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Hi everyone, new member here putting together a 55 gallon FW planted tank. I have been slowly putting all the pieces together and am just finishing up the CO2 part. I am doing pressurized and think I will get a regulator from Rex's site because I have read so many good things about it. I am considering a reactor, either the Aqua-Medic or just getting the one that Rex makes (I don't want to do it myself). Any opinions on these? Will one disperse CO2 better than the other? I am brand new to this and still trying to figure it all out.

I have 2 filters I bought, an XP3 and the Eheim 2028. I see that they both have 5/8 inch tubing and the Aqua-medic uses 1/2 inch. Should I be concerned about having to use smaller tubing and will this greatly reduce the flow of my filter?

Thanks for your help everyone, this CO2 thing has been a little confusing so I can use all the help I can get!
 

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welcome to the forum. i am currently using the aquamedic and DIY (not Rex Grigg) type reactors on a couple tanks so i can offer some opinions. from a product feature standpoint, the only real difference is the clear plastic tubing on the aquamedic which is useful for debugging and peace of mind (knowing that bubbles leaving your bubble counter are entering the reactor and there are no leaks). the aquamedic also has a bleed valve which is useful for helping to start up the reactor, as initially it may be air locked. i find that pretty useful on occasion. make sure the RG reactor has one. i also put those on the reactors i build for myself. as for performance, i find that my aquamedic is better at dissolving CO2 than my DIY ones (which i do not fill with bio-balls). with the same bubble rate, i always find a build up of CO2 in the DIY reactor at the end of the day (i hear it gurgling), which is never the case with the aquamedic. i think the bioballs tend to break up the CO2 and provide more surface area for diffusion (at the expense of increased flow resistance). does all that warrant a higher price? i guess that depends on the individual. also, i've not had any problems with the connection of the 16/22 (5/8) tubing to the 1/2 barbed end (i'm also using tube clamps) in the 5-6 years i've had it running.
 

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I just picked up an aquamedic and I love it. I do not have any experience with Rex's or a DIY so as far as the comparison I can't help you there. I just wanted to say on the tubing I wouldn't worry about that at all.

IMO the aquamedic should be plumbed after your eheim on the return. 5/8 to 1/2 is 1/8 difference which is barely anything, and correct me if I am wrong but going down in diameter increases the flow.

I had the same issue, I run the aquamedic with an eheim 1250 pump that uses 1/2" hose. You can use the 5/8" tubing it will still be snug, for added security you can add a hose clamp or a zip tie. Both are cheap solutions.
 
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