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Old 08-25-2015, 12:27 AM   #1
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CO2 reactor - some advices

Hello friends!
Just want to share some advices about the CO2 reactor with a backing soda / citric acid.

This reactor based on the classical "Kipp's apparatus" was initially developed by the group of Russian aquarist and modified by Russian aquarist SLAVKA. Some time ago, chinese manufacturers started to make this system and now you can found some modifications at eBay or Amazon, like this one which I using now.

Unfortunately, all these system made with simplified general scheme and instructions, and have some problems with a stability. In my experience, the pressure in the chinese original system was growing permanently; this is not good. Also, starting of the system is a very annoying process.

So, I make some modifications of this system, based on the original SLAVKA's scheme, but with some my own modifications to improve stability and made system initialisation easiest and more predictable.

The scheme is attached.

It is very important to place the acid output to a bottom of the bottle, under the soda layer, because the product of reaction is lighter that soda solution, and if you will just drop the acid from the top, you will have a very unpredictable and unstable reaction.

Using of a needles is important to control of acid dosing, and I moved the 3-way connector to a bottom for same reason.

To start the system, I using the car air pump. Just connect it to the system's output, and make a pressure about 1.5 atm. Close the regulator valve, and connect the system to your tank. You can use a solenoid valve with this system without any problem.

The proper reactives dosage is:
Citric acid: 150g of an acid + 200ml of a pure water (acid should be totally dissolved)
Backing soda: 200g of a soda + just SOME water (soda will not be dissolved, it is OK. You need to add water just to cover a soda and make a little water's layer over).

For sure, you may use more reactives, for example 300g of acid and 400g of soda etc.

With my experience, this system working with a great stability and allow high loading of reactives for a long-time working. My last loading (300g of the acid and 400g of the soda) still working for my 75G tank, with control via PH4 DropChecker, more of 3 weeks for now and still working, even with a 24-hour diffusion (my solenoid valve was broken and it was removed from the system, unfortunately). The pressure is VERY stable. Reaction is very consystent.

Anyway, this system is much more predictable than any kind of bio-reactors, and much less expensive than any canister system

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Old 09-03-2015, 02:38 PM   #2
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I may give this a try in a ten gallon set up. I accidentally made a fire extinguisher the other day....

Where did you get the needles from and how are they attached? I assume the idea of them is to require more pressure to move the fluid threw? Basically using pascals law to make sure not too much acid gets through?

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Old 09-04-2015, 08:48 PM   #3
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Here was two ideas.
Firstly, as you mentioned, needles should prevent overdosing of acid, exactly because they require more pressure. I'm sure that ONE needle should be enough, at the soda side - but I used two just to drain all acid (small needle works better - it is not a big deal of course but I just like to see a drain tank and full reactive's usage at the end). I used needles from insulin syringe. Not a problems with connection at all

secondary, I moved the three-way connector to the bottom of the bottle. In the original scheme this connector is located at top. But as a result, when pressure in the soda bottle rise, gas will pushed into a tube at the connector level... But after the connector, big amount of acid will still in the tube, and it may be pushed into the soda bottle. With a needle this effect may not be presented, but I want to be sure
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