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I use a Dupla 400 reactor with my CO2 system and it works perfectly for
me.  I haven't used any other reactor.  This one has all the features I
wanted, a built-in bubble counter, a large surface area within the
reactor, and it's easy to clean and re-install, in fact, I just cleaned
it tonight and it took not more than 10 minutes!

It comes with two different size t-connectors, which are shaped more
like the letter "F", for tapping into an existing filter outlet, and two
different size brushes for cleaning the internal surfaces.  A series of
plugs on the outer side of the reactor allows you to shorten or lengthen
the internal surface area to match the needs to the size of the tank
and/or the KH of the water (up to 10 KH).  The flow rate cannot be too
high as with a power filter, as all the bubbles would come out the
bottom undiffused, which is why you need to splice it in with the outlet
tubing of a cannister filter.  In fact, even when my filter outlet flow
slows way down due to clogging of the filter media, the reactor is still
able to diffuse CO2 efficiently and maintain the pH within a 0.1 pH
range from my setpoint on a Sandpoint controlller.

The Duipla 400 reactor is an internal model with little or no PITA
factor, IME.  I keep it in the back corner just under my cannister
filter outlet.  It's non-intrusive and can be hidden by any tall
grouping of plants or an Echinodorus spp.  The reactor is not expensive
and can be purchased from Hawaii Marine or AquaTek.

I'm no expert like many of these fine folk on this list, but I do
believe I finally have the CO2 thing nailed; working simply and
relatively worry-free.

Gilbert M.

Ed wrote:

I am finally beginning the process of hunting down deals on CO2 systems,

and have learned that there are basically two different types of
reactors for those systems. There is the kind that sits inside the tank,

CO2 is brought in via an air line tube, and the reactor is driven by a
small powerhead inside the tank. The other type sits outside of the
tank, is usually much larger, and water is pumped to it and back with a
more substantial in-line water pump.

Now my question is, which do the experts out there prefer? Which type
has better difusion, and which one has more of the Pain-In-The-Ass
Factor? This PITA factor includes cleaning, leakage, more "disruptions"
in the sightlines of the tank, or anything else you may have found with
reactors. If you have an opinion from experience, I am interested
because I am at a toss-up with this part of the system.