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Dual Venturi Diy External Co2 Reactor

This co2 reactor costs about 20$ due to using Clear PVC housing, you can use solid 2" pipe if you wish.
  1. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    Here are the details.

    The tank is 72G reef ready. My PVC piece is cut to 12 inches + a few inches for the coupling/bushings. My filtration is a wet/dry with sump with a 450gph pump. I did not use bioballs in the reactor. I have an additional 300 gph pump in my sump specifically for the reactor, the output of the reactor is run through the intake of the 450 gph gallon pump back into the tank. I set mine up very similar to Gerry, as he has a similar setup, just a bigger tank. My venturi is setup exactly like your diagram. I probably have about 3.5-4 feet of hose from the filter to the tank.

    My CO2 is fine now after some tweaking I just want more control over the misting.

    Thanks

    Fred
     
  2. mrkookm

    mrkookm Guest

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    Since you have a dedicated pump for the venturi reactor you can make a diy flow restrictor using a ball valve and 2 hose barbs before the venturi. For future builds adding bioballs on the inside would help slow the flow leaving the reactor which aid overall efficiency and also prevents to much mist from leaving the reactor due to the unrestricted flow. Also, using dedicated pumps I would suggest making the reactor taller than the recommended height.....again this improves efficiacy.

    My reactor has an internal reaction chamber that measures 16" and I was using a 300gph ext pump.
     
  3. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    newbie question

    Forgive my ignorance here...hope my terminology is understandable.

    I would like to make this DIY External reactor that Tom designed, but have a few questions:

    1) I was confused by the picture of the reactor with the Rio powerhead attached. Do you use a Rio powerhead if you put this unit inline with a cannister filter? (If so, I'm in trouble because I do not understand this reactor at all.) If not, it seems like you can set this unit up as a stand-alone and not put it in your filter lines -- in which case, I assume you hang this unit over the side of the tank with the Rio in the water and a tube running from the bottom of the reactor back into the water.

    2) If I were to put this reactor in line with my filter, I assume that I would put it in the filter's outgoing line fairly close to the filter (as close as I could get it and still make the reactor vertical) and the venturi loop would optimally loop back into the filter's ingoing line fairly close to the filter. Is this correct? Or perhaps it is not necessary to go all the way back into the ingoing line, but maybe just go before the reactor in the outgoing line?

    My filter is rated at 185gph and I only have a 40 gal tank, so I should have enough extra flow capacity to be able to go inline (not sure if the reactor is much of a drain or not). I have nothing else inline at this point.

    I would tend to think that the inline method would be less maintenance as a filter pump probably lasts longer than those little guys. Are there any obvious advantages/disadvantes to inline or stand-alone?

    Thank you for any help you can give.

    ted
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Ted,

    1. The idea is to use a SEPARATE powerhead to drive the reactor to ensure good mixing of c02 and water. You can use it inline with your canister, but it may cause you to lose flow/current in your tank, which is also very important. Your assumption is correct. The reactor is outside the tank and the rio inside to use the tank water as a source.

    2. Yes that is correct.

    Advantage separate pump for the reactor IMO.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    thanks and 2 more questions

    Thank you, Gerry. Yes, that did help a lot.

    I'm all for a separate unit and will do it that way. I like the idea of actually increasing the flow of water in my tank, rather than decreasing it.

    I have a couple of other questions regarding this reactor for anyone who might have time to help out:

    1) I only have a 40 gal tank. Would I still want to go for a pump in the 400 gph range, like the Rio 1400, for this reactor? If not, what gph should I go for? My cannister filter is only rated at 180 gph, so 400 gph would significanly increase my water flow!

    2) What is the best way to run the tubing from the bottom of the reactor back into the tank? My first thought was to get a bunch of elbows and do some plumbing with right angles. However, it may also be that right angles decrease flow. Perhaps it is better to just take the flexible tubing and bend it up and over into the tank.

    Thank you,
    ted
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hey Ted,

    1. A 200-250 is more your speed IMO. Remember that the reactor and distance to the tank will affect flow, so don't think that the fish will now be pinned to the tank sides.............To avoid this see if the powerhead has an adjustable flow rate on it. Then you can go higher and turn it down if necessary.

    2. Flex hose will work fine. Just use one of the U shaped ends that hang over the top for the return end. Like they put on canister filters.......

    3. FYI, a 180 gph on a 40 gal is not that much. That spec is only at a horizontal plane. I bet it is a lot less by the time it gets to the tank. Also note that tank current is vital to ensure a steady flow of warmth, nutrients, etc to the plants and to take away wastes.....so you may want to increase this as you plant more heavily......

    Angles will affect flow, so keep it in mind.

    Good luck.
     
  7. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks again, Gerry.

