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[APD] Aqua medic co2 reactor 500


I have an aqua medic co2 reactor 500, which I am trying to use to add
co2 to my 35 gal planted tank. However, so far I am not successful. The
thing just doesn't seem to add any co2 to the water. If I just stick an
airstone to the end of the co2 hose, that seems to add more co2 at the
moment :) I have read the manual several times over and I am still at a

There are several possibilities that I am trying to address:

1) The user's manual says on one place that the reactor requires a water
   flow between 500 l/h and 1000 l/h (about 125 gal/h and 250 gal/h). In
   another place, the manual says that a minimum flow of 100 l/h is
   required (25 gal/h). I have tried attaching the reactor to the clean
   water return of my eheim 2213. I have also tried using a powerhead
   rated at 150l/h - 1200 l/h. In all settings, the reactor eventually
   fills up with gas and the drop checker is solid blue (no co2).

   If I use a high flow rate (around 1000 l/h), small gas bubbles come
   out of the bottom of the reactor and these bubbles go to the water
   surface without having been dissolved. Occasionally, a gas bubble
   reaches the outer spiral, moves down slowly and then stops
   there. Other bubbles follow after some time and they all collect in
   the spiral, until eventually the spiral is full with gas.

   The manufacturer of this reactor also has a product, which uses this
   reactor together with an integrated power head. The power head is
   rated at 300 l/h (75 gal/h), so I am really suspecting the manual is
   not correct when it says 500 l/h - 1000 l/h is required.

   I also found a discussion on this mailing list:


   which recommends a lesser flow of water. But in any case, whatever
   flow I use, the co2 just collects in the reactor and isn't dissolved.

   I am suspecting that some of the water just leaves from the bottom of
   the reactor instead of being redirected to the spiral. I have felt
   the bottom and there is some water flow there. Can it be that the
   pieces inside the reactor don't sit on each other perfectly or there
   is a washer required, which my unit doesn't have?

2) The german manual says that the small white cap should be put on the
   pipe opening on top of the reactor. The english manual does not say
   that, so I am not sure which one is correct. I have tried both and it
   seems if the white cap is off, co2 bubbles escape from the top of the
   reactor. So I guess the german manual is correct :)

Anyway, if someone is using this reactor, I would really appreciate some
insight on how to further troubleshoot.

Timur Aydin
Aquatic-Plants mailing list
Aquatic-Plants at actwin_com