This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

Lots of Questions on co2 Reactor, flow & media

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Planterson, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    4:15 AM
    I've put together a DIY reactor for my tank, it seems as though it's the best option for maximum efficiency. I do have some concerns, but I didn't want to resurrect some ancient threads. Lots of questions, so any input is appreciated. Here is the one I've assembled, made with 1" - 1.5" PVC:


    [​IMG]


    I was planning to put bioballs inside, however the way it's assembled, I wouldn't be able to get them back out for cleaning/service unless they are < 1" in diameter. So, I started looking at alternatives - Bio Bale, or API Bio-Chem Stars. These present some concerns:


    Bio Bale - would these achieve the correct turbulence effect? Would they create a major disruption in water flow (ie, loss of GPH)?


    Chem-Stars - expensive, and can't quite understand what they are made of.


    Additional concerns about the reactor:


    Currently, I'm running a Fluval 306 on a 32g tank (303 gph). This is the only flow I have, through a lily pipe. Is this enough flow to support such a reactor? Would I need to supplement another pump?


    Filter performance - it seems that as the filter accumulates debris, the flow rate would decrease. How does this impact the co2? Does it stay stable since the bubble rate doesn't change?


    Back pressure - the co2 will be fed into the barb in the elbow. Water would be able to squirt through there, so I'm assuming a few check valves would be an order. Any problems you can forsee here (air buildup in the reactor, injection pressure issues)?


    Any additional input would be much appreciated. Thanks for your time.
     
    #1 Planterson, Oct 4, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2015
  2. Solcielo lawrencia

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,007
    Likes Received:
    43
    Local Time:
    4:15 AM
    Should be fine.
     
  3. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    7
    Local Time:
    4:15 AM
    Leave reactor empty

    Plenty of flow for CO2, you will decide if too much for plants. Clean filter every two weeks to keep flow optimal.Maintain constant water tank level.

    Use a check valve and quality needle valve/regulator.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    4:15 AM
    I appreciate the feedback...


    I've heard leaving the reactor empty, that the bubbles can just shoot through it and get ejected into the tank before fully being absorbed. It's about 14" long top to bottom, so it's a small reactor.


    I guess I'll need to figure out if I get too much flow loss after hooking it up.
     
  5. Julia Adkins

    Julia Adkins aquariumfertilizer.com
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Messages:
    165
    Likes Received:
    41
    Local Time:
    4:15 AM
    We injected the CO2 into the sump filter under our tank so it mingled with the water flowing back into the tank.
     
  6. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    7
    Local Time:
    4:15 AM

    I've used a 2" DIY reactor for many years(I have no experience with a smaller diameter reactors). Injecting the CO2 into the bottom on a vertical unit with water flow from top to bottom is perfect. Never had any bubbles escape the directional flow. You can get an air gap at the top of the unit as well. I have an air purge hole about two inches below the top of unit hooked to an in-tank powerhead. Search older posts from Tom on these designs. IMO, anything in the reactor, will accumulate detritus and will eventually slow the flow, And to break that unit apart for cleaning is a pain.


    Your design may dictate injecting CO2 at the top of the unit instead due to its location. Have you tried this in operation?


    Good luck
     
    #6 Mooner, Oct 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2015
    2 people like this.
  7. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    4:15 AM
    I'm getting some final pieces in place, but I have not tried it yet. I'm currently running a ceramic diffuser. I'm looking to get rid of that and replace it with this. My co2 will come in at the top, on the smaller barb. The bottom is a 1" threaded bushing, so I can unscrew that for service/cleaning. Once I get it figured out, I'll post some results, I know a few people have been interested as to how the smaller diameter ones work out.


    I'm trying to figure out what media to use, since most bio-balls are too large to get in and out. I found some online that are 1", so those should work, the opening is slightly larger than that... unless anyone can recommend an alternative that would cause less flow loss, or be easier to service.


    The other thing I'm trying to be mindful of is the flow loss overall, since this will be on the canister outflow and that's the only water movement I have. I don't want to have to supplement pumps.


    I'm not running a sump or wet-dry for diffusion, as someone mentioned above.
     
  8. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    4:15 AM
    Sorry to resurrect, about to put this guy into action. Then I saw Tom's venturi build... sigh.


    My idea is now to tap a 1/4" barb in the top of the reactor (somewhere), and tap another in the ball valve that will be on the inlet side. I'll run a tube between the two.


    Here's a diagram of the plan for the 1st and 2nd tap holes for the venturi. I'm questioning whether to put it any higher (the one marked "?TAP?" in red), since the Co2 is right there and it seems there would be a fair amount of re-circulation. Also unsure if the actual trapped gas will ever get that high in the line, due to the way it's built.


    [​IMG]


    Let me know what you think. Alternatively, I leave it alone, and only tap in a bleed valve.
     
  9. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    4:15 AM
    I scrapped that plan and went with a conventional powerhead-driven reactor. Problem is now that it's passing quite a few bubbles. It is modified to the double venturi, so originally I thought that was the cause. However, it's equipped with a ball valve to shut that part off, and the bubbles still pass.


    Would this be due to too much flow in the reactor? Too small a reactor body? Here's how I have it set up:


    [​IMG]


    I found an old Italian made Maxi Jet 900 in one of my "supply" boxes. It pushes 230 GPH through the reactor, it's about 12" tall. I used 1.5" pipe though... since I could get it in clear. Thoughts?
     
  10. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    12
    Local Time:
    4:15 AM
    The bubbles are probably from the flow being strong enough to push them out before dissolving. Reactors always seem like there is this struggle between high flow/turbulence to shear the CO2 bubbles and dissolve effectively and getting good dwell time as to not shoot bubbles out of it. I've used a cerges for years (well until a fitting broke this week) and was always concerned with the head pressure from all the right angles through it. A high flow pump managed to shove bubbles even through that, although I wasn't too concerned.


    Are you getting a lot of large bubbles or burping? or is just small bubbles? Is it unsightly or are you worried about CO2 efficiency? The media in reactors is supposed to prevent bubbles from escaping, but I always end up removing it because it gets clogged up and reduces flow through the reactor. When you bypass the venturi do you wait a while to rule out passing bubbles from the venturi that could have built up?


    I like the independent loop best. Running off the canister means there is always a chance of reduced flow and thus a change in CO2 dissolution rate. All your concerns earlier in the thread are the same ones I've had.


    I've seen some cool designs that have a small rio pump installed inside the reactor chamber to create counter current. This was in the cerges reactor I used and it made a big difference in efficiency. It was more of a commercial model...I've never seen anyone DIY it.
     
  11. Planterson

    Planterson Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    4:15 AM
    To address the questions:


    Yes, when I shut off the venturi, I get small bubbles (steadily, even over time). They aren't burps or large ones, but it's obviously Co2 escaping since the reactor is sealed at that point.


    I'm concerned with Co2 efficiency, My bubble rate is triple what it was using the atomizer, and the Ph drop is taking an equal amount of time to achieve even at a faster bubble rate. Working pressure is the same @40psi to get through the check valves, should I adjust this?


    Is what I'm seeing normal for this type of reactor?


    I think I ultimately may have made a bad choice using 1.5" pipe. I hate to turn the flow rate down, but that may be the best option. I suppose I can put another inline ball valve after the maxi jet.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice