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Old 02-28-2006, 09:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Defusser or Reactor

It's for a 90 gallon tank, so i was wondering which is better and what type and size you would recommend i use.
thanks
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Old 02-28-2006, 01:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Vortex Reactor for aquabotanic.com or aquamedic 1000 from drsfostersmith.com, or of course make your own.

I have a vortex reactor I'm not using if you're interested, shoot me a PM.

-John N.
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Old 02-28-2006, 03:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think it matters much. I'm a bit interested about all the hype of having microbubbles everywhere & a diffusor might be better at this. In reality though I'm not sure it makes any difference. I think both methods get CO2 to the plants just fine. If you make your own reactor a la PVC pipe, I'd go with 2" or bigger diameter to slow the flow down enough for this size of tank. Really, a home-made reactor is about the simplest thing on the planet, is probably more effective than most of the ones you can buy, and is definately cheap.
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Old 03-01-2006, 04:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the info i think i'll try Home Depot and see if i can find the parts or something similar for a DIY. Can it be run through a fuval 404 or should i use a power head. I also seen a post where a power head was added to the return hose just before the reactor does this work and is there any problems that can happen if the filter gets plugged.
Again Thanks for your help
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Old 03-01-2006, 05:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guaiac_boy
I don't think it matters much. I'm a bit interested about all the hype of having microbubbles everywhere & a diffusor might be better at this. In reality though I'm not sure it makes any difference. I think both methods get CO2 to the plants just fine. If you make your own reactor a la PVC pipe, I'd go with 2" or bigger diameter to slow the flow down enough for this size of tank. Really, a home-made reactor is about the simplest thing on the planet, is probably more effective than most of the ones you can buy, and is definately cheap.
I've found that my 2" diameter reactor allows CO2 to rise to the top of the reactor because the flow is too slow, which would seem to me to create a ceiling for how much CO2 the reactor is capable of disolving. I run mine on an XP2 and maybe it would be fine with an XP3.
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Old 03-01-2006, 02:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My understanding of the DIY CO2 reactor is that water goes downward and CO2 tries to go upward. You want the CO2 to be up at the top where it can be churned & dissolved by the water entering the reactor. Large bubbles of CO2 will rise faster than small ones according to Stokes' Law. (Big bubbles rise faster in hairgel than small ones. Large rocks sink faster than fine sand particles, etc.) Once the CO2 bubbles become small enough, their bouyant force diminishes and drag from the water current starts pulling them downward.

If you use a larger diameter pipe, the velocity of the downward flow is smaller and only very small bubbles will be carried along in the current. If the downward velocity is too high (pipe is too small) then rather large bubbles will be wasted into the tank.

Water velocity in the reactor is much faster in the center of the pipe than it is along the walls where friction slows it down considerably. If you tilt the reactor about 15 or 20 degrees from vertical, the bubbles tend to rise upward along the wall where the velocity is smaller. By doing this, only the most minute bubbles can be expelled into the tank, making for an efficient design.

I'm assuming that the filter, powerhead, or pump a person would use for a 90g tank would have a high flow rate. This would demand a larger diameter to keep downward velocities slow in the long reactor part of the design.
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Old 03-01-2006, 04:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guaiac_boy
My understanding of the DIY CO2 reactor is that water goes downward and CO2 tries to go upward. You want the CO2 to be up at the top where it can be churned & dissolved by the water entering the reactor. Large bubbles of CO2 will rise faster than small ones according to Stokes' Law. (Big bubbles rise faster in hairgel than small ones. Large rocks sink faster than fine sand particles, etc.) Once the CO2 bubbles become small enough, their bouyant force diminishes and drag from the water current starts pulling them downward.

If you use a larger diameter pipe, the velocity of the downward flow is smaller and only very small bubbles will be carried along in the current. If the downward velocity is too high (pipe is too small) then rather large bubbles will be wasted into the tank.

Water velocity in the reactor is much faster in the center of the pipe than it is along the walls where friction slows it down considerably. If you tilt the reactor about 15 or 20 degrees from vertical, the bubbles tend to rise upward along the wall where the velocity is smaller. By doing this, only the most minute bubbles can be expelled into the tank, making for an efficient design.

I'm assuming that the filter, powerhead, or pump a person would use for a 90g tank would have a high flow rate. This would demand a larger diameter to keep downward velocities slow in the long reactor part of the design.

No matter how high I turn my needle valve, no bubbles whatsoever come out of my reactor. It's a little weird because it makes me wonder if something is wrong, but the pH is low and the CO2 is high. In fact, so high I killed a fish today. You could tell because his eyes were all bulged out. Classic signs of o2 deprivation. But, I am new to this so I am learning.
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Old 03-01-2006, 05:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banderbe
No matter how high I turn my needle valve, no bubbles whatsoever come out of my reactor. It's a little weird because it makes me wonder if something is wrong, but the pH is low and the CO2 is high. In fact, so high I killed a fish today. You could tell because his eyes were all bulged out. Classic signs of o2 deprivation. But, I am new to this so I am learning.
Congrats, that's the goal! If you design the reactor right all the CO2 gets dissolved. CO2 is actually very soluble in water. It just needs a little mixing and contact time. Once the bubbles get very small they are all surface area. They then dissolve even faster and none make it out of the outflow.
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Old 03-05-2006, 04:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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i just started a fw planted tank and decided to get the right equipment the first time around (i have a lot of experience in not doing that...so i am trying to learn from my 'lessons' in life! ).

my 29g fw planted i just started uses an auto co2 system which consists of:
- reef fanatic pH controller (best in the hobby market imo)
- mj 400
- dennerle co2 check valve
- aquamedic reactor 1000 (really big for this tank...but you will see why i got this one day! )
- jbj regulator with bubble counter
- bunch of tubing and plastic hose clamps (no steel)

this is by far the best set up i have ever used. it is soooo much simpler than trying to balance a calcium reactor on a reef tank.

the 1000 does an awesome job at dissolving co2 while the pH controller is excellent with control to 0.01 pH. what i love about this controller is the ease you can set your max pH with a few pushes of a button. calibration is also amazingly easy with reference pH solutions and a couple of buttons (no dials to 'dial' in the calibration reading. this totally simplifies pH controllers!
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