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Changed to a Sera Co2 Reactor 1000. Gave up on inline diffuser for my planted tank.

Zak Rafik

Member
Joined
11 Aug 2014
Messages
466
Location
Singapore
Hi everyone,

It has happened again. :eek:
First I noticed my plants shedding its leaves and then a sudden burst of green spot algae on most of the plants.
Having experienced this a few weeks ago, I noted that the size of Co2 bubbles from the inline diffuser via the spraybar were bigger than usual.

It turned out that the inline diffuser was clogged up again. I had installed a brand new diffuser only on 17th Sept and after 1 month and 10 days, its clogged so soon. :mad:

Apart from the tedious process to change to a spare diffuser or clean it, I had to disconnect it from the output hose which can be a time consuming process and a wet one.

My main peeve with this inline diffuser is the gradual drop in Co2 supply to the tank which can can go unnoticed until the plants and algae problems crop up.

So yesterday I got a Sera flore CO2 active reactor 1000 and attached to the out pipe of my spare Eheim filter 2075 which is also hooked up to a UV system. (please see photo of setup below)

The pros for reactor are:
No more micro bubbles (aka 7up look) in the tank and the tank looks awesome when the lights are on.
Much more easier to clean than a diffuser (just use a soft brush or cloth to wipe the surface).
Able to monitor if the Co2 gas is fully dissolved in the reactor before exiting.

One very important thing to note:
Previously when using the inline diffuser, the Co2 would be switched on 2 hours before lights on and after 3 hours the drop checker would be near to lime green.

But now using the same timing for the reactor, I noticed the drop checker to be green or dark green but after changing the Co2 timer to be on 3 hours before, the drop checker is a nice light green.

If I'm not mistaken, the drop checker turning to lime green sooner with a diffuser was maybe due the micro Co2 bubbles floating about and entering the drop checker's opening. Maybe it was not really indicating the true level of Co2 gas dissolved in the water.

But now with Co2 gas 100% dissolved inside the reactor, the drop checker which is placed at the opposite side of the tank is now indicating the true Co2 level in the tank water. ( Please correct me if I'm wrong on this)

I would very appreciate if fellow members who have used a Co2 reactor in your tank share your tips or opinions. Can the reactor be tweaked to perform more efficiently.

Thank you.:)


http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/Diffuser-sq_zps967efcd1.jpg


https://www.sera.de/en/products/in_...t/sera-flore-co2-active-reactor-500-1000.html

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums...1-A11C-453F-AC8E-14AEB70D8F5E_zpsauoudhn4.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums...7-7A83-4B98-B760-A66B112CCC36_zpsx7hjazue.jpg

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums...4-B0D2-4C41-8C32-8F45D760FCD4_zpsxosbz58i.jpg

http://vid1295.photobucket.com/albu...4-EE3D-4B35-B106-8C73023B12DB_zpsyq4jjdhz.mp4
 

kirk

Member
Joined
24 Dec 2012
Messages
1,675
Location
tewkesbury
Hi, I have the co2 one which is shorter nothing but trouble for me unfortunately. What's it like when the co2 has been off for a while then comes back on? Mines was noisey and full of air, so had to tilt it daily.
 

Zak Rafik

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Thread starter
Joined
11 Aug 2014
Messages
466
Location
Singapore
Hi, I have the co2 one which is shorter nothing but trouble for me unfortunately. What's it like when the co2 has been off for a while then comes back on? Mines was noisey and full of air, so had to tilt it daily.

Hi

Sad to hear about your sour experience with your reactor 500. It must be quite frustrating.

I get the 1000 version knowing that there might be issues with Co2 bubbles exiting before fully dissolving. And Sera recommends the 1000 version for bigger tanks or heavily planted tank, which is what I have.

There is the slight bubbling noise from the reactor but since mine is inside the cabinet, there's hardly I can hear.

I also notice that leftover Co2 gas tends to get dissolved quite fast after the gas timer has turned off. Once all the gas has dissolved, the reactor is very quiet. Maybe the water pressure from the outlet of the canister plays an important role here. I'm sure members here with more experience can shed some light on this issue.

