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CO2 and FX5

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Panda, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. Panda

    Panda Guru Class Expert

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    Hi, I'm expecting a Fluval FX5 next week for my 90 gallon tank. What do you guys think would be the best way to diffuse the CO2 around the tank ? Right now I'm using a power head (power sweep and drilled a few holes on the impeller)but had to cut the photoperiod a few hours to reduce some algae problably due to poor CO2 distribution. Should a reducing tee be a good choice connected to the outflow? a new reactor? any DIY ( I have a quiet one pump around here) ?other method?

    thanks
     
  2. Panda

    Panda Guru Class Expert

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    CalAqua inline diffusser is out of the question. The FX5 will push around 600 gph.
    How about adding a reducing tee and supply the CO2 through there? is that possible? should I stick with the power sweep power head for distribution? I don't know about a mazzei. can this be used? how?
    thanks for any advice
    omar
     
  3. jeremy v

    jeremy v Guru Class Expert

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    Panda,

    I don't think a reducing Tee would work very well for your application, but then again I have never personally used that type of a setup either. The flow of the output of the FX5 is just so fast that I can't see the bubbles being able to dissolve much at all before being shot out the return, even if the CO2 was bubbling through an airstone inside the Tee. Maybe someone else that has some actual experience with that setup could comment more on it. A venturi/mazzei would work, and it would work well, but a venturi requires a water pressure drop across the venturi itself in order to pull the CO2 in and break up the bubbles. The FX5 will see that as extra head pressure, so the flow capacity of the canister filter will be cut. I don't know by how much, because I don't know the flow curve or max head capacity of the FX5 pump, but I do own an FX5, and I would guess that it would be around a 100-200gph cut in flow just based on witnessing how much the flow in the filter changes with clean vs. dirty filter elements.

    I would think that your best bet would be something close to Rex Grigg's design. Just do a search for "Rex Grigg DIY CO2 reactor" and you will find lots of sites that have pictures and instructions on how to make his particular reactor and others that are only slightly different. They all work pretty well. The nice thing about that type of design is that it does a good job of dissolving the CO2 without adding much flow resistance to the canister filter output line. I would suggest possibly making the reactor out of 3" pipe if possible instead of 2" though since you have a lot higher flow than most people using canister filters do. You want the downward flow of water in the cylinder to be nice and slow. If you can't do it in 3", possibly make the reactor chamber a little longer instead just to allow the CO2 as long as possible to dissolve in the chamber before going into the tank.

    If you wanted to use the Quiet one pump in order to add some extra flow to the tank, leave the FX5 as it is and have a second intake and output in the tank just for the CO2 reactor. Then either use the same "Rex Grigg style" reactor, or make a small vortex reactor that hangs on the back of the tank. Vortex reactors are very efficient as well, and can also be made very compact if necessary. Just do a search for "DIY vortex CO2 reactor" and there are lots of examples and even a few videos on YouTube of them in operation.

    Have a good one, Jeremy
     
  4. Panda

    Panda Guru Class Expert

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    thanks Jeremy !
    I got the filter today. as you may imagine it's already running. Took me about an hour...it's not hard at all to set it up. The FX5 is very quiet.

    Now I'm going to work with the CO2 issue! Already saw the DIY reactor by Rex.
    I think it's a good design but I'm still open for more examples and opinions

    Help !! anyone !!
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    There are quite a few way to diffuse c02, many of which are detailed on this site, in the articles section, or under the c02 forums....

    Tom has a nice DIY reactor that is easy to make and inexpensive, that would do well for your setup.

    A needle wheel pump my be good for you as well, and their is always a venturi.

    Try and be more specific on the questions you have than 'Help anyone' :)

    You are being helped.......

    Pick a method that you would like to try, research a bit, ask specific questions, and try it!

    You can always change it if it doesn't work for your setup.
     
  6. Panda

    Panda Guru Class Expert

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    as mentioned earlier I'm using a power sweep to distribute the co2 but that doesn't seems to be enough. So I'm looking for another alternative that has worked for people with tanks like mine ( 90 gallons). Gerry, you have experience with big tanks as you have a 180g.
    Right now I'm thinking of using the same current that the canister creates and point the power head side by side and that way co2 can travel through the tank...but I'm afraid it will create a dead spot under the outflow that the co2 wont get there. At the same time I'm looking for any other alternatives.
     
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