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Nubster 01-07-2012 08:49 PM

DIY Barr CO2 Reactor
I was bored today so in an effort to combine some equipment I build a Barr Reactor so that I can remove a powerhead and tubing and get rid of the Rex Reactor I have sitting on top of my tank. I added the sponge filter the other day and will add a second one soon. Plan it to get rid of the AC 110 HOB eventually having the two sponge filters and maybe a couple small powerheads. I tested it and it seems to work but only for a couple minutes. My CO2 kicks on soon and lights at 4:30 so I'll see what kind of effect it has on the drop checker soon. I didn't adjust the CO2 level yet until I see what happens.

Here is a shot of the Barr Reactor, this is not the spot it will stay, I'll be moving it to the back corner and hide it behind some plants....and don't mind the micro bubbles, that's actually from my filter, I need to top off a little water.

Ogre44 01-07-2012 09:10 PM

Would you be so kind as to explain how it works, and how you made it?

Nubster 01-07-2012 09:25 PM

Absolutely. Mine is a little different in that it pulls water through the sponge filter first whereas the original does not. But the idea is that water is drawn through the powerhead and out the output into the tube. CO2 is also injected directly into the tube. The water exits the open bottom of the tube and the CO2, being a gas, has a natural tendency to raise. The the CO2 bubbles just get thrashed around inside the tube as they raise against the flow of the exiting water and are dissolved into the water which exits the bottom. Seems to be working well. My drop checker is showing the same color green while using a much less amount of CO2 as it was with the Rex Reactor. I am getting some micro bubbles escaping so I think shoving some sponge into the bottom opening of the tube will help with that. I will run it a few days to see how I like it. It does add some stuff to the inside of the tank but I was able to remove a powerhead and tubing so it was kinda a trade off plus I reduced my electric consumption by one powerhead.

I used a short section of 1/2" cpvc pipe that fit tightly over the output of the powerhead (Maxi-Jet 400) and that was glued into a 90 degree elbow which was superglued to the top of an old cheap aquarium vacuum tube. I drilled a hole in the top of the vacuum tube and inserted the line for the CO2 in through the hole.

zof 01-08-2012 01:44 PM

Very cool, nice re-purposing of other equipment and efficiency of design to save money.

flight50 01-17-2012 12:45 PM

How much CO2 did you calculate saving vs Rex's Reactor. I am redoing my 55gal planted and wanted to ditch my current reactor along with my HOB filters. Thing is I am trying to get a cleaner and less cluttered tank as far as equipment. Rex's reactor worked behind the scenes and wasn't viewable. But if your method has sufficient savings, I would consider an approach like yours.

Nubster 01-17-2012 12:47 PM

I was able to drop it down a few bps so not a huge savings but I guess every little bit helps. I was at maybe 3 bps and now I am at 1 bp2s. I do get micro bubbles though. I don't care for them, not sure how you feel. I am actually considering going back to the Rex because I never had issues with it.

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