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[APD] Re: CO2 Reactor Sound

Note: This was originally an offlist discussion between Jeff and myself, but I thought I'd post this reply here to just incase it might help anyone else out having issues with noisy CO2 reactors. Hope you don't mind Jeff.


I've just fixed the "problem" to my noisy CO2 reactor. I'll fill you in.

I initially planned on connecting the reactor to the output of my fluval 204 canister. But I had concerns about the reduction in flow rate that might occur. The filter is rated at 680 lph (180 gph), the actual output is probably less and adding the reactor would reduce flow further. I was concerned that this may be too little circulation for my 50gal tank (48x14x18") and I may have to add another powerhead for circulation. No worries, I had a spare powerhead lying around, a maxijet 250 rated at 370 lph (98 gph). Then I had an idea. 

Why not just use the powerhead to drive the reactor instead? And that's exactly what I did. I connected the input of the powerhead directly to the bottom of the reactor (via 3/4" barb fittings), the output hose goes up to the opposite corner to the canister output and an inlet hose siphons water from the tank into the top of the reactor (which is vertical - water flow top to bottom). CO2 is fed in near to the top of the reactor.

And the results? Extremely quiet! Can't even hear any running water just the very low hum of the powerhead and canister filter. I'm very happy with this arrangement. The reactor is now neatly tucked away in the aquarium cabinet instead of outside on the filter inlet, the noise is no more and tank circulation is increased. At it's 100% efficient. No gas escapes and just this morning pH 6.6, KH 4.5, CO2 ~32ppm, bubble rate 38 bubbles/minute, regulator output pressure 0.5 bar.

I'm not exactly sure why the reactor is quieter now, but I think the most likely reason is that the flow rate is reduced, so water flow is more gentle through the reactor with less splash. So after all that, I'm still not sure if putting it on the output side would make any difference, but I'll probably never find out as I'm happy with my setup as it is.

Clint Brearley 
Melbourne, Australia

----- Original Message -----
From: Jeff Whitebread <jeffwhitebread at yahoo_com>
Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2004 9:12 am
Subject: CO2 Reactor Sound

> Hi Clint,
> I was going over the Aquatic Plant Digest archives and
> found your post "CO2 reactor trickling sound" .  I
> have built and installed the same DIY reactor (PVC
> type on cannister reactor) and am experiencing the
> same trickling sound.  I have no problem listening to
> it in the day, but because my tank sits right next to
> my bed, I have a harder time coping with it around
> bedtime.  
> I have a smaller aquarium (30 gallon long) and I think
> that the sound is caused by all the reasons you
> stated.  I also was thinking that later on in the day,
> my 30 gallons of water is fully saturated with C02 and
> 02, therefore causing an air pocket in the reactor. 
> My CO2 and bubble rate are in the same ranges as yours
> (20-30 ppm and 30-40 bpm).  I'm might reduce the
> bubble rate, but I was wondering what you did, if you
> got any feedback on this, and if so, anyone who knew
> how to deter this sound.
> Thanks in advance for any, if at all, help.
> Jeff Whitebread
> Wheaton, IL where it is -4 outside  
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