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Thread: Using hagen elite mini filter as CO2 reactor mod

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Default Using hagen elite mini filter as CO2 reactor mod

    Hi everyone.

    I thought I would do a write up of a internal CO2 reactor for those who were unaware of this mod. Basically the Hagen elite mini filter can turn into a CO2 reactor which you place inside the tank to diffuse the CO2 into tiny bubbles. Credit goes to Niko from aquatic plant central forum who came up with this mod back in 2005 . I am not sure if it is appropriate to link to another forum so search on google for his post. I was using the cheap and horrible 3 in 1 diffuser from ISTA and as expected it didnít work at all. So I thought I would try this out.

    How it works

    So how this works is by feeding the CO2 tubing with airstone attached inside the filter which will get broken down into even finer bubbles by the impeller. The bubbles will then get released through the output. It will be really fine bubbles.

    Why do this mod

    The best CO2 diffusion methods are the reactors and inline diffusers but people with HOB filters and sponge filters cannot use these methods unless they buy a canister filter. So this filter mod is excellent for those people.

    Note

    I am unsure if other internal filters work as good as the hagen elite mini. You could always try other cheaper internal filters but I thought I would stick with the original tested filter.

    I will provide instructions on how it is done with photos.

    Step 1

    Buy the filter. It did cost me $24.99 though. Maybe you can find it cheaper where you live.



    Step 2

    After you open the box you will find the filter and accessories. All you need is the filter, sponge and output pipe thing. You donít need to use the venturi tube but not sure if you can use it or not. Also the sponge is located inside the filter.



    Step 3

    As you can see from this pic the green thing in the middle is the slider. You need to remove that. So open the filter up and remove the slider.






    Once you do that close the filter up again and where the slider originally was you will see a small hole where the CO2 tubing feeds into. Unfortunately it is not very big so I used a drill to make the hole bigger. I almost made the hole too big and screwed the whole thing up. So be careful when drilling. The hole doesnít need to be that big. Just enough for the CO2 tubing to be snug inside.




    After drilling the hole this is what i ended up with.



    Step 4

    Place an airstone on the end of the CO2 tubing. Then place the CO2 line inside the filter. The end of the airstone should stick out a little bit from the filter.





    Step 5

    Next we need to work on the output pipe and sponge. The output has a small pipe thing attached to it. Remove that.

    From this:



    To this:



    Then you can squeeze the output nozzle inside the sponge. The sponge has a small hole on one side of it. The output nozzle will be very snugly fit inside of the sponge. Also the sponge will also allow the CO2 bubbles to get trapped onto it allowing the CO2 bubbles further time to dissolve in the water.



    Step 6

    Connect the sponge to the output of the filter. Close the filter back up and youíre done! Just place the filter inside the tank towards the bottom. The filter has 4 suction cups to hold it in place. So no need to worry of it falling off.



    I have also included a very short video showing you how fine the CO2 bubbles are. It is hard to see given how fine the bubbles are but hopefully you can see.

    https://flic.kr/p/WC1vWm

    Again credit goes to Niko from Aquatic plant central for this mod. Try this mod out if you are looking at a different diffusion method for your CO2.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
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    Perth, WA
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    Default

    Cool idea, only thing i would say the filter doesnt seem to be pushing the bubbles around the tank, this is a big upside when you use a inline atomizer, the fine co2 bubbles get projected around the tank with the flow of the filter

    I had seen people use a eheim skimmer turned up side down and placed above a in tank diffuser, I tried it in my outdoor tank and it works well, similar concept it just sucks the bubbles up then runs them thru the skimmer impeller and pushes them out around the tank, you can kind if make out the setup here in this photo


  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Campbelltown NSW 2560
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by doylecolmdoyle View Post
    Cool idea, only thing i would say the filter doesnt seem to be pushing the bubbles around the tank, this is a big upside when you use a inline atomizer, the fine co2 bubbles get projected around the tank with the flow of the filter

    I had seen people use a eheim skimmer turned up side down and placed above a in tank diffuser, I tried it in my outdoor tank and it works well, similar concept it just sucks the bubbles up then runs them thru the skimmer impeller and pushes them out around the tank, you can kind if make out the setup here in this photo

    Thanks man. I understand what you mean about the filter. I also noticed the bubbles only stay on one side of the tank. I have to try and adjust the filter or do something to blow the bubbles everywhere. It does a brilliant job diffusing the bubbles though.

    That eheim method is great too Is the output really strong to blow the bubbles throughout the tank?

    I will try and figure something out to improve the hagen filter to get better circulation of co2.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monty1089 View Post
    Thanks man. I understand what you mean about the filter. I also noticed the bubbles only stay on one side of the tank. I have to try and adjust the filter or do something to blow the bubbles everywhere. It does a brilliant job diffusing the bubbles though.

    That eheim method is great too Is the output really strong to blow the bubbles throughout the tank?

    I will try and figure something out to improve the hagen filter to get better circulation of co2.
    Yeah the eheim skim 350 is a good little bit of kit, creates a good bit of flow, its also a good option rather than a wave maker etc as you can use it to skim oil of the surface also!

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Ok so I made some modifications to the filter to improve the circulation of CO2 in the tank.

    I put the slider back in. I can now control the flow of the water and reduce as need be. Currently only have the flow half-way to avoid plants being pushed around.

    I removed the sponge from the outtake. It just restricted too much flow which is why the bubbles weren't being pushed to the other side of the tank.

    I also had to drill a hole on the opposite side of where the slider is and fed the CO2 tube there. Unfortunately i broke two of my airstones when trying to take it out of the CO2 tubing. They just crumbled in my hands
    However the CO2 bubbles are very fine already so I might just leave it or add a chopstick to the end to make it into even finer bubbles.

    Here are a few photos and a video of the new mod.

    Slider back in


    New hole on opposite side of slider


    CO2 tubing inside the filter


    Updated video

  6. #6
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    Looking good. Can you direct output from reactor to the wavemaker? Otherwise they may compete.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Looking good. Can you direct output from reactor to the wavemaker? Otherwise they may compete.
    Oh forgot to mention my wavemaker is turned off. I just left it in the tank.

    I also drilled a hole on the bottom of the wavemaker so i can feed the CO2 line in there. The wavemaker also chops the bubbles really finely and really blows it around the tank. I could try and make a video this week showing the difference with the wavemaker as the diffuser.
    Last edited by Monty1089; 18-07-17 at 09:09 AM. Reason: spelling

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