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Simple to build DIY CO2 Reactor

I thought I would share with all of you the CO2 reactor which I am 
using on my 55g tank. It is very easy to build yet it will, within 
reason, dissolve all the CO2 you bubble into it.  I built the reactor 
 around an old 4"W x 12L" x 7"D Supreme filter box. Obviously 
you can use anything similar in size or you can buy the box from MOPS 
for about $11.
Using a 3/4" siphon, water is siphoned into one end of the box  and 
pumped out the other end using one of those mini submersible pumps. I 
keep mine set on the low end(13g/hr). The plumbing back into the tank 
is simply a short piece of tubing from the pump pushed into another 
3/4" siphon.  I cut the siphon tube so it returned the water a few 
inches below the surface of the water. 

The CO2 is dissolved by trapping it under a 3"W x 8"L x 1"D tray.  The 
tray is a desk drawer organizer  made by Rubber Maid. To keep the 
tray floating correctly I wedged a 1/2" x 1/2"x2" piece of styrofoam 
into each end.

The tray is large enough so that all the CO2 you 
bubble in will be dissolved and your PH will be affected by the 
bubbling rate.  In time, regardless of your CO2 source, air will 
collect under the tray.  Although has little effect on the dissolving 
of the CO2, some people may mistake this for trapped CO2 and believe 
they could reduce the bubbling rate which is not true.  Occasionally 
I release the trapped air although I don't believe this is really 

In addition to being easy to build the reactor has a few other 
advantages.  First it looks good as you only have a small siphon tube 
showing in the back corner of the tank. It also adds some gentile 
circulation to the tank. I found that I could  keep a reasonable 
amount of CO2 in the tank while I was getting my CO2 cylinder 
refilled by filling  the tray with CO2 from my CO2 powered bicycle 
tire pump.

Finally you will have some protection from an  excessive 
CO2 bubbling rate because at some bubbling rate not all the CO2 can 
be dissolved.

Jim Spencer   Sayre, PA
jrs at cyber-quest_com