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mist or reactor

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by distrbd, Oct 22, 2006.

  1. distrbd

    distrbd Junior Poster

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    HI all.
    I have this question that has been bugging me for a week,:it's about the small bubbles coming out of a power head and landing on the plants making them look like they are pearling.
    Are these plants really pearling?or the bubbles are just sticking to the nearest plants?
    Here is my observation: I have a 6" long tank ,one half of it is co2 enriched by an external reactor(DIY),the other half is by the aid of 2 power heads ,(one power head breaks the co2 to small bubbles And then feeds them to another PH which distributes them around),
    The plants in side with the power heads look like they are pearling a lot more than the other side with the reactor but are not growing any better or faster!!.
    So how am I going to know for sure the mist injection is the way to go oppose to an external reactor.As far as I understand Tom prefers the mist method to an external reactor,but by just looking at the bubbles on the plants which looks like pearling I am not %100 convinced.
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Are you fertilizing heavily, such as with an EI method? How much light do you have? If you are providing relatively low light the plants will not grow rapidly just because you have lots of CO2, and the same is true if you are fertilizing lightly or incompletely.
     
  3. distrbd

    distrbd Junior Poster

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    Sorry I didn't mention about ferts,yes I dose heavily (EI method) and have AHsupply 3.2 WPG.
    I have to clarify that I am happy with the plant growth in my tank and have almost no algae ,my question is why do plants look like they are pearling like crazy on the side where the co2 is injected by the power head,are they really pearling or is it more like the bubbles are so small the they simply land on the plants and make it look like pearling.
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I think the plants are pearling. But, the significant question is, do the plants grow better and look better? For me they did.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Give things a week and do the entire tank, one method, and then the other.

    Then measure the growth and number of new nodes the topped plants produce etc, dry weights/wet weights etc.

    Or measure the changes in the O2 levels.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    Co2 Mist ?

    I'm inclined to agree with VaughnH, and it has been my own personal experience that those plants that enjoy direct misting as opposed to only dissolved Co2 tend to be more robust, and vital in appearance.

    Have you noted any differences in physical appearance of those plants that appear to be pearling or have the benefit of misting.
    1. Vital color or contrast
    2. increased growth rate (Measured, and documented)
    3. thickness and or uniformity of stems, and leaves (Measured, and documented)
    4.Balance and formation of new growth
    5. noted algae seeding or formation on new leaves, and stems

    I would like to hear more responses from others on their own personal observations.

    For high light applications it appears to be almost a necessity. Any Co2 is better than nothing at all, but a balance of distribution (both gaseous and dissolved) seems almost ideal. This is merely my own point of view from short term observation (going on week 5)

    Really very intrigued by this subject, and folks individual observations. Thanks, Prof M
     
  7. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    Starting new test...

    Tomorrow, and will commit to at least 1 full month, and document results. I'd appreciate anyones help with the guidelines for documentation.

     
  8. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    well, here is my two cents:

    I used to have to powerheads (600 and 900 l/h) that provided my 160 liter tank with CO2 mist. The micorbubbles were small and reached the complete tank. It wored quite well, but the plants were almost lying horizontally due to the strong current. So, I changed the powerheads for smaller ones (200 l/h). I didn't notice a real change in bubble size and the bubbles still reached the complete tank. However, after two weeks, I got massive BBA, the stargrass has complete white new growth and the tank looked dirty.
    Last week I setup again an external reactor and injected the dissolved CO2 from one side of the tank while on the other side of the tank I used again the 600 l/h powerhead for providing the mist. Yesterday I made two outlets for the dissolved CO2 on both sides of the tank, while the setup of the powerheadwasn't changed.

    And now we will see!

    greets,

    yme
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If you get bad algae with either reactor or the mist method, something not good is up.

    The main focus is the plants and their growth.
    Too much current is not good, while powerheads are good to some degree, a spray bar can really help.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. distrbd

    distrbd Junior Poster

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    Thank you all for you replies.

    Tom ,that is a good idea to do the entire tank ,one method and then the other.

    I am planning on purchasing a RIO 600 RVT to disperse the co2 on the left side of the tank (with reactor disconnected ).
    After spending hours observing the two methods (diy reactor and mist)side by side,it looks like the plants on the mist side do not pearl in the morning ,it takes 3-4 hours .as you had mentioned in the past.

    I know you have done all of these experiments before ,I have read a lot of your posts and articles,that's what encouraged me to plan& see the two methods for myself.
    So I mean it when I say thank you for all your help and for making it easier for me to understand.
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, problem is, folks don't test and see for themselves.
    If I tell you or anyone to try it out, it's a high probablity that you will see something signficant. Stuff that's somewhat inconclusive, I don't bother unless I can see something significant myself.

    If not, we can look elsewhere, simply because you do not see it(eg ask 5 folks what happened at the scene of a crime for example- > 5 different stories, all true of course!), does not mean the next time you might come with a different idea about it.

    The other good thing when I ask folks to try something out, then we can rule one thing out that might be causing issues(perhaps).

    Folks carry on and on ad nauesum over test this, test that without giving a second thought to whether or not the test kit they are using is valid within the range they are measuring or if all the work will even answer their original question.

    I ask folks to question such things and then they say I come off as some sort of nag/hack/troll/Crazy etc.

    "How can say something that's totally against every known sets of advice?"

    Easily.

    Then you can draw conclusions once you have seen the observations and propose methods to test to see if the idea is right or not.
    Otherwise you ain't got much to go on other than what other folks have said.