Cheers
 

kirk

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24 Dec 2012
Messages
1,675
Location
tewkesbury
Hi again, sorry it was supposed to say the co2 art one. :) I've tried everything recommended. I'm think it all depends on your set up too, but I'm certainly not going to out our perfectly operational 2215 for a non performing turbo reactor. From what I've heard the one you have is far better, maybe down to the bigger/longer surface area allowing a better vortex hence better diffusion. Keep us posted as to how it keeps running. As im either goung to build a co2 reactor or source a secondhand one like yours to try.
 

Bhu

Member
Joined
16 Aug 2014
Messages
563
Looks good! How does it fit the 16/22 piping? Will follow this one so please keep us informed with how it goes ;)
 

Bhu

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Joined
16 Aug 2014
Messages
563
What I mean is it a good fit? Ive been looking at a few other options on ebay etc but they are 12/16 piping so too small for me...
 

drodgers

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7 Oct 2014
Messages
242
I just did the opposite after having issues with excessive dumping with a reactor something to do with filter flow?
Another member showed me his DIY reactor with a pump instead of a filter to me that would be much more accurate then a filter for flow rate.
When my diffuser plugs up i may try it this way.
I put a diffuser below my canister intake and since its going out a 5 foot spray my distribution has improved.
 

Zak Rafik

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Thread starter
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11 Aug 2014
Messages
466
Location
Singapore
What I mean is it a good fit? Ive been looking at a few other options on ebay etc but they are 12/16 piping so too small for me...

Hi
Sorry for the late reply.
The reactor 1000 accepts 16/22 hose. I'm not sure about the 500 or other models.
You can see in the photo below.

The only major inconvenience I had with this reactor was with connecting generic brand Co2 hose to the input. Luckily I researched about the reactor before purchasing. There were many post of people breaking the fragile plastic joint.
Once this part is broken, the reactor is trash.:arghh:

Even now the hose is not held firmly by the plastic tightening screw as seen in the photo. Although I have tested the hose connection using the soapy water method for gas leak, I'm afraid it may come dislodged any time when shifting the reactor or the attached external canister. I may have to get Sera brand Co2 hose.
Sera CO2 hose 4/6 (∅ internal: 4 mm, ∅ external: 6 mm) part no:08022

I'm in the midst of taking some videos of the reactor functioning before / during and after Co2 supply. I'll post the link here soon.:thumbup:

Cheers

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/reactor-hose_zpscb48ab26.jpg
 

Zak Rafik

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Thread starter
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11 Aug 2014
Messages
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Location
Singapore
I just did the opposite after having issues with excessive dumping with a reactor something to do with filter flow?
Another member showed me his DIY reactor with a pump instead of a filter to me that would be much more accurate then a filter for flow rate.
When my diffuser plugs up i may try it this way.
I put a diffuser below my canister intake and since its going out a 5 foot spray my distribution has improved.

Just for info :
Sera Co2 reactor model: 500 (can handle up to 500 bubbles CO2/min or 8 bps) is suitable for tank up to 250L to 600L.
Sera Co2 reactor model: 1000 (can handle up to 1000 bubbles CO2/min or 16 bps) is suitable for tank capacity above 600L or heavily planted tanks.

If you want to fix to a feed pump or water pump :
for Sera 500, the pump should have a minimum capacity of 500 L per hour
for Sera 1000, the pump should have a minimum capacity of 700 L per hour

From my experience during the past few days, I notice that all or 99% of the Co2 gas gets dissolved inside the reactor. Even if I increase the gas output, hardly any gas in the form of micro bubbles manages to escape into the tank.

After using the reactor, I can enjoy my tank with crystal clear water and I also get to see my plants "pearling" beautifully.

The photo below shows the tank (with the 7up look) when I was using a inline Co2 diffuser.

Cheers

http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/Co2-bubbels-in-tank_zps946351a1.jpg
 

Bhu

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16 Aug 2014
Messages
563
Hi Rak Rafik thanks for the great reply. Ok a few more questions for you then ;)

So if you get the Sera CO2 hose, how will that attach to a normal bubble counter? Can you not just use some tape on the normal co2 pipe to make it a bit fatter for the screw cap to tighten down on?

Its too late for me now as I couldn't await your answer and bought one lol! So the more help the better for me now ;)

Also would love to see the tank without the micro bubbles as above but just the plants pearling ;)

Best wishes and keep us informed how it goes with this one :)

Bhu
 

Zak Rafik

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Just a note:
Although a reactor can initially be costly , one must bear in mind that one needs to purchase only 1 reactor.
When using an inline Co2 diffuser, one needs to have 2 diffusers. One will be used and the other as a spare when the main diffuser clogs up and is being soaked in vinegar or chlorine to clean.:eek:
The cost of 2 diffusers is certainly more than the price of 1 reactor.:greedy:
 

Zak Rafik

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Its too late for me now as I couldn't await your answer and bought one lol!

