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Needle Wheel Mod to pump that drives (i.e., *BEFORE*) CO2 reactor

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by growitnow, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi, I was reading this thread:

    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7392-Most-efficient-DIY-needle-wheel

    I chose to drive my AM1000 reactor with a dedicated Eheim 1260 hobby pump (630gph) after reading comments here indicating flow rate would be more constant with dedicated pump, than if reactor was plumbed into canister.

    I recently added an extra canister to increase overall flow/CO2 dispersion. Since then, I have been having trouble keeping drop checker nice light lime green - which I was able to do before adding the extra canister. My CO2 bubble rate seems pretty high for my size tank (>5-6 bps, in 90gal) so I thought I'd try to increase efficiency of CO2 rather than just keep cranking up the bubble rate.

    Intention:
    Do a needle wheel mod to the impeller of the 1260 hobby pump. (hole punch method).
    Connect "false gas valve" from AM1000 to intake of 1260 reactor pump.

    I know folk suggest bringing false gas line back to pump intake in any case. I seek feedback on whether what I suggest makes sense, or if I should just crank the CO2. Or, if increased efficiency would be minimal in any case and I should add 2nd CO2 line to internal powerhead (prefer not to, I've got a lot of junk in the trunk to hide already).

    A replacement impeller is not cheap (>$100). And I would probably only rarely if ever service the the pump, unless there was a problem. I like the indication Tom provides that the 'cut & bend method' works well with mist barely visible, but a hole will not seal up whereas the bends seem to regress toward straight (requiring re-bending?). From above thread, it seems LOTS of TINY holes does well.

    Thanks,
    growitnow
     
    #1 growitnow, Jul 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2010
  2. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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  3. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thank you Left C. Another piece of the puzzle at a great price.
     
  4. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi, great info.

    I observe from the Eheim site about the Compact+Marine the text "only for marine water". Does this make any sense?
    http://www.eheim.de/eheim/inhalte/index.jsp?key=liniendetail_28399_ehen

    Eheim also makes an Eheim Univeral 'marine', that appears to have a different needle wheel than the Compact+Marine seen at Marinedepot in Left C.'s link. Any basis of comparison? Noise, bubble size?

    http://www.eheim.com/base/eheim/inhalte/index44af.html?key=liniendetail_28399_ehen

    Has anyone used the actual Eheim needle wheel pump (of any version)? The 1260 hobby pump I use that drives my AM1000 is very quiet.
     
    #4 growitnow, Jul 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2010
  5. mi5haha

    mi5haha Prolific Poster

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    Currently using other brand needle wheel pump to mist Co2. You can hear the sound when Co2 bubbles are smashed inside, but not big.

    The needle wheel pump will suck Co2 in, so its bubble rate is higher than that of using disc which would require higher pressure, which does not mean the needle wheel pump is using more Co2. If you turn down the Co2 output accordingly, then you may just decrease the supply of Co2 actually.
     
  6. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    My only thought is that the AM1000 needs a decent water flow through it to smash the bubbles up and ensure that it isn't constantly letting gas through the bleed (venturi) line. If the needle wheel mod on the hobby pump cuts the flow back to much, doesn't this mean there is a possibility that the CO2 will just keep churning around and around between the AM1000 and the pump? Less fresh (i.e. lower CO2 concentration) water will enter the AM1000 exacerbating the problem?

    Just a thought.

    These AM1000's are a fiddly thing, in my opinion. Too much flow pushes the CO2 out too quickly, too little flow and gas just builds up or keeps circling between venturi line, the pump, the reactor, and so on.
     
  7. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    But I thought the purpose of a reactor was to permit co2 bubble surface area to contact water, and that this is the point of gas exchange. So if co2 bubbles were circulating from bleed valve back to pump then through reactor - this would increase not decrease the amount of dissolved co2 in the water which is pumped out of the reactor back to the tank. And the needle wheel before the reactor would break the bubbles up. Maybe I've got this wrong. I'd like to better understand this so I know whether a NW pump before reactor is a bad idea (even besides flow). I can put a powerhead in tank but I already have 4 intakes and 5 outputs to hide. The NW pump seemed a good option.

    The flow issue raised seems an important one:
    http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/equipment/101142-eheim-needle-wheel-pump-problems-updated.html

    and the Eheim needle wheel in link above does seem to be the 115V 50Hz one. Not sure why TPT poster implies that this is an inferior one (one poster asks 'well maybe you have the 115v, 50Hz pump', to explain low flow output).
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Bob,

    What size tank is this for?

    I am much more interested in why the addition of an extra canister had an affect on the c02 levels? Was it plumbed in with the c02 somehow? If separate, to what do you attribute the lower c02? I ask not to be a pain, but I think that if this is a root cause it should be addressed PRIOR to using a different or additional c02 method.

    Many folks have found that the AM1000 (though decent) does not get as much flow through them due to the small diameter inlet/outlets. So, a DIY reactor is built that can handle better throughput. I know quite a few folks who use TWO AM1000 on a 150 or larger....

