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Thread: Best way to diffuse CO2 for my setup

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Northern Virginia
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    Best way to diffuse CO2 for my setup

    I have been running pressurized CO2 for approximately a month now and have had some mixed results. Here is my current setup

    72g bowfront reef ready tank with sump and wet dry trickle filter. Flow from sump approx 450 gph, I have two return spouts which I have downturned as much as possible to minimize surface agitation. (once had illusions of going salt with this tank, I know this is not ideal for planted tank).

    Lighting is a 260W Coralife aqualight (4x65)

    The tank is heavily planted now (for the past month) and fortunately no real algae to speak of.

    I purchased the ultralife pressurized CO2 system. Tank and regulator are fine, I am having problems with large 1cm bubbles coming out of the reactor every 10-20seconds, been playing with it, but clearly should have minimal bubbles coming from it. I running the reactor in the tank with a powerhead of 75gph.

    Natural p.h of my water is approx between 7.4-7.6, DH is 4. My pH running cO2 is about 7.0, but I am running 5 bubbles per second, and with that rate, I would think my CO2 should be higher.

    Whew, sorry for all the background. My question is is what is the best way with my current setup to dissolve CO2 into the water. I have been reading a good bit and it appears I can go one of 3 ways.

    1. Rig up the reactor to my sump outflow or perhaps just run it in the sump with a separate outflow to the tank
    2. Run it with a power head in the tank (like I am doing now)
    3. Get a cannister filter and run it externally -everyone seems to do it this way
    (would like to avoid since my filtration is adequate and I would be doing this really just for CO2)

    I suspect my problem is a combination of crappy reactor, my wet dry trickle, and not setting up optimally for my tank. Any expert help greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Fred

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    5,592
    Hi Fred,

    I have a 180 reef ready and had many of the same issues.

    Please search for any threads THAT I HAVE INITIATED as most revolve around getting better c02. A brief summary of changes I have made:

    1. Cover the open areas of the sump. Duct tape, etc. This will help.
    2. Raise the water levels in the overflow boxes. The waterfall effect in here is driving the c02 right on out..........This will also reduce noise
    3. Get/build a better reactor and a larger pump to drive the reactor. Add a venturi loop.
    4. Run the outlet of your reactor to the intake side of the pump back to the tank.
    5. Get a drop checker to help determine your levels of c02 in the tank. BPS is a crude measurement.

    If you do some reading on past threads, you will see the answers to many of your questions.

    Natural p.h of my water is approx between 7.4-7.6, DH is 4. My pH running cO2 is about 7.0, but I am running 5 bubbles per second, and with that rate, I would think my CO2 should be higher.
    Keep in mind that overflows and a trickle filter are big 02 generators and will drive out a lot of c02. 5 BPS is not really that much for the type of setup you have.


    Hope this helps a bit. Good luck.
    Thanks,

    Gerry.

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

    Current 220 scape

    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    292
    I have a 180 reef ready and had many of the same issues.

    Please search for any threads THAT I HAVE INITIATED as most revolve around getting better c02. A brief summary of changes I have made:

    1. Cover the open areas of the sump. Duct tape, etc. This will help.

    This is easy enough. Did this make a big difference for you.

    2. Raise the water levels in the overflow boxes. The waterfall effect in here is driving the c02 right on out..........This will also reduce noise

    -Not quite sure I understand how to do this. I only have about an inch if that between where the water enters in from the top and the water in the overflow that goes into the sump through a drip tray with a floss pad then bioballs then sponge then clean water goes back to aquarium

    3. Get/build a better reactor and a larger pump to drive the reactor. Add a venturi loop.
    - I was afraid of that .

    4. Run the outlet of your reactor to the intake side of the pump back to the tank.


    5. Get a drop checker to help determine your levels of c02 in the tank. BPS is a crude measurement. - i just use pH, I have 4 KH water from the tap.

    If you do some reading on past threads, you will see the answers to many of your questions.

    - reading those now.

    Keep in mind that overflows and a trickle filter are big 02 generators and will drive out a lot of c02. 5 BPS is not really that much for the type of setup you have.


    Hope this helps a bit. Good luck.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for your reply, gives me some info to work with. Appreciate your help

    Fred

  4. #4
    You need at least 300gph running through a reactor for a tank this size.

    And the rest of what Gerry said.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
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    292
    You need at least 300gph running through a reactor for a tank this size.

    And the rest of what Gerry said.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr

    Thanks for the info, just want to verify since the last message that I quoted might have been confusing. I need a 300gph powerhead/flow rate for my 72 gallon tank. The way I guoted the message it may appear that I have a 180g. The company I bought from recommended 55gph. ha


    Thanks

    Fred

  6. #6
    300gph running through the CO2 reactor and make a DIY like the one detailed here, cost 10$, takes 10 min to make, runs great up to about 500gph or about 180 gallons.

    Regards,
    tom Barr

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    292
    Thank you! I'm collecting parts. I will let everyone know how it goes. Having trouble finding the bushings at home depot, but I'm sure I can track them down at a hardware store.

    I appreciate your help as well as Gerry's

    Fred

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    5,592
    Fred,

    Lowes may have fittings the HD does not if they are in your area.......

    Covering the sump did help.

    Lowering the overflows was the bigger deal for me along with a bigger reactor pump and the AM1000 venturi mod. directing the reactor flow to the main sump pump also was a factor.

    2. Raise the water levels in the overflow boxes. The waterfall effect in here is driving the c02 right on out..........This will also reduce noise

    2. Raise the water levels in the overflow boxes. The waterfall effect in here is driving the c02 right on out..........This will also reduce noise

    -Not quite sure I understand how to do this. I only have about an inch if that between where the water enters in from the top and the water in the overflow that goes into the sump through a drip tray with a floss pad then bioballs then sponge then clean water goes back to aquarium
    This pic is what I mean by the adjustment for MY type of overflow:



    What type do you have?
    Last edited by Gerryd; 08-31-2008 at 02:44 PM.
    Thanks,

    Gerry.

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

    Current 220 scape

    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

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