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Not convinced my CO2 system is working correctly :(

ojustaboo

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15 Mar 2011
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201
Hi all, me yet again.

Last night I finally got my reg leak free and everything set up and working, using my home made reactor as per my thread
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=15107

I've got it set up as follows.

Regulator output into one way valve.
One way valve into bubble counter. Bubble counter into my reactor.

Filter output into top of reactor, bottom of reactor into fish tank spray bar as per rough drawing below

co24.jpg

I only had it on for an hour or so last night before the light went off (it's on a solenoid and goes off with lights) so just set it up, checked for leaks and decided to play today.

First problem was the bubble counter. Last night it was 2/3 full of water, today it was filled to the top. As I've cable tied the pipes onto the connections, easiest way of emptying a bit was turning it upside down and turning the CO2 up to force some out of the counter, I imagine I'm going to get told why this is a bad idea in a min :)

2nd problem is, I set low pressure at 1.5 bar and the bubble counter to be approx 60 bubbles per min and after 2 hours, the drop checker was still completely blue. My wife is convinced it's gone slightly green, I'm not.

I've moved the drop checker to a different part of the tank that obviously has flow from the filter over it.
I've upped the bubbles to approx 140 per minute. So far it still isn't changing colour, will get back in a couple of hours to let you know if there's any change.

Not having much luck so far :(
 

ojustaboo

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Just to add a bit if humour, my wife now agrees it's blue too.

She was looking at the green sucker that holds it to the glass rather than the liquid in the drop checker :)
 

ojustaboo

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Just done a couple of PH readings using my normal PH testing kit and my high range PH kit.

The high range one shows at 7.4 (lowest it goes)
Normal one shows 7.0

Was about to say why the difference but using my brains, I presume as the normal one goes to 7.6 but shows 7.0 that is correct reading, and as the high one cant obviously go less than 7.4, that's why it's saying 7.4 :oops:

Last week when I checked the tap water PH after 24 hrs it was 7.5

edit:
last week:
GH 0 - 70ppm
KH 140 - 210ppm
 

Rowly

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9 Jun 2009
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Blackwood, South Wales
I'm not familiar with the kit your using, does it require you to put some water from the tank inside the checker?

You don't need the glass ones they all do the same job, it's just the glass ones look nicer

Rowly
 

ojustaboo

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Yep, a few drops of the supplied solution topped up with tank water.
 

3madstaffs

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17 Mar 2011
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hi mate i bought one of the glass ones i think your talking about and use 4dkh with it, and it seems to work fine. I was sent the tmc drop checker you have by mistake when i ordered a bubble counter, so thought id put that in the tank aswell ( was free after all ) so id got one on each side and iv'e gotta say CRAP . The glass one does change colour, the tmc went from blue all the way to yellow and now seems to be stuck at a nice CLEAR , maybe its me who knows but it will be coming out of the tank.
 

RudeDogg1

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If your bubble counter is filling up I think u have water syphoning back which could be a lack of pressure. And yes use 4dk water not tank water in your dc
 

ojustaboo

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Thanks all, will order the 4dkh and a glass drop checker from sponsors tomorrow (my one only has a tiny slit to get whatever it measures from the tank as opposed the glass ones that have a large open area).

A bit confused about the pressure as when the CO2 is on, the bubble counter remains fine, it's only when it stops that it is filling up, possible a leak somewhere or the fact it's a cheap crappy bubble counter?

Just done another manual PH reading and it's now between 6.8 and 6.6 (drop checker still same colour).

Trouble is, the amount of bubbles per min to get this will mean my bottle will last no time at all, was hoping that by building the reactor, from what I've read, they use a lot less CO2.

Have just tried slowing down the flow from my filter, which was on max (190lt tank, Eheim 350/2973 pro 3 filter, 1050lt per hour) , to see if that makes any difference, giving more time for CO2 to dissolve, leaving the reg/bubble counter rate the same as it has been for the past couple of hours..

Will do another reading in a couple of hours and report back
 

foxfish

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We normally count the bubbles per second "BPS" & although there is no formula - 2-3 bps would not be unusual for a 190 lt tank.
Even at that rate, 2kg of gas should last 3 months ish.
Reactors like yours do work, as do, virtually all the regular methods of dissolving the C02 into your tank water but, they dont work particularly better than many other methods!
You need to make sure you have plenty of flow around the inside your tank too.
PS I have been thinking a lot lately about fitting an in line atomiser just in front of a reactor - perhaps you should pioneer the idea (at least on this forum)
 

Nelson

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foxfish said:
PS I have been thinking a lot lately about fitting an in line atomiser just in front of a reactor - perhaps you should pioneer the idea (at least on this forum)
i think Londondragon is doing that.
 

ojustaboo

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Thanks all.