    Which, as the crime scene suggest, is quite different depending on who was asked.

    Still, we might be able to come to some agreements and work from there.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. distrbd

    distrbd Junior Poster

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    I just wanted to give you all an update:
    I have replaced the 2nd external reactor and have added a Rio RVT pump,this is a wonderful pump ,excellent for this application, it needs no modification what so ever.
    After a couple of hours of working I noticed something that surprized me ,the micro bubbles are really small I should say perfect size,the spray bar has no problems distributing them around the 6' long tank.
    I wish there was a way to measure the o2 level with no equipment but it looks like all plants are pearling much much faster than before.
    Over all I am pleased with replacing my two external reactors to two co2 mist reactors.I should have done it sooner.
     
  13. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    Update:

    I ran the sytem with an advanced venturi injector, and needle wheel pump for 1 week. Water was dispersed evenly using a Sea Swirl wave generator (Awkward looking but the greatest thing since sliced bread when it comes to plants) !!! :D

    I was burning through Co2 at warp speed, and Dissolved levels of Co2 actually dropped 5 to 10 ppm. Plant growth WAS lovely with well balanced growth, and extraordinary color, and texture. BUT !!! The actual mass of growth was unspectacular, and the misting in the tank was IMHO excessive detracting from the display. I have accomplished as much with 100% dissolved Co2. Perhaps not quite as nice, but too close to really appreciate the difference, and expense. One thing I did note was a conspicuous clarity and lower tannins, but this was likely due to degassing, and skimming ?

    I am discontinueing the experiment, and will now attempt an even distribution of Both dissolved Co2, and Misting for another week or two.
     
  14. distrbd

    distrbd Junior Poster

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    Hi.
    So in your opinion I should try to achieve some level of dissolved co2 as well?if that's the case I'll wait a week or so to see if I have to deal with some algae problem due to lack of dissolved co2,than I'll think of finding a solution.
    Thanks for your reply.
    KEN>
     
  15. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    Not saying that at all...

    Your results ARE also Important ! This is only 1 experiment utilizing different components, and methods. The concept may very well be correct, but my method may be flawed. The more people who actually determine their own results the more data there is to work with. I have already tried both Dissolved and Mist. I would have liked to continue the misting experiment, but 5 pounds of Co2 was my limit on this application. The cost is excessive, and to that end the method of distribution is inefficient, and fatally flawed. :( No Joy ...
     
  16. distrbd

    distrbd Junior Poster

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    One important issue of misting must be: how well these micro bubbles are dispersed.I did not mention that in this 6 foot long tank I have two filters ,plus 6 power heads/pumps that are strategically placed in-the tank so the bubbles don't get a chance to freely go to the surface ,the spray bars as well keep these bubbles floating in the middle of the tank going from left all the way to the right an constantly circulating.My point is this(circulation by means of power head) could really effect the outcome of the experiment.
     
  17. girthvader

    girthvader Junior Poster

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    I actually use both methods inline. I built a typical DIY external reactor (PVC with Bioballs) run inline with my XP3out line and I modified the output nozzle. From the nozzle it goes to my AC301 intake and mists out. Perhaps this is overkill but I wanted the benefits of dissolved and mist C02 and my plants are a lush green, reds are brilliant, and the growth is terrific. I suppose I could eliminate the external reactor but this has worked out well for me. I drop check and keep my C02 around 33ppm. I may up this to 40ppm, not sure if I need to. Plants look nice, grow well, and no algae growth with no stress to the fish.

    BTW my tank is a 90g, only 4 ft, so I'm not sure how well this would work on a 6 footer.

    ziggy.
     
  18. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The advantage, as I see it, of Tom's internal venturi reactor is that it does both the misting and the dissolving of CO2 into the water. The venturi loop chops up bubbles of CO2 into a mist, which is swirled out of the bottom. But, the main part of the CO2 just tumbles around in the reactor tube, getting dissolved. The mist is not as extreme as a mist-only system, but it does work its way around the tank. I think I prefer the less soda water appearance with the lesser mist.
     
  19. girthvader

    girthvader Junior Poster

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    thats pretty much the same result as my system. Most of it gets dissolved in the reactor crashing into the dozen or so bioballs in there, and then what doesn't dissolved gets smashed by the PW impeller. The bubbles that do spray out are so fine by that point that there are barely seen unless your nose is pushed up against the glass, which I find myself doing time to time :)

    I wanted a system that was easy to maintain, using equipment I already had, and effective. The materials for the reactor was a little over $3 at home depot so it was cheap too!

    ziggy
     
  20. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    I'm reasonably certain they enjoy a bit of both, and yes Tom's little reactor works very well to this affect. A gaseous interface is 10,000 times more efficient, but they are aquatic plants and did evolve to that enviorment. 100% mist is highly inefficient from a monetary POV, but I speculate that the diversity in distribution also stimulates receptors and increases vitality of tissues. There is absolutely no way to deny the differences in size, color, and texture when using mist, but growth itself may begin to wain by comparrison.

    Whether Tom's augmentation of the waste gas is Serendipity or Genious the distribution of Co2 is almost perfect. I suppose a person could adjust the balance of distribution by changing the height of the purge port, but that would seem to depend on the individuals needs. Overall it's a remarkable little device for any amount of money. After that we're merely splitting hairs. It gets the job done ! :cool:

    I can over engineer Anything !!! :D
     
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