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What does the sponge do? Don't you get the fine bubbles just from running the CO2 through the impeller? It is sure hard to beat the price on this!
 

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Nice job on the photos...now this is what i was looking for!!! This would work great for DIY also...NiCe~ :)
 

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you can use the Hydor Ario's the same way.
they are whisper quiet and never clog unless
you have a sand substrate. the CO2 bubbles
come out much finer than any disc diffuser,
and the low water current generated helps
distribute the CO2 all over your tank. they
come with or without an LED spotlight.

Hi Spypet

The Hydor Aroi models look very promising for CO2 mist introduction. If you don't mind, I have a few questions.

What size is your aquarium that it is in?

Which one of the Hydor Ario models did you use? They come in models 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Models: Aquarium Size ... x gph
Ario 1: 3 - 13 gallons ... 5 - 15 gph
Ario 2: 13 - 26 gallons ... 8 - 30 gph
Ario 3: 26 - 40 gallons ... 8 - 50 gph
Ario 4: 40 - 80 gallons ... 20 - 50 gph

Do all of the different Ario models have the same external dimensions of 1-1/4" x 2-3/4" x 3" high?

http://www.hydor.it/inglese/ario.htm
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3669+12216&pcatid=12216

Thanks

Left C
 

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What does the sponge do? Don't you get the fine bubbles just from running the CO2 through the impeller? It is sure hard to beat the price on this!
If you have the sponge on the bubbles will float to the surface pretty much right above the reactor. If you take it off the bubbles fly all over the place. I orginally had the sponge on with the bubbles floating up to the output on my canister filter, but I ended up taking the sponge off and it seems to do a better job with increasing co2 levels.
 

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If you have the sponge on the bubbles will float to the surface pretty much right above the reactor. If you take it off the bubbles fly all over the place. I orginally had the sponge on with the bubbles floating up to the output on my canister filter, but I ended up taking the sponge off and it seems to do a better job with increasing co2 levels.
That makes the design even more simple! Having tiny CO2 bubbles flying everywhere is the goal of a good CO2 mist system.
 

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I've got a 200gph power head set up in my 6' tank as a co2 reactor, I have it hooked up to a spray bar at the back of the tank (directly underneath the spray bar from the canister filter) and it sends a fine mist everywhere, I'm very happy with it (as are the plants)
 

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I've found that with impeller dispersers simply putting the hose into the intake will result in "bubble explosions," the loud and scattered bubbling that some of you are seeing.
What I did was just below the green flow adjuster I drilled a 7/16" hole (though really, .2" would have been ideal), and then put one of those white, long, and skinny airstones in it with the barb sticking out of the hole. I then connected the airline to the barb. This creates a steady stream of small bubbles that then get broken up silently and into even smaller bubbles by the impeller. No sponge catch necessary, though you can still add that if you want all the co2 to dissolve.
 

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I created a c02 reactor as per Niko's instructions with an extra elite mini underwater filter that I had laying around. I tested it in my 10 gallon signature tank. Drop checker is showing a constant lime green color even when with small airstone running and excessive surface agitation via the 200 Hagen HOB filter that I am using. The drop checker solution is 4dkh and I have changed the solution several times to eliminate solution error and I get blue turning to lime green withing hours each and everytime.. To me, this would suggest that such a c02 reactor is pretty darn efficient. If you are going to try this in a 10 gallon, you may want to run a small airstone, just to be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Ah thank you, AquaHokie, for the pictures! They really show how pathetically simple this project is! For the price and simplicity of set-up this reactor is the rock bottom itself.

Adding an air stone at the end of the CO2 tubing is "an improvement" of the design because it reduces or eliminates the noise completely. Instead of an air stone you could add a 1/4 inch long piece of chopstick at the end of the CO2 tubing. The result is the same - finer bubbles and less or no noise.

The sponge traps the CO2 bubbles and the water rushing through the channels in the sponge disolves the trapped bubbles very well. A bigger sponge will result in almost 100% efficiency. If the pump outflow ponts down the efficiency is also improved. If you care - look for an older post of mine with pictures of another version of the same reactor. Either way the combination of a CO2 tubing + powerhead + sponge is very simple and very efficient.

If you remove the sponge and let CO2 bubbles float all over the tank you will sacrifice a lot of the water clarity. Each tiny bubble reflects the light and makes the water appear more or less milky when the tank is viewed from a distance. If you don't care about the looks then at least do something that seems to help both the plants and the appearance - direct the flow along the tank length and closer to the bottom. This way the bubbles that float up will be trapped under the plant leaves. This seems to boost the plant metabolism (direct contact of the leaves with CO2 bubbles) and also keeps most of the bubbles out of sight so you get better water clarity.

I don't remember if I mentioned before - mount the black internal filter in such a way that if the electricity stops the CO2 bubbles escape out of the filter chamber. If you let the gas accumulate around the impeller during the power failure the filter may not prime - the impeller may spin in CO2 instead of water, haha.

Ok, too much talk about such a simple project, I think everyone got the idea, especially with those detailed pictures. Thank you again, AquaHokuie!

--Nikolay
 

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I love this reactor. I find that with a quart of sugar-yeast there's a saturation of CO2 in a 10 gallon tank and the outflow sponge doesn't have any appreciable effect on it except to diffuse the flow of water (which is too much in a 10 gallon betta tank otherwise). I'm planning on getting a 1.5G hex that takes a 10W compact fluorescent and matching it up with this as a filter and CO2 diffuser to see what sort of cute nano tank I can come up with.

I mounted mine sideways so that if the power does go out the air accumulates and exits the side intake vents.

At $10 its actually a dollar cheaper than the air powered cartridge filter that my GF has been using, and since I don't care about carbon filtration and highly value sponges...
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
One is enough for a 55 gal. tank so 2 will be fine in a 100.

--Nikolay
 

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can you do this with a normal power head like the ones used in UGF setups? Seems it would work as you are delivering the CO2 directly to the impeller.


Ed
 

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Rio 50's are great for this. I've been using them for years. Sometimes you can get them cheap too, I've found them for 6.99 a couple of times. They come with all of the attachments you could ever use, so they are great for experimenting Rio 50s are small, quiet, dependable and easy to maintain. I always diffuse CO2 through the impellar. Atomizing the CO2 BEFORE it gets to the impellar is beneficial for sure.
 

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yep I bought it for a little 2 gal tank i had, when i went pressurized i went Wait this thing is tiny and can move the bubbles better.

I still use the diffuser and i just set diffuser near the gravel, put the hagen elite mini filter half way up the tank, the bubbles go straight up and diffuse some. whatever is left gets sucked into the intake screen on teh bottom, I left the sponge in. It collects co2 and mixes it with water, whatever doesnt get mixed comes out in super fine bubbles and goes all over the tank.

Its works very well, Gotta have a sponge somewhere though, it helps trap bubbles and mix them up. I tried it with the co2 line plumbed into the filter, i didnt like it burped often, the way i set it up i get a burp every hour or so. Same results but takes up more room.
 
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