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Efficient, low cost alternative Carbon Dioxide System?

Hello All-

I was in my LFS today and picked up a 4 page leaflet named SeaScope.  Inside
I found an article written by Ed Fernandez on a cheaper, more efficient
Carbon Dioxide System for Freshwater Plants.  Now that the credits are out
of the way, here is what it says.  Since I am only using the DIY yeast
method I
don't know how much truth there is to this statement, but he says that "on
top of the carbon dioxide system a typical aquarist will have to also
purchase a 5 lb. bottle of CO2 monthly, as well as a suitable water pump to
circulate water through the unit."  He goes on to say that "a common
complaint is that most of these reactors waste CO2.  After CO2 is injected
into the available units any excess gas bubbles out of the reactors and
escapes at the surface of the water."  He said that "after looking at a lot
of CO2 reactors available, he decided to modify an Aquarium Systems Visi-Jet
PS-100 protein skimmer into a reactor. "  He found that minimal
modifications to the unit eliminated many of the previously mentioned
problems.  It states that the retail cost of a Visi-Jet protein skimmer is
about $50, including the necessary modifications.  I found Visi-Jets in That
Fish Place catalog for $28.99.  He did say that it was about $50 WITH the
necessary modifications though.  The article goes on and says that the
unit diassembles easily for cleaning, and requires no adjustments.  The pump
and reactor are one preassembled unit that hangs inside the tank.  The CO2
enters through the pump and saturates the water with very fine bubbles.
Black plastic netting in the reactor tube traps larger bubbles.  Excess gas
that accumulates in the top of the reactor tube is recycled to the pump by
means of a small flexible air tube.  The CO2-enriched water exits through
the bottom of the reactor, and none of the CO2 is wasted.  The Visi-Jet
reactor is controlled by an Aqua-Medic pH controller set on the maximum
setting of 7.0.  A solenoid valve turns the gas on and off, and the flow is
regulated by a needle valve on the cylinder.

Anyway, there is a diagram included on the page to explain all this, but I'd
have a hard time drawing that here.  Since I've never used a Visi-Jet
protein skimmer (and only know what they look like from the picture in the
That Fish Place catalog) I still have a hard time visualizing and
understanding the total concept.  Maybe someone who has experience with this
particular protein skimmer and CO2 injection in general can understand what
is being written without seeing the diagram and would like to comment and
explain to the rest of us if this is indeed an efficient, low cost
alternative for CO2 injection.

If there is nobody that understands, but has an interest in this, I would be
happy to mail you a copy of the article for personal inspection.  Then maybe
you will understand and can explain it to the rest of us here.

Contact me offlist if necessary.


Mike G. (in SW Louisiana where the humidity is getting high!)
msg at laol_net