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[APD] Re: CO2 not dissolving

Although I used a different reactor, a powerhead and gravel vac, I had the
same problem as you. The reactor towards the end of the day would become
filled with undissolved gas and would obviously greatly reduce the
efficiency of the reactor, in turn bringing CO2 levels down. Initially I
placed a timer on the reactor to turn it off and on once every 3-4 hours to
burp the gas out, something that you may not be able to do with an external
reactor. Tom later suggested that I remove the sponge and any other item
that was in the way of the gas, usually bio balls in most reactors, that did
the trick real nicely! The micro bubbles were able to escape the reactor
better now and accumulation of undissolved gasses was no longer a problem. I
guess had I used a stronger powerhead I may not have run into this problem
in the first place, not sure if the undissolved gas was CO2, oxygen or
impurities in the gas itself, important thing is that it never accumulated
again. So perhaps if you have anything in the chamber you may want to try
removing it, it's there to slow down the bubbles and avoid them all being
pushed out the bottom of the reactor, but that's assuming you have a strong
enough pump, sounds like you may not. You could also try to reduce the
diameter of the reactor to increase the speed at which the water flows
through it, not sure if that is possible however. Otherwise try a bigger
pump.... you have many solutions to try, hope one of them works.

I've since given up on reactors and feed CO2 directly into my canister which
does a great job at silently burping out anything that doesn't get

Hope that helps
Giancarlo Podio

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  d.. Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2004 13:44:59 GMT
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I recently went to pressurized system on my 30g, which had been DIY CO2.
This is a Milwaukee setup complete with SMS 122 pH meter-controlled
solenoid.  Running output into a Hagen 201 powerhead which goes into one of
Tom Barr's homemade external reactors.  Flow rate on the Hagen is around
110gph.  Running 1 bps, I am getting accumulated gas that almost completely
evacuates all water from the reactor.  I would have thought the flow rate
was sufficient to dissolve the gas, but evidently not.  The only thing I can
think of otherwise is that I have bad load of CO2 (e.g., not very pure CO2).

Any thoughts on what the problem might be?  The system is going into a 65
pretty soon, so I will need to solve this expeditiously.

James Brady
mid-Hudson Valley

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