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Re: [APD] RE: CO2 Saturation

Your CO2 levels are fine, you say -- I assume that means
about 20 ppm) so you don't need more CO2 going onto the
aquarium. So more water flow is the next thing to try after
putting something in the reactor to diffuse the water

On a 30 gal aquarium, I have a Rio 180 on 2" diameter by
12" long external reactor -- a T. Barr special btw. The Rio
is rated for 80 gph against 1 ft of head. But it's probably
pumping closer to 40 gph than 80 gph in this setup. The
aquarium has a glass top and I run about 12-15 bubbles per
minute to maintain a 20+ ppm CO2 level. So it can be done
without a lot of water, CO2, or a large reactor for an
aquarium around that size. The less CO2 you drive off, the
easier it is to maintain 20 ppm in the water.

Hopefully, others will post, too, and you will see that the
CO2 flow rate and the water flow rate tends to be all over
the page because things differ from setup to setup.

However, a couple hundred gph should be plenty for most
situations, but of course, it depends on tank size. The Rio
600 is rated for a max of 200 gph so it probably puts out
about 100 gph in most situations that don't have high
dynamic head -- like pushing water 3' or 4' uphill. You
might be better off with a Rio 1100, which is rated for a
little over 300 gph. If the flow is too high you can
throttle down the water flow with the valve that Rio
includes with it's pumps/powerheads. I say this because I
don't know all the specifics of your situation and it's
easier to buy a bigger pump and throttle it down than to
buy a little, find it's too small, get a bigger one, find
it's too small, get another etc until you find  the right
pump/flow. The diff in price is probably about $10.

The only advantage of an external reactor is that it's not
in the aquarium and it gives the CO2 no way out except as
dissolved in the water. In fact, if you could seal the top
of your gravel tube and seal the bottom, and have a fitting
top and bottom so you could put it outside the aquarium,
that would be an external reactor. I'm not recommending
doing that with a gravel tube; I'm just making a point
about what an external reactor is -- just a box or cylinder
with water going in at the top, out the bottom and CO2 fed
into it. I think the advantages are big ones but they
aren't really all the diff mechanically than the reactor
you have now. Not having a large open bottom, externals
tend to make it a bit harder for bubbles to be flushed out
with the water flow -- except when the flow is very strong
and the reactor is too narrow or too short or both. A 3"
diameter by 14" diameter reactor should bable to handle 300
or more real gph and maintain levels in a 200 gal or so
aquarium. That's jsut to give yo an idea of how far you
don't need to go -- unless you've got a really big aquarium
or are driving off CO2 with a biowheel, or some such thing.

How big is your aquarium, how tall, and how long is your
gravel tube? A longer tube will reduce the amount of CO2
that gets out the bottom and should increase the exposure
of incoming water to the CO2 rich environment inside the

Hope that helps,
Scott H.

--- Steve <steve_wilsonii at fishpalace_org> wrote:
> Thank you for your replies.
> Scott, I notice much more pearling with my noisy
> powerhead then my 2224. If I put an external
> reactor reactor on, will the 2224 have enough
> power to do it properly?
> If not, is the Rio 600 the best choice for a
> powerhead. I have a local shop that has a range of
> Rio models. The noisy powerhead has to go...
> I do use eheim filter pads cut to fit my reactor
> to break up and hold in bubbles. Just looking for
> some better options. My CO2 levels are fine in the
> water...

S. Hieber

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Amano Returns
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Nov 2004 -- Baltimore

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