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A q on reactor diameter...

2065 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Justin Fournier
Anyone have a preference on the optimal diameter for a DIY reactor, to power a 75G tank @ +/-250GPH? Could be more. Bubble rate would be 5bps roughly. Wondering if 1-1/2", 2" or 3" would be ideal, thinking 2" or POSSIBLY a longer 1-1/2" or a shorter 2" but not sure.... I was thinking of making a rough copy of the dimentions of the Aquamedic one, but am not sure how to do the false gas vent..... but I am sure I could do it.

I am using a AquaMedic Reactor 1000 and am looking to DIY something I can hardline into the system. Maybe I should stick with the Aquamedic 1000, any opinions?

I guess I should add, I must have plumbed 50+ reef tanks in the past year, so my PVC skills are second to none. :D
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I prefer the 1 1/2" because the BA's blue bioballs fit perfectly in the 1 1/2". The co2 must go past all the bioballs before it has a chance to escape from the other end.

To remove the false gas vent, I just turn the reactor upside downand. Of course, I dont have my reactor fasten down. it just sit in the air as shown in a different post.
I am going to plumb this in with PVC, so it will be hard line, there is no flex that would allow me to turn it upside down. I also have not figured out the best way to bring the C02 into the reactor, as well as vent gasses as we have discussed. Any reason for the 1-1/2" other then bioballs?
There is a new splinkler part I am using for my reactor that you can use on your reactor. 1/2" FIPT x 1/2" MIPT /w 1/4" male swivel barb port Just attach it to the 'in' side of the reactor

You can get it at Home depot in the lawn sprinkler section. It is made by Drip Master.

IMO, co2 should dissolve faster in the 1 1/2" pipe. The bioballs are not as tightly pack in the 2" as they are in 1 1/2"

I am not sure how you can vent false gas with a hardpipe reactor though.

Long ago, I would just remove the end of the co2 line that is attach to the bublecounter and place it in the tank to let it vent out. It was really annoying because it could take more than 15 min just to vent most of the bubbles out.

I wouldn't suggest doing that with the sprinkler part though. The part isn't design to take backpressure through the 1/4" swivel adapter. It would drip through the gap connecting to the 1/2" adapter. It shouldn't drip when theres co2 going through the 1/4" adapter.
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I just picked up a NICE piece tonight by Parker that uses a 1/4" fipt port to recieve it, it's the best on the market apparently. It is a lock type fitting that takes standard C02 tubing. It should work in the top of a T with the C02 comming in on one side, and the water comming in from the top. I thought I could use one of these for C02 in and another with a small piece of tubing and a small valve like the Aquamedic one. I suppose I could just tap a hole in the top for the port...

So you think the 1-1/2" will be more efficient then a 2" one?
Where did you get the fitting from? Can you put a photo up so I can see it?

Yea, I think 1 1/2" pipe would be better for our size of tank. You would probably want others opinion as well when it come to DIY reactor size. Everyone has there own opinion.
I got it from a customer who works for a hose & fitting company. I oculd get more if you need one. No pic on hond though.
EDGE said:
IMO, co2 should dissolve faster in the 1 1/2" pipe. The bioballs are not as tightly pack in the 2" as they are in 1 1/2"
I prefer the 2"-diameter pipe BECAUSE the bioballs are not as tightly packed. :mrgreen: The bioballs' purposes are to increase turbulence as well as prevent CO2 gas from exiting by inhibiting the downward current, both of which function to increase the efficiency of CO2 dissolution. A tightly packed column of bioballs is unable to significantly increase turbulence or trap CO2 gas due to the lack of movement.

Ideally, you would want to use a barb for the CO2 tubbing, but barbs that small are difficult to obtain. One way to improvise is by drilling a hole through the top of the reactor and pull the CO2 tubbing through for an airtight seal as illustrated by Rex Grigg. Silicone the surrounding area for increased security. Alternatively, you can use an airline connector as Ghazanfar Ghori suggests. I dislike the airline connector because it always comes loose IME and the connection tends to leak regardless of how well I silicone it.

With the CO2 tubbing not connected to the CO2 source, turn the filter on. The pressure will force all the gas (and undoubtedly water as well :wink:) out the CO2 tubing. Connect the tubbing to the regulator/solenoid/bubble counter once all gas has been vented. This works especially well if the CO2 line is fed through the top of the reactor instead of the side.
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