Aquamas CO2 Reactor

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by rjtaylor, 13 Aug 2007.

  1. rjtaylor

    rjtaylor Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Eltham, London
    Hi all,

    On James' recomendation, I upgraded my very average JBL vario diffuser for the Aquamas CO2 reactor hoping it would give me higher and more stable CO2 levels. Its not been running in the tank for 24 hrs and I am less than happy after spending £50 on it....

    See pic for the set-up:
    Picture001.jpg

    It's linked up to an ecco 2234, which turns over 500 l/hr (apparently, I expect its a little less). However Aquamas say the reactor is for use of all filters UPTO 1000l/hr.

    Anyway, as you can see in the picture I am getting a big build up of CO2 at the top of the cylinder. Seems the flow from my ecco is only sufficient to push the bubbles does about 1/4 of the way down the cylinder. Diffusion appears to be very poor....

    After 24hrs, drop checker is still terquoise blue / very dark green. Just can't get my CO2 levels up.

    Anyone have any ideas? Is my hypothesis right that I need a stronger filter capabale of pushing bubbles right the way down to the bottom of the cylinder to have success with this unit?

    James, please pass on your experieneces.

    Any thoughts welcome!

    Regards,

    Richard
     
  2. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    The gas buildup at the top is often quite normal and as long as it doesn't get too large, the reactor should function fairly normally. These reactors don't push the CO2 bubbles down like how the internal reactors do. You should see the bubbles go from the bottom to the top and also slowly decreasing in size as they do so. In my reactor they go from bottom to top quite quickly really. The gas buildup you see at the top may well not be CO2 but a mixture of gasses including O2. The way to test this is to blast CO2 in for a second or two so the water level in the reactor goes down. Then stop the CO2 and see if the water level returns to the level it was at before. If it does then the reactor is working.

    Let me know how it goes.
    James
     
  3. rjtaylor

    rjtaylor Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Eltham, London
    Well done Mr C - as always know what you are on about! ;) Your test worked as you described. 2cm or so of CO2 was dissolved very quickly, then the gas line stabilised at the same level as before the extra CO2.

    As you said, the bubble does travel up the cylinder very quickly. The mesh doesn't do much at all to slow it down.

    So CO2 is dissolving well which is excellent progress , but drop checker is still blue. I'll change the solution just to make sure that isn't the issue.

    Approx how many bps do you use with this reactor?

    Thanks again

    Rich
     
  4. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    No, you're right, the mesh doesn't seem to slow the bubbles down that much. OK so we know that CO2 is being dissolved quickly and that gas buildup you have is not CO2. I've always thought that it is mainly O2 that has been degassed from the O2 rich water. Until this gas has been analysed it is only a theory though. I'd be inclined to vent off any gas that builds up at the top.

    Regarding bubble rate I'm adding about 2 bps. All I can suggest is you stick with it and see how it goes with different bubble rates. I used to get some gas buildup at the top which for some reason or other it seemed to stop building up - no idea why or how long it took to stop.

    James
     
  5. rjtaylor

    rjtaylor Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Eltham, London
    So far I've got about 2" of gas build up per day so that will mean daily venting. My bubble rate is higher than yours so will mybe reduce a little as I know you are easily achieving 30ppm from what you have previously said.

    Interesting that your gas build up suddenly stopped. Can't understand that. I do wonder what influence filter throughput has though?

    Will let you know if things change.

    Regards,

    Richard
     
  6. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    N. Wales
    I get a 2" inch bubble at the top of my reactor that makes a trickling noise, but the bubble has dissolved away two hours after the solenoid has closed.

    What I like most about reactors is that they mean one less piece of hardware in the tank.

    Dave.
     
  7. james3200

    james3200 Member

    Messages:
    296
    Location:
    CROYDON
    Have to say i use an aquamas reactor, the smaller one and i have never moved it from its vertical position and it has worked perfectly

    James
     
  8. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    west sussex
    sorry if this is the incorrect place to ask this, why dont you just run the C)2 straight into the filter.. it is effectively the same as the photos of this reactor.. ie an enclosed chamber with water flow and media?

    andrew
     
  9. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    The main reason is the risk of an air lock. Yes I'm sure that many people have done this for years and never had an air lock but I know some people have and it's not a risk that I'd take or advise anyone else to take. I'm also not sure how the bacteria in the filter like having CO2 all around them and the pH changes that would happen.

    James
     
  10. rjtaylor

    rjtaylor Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Eltham, London
    Dave,
    I'm seeing the same, or at least the air has dissolved fully by the time I get up in the morning.

    It's weird that I seem to be getting excellent dissolution, but the drop checker just isn't moving from blue. Running at about 5bps now, and solenoid is coming on 3hrs before the lights, just to see if it will make a change.
     
  11. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
    I recently talked to the UK distributor for Ehiem and he was very negative about putting CO2 into a filter (rather obviously I suppose!). He said that not only could it cause problems with cavitation if too much was injected, but the CO2 could possibly effect various seals and plastics. He said he would look rather negatively on problems people had with their filters if they had been doing this. (Note he didn't say it would invalidate the guarantee, but I kinda got the impression they wouldn't be impressed!!!)

    I just think a reactor is a lot safer and removes the chance of these issues ever happening. I love mine and made it myself for the cost of some silicone and a tube of araldite (I had the other bits around!) You just need a gravel cleaner and a few bits of pipework!
     
  12. rjtaylor

    rjtaylor Newly Registered

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Eltham, London
    Well looks like I'm going to take it all back....!

    When I moved to 5bps, I got home from work to the beautiful sight of all my fish gasping away - seems I over did it somewhat! That's the first time I have had such an effect with CO2, certainly something the Vario diffuser could never achieve.

    So maybe my 4dKH solution is dodgy?!? Will have to make up another batch.
     

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