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Copyright © 2002-2004
Michael Legnér
Filtration / circulation
Eheim Professional 2226     The first generation of the Professional filters. Two baskets for material. Silent and relatively strong.
Eheim Professional II 2026 The second generation of the Professional filters. Two baskets for material. Even less noisy than the 2226 (might make some sounds the first days until run-in). More powerful than the first generation (you'll notice this when the filter is getting dirty). The hoses are easily and safely removed from the canister.
Eheim Professional II 2028 Same filter as the 2026 but this one is taller and has three baskets. If you have the space this one is better since you can have more filter material in it. It might look like you only have 50% more material, but this might actually mean 100% more of EhfiSubstrat since you are increasing the amount of fine material (the coarse material is still in just one basket).
Eheim 2252 internal filter I'll be adding info on this one soon.
Eheim 1212 pump head I'll be adding info on this one soon.
Eheim Surface Extractor Works splendidly if you have a T-junction and a valve so you still use the old inlet and can regulate the amount of water that is drawn from the surface extractor.
AquaClear Powerhead 4000     This model has been cancelled by Hagen, but here's a link to the US model that runs on 110V; it looks the same. Make sure you don't fasten it too well to the glass because that will transfer more vibrations to the glass and rest of the aquarium and hood.
Philips TLD950 Yellowish, slightly greenish, full spectrum bulb that I think works very well in the back of the aquarium.
Philips TLD965 White full spectrum bulb that provides plenty of "neutral" light.
Philips Aquarelle White (with a hint of blue) colored bulb that provides the aquarium with intensive light, but much more expensive than the TLD965.
Osram Fluora 77 Plant bulb with moderate intensity for the human eye. It seems to be intensive for the plants though, as they turn red beneath the bulb.
Hagen Aqua-Glo Yellowish low intensity bulb. Would not recommend this one. Buy the TLD950 or TLD965 instead.
Hagen Power-Glo Blueish bulb with high intensity. Wrong color for most aquariums though.
Sylvania Aquastar At 10.000 Kelvin this is a slightly blue bulb. I would choose the Aquarelle over this one.
Hagen CO2 diffuser/bubble counter This is my latest addition to aquarium #1. After some run-in (less than a day) the CO2 bubbles travelled, without getting stuck, from the bottom to the top where tiny bubbles (probably not CO2 anymore) rush to the surface. It seems to work very well and it doesn't need a dedicated pump.
AB Aqualine CO2 reactor AB Aqualine has been bought by Aqua-Medic. I thought this one was going to be better than the BioPlast reactor, but it has its own quirks! Most of all the water intake requires the water hose to come straight from above or from a weird angle like 30 degress or so. You can't place the pump and the reactor on the same wall. It says it can handle 100 grams of gas an hour but I don't believe that. It's difficult to regulate the water flow and some bubbles exit at the lower opening. The water runs through a spiral within the reactor.
AB Aqualine CO2 bubble counter AB Aqualine has been bought by Aqua-Medic. A rugged construction that is supposed to be placed outside the aquarium. Mine has suction cups that are soft but doesn't seem to work outside water (they let in air and drop off). The built-in check valve is useless so I had to add a BioPlast check valve between the counter and the needle valve, or the counter is soon emptied of its water.
BioPlast CO2 reactor Included in the BioPlast Profi-Star Set. It has a smart connection for the water intake. First I thought it to be a less than optimal construction. The false gas opening let out a lot of gas at higher gas flow rates. The problem seems to be that the water flow was too low through the reactor. Now I have no problems with false gases collecting or CO2 exiting through the false gas opening. You might need an extension piece though (I recommend one). So far, this is the best reactor I have tried. The only problem I have found is that it is a bit hard to clean. The water is forced through a lot of small canals and below them the CO2 collects. The small streams of water constantly pound the CO2 into small bubbles that dissolve into the water.
BioPlast CO2 bubble counter Included in the BioPlast Profi-Star Set. A little container which can be placed inside or outside the aquarium. It has no extra features, but does its job.
BioPlast CO2 regulator Included in the BioPlast Profi-Star Set. It has two manometers and seems to be of high quality.
BioPlast CO2 stop Recommended for the BioPlast Profi-Star Set to stop the gas flow during night. It says 2.5 VA on it so I guess it only draws 2.5 watts and that's not much (probably indicate that this item is of high qulity). It's small but gets warm during operation. The on/off switching doesn't make more clicking noise than the electronic timer I have controlling it.
BioPlast CO2 check valve Included in the BioPlast Profi-Star Set. The best check valve I have found so far! Low resistance and closes immediately. No signs of reversed water or gas leakage. All BioPlast equipment can be bought at
Dupla CO2-Reaktor 400 At about 20 by 4 cm it is one of the smallest reactors I have found. The water flow though it is quite small since the intake has a hose diameter of 5 (!) mm. The inside diameter is something like 3-4 mm. The water flows through a cascade where the CO2 collects. It has six strange holes in the side where you are supposed to regulate the effect, but wouldn't you just rather lower/increase the CO2 flow? I would. Otherwise you waste CO2.
Eheim CO2 reactor Works pretty well with a small flow of gas but when flow is increased large bubbles form instead making most of the gas to reach the surface too fast. It might be sensitive to algae and dirt but I cannot confirm this yet. Does not work well with a yeast bottle (because of the bad regulation of flow from it).
Fertalizer and water conditioning
Sera Aquatan Most people say this is unnecessary, but at large quantities it is so cheap that I do not want to risk my expensive fishes by not using it! It has a distinctive smell so it's definately not just water.
Sera Florena Liquid fertilizer for the plants. One must use some kind of fertilizer for the plants or they will soon fade away. The more light you have the more fertilizer you'll need. With soft water you lower the dosage considerably. Should be used every week.
Sera Morena Makes the water more like the Amazonas water, but 99% of it is actually just plain water. I'll get back to this if I can ever find any results from using it.
Sera Fishtamin Vitamins for fish. Is said to be good after diseases and when trying to get them to spawn. You wet the food with this yellow liquid. The tablets I have tried so far doesn't work that well with the liquid, but with flakes I guess there are no problems.
Jäger 150W heater     The classic aquarium heater. Quite good at keeping the temperature stable with one degree, but I guess this depends on the heaters power rating, aquarium size and surrounding temperature. You set the temperature with a dial that goes from 1 and up. You set it at 5 and the next day you check to see if you should turn it up or down. This could take some days of tuning.
TetraTec 150W heater A 150W heater I haven't tried yet. Looks good though, and has an easy temperature setting dial. You simply set the desired temperature. When I know how well this works I will write it here.
Hanna 98129 pocket meter This meter is fast and measures pH, EC and TDS. It is also waterproof.
Salifert KH/Alk test Works very well and measures 0.3 dKH! Two plastic needles are included (5 ml and 1 ml). Really recommended (can be bought at
Salifert Oxygen test I haven't managed to get this test to show any realiable oxygen measures yet.
Sera PO4 (phosphate) test
Sera Fe (iron) test
Sera CO2 test I would really recommend using Eheim's or JBL's test instead (they are both identical). Sera's has been nothing but trouble for me. The air disappears from it and within days it is filled with water. It is also very hard to read out the color. Eheim and JBL have a completely different construction.
JBL Fe (iron) test
Tetra NO3 (nitrate) test