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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if anyone would care to comment on which one of the two ways would be better for DIY CO2:

1. Using the Hagen Elite Mini filter as the reactor (http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...s/44053-tiny-super-efficient-co2-reactor.html)

or

2. Just using an airstone and placing it right next to an AquaClear 50 filter intake

I have the airstone going right now. This is my first try with CO2. The amount of CO2 that's coming out is a constant very rapid stream of tiny bubbles coming out from only one spot on the stone, and then they all get sucked into the filter.

I have the Hagen Elite sitting in front of me ready to be broken into, but if the airstone into the filter would be equivalent or almost as good as the Hagen Elite reactor, I guess I could save $10, an extra outlet and room in my tank.
 

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I use the Hagen Elite and it works great for diffusing CO2.
The only downside is the extra equipment in my small tank.
I may try a DIY inline reactor. If you try tha Hagen diffuse the
CO2 with an air stone in the Hagen, it makes it quieter .
 

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Hi radwaste,
Maybe you could answer a few questions I have about the elite. How large is the reaction chamber and what size fitting is the sponge attached to? Could a 1/2" line go between the sponge and the fitting? If I could run a 1/2 inch line with all those bubbles, using a small spray bar at the end. It would be very cool.
 

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The Hagen elite is basically a small in tank filter. water flows in the screen at the bottom
thru a sponge inside and out a small jet port in front.
By cutting a small hole in the intake screen, removing the sponge and running your CO2
line thru the hole and attaching an airstone in the now empty sponge chamber, you can make an effective CO2 reactor. Micro CO2 bubbles are shot out the front jet port and
dispersed thru the tank. The sponge chamber is aprox. a 1.5 inch cube.
 

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Follow the link in the first post. I think I read that some people modified it to a needle
wheel and it worked well. I don't use the sponge either. The out flow has a flow rate adjuster too. For 10 bucks it works great. I just have a small 10 gallon and its an extra
piece of hardware in my tank so I am thinking about a DIY inline. Besides the hobby is
so much funner when you trying new things.
 

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genEus, the elite modification sounds better then just an airstone under an HOB. It's just that it's not really much of a reactor. A reactor would dissolve CO2 into solution. This diy of mine is larger then the elite, more expensive diy but a much more effective reaction chamber (if thats what you are looking for). It also makes for an excellent surface skimmer. The filter media is whack and needs some creative solutions, but it runs full-out for much longer with a few changes that are very simple. If I could only get a witness. http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-plant-fertilization/6231-diy-co2-reactor-surface-skimmer.html
 

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I just started a DIY co2 on saturday- later that evening i came back to the forums and read all about the Hagen elite... i immediately called my local petco, and luckily they had one - so i put it in... here are my observations:

1. I didn't cut into it, just spread the bottom vents with a knife and put the airline tubing through the gap...
2. I started using the elite on saturday night with a fine airstone, that seemed to work well, but today i noticed less pearling on the leaves so i removed the airstone and now my pearling is back. it seems to me that the airstone got clogged up...?
3. At first the pump/impeller was loud, but in short time it got real quiet, i was a little worried at first.
4. The noise difference between using the airstone and not using the airstone is nominal.
5. I have a fluval 205, and thought about just putting the co2 straight into the intake, but i read somewhere that with the fluval sometimes the co2 can get trapped in there in air pockets, so i feel much more comfortable with this setup.

overall i'm very happy with the tip and jumped on it... as soon as i read it i jumped in my car and made it to the store before closing, lol. I do not regret buying the hagen elite for this purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah. I set up the Hagen Elite diffuser tonight and I have to say - there is absolutely NO COMPARISON between the two methods. With the Elite, my plants started pearling 15 minutes later, which was a beautiful site because it was something i had never witnessed in my life and only seen pictures of. The airstone was running for 24 hours already and no pearling visible. So Hagen wins hands down. I do have to say that it took a bit of tweaking to get the thing to work correctly, because the directions from Niko weren't exactly right. I ended up doing the same as Whiskeyfox - I spread apart the grill in the back of the filter and slid the line in there and put the air stone on the other side. I tried to slide it in from the place where the flow controller is but that didn't work at all.

Only thing I don't really like is "seltzer water" I got when I positioned the output of the Hagen under the output spout of my HOB. But I moved it to the side behind my piece of driftwood and didn't have as many tiny bubbles flowing around the tank.

But, about the noise? Without the air stone I thought it was very loud and annoying when the bubbles were broken by the impeller. With the stone, much better. I guess it's one of those YMMV things.
 

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Anyone have a problem where if you leave off the green controller, the blades come off??? It keeps happening so I put back in the green controller back on and the co2 might be gettin stuck in the filter compartment.
 
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