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Re: Carbo plus

Merrill wrote:
 >I like the unit because I don't have to get my CO2 pressure 
>tanks filled
>and most places here don't want to service these 8 pound 

I'd have a hard time getting those sizes(8lbs) too:)
Is there something preventing use of standard
sizes(5-10-20-50lbs etc)?

>I first saw this "Carbo-Plus" unit in Germany, I was quite 
>impressed and
>purchased my original one. My plants flourished just as well,
>as with the CO2 gas unit.  So, I bought another and got the

I found that if the gas is injected well I had the same results.
The CP unit dissolves it very nicely IMO. This may be a CO2
amount/injection/this system works well for *your* maintenance
routine kinda-thing?

>I find it no more expensive than the gas unit, perhaps much

Uhhh? Not in this country:)I can set up a nice gas system for
much less(like half based on MO places) and fill the tanks(that
last about the same amount)for about 4 times less the cost for
the same amount of Carbon blocks.

 >t is connected to the timer that controls my 
>lights.  In a
>90 gallon aquarium, the replaceable carbon block lasts 
>approximately 6

So does a 10lb tank. Refill=12$ here in CA. Amount used is
likely close to most folk's usage. The blocks were more.

  The only checking that you have to do is pH -- in the 
>that you might be getting too much CO2.  The controller
>amount of CO2 that is being produced.

And a needle valve does the equivilent thing.

>t does soften the water and deposits the calcium material on 
>sainless steel outer casing that holds the carbon block.

But how much softening is done in how long? I didn't see it but
I also do big water changes often & the KH was very stable as a
result so I could have over looked this item very easily(oops!)

>hanging the carbon block is not difficult and it comes with a 
>Piece of metal to also be replaced.  It costs me less than 
>around trying to get my CO2 gas tanks filled.

This part is nice. But the CO2 gas place is about a block away
from me:)

My big beef with the unit is cost and add-ons. I cannot daisy
chain or add extensions to a single unit really like I can with
a gas system. With a gas set up, if you do decide to get another
tank needing CO2(how many of you only want one plant tank:))all
you need is a "T" and a needle valve and your set for 25$ or so.
Lots cheaper than the 279$(Mail Order) for the CP unit if you
need another one:)
Merrill has two and he likes them. I tried one once.
It's a cool idea and a neat item to have IMO but the main thing
for me was the dissolving issue was great. 
I didn't pay much for my CO2 tank/reg or needle valve and these
are easily found throughout the USA and parts are available and
prices are easier to haggle over since there are many companies
that make them unlike the CP unit.

I recently had a client that had a ballast explode(inside the
wall!) from a well respected German company(Giesmann-Pet
Wharehouse sells them)that cost an arm and leg(and two fingers)
and we have not had the best of luck getting the part shipped
over here nor trying to deal with three companies that sell and
distribute the products as it changes hands to get to this
market over here.
I fear the same type of thing(finding parts)could happen with
this unit potentially if something does go wrong with it.
Fortunally, the Electrician installed the ballast so it's his
butt but I still have to get the part and it's not something I
wish to do again. Local/Domestic is good. We have good
substrates here, CO2, tanks and stands, lighting and so on. 

My cost for 4 plant tanks with CO2 gas came to a total of 45$
for a used 10lb CO2 tank, 19$ x 4 for the needle valves, 55$ for
the regulator and about 20$ for the reactors/powerheads ea.
Now I can haggle and look around for the cheapest prices here
and there and with lots of help from some friends here you too
can find cheap prices or also get the stuff from Dave Gomberg
for peanuts.
The same amount of money could get one Carbo Plus unit.
If I want to add more it doesn't cost much(50$each) for semi
automated control using the canned CO2.
Seems that this might be a good item for a company here to try
to make cheaper as it does work well IMO. The softening aspect
may help folks with harder waters also but so will some plants
such as Egeria:)
I did not have the unit long so I cannot give the best review of
it but these are just some observation I found.
Take care,
Tom Barr 

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