    Personally, I can now supply c02 for my 180 with a DIY needle wheel (rio 1000), and have replaced my mazzei setup. 2 weeks in and so far so good...

    So, I would look to your current setup./config and see if all is kosher there.
     
  9. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks for raising the issue.

    Tank = 90gal.
    Flow provided by 3x Eheim 2128 canisters, plus 1260 Eheim pump that drives AM1000 reactor. I recently added the third Eheim 2128, and had figured the extra flow was just causing more offgassing.

    2128 #1: output = spraybar on top right of tank angled slightly upward driving water across top from right to left
    2128 #2: output = loc line flathead flange on left side of tank pointing downward toward center front glass
    2128 #3: output = loc line flathead flange on right side of tank pointing downward toward center front glass
    1260 pump (630gph) drives AM1000. Output of AM1000 is split via T, with one return to left and one return to right. These CO2 returns are angled so they get caught in the output flow from 2128 #2 and 2128 #3 outputs.

    It is 2128 #3 that was recently added.

    I installed 1/2 to 5/8 adapters to the AM1000. 1" intake to the 1260 pump goes to 5/8 output line of that pump, then down to 1/2 in & out of AM1000 and back to 5/8: which then connects to return fixtures. I did not modify the flow through the AM1000, just added the third Eheim 2128.

    I will have a careful look at the flow patterns. Maybe I need to "upgrade" to a less expensive DIY reactor!
    growitnow
     
  10. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Bob,

    How are the PLANTS reacting to the new filter? If they are fine, are you simply chasing after a drop checker color?

    Wild goose sort of thing? It is more than possible that the extra canister caused a different flow pattern past the DC.

    This caused a different reading....Remember that a DC simply denotes what the c02 MAY have been 1-3 hours IN THE PAST...

    Do not use the checker to determine the health of the plants and overall tank....

    Maybe no 'upgrade' is necessary.

    Please also note that extra flow will blow off 'pearling' that was evident before the change....

    Are you only looking for a problem based on the DC color???
     
  11. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    I think the root cause is simply related to the extra water movement when the new canister was added - more water movement -> increased degassing. A simple 'trade off'.

    It sounds like you have done all you can to minimise water surface turbulence.

    growitnow, if I have read the above correctly, you currently have the CO2 bleed valve on the AM1000 closed? If this is correct, why not run some CO2 tubing from this bleed valve back to your unmodified 1260's intake and see how that goes?

    We have roughly similar circumstances - I have a tank about the same size as yours and I too have an AM1000 hooked up on a dedicated pump (Ocean Runner OR2500).

    Using the single AM1000 + Ocean Runner was getting there, but not quite enough CO2 wise. I could only push the AM1000 so far before it would start churning (rather choking) on the CO2 - it just couldn't 'cope'.

    I think the solution would be a secondary AM1000 or something 'in the tank' to supplement the AM1000. Despite Aqua Medic's claims the AM1000 devices have no chance of supplying tanks the size they stipulate in their sales pitch.

    I have a DIY needle wheel powerhead in my tank at the moment. It is down in the back corner so it's not too unsightly. It is in 'experimental' stage at the moment.

    All I was saying earlier about the needle wheel mod on your 1260 is that it might cut down flow too much? I dunno. Just a thought. If it does cut the flow down too much you might find it starts to chug a little bit. Impossible to say I think, you'd have to experiment (and have a spare unmodified impeller just in case the mod sucks).

    Will be interesting to see how you go. I may still buy a second AM1000 for my (100g) tank. At the moment the needle wheel DIY powerhead is working ok, but I can't get mist that's so fine it cannot be seen (like Tom can).
     
  12. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks.

    Gerryd - yes, to be honest right now I am 'chasing the drop checker color'. I am watching but still figuring out what a positive (or negative) plant change looks like, and do not know what time course to expect that change to occur in. Adding the extra filter did not seem to produce any negative effect and if adding the extra current produces a positive effect I still have to learn what that looks like.

    Point is a good one worth reminding, though. Plant health is the goal, not particular equipment configurations that seem ideal or follow sound principle.

    Scottward, you are right, I have not yet tried to connect the CO2 bleed line to pump intake of the AM1000. That is a good first step. Right now, I do get tiny bubbles out of the AM1000 reactor output into tank that can be constantly seen, but not large bubbles. They do not stay suspended in the water that long though. No notable gas accumulates at the top of the reactor, and I have the 1260 pump fully throttled.

    Each of my CO2 tank return lines is actually split. So the left rear tank CO2 return has two loc line nozzles, and the right rear tank CO2 return has two loc line nozzles. Line leaves the Eheim 1260 pump and goes to AM1000. AM1000 output is split by a T, each side of the T goes through a 90 degree turn, then each of those CO2 rich lines is split to final loc line output. Despite all that resistance/restriction, I get pretty OK flow from each of the 4 CO2 return nozzles. -- Point is I do think loss of flow would not be desirable. So needle wheel mod would need to be carefully monitored or if a needle wheel pump acquired it would have to have very good flow.

