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Tom's DIY External Reactor: With my modification

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by mdwheeler, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. mdwheeler

    mdwheeler Junior Poster

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    So i've decided to create an overkill version of his reactor.

    Setup: 29 gallon planted
    High Light (96 watt t5's)

    So I bought a viaaqua 2300 pump (600gph) thinking I was going with a sump setup...then I changed my mind. But I want to use it somehow, so i've decided to 'mod' the reactor using the pump.

    There will be two reactors. One will look just like his, but with a pump inlet hose at the top side, and a pump return 3/4ths way down the pipe. The inlet (at the top) will go to the pump, and through the pump to a second reactor, filled with bio balls, maybe slightly larger but probably about the same size, and the outlet of the second reactor will pump back into the main reactor. The main reactor will be hooked up to the outflow of the external filter. Co2 will be injected into the main reactor, not the second.

    I believe the pressure from the monster pump won't really cause a problem since the inlet and outlet are on the same pipe, heck It might even help the filter pump out more filtered water! I'll aslo be placing the outlet slightly angled to create a spinning vortex in the main reactor

    Comments? In theory I believe this will max out efficiency since any accumulated co2 towards the top of the main reactor will be sucked and dispersed in the secondary reactor. Its basically a massive venturi with a twist :cool:

    [​IMG]


    I've also considered putting a split on the bottom of the main reactor with one side going to the intake of the pump, through the secondary reactor, then blasting the water back through the top of the main reactor.
     
  2. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Well my only consern is that if you put this after for instance your canister filter, the huge power of the 'reactor pump' will suck out the water from your canister filter, making contact with the filter materials much less efficient and it even might hurt the lifetime of your canister filter.
     
  3. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Definitely overkill - for a 29 gallon tank?? ;-)

    That aside - based on my understanding of reactors - they're all about how much water is pumping through them. No matter how many hoses, bio balls, extra pumps etc, at the end of the day, it's all about the amount of water going through....correct?

    Let's assume for a moment that your idea is on a tank where it's not overkill, say a 110g tank like mine where my reactor is a bit overwhelmed at the moment (I"m working on that).

    For the early part of the CO2 enrichment cycle, CO2 dissolves pretty readily. Once the tank starts to build up a bit of CO2, it gets harder and harder to dissolve more - this is the point where reactors start to build up a bit of CO2. Coming back to my earlier point - I think the only way to get rid of this build up of gas is by pushing more water through it.

    Therefore, in this situation, I don't think your extra pump and reactor is going to make any difference - it's sucking water with an equal CO2 concentration from the main reactor and trying to dissolve CO2 into it, it's not going to have any more success than the main reactor, I think.

    A good thread though....I will keep watching it. If I am wrong about my thoughts above I might end up building your idea! ;-)

    I think this would work much better if the second reactor drew a fresh supply of water from the tank and just worked with the CO2 gas bled from the primary reactor, but you could do the same thing anyway by just setting up dual reactors and splitting the water flow....?

    Scott.
     
  4. mdwheeler

    mdwheeler Junior Poster

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    @ Gills: I was wondering if that could be a problem. My thought was that since the water flowing through the second reactor is directly fed and injected into the main reactor that it wouldn't really effect the overall output of the canister.

    @Scott: I'm probably going to brainstorm a bit and come up with multiple schematics of how I could run the system. I'll post them on here and we'll see which idea is debated the most.
     
  5. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Sounds good, but I think the KISS principle might be the winner. ;-)
     
  6. hbosman

    hbosman Guru Class Expert

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    Since you have the monster pump, wouldn't it be better to make a longer reactor? More water volume and more travel to dissolve the CO?
     
  7. mulm

    mulm Junior Poster

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    Pulling from the top could result in the pump running dry and everything that comes with that...
     
  8. Gilles

    Gilles Lifetime Members
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    Good point mulm, since co2 and false gass accumulate at the top, it would be even better to move the pump to the lower pipes, and skip the extra reactor all together.
     
  9. mulm

    mulm Junior Poster

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  10. mdwheeler

    mdwheeler Junior Poster

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    Sorry I haven't posted yet! Been a busy week (full time student, two part time jobs, continually increasing hours, blah blah blah) but i'll definitely start working on some more schematics.

    One of my ideas is to simply use the pump as a booster without the secondary reactor (outflow at top, intake at bottom > of main reactor).
     
  11. mdwheeler

    mdwheeler Junior Poster

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    I went ahead and just made the same reactor with no modifications. I'll probably just have it used with the pump to power it and no connection to my canister filter.
     
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