Co2 reactor build for Fluval FX5

Discussion in 'Completed DIY Projects' started by Alastair, 2 Nov 2011.

  1. Fishsticks

    Fishsticks Member

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    Do you expect that to be noisy? I've seen designs where bio balls are used and always imagined that they would bash against the sides as they move around in the flow.

    Nice build, BTW!
     
  2. Alastair

    Alastair Member

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    Hi fishsticks, it wouldn't have been noisy if the bio balls were tightly packed but in this particular reactor I didn't put anything inside it at all and got almost zero bubbles in the tank, got the occasional one or two now and then.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. Tomfish

    Tomfish Member

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    I've just built this and I can certainly say that its made a massive difference to my plants. My HC was slowly declining and is now busy sending out new green runners and finally pearling. I opted for a longer 1m acrylic chamber (I wanted to see what those bubbles were up to). Even with this longer tube there was a little misting and I could see bubbles escaping from the chamber. I suspect Alastair may have had a denser media load in his filter. similarly I found it worked better with a slightly reduced flow and have since put in some large bio balls in and it seems to work even better. On a cautionary note I found that the ribbed fluval hose appeared to make a good seal, but after a few times on taking the reactor on and off they leaked. My patch was to cover the hose barb with a whole lot of PTFE tape, this seems to really work.
    Thought i'd share my experiences as this has made all the difference to my tank, thanks Alastair
     
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  4. Pinkmummy79

    Pinkmummy79 Member

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    I've a Vicenza 260 tank and will soon be running 2 x JBLe1501 filters with inline c02, i'm considering making a reactor suitable for the tank and filter hosing size as my existing diffusion is in tank by an Easy Aqua Atomiser which I find i'm CO2 Limited at the moment, I do have a UP inline in case I was to set this up but would rather not do this only to find it was no better than how I am currently diffusing.
    My reg is JBL is fine so just need to decide on how best to proceed, I don't yet have the JBL filters but will soon so am trying to figure out my best approach now and get my head clear.
    Would I be able to use this idea say with a slightly shorter version and different end caps/barbs to suit the JBL standard hosing? Sorry i'm new to these DIY jobs but am willing to have a go if I know I can get the correct sizes bits and bobs.
     
  5. Alastair

    Alastair Member

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    Hi yes you can make a smaller version with smaller hose barbs.you could even opt for a reactor on each filter
     
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  6. Pinkmummy79

    Pinkmummy79 Member

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    That sounds excellent I'll get my homework done in tubing size etc and check your links for sourcing the correct bits. Cheers Alistair this seems just what I'm after.
    running one from each filter may not be out of the question as I do have 2 regs, solenoids and a couple of FEs with spare c02 tubing;) one at a time I think and see how I go
    my plan is taking shape nicely:D
     
  7. Alastair

    Alastair Member

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    You wouldnt need two regs and fe etc to run both reactors you can just split the one co2 line with a splitter then pop in a needle valve on each line then run tubing to each reactor
     
  8. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Like this, two filters, two diffusers and two needle valves.
    bigtank.jpg
     
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  9. jojouk

    jojouk Member

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    Absolutely fantastic, thanks for adding all the parts. Struggling so much with my very limited plumbing parts knowledge!
     
  10. Pinkmummy79

    Pinkmummy79 Member

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    wow this helps me see it clearly, thanks for taking time to do this, now I can picture what to do I have 3 more questions.
    1. as my JBL reg has a needle valve built in, I presume it's fine to utilise this in addition to the 2 new needle valves shown? or would this cause any issues?
    2. secondly, where would the non return valve sit? or would I place one just after each new needle valve?
    3. finally, I would still like to use my easy aqua bubble counter, if I were to get another, would they also go after the new needle valves and after any additional non return valves if needed?
    Thanks again
    Clive (not the one, not Neo!)
     
  11. Alastair

    Alastair Member

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    Yes its fine to utilise the built in needle valve in addition to theother two.

    Everything would go in this order
    Reg and solenoid
    Single co2 tube to splitter
    Two tubes off this with a needle valve on each
    Non return valve on each followee by bubble counter on each
    Followed then by your reactors or you could add a second setof non return valves just before the reactors too for safe measures if you felt the need
     
  12. Pinkmummy79

    Pinkmummy79 Member

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    Thanks Alastair, I just need to sourse the correct sized barbed hose tails for the standard JBL tubing, I believe I can also use the Ehiem if I need to buy some longer length that may be provided, it's the 16/22mm, the site you purchased yours doesn't do this although they do have 15mm barbs, there's no rush anyway and I have planty of time to look into this.
    Many thanks again for your help.
    Clive
     
  13. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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  14. Pinkmummy79

    Pinkmummy79 Member

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    Ha ha!
    Ian you're a star mate cheers
     
  15. ian_m

    ian_m Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Just make sure everything on the CO2 tubing has locking nuts, as push-on can have a habit of "blowing off".