Hi
Oops! sorry I was not able to provide the info when it was most needed.:oops:
You mean you bought Sera brand reactor. What model is that?:)

So if you get the Sera CO2 hose, how will that attach to a normal bubble counter?
As I was already having a Co2 setup before, I need not bother with the smaller Co2 hose fitting to the bubble counter. I will just connect the new hose to my metal Co2 check valve which fortunately has a tapered mouth to take in the narrow tube.
I'm going to get the hose tomorrow and will update here asap.

Can you not just use some tape on the normal co2 pipe to make it a bit fatter for the screw cap to tighten down on?
Maybe I was not being clear. You see the problem was that my old Co2 hose/pipe was too fat/thick and was preventing the reactor's plastic screw to make contact with the screw thread.

When fixing the hose, I would recommend that you wet both the tips of the Co2 hose and the reactor's Co2 connection with water so that it slips in easily. Don't try with a dry connection or you risk snapping off the tiny and fragile plastic connection tip.
When pushing in the hose, take your time and don't hurry.
Although the Sear reactor is a great product in both function and price, I can't imagine why on earth they would design such a tiny and fragile Co2 connector.

Also would love to see the tank without the micro bubbles as above but just the plants pearling
You read my mind. I was thinking the same too.:joyful:
 

Bhu

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16 Aug 2014
Messages
563
You mean you bought Sera brand reactor. What model is that?

I got the 1000 like you ;) I too am fed up[ of the 7Up look! Must be horrible for the fish too!

I just checked with CO2Art and they say that their co2 pipe is the same as the sera one so I should not have any trouble ;) If I snap the end off then I will create a metal one with a self tapping thread and go into the plastic where the snapped off one is ;) But hey I hope not to do this :)
 

Bhu

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16 Aug 2014
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563
Its better not to break it in the first place.:)

Cheers

For sure! Just gave my pipes and UP inline co2 defuser a good clean. Loads of diatom in the pipes! Clearly doesn't need light! All sparkly new now with a new ceramic so hope to get some really good fine mist tomorrow. Looking forward to getting the reactor as well and I'm thinking of somehow going through the UP first then into the Sera reactor. Not sure if there is a need to do this but thought it will make sure all is dissolved.
 

Zak Rafik

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Looking forward to getting the reactor as well and I'm thinking of somehow going through the UP first then into the Sera reactor.

That's any interesting idea! Maybe an overkill but a very interesting way for a unused inline diffuser to be of some use.

Are you connecting the reactor to a pump or a ext filter?

Cheers
 

Bhu

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16 Aug 2014
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563
Form now a canister filter. Do you get any co2 mist into the tank with this reactor? Does it have a ceramic? How does it diffuse/ dissolve the co2?
 

Zak Rafik

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Form now a canister filter. Do you get any co2 mist into the tank with this reactor? Does it have a ceramic? How does it diffuse/ dissolve the co2?

Hi,
No mist at all. Not even a single one even when I increase the Co2 gas.
To see it working please click the link below. I took this video when I set up the reactor.

http://vid1295.photobucket.com/albu...4-EE3D-4B35-B106-8C73023B12DB_zpsyq4jjdhz.mp4

If the connecting is through your one and only canister filter, you may experience some reduction in water pressure and flow. You can consider using a separate pump (inside or outside the tank) for this purpose.
BTW what is you tank's size?

As for connecting a inline diffuser and then to the reactor, I think it won't work. The inline diffuser's Co2 working pressure inside the unit will be much higher. Whereas the pressure for the reactor would be much less as the gas is not forced through any dense ceramic material. To start off, keep things simple and observe, and then you can slowly modify the connection if you wish.

Cheers
 

Bhu

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16 Aug 2014
Messages
563
I'm now going to have to just use the sera 1000 as last night I replaced the ceramic and now the UP leaks. Just hope it gets here today! I may buy a small external pump for it just don't want any extra vibrations as my Eheim is very silent running. It's going to be used in a 150lt tank.

Thanks for the link

Bhu
 

Zak Rafik

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