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Re: CO2 Reactor

Ed Dumas at a4a48835 at telus_net 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.

I chose to inject CO2 into the intake of my Magnum 350 because I already had
the filter and it was very easy to rig up. Works great, btw. If you already
have a powerhead but no canister filter, then it's obviously going to be
easier to use that than to go buy a canister filter or install an external
reactor. I personally don't like equipment visible inside the aquarium, so
adding a powerhead was less desirable to me, plus I already had plenty of
circulation with my filter. A dedicated external reactor might provide
slightly better diffusion and be fun to tinker with, but I doubt the
improvement, if any, is significant.

BTW, people have in the past commented that injecting CO2 into a canister
filter produces undesirable noise as the bubbles hit the impeller. In my
experience with the Magnum, which has the impeller on the output side of the
media, it is not the CO2 that makes noise, but rather the oxygen bubbles
which pearl off plants and are picked up by the intake tube. I run my CO2
24/7 and in the mornings the filter is silent. By the end of the day it's
hissing and fizzing from all the oxygen bubbles it has sucked in.  In other
words, you'll probably still get filter noises no matter how you inject the
CO2. YMMV with other filters, of course.

Dan Dixon