    Also make sure everything is CO2 proof, standard air non return valves have habit of being affected by the CO2 and the hard plastic "crazing" and cracking and internal rubber parts melting.

    I also have two of these on my CO2 setup, one before the bubble counter, as in above picture and another just after the bubble counter. I did this as whilst fiddling with CO2 setup I have seen the tank water make its way into the bubble counter !!!! Not much for two from Hong Kong, but do take a while to arrive.
    [​IMG]

    I have also suffered failed bubble counter, a cheapy from Hong Kong (£3.99), where the CO2 attacked the clear plastic and it crazed and cracked. Wondered why my last fire extinguisher didn't last very long !!

    Now replaced with a tad more expensive (£10) JBL Proflora bubble counter, which is a lot tougher. The JBL is nice in that, you can unscrew the bottle bit, to add more water, without having to disconnect your CO2 tubing. Only hope the rubber O ring is CO2 proof, only time will tell.
     
  16. Pinkmummy79

    Pinkmummy79 Member

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    I agree, these are exactly the non return valves I already use Ian, the screw down type are great and I have some spares, I am also using the Easy Aqua bubble counter with built in check valve, again both c02 tubes screw in either end, would I be able to get hold of a Y spliiet pipe which screws down though? Richard at AE one of the site sponsors is my supplier and usually arrive in a few days.
    I might have to have a look at the JBL bubble counter though as with what you mention about the ease of topping up would be great.
    Do you know how much pressure th JBL reg would need to run at to work these homemade Reactors? I am presuming a lot less than I am currently doing with my atomiser, i'm pushing over 2.5 bar at the moment for it to work as I like.
     
  17. zanguli-ya-zamba

    zanguli-ya-zamba Newly Registered

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    I have an FX5 since 5 month, I was running my up aqua on a second filter, but this filter start leaking and had to remove it since 2 weeks now. i have been using a 5 cm ceramic disc since than but it's not enough efficient. So i am planing doing your reactor tomorrow morning, because as i can see it's the best option for an efficient distribution of CO2 with this filter !
    I just have a question, do you put it on the outlet or on the inlet ?
    I don't understand why the hole for the CO2 tubbing is at the top and not at the bottom ? could you explain me please, because as i see there are more routine for C02 if it come out at the bottom and makes it routine to the top no ?
    An other thing, did you finish by putting some media in the reactor for better dissolving or it was still working perfectly ?

    sorry for these noob question but I needed some info before building this reactor.

    thanks for your review that is very nice and clear !!!

    cheers AL
     
  18. Alastair

    Alastair Member

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    Hi mate. It's definitely the best method of co2 injection if your using an fx5. Gives little flow reduction too.
    Put it on the outlet so it doesn't get full of gunk etc from the tank or youll be forever trying to clean it.

    The reason I found it better for the co2 inlet to be at the top is that due to the amount of flow the fx5 gives, if the co2 is injected at the bottom a fair bit if it would just get pushed straight out instead of rising up against the flow. Being injected at the top gives the co2 more time to get mixed.
    I did try it upside down to test it and the best method was to inject it at the top.

    I eventually didnt bother putting any media inside at all. I found I didnt need to. I just knocked the flow down just a little bit to stop the occasional bubble escaping :)
     
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  19. zanguli-ya-zamba

    zanguli-ya-zamba Newly Registered

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    Hi mate
    thanks for your answer.
    I have send some one to find me the parts I needed to build the reactor, but unfortunately there are some parts that are hard to find here in Congo (the joy of leaving in deep africa lol). But we will do further research tomorrow.
    thanks for your input mate

    cheers
     
  20. zanguli-ya-zamba

    zanguli-ya-zamba Newly Registered

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    Hi
    I have been searching for few days for all the parts here in Kinshasa but I can't find the 1,25 female thread to 25 mm hose barb.
    Do you think I could just use two 50 mm to 25 mm threaded adaptator and put them directly on the 50 mm PVC pipe??
    Will it still fit firmly on the FX 5 tubing ??
     

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