Reactor choise

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by Behold, 27 Oct 2008.

  1. Behold

    Behold Member

    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Basingstoke. Hants
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    To be honest, they are cheap and pretty crappy. I have a small version without the black elbows. Dan Crawford sent it to me after it leaked everywhere for him. I sealed it up with silicone and it's not leaked in the 3 weeks I've been using it.

    As for diffusing, well. I find that the CO2 tends to build up in the top. It does work, but I'm not sure it's very efficient. I would say it's worth investing in either an Aquamedic 1000 or one of the german reactors from eBay (search "Reaktor" on a worldwide search). They sell for about £45 - £65 plus shipping though :bored: (Aquamedic 1000 can be had for around £50).

    As much as I'd like to invest in one, I'm going to go back to my diffuser :)
     
  3. Behold

    Behold Member

    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Basingstoke. Hants
    Would modifying it with a cone at the top stop the build up???
     
  4. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Bromley
    or add a venturi loop.
     
  5. zed

    zed Member

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Teesside
    How about building your own?

    I have a Rhinox 5000 diffuser that I was intending to use on my new set-up but have been searching the web for a couple of weeks for ideas/plans to build an external reactor. Here's what I have found:

    http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums/f2 ... 85573.html

    http://www.myaquaria.com/justdiy/reactor10/default.htm

    http://www.pricenetwork.ca/deal/DIY_Co2 ... 66935.html

    http://www.fantasyreef.com/showthread.php?t=657

    viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1331

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    http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/foru ... plans.html

    http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/foru ... 1186635916

    http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/foru ... ns-18.html
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    http://www.barrreport.com/articles/3444 ... actor.html

    http://www.gwapa.org/articles/inline_co2_reactor/

    I had a walk around the plumbing isle of a DIY store and found quite a few bits and bobs that I could quite easily put one together with. It was helpful having some the pics linked to above on my PDA to help me visualise what I needed.
     
  6. Behold

    Behold Member

    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Basingstoke. Hants
    Biggest issue i have seen is the lack of reactors and diffusers for large tanks.

    How do you tell if a reactor is efficent???

    Its definatly one way to build one with agood flow. would using tetratec bioballs inside work? (There hollow balls)

    So when building your own whats the key things to keep in mind?
     
  7. zed

    zed Member

    Messages:
    100
    Location:
    Teesside
    From what I've gathered while reading around the forums, with an efficient reactor (if plumbed in-line to the output pipe from an external filter) there will be no bubbles of CO2 coming into the tank water from the output pipe.

    This would mean the CO2 is being diffused effieciently into the water before the water reaches the tank.

    Again, bearing in mind I'm quite new to all of this, I've read that bioballs would be fine, as would lots of other types of media. Some people pack the reactor with quite a few balls, while others place just a few in, to help maintain a decent flow rate.

    I guess if you build the reactor using screw-fittings rather than glue, then you could always experiment a little.

    The key features I want in my DIY reactor are decent through-flow, integrity of joints (can't risk any leaks), and a bleed valve of some sort at the top of the reactor to bleed off any CO2 that may build up.

    I think it really is as simple as that.
     
  8. Behold

    Behold Member

    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Basingstoke. Hants
    Surely if the reactor is built right there will be no built up CO2.

    am i right in saying having a bend in the inlet to the reactor will aid turbulance and then the balls do the job of spliting the CO2 in to small bubbles to help it dissolve? if a Cone shape or any type of continual slope to the exit was made this would stop the need to bleed?

    Guess im going to look round wickes tommorow.....
     
  9. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Bromley
    Here is a thread I started when I was trying to source the parts for a DIY reactor. It includes a link to the Barr Report thread containing the design I followed:

    viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1926&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=venturi+diy+reactor+parts

    I finished building the reactor about a month ago. Interestingly I didn't find it a cheaper alternative to buying one. It is a larger capacity than any reactor I have seen retailed though, and should work with a 500L tank no problem - as long as the flow going to it is sufficient. I also found it very taxing and took me many hours to make, but I learnt a lot in the process and were I too build another one it would take me a lot less time.

    It was definitely worth all the effort. I intend to post up a step by step of how I made it. But probably won't do this for some time.

    oh yes, and it works like a charm of course!
     
  10. Behold

    Behold Member

    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Basingstoke. Hants
    surly the biggest cost is the clear PVC? Im working on a few ideas from cheap materials i will post them soon and let you all look at them to tell me they rubbish!!!!
     
  11. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Bromley
    If you go for straight glue on adaptors onto the PVC, then definitely yes, the PVC becomes the most expensive component.

    However, I decided to go for screw on hosetails so that I can take the reactor apart easily. I bought solvent weld to screw thread adapters, then screw to hosetail adaptors. So these turned out to be the most expensive component for me.

    I entertained ideas of 2l coke bottles\spaghetti jars with holes punched in them and all sorts before going with dedicated plumbing parts. I chose the plumbing parts for piece of mind. I'll be curious to see the alternatives that you come up with :)
     
  12. Behold

    Behold Member

    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Basingstoke. Hants
    So am I!!!!
     
  13. Behold

    Behold Member

    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Basingstoke. Hants
    What a great idea.....

    http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2008/0 ... actor.html

    2 gravel Vac's (Just fine 2 with large hosing for the fitment and you have your clear PVC and fittings for 10 quid. then as said an RC Fuel Line nipple or you could get a brass unit for the CO2 injection.

    The one on here might be a little overkill in length!!!

    Question should you flow it top to bottom or bottom to top???? surely if you go bottom to top and like most vacs are cone shapped there should be not any build up of CO2 needing to be released.

    Ok and obviously you would bore out the oneway valve for flow.....
     
  14. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    You need to put Co2 at the bottom with the flow going in at the top so that bubbles will be rising against the water.
     
  15. Ed Seeley

    Ed Seeley Member

    Messages:
    3,262
    Location:
    Nottingham
  16. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Bromley
    I agree with Ed that simple can be really good.

    In contrast to my current overengineered external reactor, its predecessor was an internal jobby that I made from a reused gravel vac which I just drilled a hole in for the airline slapped a pump on top if it. Took 10 minutes to make and cost me £4 for the pump. It worked well, but was so small that it reached its capacity once the biomass in my tank got heavy.
     
  17. Behold

    Behold Member

    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Basingstoke. Hants
    This is my way to go i think. easy and effective the great thing is the hose connections will allow maximum flow.

    As to the internal media im going to steal a ball or 2 from my tetratec im sure it can spare one or two.
     
  18. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Bromley
    IMHO I don't think the bioballs are actually necessary. The counter flow of water is enough to break up the CO2.

    Putting bioballs in seems ike a good idea though, as it is a good way too sneak in some additonal biological filtration, downside being they will reduce flow. It maybe that this reduction is only negligible but it is worth keeping an eye on. Maybe you could try with and without and see the difference.
     
  19. Behold

    Behold Member

    Messages:
    219
    Location:
    Basingstoke. Hants
    Im thinking im needing to stop the ball from acting as a 1 way valve so i might silicone them to the side or tie them down to stop them blocking the outlet.

    Im off to a LFS for som vac shopping ....
     

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