    By the way, you scared me a little when you said my filter's gph was was marginal. I just went and double checked my filter and it is actually 260gph (Fluval 305), which is somewhat better. I had seriously considered the 180gph filter (Fluval 205), which is why I still had 180gph on the brain. I feel better now. I really appreciate you being honest with me like that.

    Take care,
    ted
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Sorry, Didn't mean to scare you in any way :)

    Please note that this is all my opinion only (IMO) so that does not make me an expert.

    Just wanted to point out that whatever the gph spec is, it is most likely a good deal less by the time it enters and circulates through the tank.

    Hope I didn't come across too strong.. Not my intention at all.

    Your tank, your final decision.
     
  9. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    No, Gerry, you did not come across as too strong, more like "helpful" I would say...

    Getting ready to go to Home Depot to get some parts. I really want to watch my first DIY reactor in action, so I'm still working on getting the clear PVC ... half the fun would be watching it work.

    Question about the powerhead/pump... The one in Tom's picture looks like an older Rio with venturi attachments near the impeller, which would sure seem like the best way to go. The newer Rio's put their venturi loop input on their outlets, it seems, rather than before the impellers. Would that do the job also?

    Does anybody have any powerhead/pump recommendations? If the pump does not have a venturi loop input at all, do you just run your venturi loop somewhere near the inlet grate on the powerhead (similar to what Tom did on the internal DIY reactor)? Guess I could also run a longer venturi loop to the intake of my cannister filter in the tank.

    I'm all for simple and effective, so if I could get a good pump with a good venturi loop input, that would be best, IMO.

    Thanks...
     
  10. rusticitas

    rusticitas Lifetime Charter Member
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    I am confused about a couple of the items on the original parts checklist, that are in the picture, but not in the parts list. Can someone tell me what they are, so I know what to ask for at the store?

    CO2-Reactor.jpg
     
  11. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    #4 is PVC couplings to go on the ends of the transparent cylinder. #2 are then glued into those couplings. #5 doesn't belong there.

    About the bio balls: if they actually slow the water flow through the reactor they also reduce the flow. You can't slow the flow without reducing it, when dealing with a given internal diameter passage. The bio balls might trap CO2 bubbles, but that is all they can do. They are not necessary.
     
  12. rusticitas

    rusticitas Lifetime Charter Member
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    Just to vent a bit about the Home Depot's and Lowe's around here. I cannot find the parts for this reactor between three HD's and two L's. Man, this was one seriously frustrating day.

    Is it a big deal if the pipe were 1, 1-1/4 or 1-1/2 diameter? If the hose barbs are 1/2in but not 90deg? If the hose barbs are 3/4in and 90deg? Man, Lowe's blows and Home Disaster! (I'm also frustrated because I am totally ignorant right now doing DIY stuff. The digital world is easy, it's this analog world construction I'm lost in right now.)

    Vaughn, thanks for the clarifications.

    One last thing, is there a relation between the diameter of the pipe (2in) to the size of the tank being used on? Would one make the same size one, or smaller, for say a 20-long or 29gal tank?

    -Jason
     
  13. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The higher the flow rate of water through the reactor the larger in diameter it should be, to slow the flow velocity down enough for it to absorb the CO2. I suspect a 1 1/2 inch pipe would work for a 20 or 29 gallon tank.
     
  14. fjf888

    fjf888 Guru Class Expert

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    Jason

    I had much better luck at Lowe's then Home Depot, so you may want to go out of your way to find another Lowes. The other suggestion, is that anywhere that sells supplies for fish ponds may have some of the plumbing you need to make the reactor. Happy gathering, it took me a couple days to find all the parts I needed as well.
     
  15. mcd19

    mcd19 Junior Poster

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    I am in the process of building a reactor from the plans Tom put together and have gathered all the parts from local stores in my area except one. Can anyone tell me where I can find a "irrigation drip valve" that connects to the 3/16 tubing. I am probably going to release any gas build up manually at first and then later see if I need to add the venturi later. I looked on the internet and had no luck finding a valve this small. Any ideas?
     
  16. riverrat

    riverrat Prolific Poster

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    Try this link. I think its what you might be looking for.

    Drip Emitter
     
  17. mcd19

    mcd19 Junior Poster

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    Thanks for the link. It says that a 3/16 tube will screw into it so i guess I will give it a try.
     
  18. riverrat

    riverrat Prolific Poster

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    I think I am totally wrong now that I looked at this again. I do not think it will work at all.

    I to have looked for a small valve with no luck. seems like 1/4 inch is the cut off.
    Sorry I lead you down the wrong path. I will keep looking.


    argh!

    river
     
  19. mcd19

    mcd19 Junior Poster

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    The more I looked the more I thought the same thing. I wonder what valve Tom is talking about?
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The cheapy drip emitters.

    You can use airline valves also:)

    These can be placed in the venturi loop or for bleed off or for other control functions.
    You can throttle the mixture to suit your taste and demands.

    A similar thing is done using protein skimmers in marine tanks.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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