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Re: Vortex doo-hickey

Hey gang,

Travis Kinney and I were the ones conspiring to make
an inexpensive Vortex reactor. Travis did a *fine* job
creating the chamber and assembling the whole thing. I
just offered moral support....and the pumps;)

Robert H wrote:
>>Are you using too big a pump or perhaps one to low
in GPH?<<

The pump output is the same as the little rio used on
the commercially available Vortex. The only difference
is that it has an adjustable flow. I had mine set on
max. ViaAqua is the brand name. 

>>How are you determining the success or failure? Are
you going by actual pH readings or or just visual
inspection for pearling?<<

Well, for me, the pH didn't budge and and the plants
didn't pearl. That would be failure.

>>How large is the aquarium and and how well
circulated is the water? I usually add an additional
pump or small powerhead to carry the CO2 water across
the tank<<

So, you're suggesting that this type of reactor needs
something other than its own propulsion and whatever
filter one might have to get the CO2 into the tank? I
had mine setup underneath the outflow of an Aquaclear
150 on a 20gallon long tank. 

>>If you are measuring pH what time of the day or
night are you doing this? How many days after first
hooking up the reactor are you waiting to test for the
results? It can take anywhere from 2 to 5 days for the
aquarium to reach it's maximum saturation<<

I use a CO2 indicator so I can watch anytime and only
be hassled once. I waited 2 days and it never reached
green. 2 to 5 days?! Bah. I get significant drop in pH
in a matter of hours with a sintered glass diffuser,
and minutes when I pump gas into my canister.
Saturation aside, you should see results from a CO2
enriching device in the hours scale, not days.
The design, aside from the chamber being slightly
larger than the commercially available Vortex, is
remarkably close. Basically it is a closed top chamber
with gas pumped in, and a swirl of water that absorbs
the gas as it swirls then leaves the chamber through
some open celled foam. At least that's the idea. 

The amount of gas that I pumped in was never absorbed.
In other words, the bubble at the top of the chamber
kept getting bigger and bigger, which is a clear
indication to me that the gas wasn't going anywhere.
Even if thing was working to add CO2, if I had to
"burp" the thing 4 times a week, than I'll take my
diffuser back. 

Overall, I'd say that the experiment was a success,
because I spent shipping and some A. barteri clippings
on the whole thing....not $50. And I would've bought
one, that's for sure. 

Robert, I'm interested in what you're doing with yours
to get it working. Maybe Travis and I are missing some
vital piece of the puzzle. This idea seems like it
should work great.

John Wheeler

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