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Old 02-09-2009, 10:52 AM   #1
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co2 reactor probs

I built an external reactor and am having some issues w/ air bubbles. I had on the output of my 2213 but was getting bubble city out of the spraybar. I swapped things out so its before the filter. Now I am getting sporadic large discharge. I can see a fair amount of air pockets in the 2213.

My reactor is 20 inches overall length with incoming at the top-straight barb, and out the side at the bottom-straight barb. I do not have anything inside(bioballs or anything like that) CO2 is inserted via 3/16 tube inserted at top, about 6 inches long. Bubble rate is low-30-45 bubbles per minute. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:10 PM   #2
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Thats part of your problem the reactor needs media to slow down the bubbles and help disolve them into the water column intsead you are getting a large build up and then finaly a discharge. Basicly your pumps impellar is doing all the work. thats what you have the problems. Put in some bioballs or filter batting and give it a try
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:29 PM   #3
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are there alternatives to bio balls, i dont have access to them and dont feel like buying some online. plastic golfballs work?

Also, about filter floss, could I use poly fil? Does that stuff break down? As Im going to cut this thing open and reseal it, I'd rather not put something thats going to cause problems down the road.

...and thanks for the reply! I was thinking that may be the problem, but Ive read of others that have had no need to put anything in theirs.
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:40 PM   #4
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depends on your bubble rate 30-40 per minute sounds high... I run min and 3-4 per minute. Filter floss works best i have never used polyfill as long as it is not a biological material you *should* be fine. Poly fill will get dirty though so its best to put the reactor on your output side if you choose the polyfill method. Golf balls prolly wont work. you are looking for surface area not shape. you could use large aquarium gravel (bigger than your in or out tubes). I just took an unused filter pad from walmart ($5) and cut it to fit in several chunks into the reactor tube. It turned green after about a week (mine is in the tank hard to explain same concept as yours though). HTH
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:40 PM   #5
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3-4 per minute? wow, I turned mine way down to 18 a minute, and my drop checker has really darkened. I'll let it ride for a day or so while I hunt down some stuff to put in the reactor
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:18 AM   #6
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Thats because your reactor is extremely inefficient. you are gassing off co2 and thats about it. LOL
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:21 AM   #7
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I lied i keep it at about 10 bbm woops just counted it...
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:22 AM   #8
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Well I tried something, didnt have to glue it so its not a permanant thing. I put 2 layers of coarse filter pad near the bottom of the reactor, just above the output, and have hooked it up and running now. We shall see if there is any improvement regarding 'burping'
I had to do some filter maint, so there is air being expelled from that yet. Hopefully this works
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:14 PM   #9
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As stated, the idea of adding media to a reactor like yours is to make some turbulence and give something to help hold the bubbles in place so they have more contact with the water column. Using something like filter floss is not likely to give you the results you are looking for. Lots of people use bioballs, those plastic scrubbing pads that are used to clean dishes work well too. Just open them up and spread them out and cram them loosely into the reactor. Remember, you are trying to create turbulence and not restrict flow.
As for rate, bps is not really a great gauge of what is or is not enough co2 for your tank. Tank size, lighting, plant load, and fertilizers all play a part in the need for co2. For example in my 29g planted tank I use a 65w cf lamp and feed each day, this tank has a fairly heavy plant load. It has a reactor like yours with bioballs inside. I run the co2 at about 1.5 bps to maintain a co2 level of about 30 ppm.

There are calculators on line that you can use to estimate your ppm using pH and kH.

HTH
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Old 02-21-2009, 08:56 PM   #10
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The scrubbing pads I'm thinking of would seem to be too big to get inside and not be a plug to the pvc. Obviously there must be smaller ones available. Thanks for the reply, as of right now I have put 2 layers of coarse filterpad sanwiching some filter floss, probably 4" total height, its definitely better, but not sure if its the best thing.
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