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niko 09-08-2007 08:13 PM

Tiny super efficient CO2 reactor
Go to any Petco and buy this tiny internal filter:

In the box you will find everything needed to make an extremely efficent in-tank Co2 reactor:

1. Discard the tubing that supplies air to the filter and is meant for aeration, you don't need it.
2. Open the filter - as if your intention is to clean the sponge.
3. Remove the sponge from the compartment.
4. Pull and remove the green flow control slider.This leaves a small opening on the side of the filter.
5. Close the filter without the sponge. When doing that put the CO2 tubing in the small opening mentioned above. Basically 1/2" of the CO2 tubing is now inside the filter, right under the intake, and it's held in place by the closed filter.
6. The filter comes with a flow nozzle. Put the sponge removed in step 3 over this nozzle.
7. Attach the flow nozzle to the filter.
8. Peel off the technical info sticker. It's white and attracts the eyes.
9. Done!

Basically you have done two things:
A. Put the CO2 tubing under the intake of the filter.
B. Attached the sponge on the outtake of the filter.

When the filter runs the CO2 bubbles hit the pump impeller and make a very gentle noise. This is your bubble counter. Count the bubbles with your eyes closed if you want. You will have to get about a foot from the reactor though - it's hard to hear if you are more than 2-3 ft. away.

When the bubles hit the impeller they get broken into tinier bubbles. These tiny bubbles then get trapped in the sponge with 60 gph of water flow disolving them almost 100%.

The few fine bubbles that escape the sponge look like a tiny cloud. It consists of bubbles so fine that they have a hard time floating up to the surface. Even the most gentle side flow carries them to the side and around the plant leaves.

Old design of mine but this $10 filter really makes it possible to make an ideal internal CO2 reactor in literally less than 1 minute. The filter is very small (easy to hide), black (doesn't attract the eyes), and has a strainer that makes the suction gentle enough so snails don't get stuck on the intake, die and block it. Virtually zero maintenance.

Maybe someone could post pictures showing how to do everything I described. I haven't picked up a camera in many months but it seems that life still goes on as usual.


gforster 09-08-2007 09:52 PM

Re: Tiny super efficient CO2 reactor
I have this filter in a shrimp tank. I just run the co2 line into where the air intake is supposed to be. It spreads a big cloud of co2. It is not as efficient as what you describe. I will have to try your method with it, though I may keep at least a small portion of the sponge where it is supposed to be so the shrimp don't get impelled.

niko 09-09-2007 11:05 AM

Re: Tiny super efficient CO2 reactor
If you put the sponge where I suggest you will see exactly what I described.

Using a sponge to avoid sucking snails or baby shrimp is fine except that it needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. If you are consistent with cleaning the sponge then the CO2 reactor will have no problem. But if you let the sponge get dirty the water flow will decrease and the amount of CO2 being disolved will also decrease. This may not sound like a big deal but it actualy is because fluctuating conditions in a planted tank are the main cause of problems.


erijnal 09-09-2007 02:24 PM

Re: Tiny super efficient CO2 reactor
niko, this sounds like a really cool idea. You could probably get away with setting a significantly lower bubbles per second rate with pressurized CO2 if the efficiency is as high as you say

MeioFormiga 09-11-2007 06:41 PM

Re: Tiny super efficient CO2 reactor
I have one of those, I'll have to pick up some airline tubing and try it out! I was thinking about making a miniature internal reactor powered by it, but this idea looks effective as well as smaller and simpler.

lowfi 09-11-2007 09:16 PM

Re: Tiny super efficient CO2 reactor
lets see the pics!!! sounds sweeeeeet!

Kip 09-22-2007 10:34 PM

Re: Tiny super efficient CO2 reactor
How big a tank can you handle with this?

rey 09-24-2007 10:14 AM

Re: Tiny super efficient CO2 reactor
It's working well on my 50 cube. Since the sponge provided is fairly coarse, I might replace it with something finer to slow down the microbubble release more.

rey 09-24-2007 02:04 PM

Re: Tiny super efficient CO2 reactor
BTW, thanks for a good invention. My Barr-Python reactor took up a lot of room and became opaque after several algae/biofilm abrasive removals.

nanobettaman 09-24-2007 04:48 PM

Re: Tiny super efficient CO2 reactor
I'm using this in my 15gal, it's slightly big, but not too obtrusive.

Because it's a small tank I have the flow control turned all the way down, and it's placed only very slightly above the gravel in order to reduce flow more and protect the critters. (I had to rescue my betta after he got his tail sucked in 5 minutes after I put the filter in - he was fine, just kinda confused)

I took a screw driver and stretched out one of the bottom intake vents and then placed the output from the bubble counter in there. It's working very well and the bubbles are super fine.

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