ISTA Max Mix CO2 Reactor Medium 3" x 2" x 8.75 high (mfg #528)
I've had this product in use for several weeks now and it works quite well installed in the return line from my AquaTop canister filter. I looked at numerous CO2 reactors here and elsewhere on the web before settling on the larger Ista reactor for my 75 gallon tank. I needed to dial back on the CO2 when I switched over from the in-tank CO2 diffuser I had been using because of this reactors efficiency. Not having a CO2 line serving a diffuser inside my tank anymore that can clog up over time is fine by me also.
There are a couple of details one should be aware of to avoid having any leaks at the connections after installation that I learned by trial and error given a lack of more detailed instructions. The information tab here suggests this reactor works with 3/4" tubing, but I discovered that sized tubing was too large to avoid leaks using the included adaptors no matter how tightly I cinched down on the hose clamps. My setup become drip free however using the 5/8" tubing that came with my smaller canister filter after several tighten/retighten attempts on the hose clamps during the first hour of operation. It's important that the supplied adaptor sleeves for the larger 5/8" tubing be oriented in one direction only as the adaptors are a tapered fit with one end being slightly larger in diameter than the other. It's not necessary obvious at first which end of the adaptor is supposed to slip over the inlet/outlet ports as either orientation looks like it should work fine. Not so in my experience. Having them reversed like I did on the first go around may be one reason why a few others writing reviews experienced leaks they couldn't remedy. The somewhat tighter adaptor openings must be slipped over the intake and exhaust ports first and then be firmly pressed on as far as they will go before sliding hoses and clamps over them. It wasn't obvious there was a proper orientation when I first unpacked and installed the unit only to experience a fair amount of water squirting out from around the connectors when I powered up my larger canister filter with its 3/4" hose the first time. When I switched over to my smaller canister filter with its 5/8 hose instead, I had a tiny amount of water seepage at the connectors for the first hour of operation or so, but the tubing, hose clamps and fittings seemed to settle in and seal completely shortly thereafter. I've not seen any signs of water seepage ever since.
The unit makes a little bit of noise if you don't get all the air out of it from the get-go which is easy enough to do by flipping it upside down and moving it around until any trapped air escapes. Otherwise, I can barely hear it in operation. I'm quite pleased with how well it functions thus far and am happy I didn't spend more money than I needed to for a good functioning CO2 reactor.
June 6, 2015
Good product, good price
Smaller than it looks, but just as effective. I'll be ordering another one as soon as I get my next planted tank setup.
January 3, 2015
So far so good
No leaks, makes good use of the CO2. Mounts outside of the tank.
March 28, 2014
works very well
I purchased 2- medium (55 gal) and 1-large (65 gal) and have used them in with both DIY and canister/pressurized CO2 systems. They function very well with both methods, dispersing the carbon dioxide into minisclue bubbles. The larger size is generally unnecessary for tanks under 100 gallons. Pros: works well with DIY as little Co2 pressure is required; can be opened and cleaned, price and construction are very good. Cons: If used inside the tank it's an eyesore (they claim you can use it in-line with under-tank filters) , the propeller can make a little noise but it is tollerable. You may have to use your own connectors as only 4 pieces are provided to adapt sizes and divert direction (90 deg). The water goes in side of the cylinder and comes out the top, and you must account for this resourcefully.
January 17, 2014