Since putting the filter flow lever at 3/4 and giving it another couple of hours, the PH has dropped to between 6.4 and 6.6 on my chart.

Lights and CO2 go off in 10 mins, so will see what happens tomorrow

Note, have just read CO2 should go on and off an hour before the lights do, will adjust timer tomorrow.

Wish I had found this forum before I started down this route.
Would have simply got the up atomiser, a normal reg and a large CO2 canister.

While I got my D-D system in a sale at £70, still have to source a large CO2 canister and get an adaptor.

Still at least I'm getting there.

Will have to look at flow in the tank very carefully, being a triangular corner tank with a bow front, it seems to go more round in a circle as if your looking down on a sink draining, rather than going across the top, down the front, across the floor to the back etc although it is circulating, just not sure how efficient it is.

Thanks again for all your help
 

foxfish

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Your style of reactor can store quite a bit of C02 in the top of the cylinder & that is under pressure from the filter, this pocket of gas can take some time to dissolve even after the gas supply is switched off.
So it is important to switch the gas off at least one hour before the lights.
That is one reason why it is easier to control a clear reactor, like I say the reactor should work but it might take a bit of fine tuning!
PS dont forget an UP inline anatomiser cost only about £15.
 

Bobtastic

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foxfish said:
PS I have been thinking a lot lately about fitting an in line atomiser just in front of a reactor - perhaps you should pioneer the idea (at least on this forum)

I read on here somewhere of someone fitting a ceramic defuser inside their AM1000. I quite like the sound of that as you would obviously get smaller bubbles off the defuser that will dissolve quicker into the water.
 

GHNelson

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Hi
Add a check valve to the Co2 out line after the bubble counter this will stop back syphoning of water from the reactor which fills your bubble counter.
Make sure there is no water in the Co2 in line to the bubble counter also.
hoggie
 

Coiln3107

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Hi guys, I dont know what I am missing here but something is clearly wrong. :wideyed: Why would anyone using a reactor want to put a diffuser in or anywher near it. An someone says that reactors store CO2 :? Why? I run 2off Aquamas 3000 reactors on 2 large tanks a get zero bubbles from the spraybars and zero buildup of gas. I think if you have either of these problems you need to address fundamental issues, like how hard you are driving your reactors, because in my humble opinion neither of these problems are relevant if the reactors are not under driven. Rather than fit more bits, try fixing what you have :thumbup: . Have fun kind regards Colin.
 

foxfish

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Colin, you are running a professionally designed & built built reactors, ojustaboo is running a home made design!

Why would I fit an inline diffuser before a reactor - well I wouldn't if it was a tried & tested model but, if I wanted to experiment with a small efficient reactor that removes the inherent mist produced by an inline diffuser then I would do so.
A build up of gas in the top of certain reactors is not only common but sometimes a deliberate function of the design.
 

Coiln3107

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Hi Foxfish, why would a reactor be deigned to collect CO2.Can you send me a link to any reactors that you are talking about :thumbup: . As you say my reactor is professionally designed, and at no point collects gas. Surely any gas collection could and will cause a dump at some point.
This is an extract from the manual supplied with a Aquamedic 1000 reactor.The Reactor 1000 is a hermetically sealed reactor for the introduction of CO2 into large live plant systems. This powerful unit is designed to efficiently dissolve rising CO2 bubbles in strong counter-current water flow. The robust mounting plate enables it to be easily mounted outside the aquarium or inside the cabinet. Able to provide rapid CO2 introduction for systems as large as 500 gallons, the The Reactor 1000 is a hermetically sealed reactor for the introduction of CO2 into large live plant systems. This powerful unit is designed to efficiently dissolve rising CO2 bubbles in strong counter-current water flow. The robust mounting plate enables it to be easily mounted outside the aquarium or inside the cabinet. Able to provide rapid CO2 introduction for systems as large as 500 gallons, the Reactor 1000 has proven to be a capable favorite among keepers of sizeable live plant systems.Reactor 1000 has proven to be a capable favorite among keepers of sizeable live plant systems.
An efficient unit to dissolve gas I read not collect and store it in pockets!!!!
Kind regards Colin. :)
 

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