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Re: DIY CO2 Reactor Problem (problem?)

Jerry Baker said:

> I have constructed a CO2 reactor out of a powerhead, a gravel vacuum
> tube, some 1" bioballs, and a limewood airstone. The problem is that
> after a couple hours of running so much air builds up in the reactor
> that there is a 1 - 2" air layer at the top. Is this normal, and how
> can
> I prevent this other than emptying the air every hour or two?

Some folks aim for a half an inch or an inch or so of bubble at the
top.  I think the bubble is a function of the CO2 rate and the water
flow rate through the reactor.  Higher water flow, less bubble.  You
can run a reactor like this for ages and it won't hurt anything.  If
the bubble keeps getting bigger, eventually there is no waterlevel in
the reactor and the CO2 get pushed out in bubbles, that hurts the
pocket book a bit because you're getting poor CO2 absorbtion.  If
that's the problem, try increasing the water flow.

If the water flow is pretty high but you are injecting CO2 so fast that
the reactor can't get it all into the water, then you might need a
bigger reactor or a way to reduce how quickly your tank sheds CO2 --
glass cover or less surfce turbulence. 

A very small reactor with a moderate water flow should be adequate for
a large tank (100 or 150 gallons).

Hope this gives you a few things to consider and try,
Scott H.

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