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size/number of CO2 reactors for a 110 Gal.

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  • size/number of CO2 reactors for a 110 Gal.

    I've had some issues with CO2 levels running a single DIY external reactor (2" pipe, about 1.5 ft long) inline with an Ehiem 2217. I've got some improvements to the design planned based on some of the threads I've read here, but I have an additional question. I've read some suggestions that additional reactors may be desirable. Are folks really running more than 1 reactor/ tank? If so, I'd like to hear more about how they're rigged up. I'm assuming there's still a single CO2 source, but I'm curious how that'd be plumbed.

    Thanks all,

  • #2
    Hi Dave,

    Multiple reactors can work very well on larger tanks.....

    Ask Dutchy how he did his on his 180 with two c02 reactors or read his blog entry....I know Tom did a 450 for a client that used 6 canisters and I think 3 AM1000 reactors...

    A basic setup:

    One single pump/filter splits to two reactors..


    1 filter/pump for EACH reactor.

    Up to you how to direct the flow of each. Can be merged together back to tank or separately based on how you have the tank plumbed.

    Remember that the size/config of the reactor determine the amount of flow required to power it.

    In any scenario you need to ensure your filter/pump can power the reactor adequately AS WELL AS PERFORM it's original intent such as filtering....

    Remember that this may cause some backpressure on the filter and may impact performance..

    Keep this in mind..
    Last edited by Gerryd; 05-24-2010, 02:52 AM.


    'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

    Current 220 scape


    • #3
      Hi Dave, by 'issues' I am guessing that you have cranked up your CO2 bpm to the point where the reactor is being inundated with the gas?

      Assuming that is what you mean, I too have this problem during the warmer parts of the year here in Australia. There is only so much CO2 I can bubble into the reactor before it just starts gurgling away unable to dissolve the gas fast enough. If I were to switch to a more powerful circulation pump, I'd just be pushing the gas out the bottom of the reactor and into the tank, which would help a little bit, but, a second reactor would be the ideal way to go (I think).

      My tank is about 100g. I currently have an AM1000 hooked up to an Ocean Runner OR2500 which generally works quite well. It is winter here in Australia at the moment, so gas is dissolving quite well with the cooler temps. When it starts to warm up again, I may plumb a secondary AM1000 into my Eheim 2217 return. I would prefer to have a secondary dedicated pump, but I don't have the space for any more hoses running back to the tank and don't think my existing hoses could handle the extra flow. So even if I bumped my OR2500 to a more powerful pump capable of powering 2 AM1000's via a split in the line, and then a merge after the reactors, I think I would also have to change my plumbing. Maybe something for me for down the track.

      Yean, single CO2 source. I think it's best to do this with a regulator that has multiple working pressure outlets? Currently I am splitting my CO2 immediately after a single regulator with a 'T', each branch of the tee has a seperate needle valve and bubble counter - one branch feeds the AM1000, the other branch feeds a powerhead connected to a spray bar running through the thickest plant beds in my tank.


      6' Planted Tank (72" x 18" x 20") - 4 x 30W T8 Tri-Phosphors - 2 x Eheim 2217 'Classic' canisters
      Flourite substrate - Ocean Runner OR-2500 + AM1000 - Tunze Turbelle Nanostream 6045
      6.8kg Catalina CO2 - Red Sea Pro regulator - Swagelok B-SS4-A metering valve - Vecton 600 UV


      • #4
        I had 1 AM1000 CO2 Reactor on my 110g tank an IMO it was not enough even when I did a close loop with a Mag 5 pump. My plants grew will on one side of my tank on the other side I had a Eheim Pro2 2028
        I would consider 2 at least . Or try 2 DIY 2x15 Reactors?

        Last edited by inkslinger; 05-26-2010, 04:35 PM.


        • #5
          Sorry, missing the reference. What does the 2x15 refer to? Thanks, -D.


          • #6
            2" by 15" long I assume.

            The problem is less the size of the reactor............and much more how much water is goign through it.
            Biologically, the Ehiem is fine for a tank this size for fish only, planted tanks?

            Well, it can go either way, but better to have a redundant and higher rating in all cases.
            I use about 2 or 3 x the flow that the Ehiem could ever add fro filtration and then I add another 200-300gph or more as powerhead or wavemaker flow.

            Plants shed leaves, they rot, they get algae, the wood and other things make a muck, we rarely vacuum the gravel if ever..........and plants physical structure filling the aquarium greatly reduces flow, so these affect the filters a lot.
            Still, you need to have a lot more flow going by the reactor and if that filter ever gets clogged or flow slows down..........what do you think will happen to the CO2 levels?

            And when CO2 levels tank and bottom out, what happens next?

            Algae/poor growth.

            I think a smaller Rio 200-300ph head with a needle wheel mod(takes 30 seconds to do) would be better and easy to use.
            This will add both more flow and resolve the CO2 issue.

            I use them myself on 3 tanks.

            Tom Barr


            • #7
              [QUOTE= Or try 2 DIY 2x15 Reactors?


              DIY 2 inch x 15 inch Reactor or go with a 3inch dia and use any size in-out from 1inch down to 1/2inch
              I believe AM1000 is a 3inch dia with a 16/22 in-out put
              Last edited by inkslinger; 05-29-2010, 05:39 AM.


              • #8
                Once upon a time I fed my CO2 directly into my Eheim 2217. It wasn't very successful. As the filter started clogging the CO2 level was being affected as the water throughput reduced. That's when I switched to a dedicated pump (all I have to do now is occassionally give the intake strainer, which is a spare Eheim 2217 intake strainer, a bit of a clean).

                CO2 is so important in the tank, I think it's worth every $ spending the money on dedicated pumps, plumbing etc.
                6' Planted Tank (72" x 18" x 20") - 4 x 30W T8 Tri-Phosphors - 2 x Eheim 2217 'Classic' canisters
                Flourite substrate - Ocean Runner OR-2500 + AM1000 - Tunze Turbelle Nanostream 6045
                6.8kg Catalina CO2 - Red Sea Pro regulator - Swagelok B-SS4-A metering valve - Vecton 600 UV


                • #9
                  Good deal, thanks for the feedback folks.