CO2 reactor as Bio-filter - Equipment - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 12-23-2014, 02:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default CO2 reactor as Bio-filter

I built a 3 inch Rex Gregg style CO2 reactor to replace my existing 2 inch reactor. I placed bio-balls in it to create more dwell time and turbulence. It stands about 4 feet high, counting the fittings. I have it standing next to my 75 gallon tank and secured to the wall with a home made bracket. Now the new reactor is working great and now there are no bubbles coming out of the reactor, even when I increased the bubble count much higher then normal.

Now I wonder if this can also act as a bio-filter? The water supply is via a Marineland 350 magnum canister filter. My understanding of CO2 has changed as I thought that CO2 will displace oxygen. But I learned from those more advanced in the hobby that oxygen will always be there. So can bacteria thrive in this environment? The reactor is all pvc.

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Old 12-23-2014, 06:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default re: CO2 reactor as Bio-filter

The environment inside the CO2 reactor will be quite acidic, you would be better off running a separate reactor.
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: CO2 Reactor As Biofilter

But the thought did occur to me that the acidic environment might not be strong enough to hinder the development of bacteria. I can build another reactor out of pvc if I need to.
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: CO2 reactor as Bio-filter

You're average CO2 reactor is plumbed inline with the canister and carries the flow of the entire tank. Since CO2 is added at a constant rate and then shared throughout the entire aquarium, I don't see how the reactor will be all that much more acidic than anywhere else in the aquarium.

My first question is.... why do it? Filters need to be cleaned/maintained. Filling the reactor with real biomedia will just add to the chore of increased maintenance as well as decrease your flow.

If the bioballs are stalling the bubbles long enough to fully dissolve, then I would just leave it at that. More for the sake of more isn't always the best route.
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: CO2 reactor as Bio-filter

I changed my filters every two weeks as part of my water change.. The bio-balls are experimental and the CO2 is completely dissolving. I only added the bio-balls because some others have done it with good results. So after about 3 to 4 months, I will know whether it was a good idea because there's a good possibility that they will be covered in mulm just like my suction and discharge hoses do. I have to clean the hoses every 6 or 8 weeks. Disconnecting them for cleaning and cleaning the gravel takes up a lot of maintenance time then doing water changes. As for the bio-balls; if they are still clean, then it will be worth it to stay with them. If not, then I will remove them.
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: CO2 reactor as Bio-filter

Use ei system as much better and safer than CO2 canisters in home
Plants love it really bloomed especial Amazon which seems to do nothing but throw baby Amazon's off since changed to EI system
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Old 12-25-2014, 08:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: CO2 reactor as Bio-filter

I do not use IE as my tank is lightly planted. Right now, I dose only after water changes every two weeks and before the next change, I still have sufficient ferts in the tank according to my tests.
CO2 when charged into a cylinder is a compressed gas and is dangerous only to those not familiar with handling them.
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