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Co2 Reactor

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by elemkar, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. elemkar

    elemkar Junior Poster

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  2. Jay

    Jay Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    I use that reactor in my 75 and it works well for me. I did however modify it with a venturi loop to improve its efficiency
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    So I guess with that modification, it's not the best in the business?
    Haha, that's an old design I had, predates them by 6 years.

    See the 2-3$ DIY version which looks better on the articel link here:

    http://www.barrreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11&page=1&pp=&conly=1

    image:

    http://www.barrreport.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=138

    Took me 15 minutes and needs no sponge, and cost 15$ total with new powerhead or about 2-3$ without the cost of the powerhead added. You can make these any size(scaled up larger) or use more than one to suit larger tanks.

    You can also use the venturi loop on external CO2 reactors to reduce gas lock and to prurge the gas that fills the tubes later in the lighting cycle.

    No one else makes such a loop, probably because I've been the one designing them for many years:) Not other folks who see a design, try and copy it, charge 3X the cost. I just show the plans for folks to make it themselves.

    Mine also works better.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. Greg Watson

    Greg Watson Administrator
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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    I'm using one of these venturi reactors that Tom describes above (built by our very own Cornhusker here on the BarrReport) in my 180 gallon tank ... I never would have believed it could have handled a tank that large, but it is keeping up with it just fine ...

    Greg
     
  5. georgiadawgger

    georgiadawgger Junior Poster

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    Re: Co2 Reactor


    I put in a venturi purge for my external reactor, but I did modify the reactor so the water input from the canister filter is from the top-side rather from top-down. The "swirl" of the water seems to have made my reactor much more efficient and there isn't much of an o2 buildup to purge like I had when it was a top-down model...
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    I added the top to side to reduce the size of thje reactor for the internal, we do not need the extra space on an external design.......but, I like it, I'll see about adding that to the venturi external design.

    I've got several external venturi designs running on a few folk's tanks now.

    They are much happier with them, highly responsive.

    I swear, I will post the photo's of the design on line here soon!!

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. brad

    brad Prolific Poster

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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    why the burp hole? I never have any accumulation.
     
  8. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    If you do not have a solenoid or use DIY CO2, then you need it to prevent the entire tube from filling up and inverting from the buoyancy.........

    You can add the burp holes at a number of different heights and plug them if you want to vary the purge level also, same with the venturi.

    This allows you to adjust the amount of gas and the purge process as much as you desire if you like to play. Simply plug the unused hole/s with an airline plug.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  9. FrankG

    FrankG Junior Poster

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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    Tom,

    If you have the powerhead mounted on the top side, the excess gas will bubble up through the powerhead as soon as you turn it off at night. So for the top-mounted model, the burp hole is not needed even with DIY-CO2, as far as I can see.

    Regards,
    Frank
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    If you add too much CO2 when the unit is running, this will pruge excess gas and add a measure of self leveling.

    I don't like gas in the impeller area, I'd rather it burp out the side. It's just a little hole anyhow, hardly tough to add.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. rrguymon

    rrguymon Prolific Poster

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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    Cool I am thinking about getting or making and external reactor. I have never seen one with a venturi though.
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    That's because I'm the only one that has ever made them and thought about adding them to CO2 reactors.

    I've made more CO2 reactor designs than anyone I've ever met.
    CO2 is more important to be used correctly than any other nutrient.

    So there's good reason for it.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. There Be Whales Here

    There Be Whales Here Junior Poster

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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    Tom,

    What does your external venturi design look like? I have built a co2 reactor, but I am not sure if It is making any diffence.

    I have a 75 gal. tank with a americal wet/dry filter. Can the wet/dry cause problems with getting co2 to the plants?
     
  14. Jeff Bodin

    Jeff Bodin Junior Poster

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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    I have a wet-dry with an overflow (its really more of a sump) - When I am running the overflow, even running water through it very very slowly, I believe I lose most of the CO2 as it trickles through. I have prob 5 or more bps to maintain a good pH.

    Before I got a monitor and controller it was driving me nuts. I went through reactor design after reactor design thinking wth? And it didn't matter - my pH was still 6.8+ (more often above 7). Algae problems that I just couldn't get a handle on...

    Now with the controller and reactor I can just "glance" at the system and see what the pH is (shooting for 6.4-6.5, GH ~5) and that thing bubbles like crazy to get the pH down - before I was continuously monitoring I thought I was getting good levels - I wasn't.

    Now I know exactly what I am getting. I am not recommending a controller/monitor - but it did make things night and day for me. The tank is finally really taking shape and looking awesome. At a minimum I would get a monitor - they are very cheap on E-bay (~$60 for a Miliwalkee) - and provides me a peace-of-mind I just didn't have before.

    As for my reactor design, I went to TAP Plastics and got some 1-1/2" clear tubing and made an external one - It rocks!. I have the CO2 entering the pump, smahed into micro-bubbles by the impeller, go through about 5+5' of 1/2" tubing with the reactor in the middle (I have the pump upside down to prevent air-lock should I lose power).

    One problem I was having with the external reactor - I initially had bio-balls in it. I found that more of a problem than anything else as junk would accumulate on the bio-balls and slow the flow significantly over time. I got rid of the bio-balls and now have a much better long-term flow rate through the reactor with as-good saturation. Hey - can I post a picture of my diy?

    Tom suggested sealing the top of the sump - haven't had time for that project... yet. Got into Saltwater and having a blast building sumps/refugiums/skimmers/ATOs/CaReactors etc out of acrylic... Its almost addictive. When I re-build the sump for the FWPT, I will make it so I can seal it (and it will probibly help immensely with saturation as well as evap).

    HTH,

    - Jeff
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    Jeff grab a duct tape roll.

    You can seal anything you want:)

    The venturi has a line that comes off the tube of the reactor, I add mine about 1/3 to 1/2 way down from the top. A simple 3/16" hole is drilled, with a 1" piece of rigid air line is inserted, glued in place.

    Connect this with silicone air line tubing to the canister spray bar right before it goes into the tank.

    Drill another 3/16" hole and glue another piece of rigid air line in there, but make sure the tip inside the spray bar is smaller than the other end.
    This will help produce smaller bubbles and tear the gas apart better.

    The loop is entirely closed and if any water back flowed into the reactor, so what.

    I angle the piece that goes into the spray bar so that is it's pointed to go with the current slightly.

    Simple, cost less than 1$

    Solves many issues and make the reactors run better as more CO2 is dissolved.

    If you use a power head to drive a reactor, simply loop the air line back into the suction side of the powerhead(or you can do the above).

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. There Be Whales Here

    There Be Whales Here Junior Poster

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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    Tom,
    Do you have any pics, I am not following very well this morning.
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    It'll be next week before I get to it.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. There Be Whales Here

    There Be Whales Here Junior Poster

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    Re: Co2 Reactor

    Ok Tom, I understand this part. :)
    But where does this 3rd line go? :confused:
    This is how I have my reactor setup; I have the water entering in at the top of the reactor with the CO2 enter in 2" above the botom. The flow of water goes from top to bottom. Know when I add the venturi loop it goes in about 1/3 of the down from the top, and then returns back into the line going to the tank just before it enters the water. Is That right?

    I don't have a vertical spray bar, but I could make one easily. How many holes should be in the pipe? should they go only one direction, or should they go several directions. I was thinking of making one with 3/16" holes every 1/2" or 1" apart flowing in one direction to create a circular motion. Also I would think that placement of it would be important. Should it be near where the water is sucked out of thtank? or should it be in the opposite corner?
     
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