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How to add DIY CO2 reactor?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Falcon64, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. Falcon64

    Falcon64 Junior Poster

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    Hello all! Recently joined and have been reading and learning a lot here. Finally it's time for my first post!

    I'm working on my first planted tank, a 29gal with Eheim 2215 and 2x 24w T5HO lights on top of the tank. It's been cycled for just over a month and houses 8 rummynose tetra's and 8 cherry barbs (and some snails that were introduced with the plants). I'm going to start pressurized CO2 once the CO2 cylinder gets here, at the moment I'm running DIY CO2 with a Hagen Elite Mini for diffusion and things are growing pretty well. I've lost a few plants along the way, and a few more will be pulled this weekend as things aren't exactly going as planned. Overall I'm happy with the progress, most of what I'm doing in the tank now is just tweaking things, but I need some help getting the pressurized CO2 setup.

    I've put together a DIY CO2 reactor with a home water filter housing similar to this one:

    [​IMG].

    I am not sure what would be the best way to add this to my tank. Options are:

    1) Add it inline after the filter - I could set this up quickly and not have to worry about where to put additional intakes/outputs, however the flow right now is good but not great and my concern is that adding the reactor would reduce flow to where it's totally inadequate. I have an impeller for a 2217 that I could put in the 2215 to give a little bit of a boost, but I'm not sure if that would offset the loss due to the reactor.

    2) Add it inline after the filter, with a pump between the filter and the reactor to boost flow - I have a Supreme Mag 3 pump (350gph, about 190 at 4' head) that I could put between the filter and the reactor IF this setup wouldn't cause any problems with either device. If I did this and wanted to add a ball valve to control flow to the tank, would it be best immediately after the pump, or after the reactor?

    3) Add it in a separate loop from the filter - I'm sure this is the optimal setup. Assuming that I can use the pump I already own, the only thing I'd need to buy are the input/return for the tank. Not sure where to get them or what kind would be best, but I'm sure that is easy enough to sort out. Can I join returns from the filter and reactor together so that they use a single spray bar? If so, what are the problems I might have with this sort of setup?

    I'm trying to do this right, but patience is certainly not my strong suit. If I need to buy more stuff to install the reactor I could continue to use the Hagen Mini and deal with the noise until it's all ready to go. Any suggestions or advice on how to proceed is welcome and appreciated.

    Regards,

    Henry
     
  2. Falcon64

    Falcon64 Junior Poster

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    82 views and no feedback? Please help a guy out...

    Thx,

    Henry
     
  3. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    2:26 PM
    Make its own loop. You can either buy the return/input or you can make one out of PVC.
     
  4. Falcon64

    Falcon64 Junior Poster

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    Thank you, I'll go that route and try it with the Mag 3 pump, probably put a ball valve on the return to throttle down the flow if necessary.

    Henry
     
  5. csmith

    csmith Guest

    Local Time:
    2:26 PM
    I ran my CO2 reactor for my 20 gallon high with a Mag 3 and didn't need a ball valve. Just FYI.

    Edit: Here's a shot of what I meant by making your own intake/returns from PVC. Ugly, but they worked. Quite a bit cheaper as well, and if you're so inspired you can paint them and/or hide them behind stems.

    [​IMG]
     
    #5 csmith, Dec 7, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
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