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Re: controller

> Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 12:12:07 -0800
> From: Thomas Barr <tcbiii at earthlink_net>
> Your CO2 rich water appears to go in at the bottom(like
> it should IMO)
> and the CO2 poor water is sucked off the top and filtered.
> The range you
> have with what flow regimes you have sounds right. Most folks
> add the CO2
> reactor to the sump.
> A nice flow of CO2 rich water from bottom to top is _ideal_.
> It travel up
> through the plant's leaves giving the CO2 gas as it passes
> by. You have this
> flow pattern.
> Some folks don't or add/delete something and have poor mixing.

I appreciate your comments, Tom.

As usual, there is always room for improvement. There are a few downsides to
my CO2 setup. (Aside from the components not being for sale in a while ;)

1. While a venturi reactor does a great job, it requires a pretty high flow
rate to work well. I run it off a powerhead that requires periodic
maintenance/cleaning since it resides in the "dirty" part of the system
instead of the sump.
2. The powerhead and the reactor both add noise to the tank. Not much, but
it all adds up.
3. It is possible for the powerhead to blow the reactor off if the reactor
outlet flow is obstructed. The powerhead is capable of passing plant debris
that accumulates and blocks the outlet. Admittedly, this takes a few months,
but since the tank is mostly open, it outgases quickly. The pH raises fast
when the CO2 fails.
4. It needs at least 10" of water depth to work well, so a sump mount is not
possible for me. It has to live in the tank.

Eventually, I'll probably replace it with a "kalkwasser-type" reactor.
Additionally, it would make a nice mixing chamber for adding CaCO3 when
doing water changes. (Just adding CaCO3 to the sumps is a great way to see
flow patterns in water though:)

It is a shame that the Sandpoint reactor was the last design that I was
really impressed by. I think there is a lot of innovation left to be done in
this area.

Jon Wilson