pass, but drilling a small hole in the top and gluing the loop could easily be done to modify it to do so.

I use mostly disc, or needle wheel these days.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

scottward

Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
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Brisbane, Australia
Tom, do you mean that you just use the disc/needle wheel on it's own, or do you combine it with you dual venturi?

Do you have a diagram somewhere on how to set it up? Probably already in a thread somewhere...?

What do you think of the idea of running a spray bar along the gravel for the length of the tank with small holes in it?

Scott.

P.S. Fred - thanks for your help also, appreciate it.
 

abcemorse

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Sep 8, 2008
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I use kind of a modified venturi, the tube from the top does not go back into the reactor, but to the intake of a powerhead in the tank, so the undissolved gas gets misted in, it's knd of a hybrid approach I guess but it works very well....
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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I used a bottom mounted full length spray bar for several months. I didn't have CO2 entering there, just the return water from the canister filter. I didn't like it at all! The spray bar, by being so long and with so many holes, emitted slow flow from the holes. That did nothing for water circulation that I could see. But, it also attracted algae to an extreme extent, making me have to work hard to keep it reasonably clean. I switched to a single filter outlet fitting and got much better water movement, and much less algae, plus it didn't look so bad in the tank.

It seems clear to me that the "best" way to introduce CO2 into the water is the CO2 mist way, which gets the CO2 ppm built up quickly after the CO2 is turned on. The only reason I quit using that method was that I found I didn't like seeing a tank of fine bubbles all of the time. But, I didn't have the truly microscopic bubbles that are possible with better methods for generating the mist. When I get bored playing with my current RFUG method, I will go back to CO2 mist, but using a needle wheel pump to get the much finer bubbles.
 

Tom Barr

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scottward;38564 said:
Tom, cost aside, have you used the AM1000?

What about the Ocean Runner pumps?

Yes, several clients have them.
They have been modified.

the bleed valve is now the venturi loop that feeds back into the suction side of the return pump.

This degasses the chambers.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

scottward

Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
958
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Brisbane, Australia
Tom Barr;38592 said:
Yes, several clients have them.
They have been modified.

the bleed valve is now the venturi loop that feeds back into the suction side of the return pump.

This degasses the chambers.

Regards,
Tom Barr

Cool. If I buy an AM1000 I will definitely set up the venturi loop. Seems like an obvious type of modification though - I'm surprised the manufacturer didn't just suggest this from day 1?

Would an Ocean Runner 2500lph (~650 gph) be *too much* current? I'm thinking it would be better for me to get too much current than not enough? I can always bleed some of the current off?

Scott.
 

scottward

Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
958
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18
Brisbane, Australia
Thanks for the reply.

I used a bottom mounted full length spray bar for several months. I didn't have CO2 entering there, just the return water from the canister filter. I didn't like it at all! The spray bar, by being so long and with so many holes, emitted slow flow from the holes. That did nothing for water circulation that I could see.

But if you had some additional dedicated powerheads doing the real circulation, surely this would then work really well? i.e. the spray bar would at least 'get the ball rolling' by releasing CO2 enriched water down the length of the tank, and then the dedicated powerheads would swirl it around?

But, it also attracted algae to an extreme extent, making me have to work hard to keep it reasonably clean. I switched to a single filter outlet fitting and got much better water movement, and much less algae, plus it didn't look so bad in the tank.

So this was all related to water movement and that's all?

It seems clear to me that the "best" way to introduce CO2 into the water is the CO2 mist way, which gets the CO2 ppm built up quickly after the CO2 is turned on. The only reason I quit using that method was that I found I didn't like seeing a tank of fine bubbles all of the time. But, I didn't have the truly microscopic bubbles that are possible with better methods for generating the mist. When I get bored playing with my current RFUG method, I will go back to CO2 mist, but using a needle wheel pump to get the much finer bubbles.

I don't mind the mist idea, but I think for a tank my size I would need to have the mist entering in multiple places in the tank?

Scott.