CO2 Diffuser Options... Cheap HOB?
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Old 02-13-2015, 10:25 PM   #1
BanzaiJoe
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CO2 Diffuser Options... Cheap HOB?


So I don't hijack another similar thread that is going I thought I'd post this as a new thread.

I am ready to fire up a first CO2 system. Temporarily I just got a cheap Fluval ceramic diffuser so I don't have to wait while I sort out a better diffuser options.

I am running a large HOB for my 46 gallon tank now (Emperor 400) and that is handling the filtration needs just fine. So unless I eventually go with a canister an in-line diffuser is probably out.

How effective would it be to take a cheap small HOB filter and just use it as part of a diffuser? A small HOB can be had for $10-$15 on sale. So could I use one of those fine bubble airstones and modify the inlet pipe with a section allows the airstone to feed the water flowing into the filter? Would that be too noisy or would the airstone be enough to keep that from being an issue?

So would this be any better than just getting an atomic diffuser like what GLA or CO2Art has?
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Old 02-13-2015, 10:30 PM   #2
burr740
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Cartridge type HOBs like Whisper arent very efficient because a lot of CO2 will off gass in the rear water chamber before passing through the media. Aquaclear HOBs are the only kind that work -and they work very well.
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Old 02-13-2015, 10:57 PM   #3
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Interesting. What is it about the Aquaclear that makes better for this particular use? They are like 2x the cost of competing cheap ones (Aqueon, Tetra, etc.)

For whatever filter is used, what if the media were removed? CO2 would still pass through the impeller and with no media go right back into the tank pretty quickly.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:34 PM   #4
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If your looking for something to help diffuse CO2 I suggest a powerhead, just as cheap and no mod's needed simply position the power head above the diffuser to catch and chuck the bubbles. No extra bulky HOB is needed.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greaser84 View Post
If your looking for something to help diffuse CO2 I suggest a powerhead, just as cheap and no mod's needed simply position the power head above the diffuser to catch and chuck the bubbles. No extra bulky HOB is needed.
That is always an option, although cheap HOBs are about half the cost I was also thinking the HOB was a way to simplify adding and distributing ferts because you could simply dump the dose in the HOB without even opening the tank cover.

Still pondering options here. Nothing decided or ruled out just yet.
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BanzaiJoe View Post
Interesting. What is it about the Aquaclear that makes better for this particular use? They are like 2x the cost of competing cheap ones (Aqueon, Tetra, etc.)
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Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
It's the way they are designed, specifically how the water is forced through the media, from bottom to top.



CO2 hits the prop and gets chopped up, then gets blasted into the lower sponge filter, where it becomes trapped in the various media, allowing it to fully dissolve before entering the water column.

Other cartridge type HOBs dont work because after the prop, everything goes to an open compartment of water in the rear, before being pulled through the media cartridge. Any bubbles will rise to the surface and off-gas right there before having a chance to pass through the media and dissolve. It's probably not accurate to frankly say they dont work. Im sure they would still work to a certain degree, but you'd lose a lot of CO2 in the process.
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For whatever filter is used, what if the media were removed? CO2 would still pass through the impeller and with no media go right back into the tank pretty quickly.
The cartridge is not the problem The problem is the open water chamber where CO2 bubbles can hit the surface and pop.

Last edited by burr740; 02-14-2015 at 12:39 AM.. Reason: .
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:19 AM   #7
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Check CL, you can find them cheap.
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BanzaiJoe View Post
Interesting. What is it about the Aquaclear that makes better for this particular use? They are like 2x the cost of competing cheap ones (Aqueon, Tetra, etc.)

For whatever filter is used, what if the media were removed? CO2 would still pass through the impeller and with no media go right back into the tank pretty quickly.
that's what I did with my penguin 150 until I got my inline set up and it worked well. I took out the media and bio wheel
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:22 AM   #9
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I have an Aqueon HOB filter on one of my tanks, and it works well for this purpose. I have multiple tanks, so no individual tank has the best of everything because it would just cost too much. Inline diffusers and co2 reactors would probably be more efficient, but co2 is a cheap commodity compared to a lot of products that are used to diffuse it. Don't get me wrong, I use a decent diffuser to begin with, and I wouldn't use an airstone. A good drop checker and plants pearling is the best indicator of the end result

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Old 02-14-2015, 03:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
The cartridge is not the problem The problem is the open water chamber where CO2 bubbles can hit the surface and pop.
Makes perfect sense. I might be able to MacGyver one of the cheap ones depending on the model. Might be fun but I guess it would be simpler to just get the Aqua Clear. I am pretty sure I have a really old one floating around in a box in the garage because I recall the plastic deal that holds the filter pad in place looking just like the one in the photo.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:11 PM   #11
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Not sure if you have a Petsmart out where you are but, I just picked up a AC 70 or what is now Fluval for just under 20 bucks on sale. Regularly about 50.00.
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Old 02-14-2015, 12:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Not sure if you have a Petsmart out where you are but, I just picked up a AC 70 or what is now Fluval for just under 20 bucks on sale. Regularly about 50.00.
That is a terrific deal. How recently was this?
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Old 02-14-2015, 01:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Cartridge type HOBs like Whisper arent very efficient because a lot of CO2 will off gass in the rear water chamber before passing through the media. Aquaclear HOBs are the only kind that work -and they work very well.
+1for burr740's comment; Hagen Aquaclear HOB's with the horizontal media placement work very well, use double sponges.
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Old 02-14-2015, 04:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quiquik View Post
Not sure if you have a Petsmart out where you are but, I just picked up a AC 70 or what is now Fluval for just under 20 bucks on sale. Regularly about 50.00.
Sure they are like 5 minutes away. Checking online they are $25.
Ah... wait... there is an extra 15% off to order online with in-store pickup. Now we're looking at $20.80
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Old 02-14-2015, 04:44 PM   #15
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That is a terrific deal. How recently was this?
This weekend or it might be because of presidents day. Yes Banzaijoe has got the scoop. That's exactly what I paid,,, ordered online pick it up at the store. Sweet deal.
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