Inline reactor design flaw

Discussion in 'D.I.Y.' started by dart, Feb 12, 2017.

  1. dart
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    dart Green fingers

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    This seems pretty obvious after the fact but I've never seen it mentioned so perhaps this will help someone else :)

    I just discovered that my old CO2 inline reactor had a design flaw that was made much worse now that I'm using it on a smaller tank with a lower pressure pump.

    Here is roughly how it looks
    co2.png

    Water enters from the top and CO2 from the side. The problem is that the connector coming into the top is quite long and create a fair amount of space where CO2 can get trapped at the top of the reactor and not get churned (well) by the water. This meant that for the first few hours my CO2 was very low and the reactor only really started working well once the CO2 trapped at the top got below the level of the inlet.

    I've filled the gap with silicone so I'm hoping to see an improvement now.


    BTW does anyone have any suggestions for how long a rector should be, does it matter as long as its not able to push the bubbles out the bottom?
     
  2. dart
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    dart Green fingers

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    And... right after fixing that problem I switch on my DIY electronic timer and it went crazy. Switching on and off the CO2 solenoid so that it buzzed. After some checks it turned out that my 5v power supply that powers the relays had suddenly broken.

    Here is a pic of what its doing, bouncing from 3.2V to 6.4V ~5 times a second. O_O

    5v.png

    I've just replaced it with another spare 5v supply and everything is working again. Fun times...
     
  3. Kyle
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    Kyle Algae harvester

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    Here is a reactor that I made. Just for reference. The only flaw I see with this one is that I used an air stone on the inside which I would like to take out as I think the bubbles are being made to small and do not rise fast enough so there are still small bubbles coming into the tank

    14870109422653.jpg
     
  4. dart
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    dart Green fingers

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    I used clear tubing, from a gravel vacuum, at the top so I can see what is happening :)

    Yeah, airstones are a problem. I used one when I made an in-tank reactor and that got clogged very quickly. I also don't use bio-balls etc in the reactor now, I think that is counter-productive.

    @Kyle you can quite easily extend that one, if you want, no need to build a new one
     
  5. Kyle
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    Kyle Algae harvester

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    @dart the problem is that it is already the length of my CO2 bottle and if I make it any longer it will not fit underneath the tank

    14870836932040.jpg
     
  6. dart
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    dart Green fingers

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    @Kyle right... You probably still have a few options though
    1. make one with a elbow joint rather than a strait one at the top. That could buy you an extra 5 - 10 cm
    2. extend and lean it at an angle, but you may end up with trapped air like mine did above? Not sure...
    3. Have one with a double bend... again not sure how practical that is
     
  7. Kyle
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    Kyle Algae harvester

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    Thanks @dart i will look at how i can improve this using your suggestions. I do still want to take it apart to take the airstone out and then will take it from there.
     

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