    Interestingly, last night I discovered my solenoid failed and stayed in the open position. I decided to leave the CO2 constantly on until a new solenoid comes. Throughout all today, the drop checker was nice light lime green -- which it has not been since adding the 3rd filter.

    It seems regrettable that AM1000 may be undersized for a 90gal. I liked the idea of a reactor out of the tank rather than diffuser disks in (two unused ADA glass beetle are sitting my 'fish closet').

    growitnow
     
    #12 growitnow, Jul 6, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2010
  13. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Bob,

    Negatives:

    1) melting
    2) stunting
    3) new algae
    4) wholesale loss of leaves or stems
    5) uneven growth among species. some do well others don't

    Positives

    1) Well formed leaves.
    2) Constant new growth
    3) no new algae
    4) reduction of existing algae

    Things can go bad with 2 days of poor c02. Things usually take 4-7 days to get 'better' based on how bad it was...

    If you make changes and no improvement or things get worse within 4 days, than I would say the change didn't help much.

    Don't forget that a few extra large water changes can do a lot to improve the overall condition of a tank.

    The 1000 may be fine for you it may be something else like flow patterns....

    Don't forget that the longer the c02 enriched water takes to get to the tank (dwell time) the more the c02 has a chance to dissolve so less bubbles are the result..

    Try not to overthink it. Are the plants healthy and growing and algae free? Then you are doing something right...
     
  14. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    This has me scratching my head. I know through discussion with Tom that ideally CO2 should go from 0 - 30ppm within 30-45 minutes for a 'good' system. If you are able to leave the CO2 on overnight and the fish are ok, either you have very tough fish, or the CO2 is getting nowhere near where it needs to be - and will have even less hope once the lights come on and the plants kick in and start using the CO2. Anyway, that discussion is in another thread.

    Gerry I like your positive/negative list and agree that things can go south quickly through CO2 disruption. Preventation so much better than cure in this case.

    For what it's worth, I hate drop checkers. Hate them. I like Gerry's list of positive signs to look out for much better!
     
  15. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    I can't see the link, so I just dug m7 1103 out. I purchased one of these when they first came out, but I haven't tried it yet. Just to confirm, the US pump isn't 115V and 50 Hz.

    The pump is actually 120V, 60 Hz, 36w and 211 to 713 US gph. Marine Depot's description has a typo, I believe.

    The part number is 1103310 and the UPC is 720686110823.

    I can't help with why the poster said 115V and 50 Hz?????
     
  16. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
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    Have you seen the price lately? Price: $186.99 !!!!!

    Thanks

    It doesn't make sense to me. It's name has the word marine in it ??? It's called a marine pump for protein skimmers on the box. ??? Eheim's marketing team isn't marketing this for 'misting' planted aquariums.

    Just to quote the instruction booklet, it says:

    "Many thanks for purchasing a new Eheim saltwater pump for protein skimmers. ...

    The saltwater pump is a high-quality products and woks very reliabily. ..."

    Comments: This is the best needle wheel pump I have ever used! It is quiet, powerful, and easily adjusted. I had no problem fine tuning it to my skimmer. It produces a ton of really fine bubbles and has noticeably increased the performance on my skimmer. It has been completely trouble free from the day I installed it. It isn't the cheapest pump on the market, but with its performance and Eheims warranty and reputaion I highly recommend it.
    Yes, I would recommend this product to my friends.

    I have one, but it hasn't been used yet.
     
  17. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    I have an Aqua Medic Ocean Runner OR-2500. There is also a OR-2700 model available for this pump, the only difference, I believe, is that the impeller in the 2700 model is a needle wheel. I am using the OR-2500 to power my AM1000; I was contemplating sticking the needle wheel impeller in it but my concern is that I would loose too much flow. I don't think the impellers are cheap so not really worth experimenting here for me.

    I too was interested in the Eheim Compact pumps. I'm sure I read something somewhere saying that the Eheim Compact pumps weren't actually that good - they were a cheaper brand that Eheim has somehoe acquired and put their brand name on? I could have that totally wrong of course, could be just a BS rumour that I heard.
     
  18. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,

    I think bubbles coming out of a reactor is the sign of too strong flow and/or too high
    bubble rate in it.
     
    #18 nipat, Jul 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2010
  19. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Nipat, I think what you are saying could well be correct at the start of the CO2 period, i.e. when the water is low in dissolved CO2. However, once the water becomes saturated with CO2 and it becomes harder to dissolve more, it seems reasonable to expect that some bubbles will start coming out.
     
  20. jart

    jart Junior Poster

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    To clarify,
    I was the OP in TPT thread. I never could get the Eheim needle wheel pump to work. It was a busy time in my life, and the whole project just seemed to be taking up all my spare time. I just decided to eat what I had spent and went down another route.

    Now that I have more time, I may try the pump again, this time inline with the outflow of an XP3 (unless, of course, someone convinces me other wise).

    And, for the record, I did have the model with the correct voltage.
     
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