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[APD] Re:CO2 Reactor Questions

My comments on CO2 hardware are based on the rather crude method of
injecting the CO2 into a pump or filter intake. One of the problems has
been how to make the connection. Well, I've solved a lot of problems by
going with 1/16" barbed fittings and 1/16" polyurethane hose. These may be
available to you locally but I got mine through Clippard. I am also using
the MNV-4K valves now with the #15006-1 adapter (fits 1/8" NPT). Three nice
things about the small gage setup:

1) The tubing is so small I can get it to fit into many tight places with
sharp bends without it kinking and its much easier to get it to "connect"
to an intake because it fits through the slots in the intake screen. The
screen just holds it in place by friction.

2) The parts are less expensive. I bought a 50' roll of tubing (#3814-7)
for less than $10 and the valves seem to work very well over the year or so
that I've tested them. They cost around $14 I think.

3) If I need to make a connection using a fitting, as would be necessary
when using an external reactor, then I'll drill and tap a 10-32 hole in the
PVC to accept the 1/16" barb fitting (#11752-2) or glue in a 1/16" plastic
hose barb fitting. These are usually available from auto parts stores as
vacuum hose connectors. I like the metal fittings from Clippard. They are
more durable than the plastic ones and because they are screwed in, they
can be replaced if need be. I'll have to buy the tap which will probably
cost under $5.

As far as the efficiency of the Eclipse hood/bio-wheel goes, I have a bank
of 4 tanks running on one CO2 system (manual, CO2=ON 24/7). One of the
tanks uses the Eclipse system and the others use different kinds of HOB
power filters. The tanks are all set up with the same substrate and water
parameters. CO2 is injected into the  filter's intake strainer except in
the case of the Eclipse; its injected  into the tray underneath the filter
floss. The power filters use less CO2 than the Eclipse system to establish
the same pH. I'll have to change it to work the same as the power filters
to see if there is really any difference. On that note, I should point out
that I'm using a 10# cylinder every couple of months so its not very
efficient. I think I'll probably go with a reactor on each tank as the next
cost saving strategy.      


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