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New design of drop checker

ceg4048

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CAL,
Thanks for sticking the neck out. This shows guts and commitment. I can see that the criticisms are considered harsh but that's because we love your products generally and want to see Cal Aqua succeed. But that can only happen if the products serve us and make us more successful plant keepers. :D

One of the main gripes about the inline reactor is that the diameter of the spuds is 13mm (I believe the ID is only about 12mm). This means that for large tanks using large filters and larger diameter return tubes (16/22mm) the spud acts as a restrictor and lowers the flow rate. We need external reactors that serve bigger tanks without affecting flow too much. Having said that your reactor has much less effect on flow rate than for example the Aquamedic 1000.

Problem 2 with the reactor is that it is glass and while elegant and beautiful, can break easily when cleaning for example. It would be great to have an acrylic or hard plastic version that is less delicate. Some of us are irretrievably clumsy boffins. :oops:

Problem 3 is that it is unbelievably difficult to clean. Algae builds up on the ceramic disc or on the sides between the disc and glass, and requires the talents of a surgeon to remove, even after soaking in bleach. I would like to see a modular version, perhaps two threaded halves with appropriate leakproofing, that can be separated affording better access to the internals for cleaning.

It's clear to me that Cal Aqua are highly focused on producing elegant and unobtrusive products and you do execute this objective with panache, however I am personally less concerned with form than I am with function and I'm happy to use less attractive products if they make my plants healthier, although I'm sure that it is possible to design a reactor that is both elegant, tough and which has greater functionality.

Hope this gives you some ideas. Thanks for reading. :D

Cheers,
 

CAL

New Member
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17 Jul 2008
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Thanks for the detailed feedback on the diffusers.
Regarding comment #1, we are now shipping the 17mm version of the inline diffusers. They will available only through our retailers at first, so you have to bug our UK retailers to bring them in :)

From the rest of the comments, it does seem that the aqua-medic-type reactor better suits your needs. It's easier to clean, made of unbreakable plastic, and I'm sure it does wonders for your plants :)
Threaded halves and leak-proofing is much easier done with plastic. Trying to seal two glass pieces together is very difficult. It can be done, but probably not at a cost you're willing to pay when there's some other cheaper alternatives :)

Nevertheless, we will surely keep your comments in mind and will see if we can find a good solution to your suggestions. Thank you very much!

Best regards,
CAL
 

GreenNeedle

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19 Jul 2007
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What I would say is that with that reactor you seem to have missed the point (as I see it) being that the reason for glass is that it is attractive. Therefore Lily pipes, Drop checkers, diffusors, J Pipes and other 'internal' items in glass look nice and much better than the usual ones.

Externally I can't see the point of glass. Surely if the item is external then it will also be out of sight (within the cabinet or behind)

Therefore for once I agree with Ceg r.e. the external reactor could be plastic instead. I myself have a glass internal diffusor because I like the look of it. If I had decided to get another item out of the tank I wouldn't really care what it looked like because I could hide it somewhere externally.

With the DC I think its wrong to assume that we people need a reference point. Whilst stating 30ppm must be maintained its not that rigid and as long as you see green and not blu or yellow you are in the ball park and shouldn't need to worry. A precise match is not required at all, but then some people will buy new things.

One thing I have always though would be good are lily pipes that instead of being so close to the outside of the glass and a long way into the tank, if there was a version that somehow could be the opposite. i.e. further away from the outside of the tank and closer to the edge on the inside (if you know what I mean.) My only gripe ever with Lily pipes is the dead are behind the Lily. because it protrudes so much into the tank there is always that corner collecting debris on the water surface!! Is this possible or would the suckker 'nipples' be too brittle?

Andy
 

Wolfenrook

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30 Apr 2008
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Thanks for actually taking the time to actually read and absorb our comments and opinions.

Dragging things firmly back to drop checkers, for me the reference point is neither here nor there, it's not something that would drive me to buy one. It's just something that I see as useless for my needs, not least as it requires the purchase of refills, leading to further ongoing costs which does put me off. As I said before, something that would make your product far more attractive to me would be to take an example from the ugly plastic permanent CO2 testers that many of us go back to using, as in stick a white backgroun on it or in it! For me this would be fantastic, combining the aesthetics of an attractive glass unit, with the ease of reading of a plastic permanent test such as those made by JBL, Dupla et al.

As to reactors, not something I really care about. My glass diffuser does the job for me. And to lilly pipes, I have a cheap plastic one that I am quite happy with. :lol: I just really would like a glass drop checker that is as easy to read as a plastic one. ;)

Ade
 

Garuf

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I'm in with supercoley on the Lily front, I'd love for a lily pipe that eradicated that "dead area" and protruded less into the tank.
I have a set of cal Aqua nano pipes and yes they are beautiful but I found them to not create that "spin" that larger lilys produce and found them little more than glass versions of the Ehiem or jbl plastic "crooks". Which is a shame because I was really really pleased with how it looked until I compared its flow pattern to a cheap ugly spray bar.

Edit:
I'd also Like to add in that I'm with ceg on the diffuser front, plastic would be better. I don't mind something being ugly if it works well and for me the difference in durability between glass and plastic and of course the cost would be a huge selling point.
In fact, a whole range of plastic versions of the glass products, I'd be first in line for a set of plastic lily's. Yes it would be a departure from glass but the benefits of easier (fear free) cleaning and durability as well as reduced cost, and if higher grade plastics are used the difference in appearance would be as near as unrecognisable.
 

CAL

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Wolfenrook said:
....As I said before, something that would make your product far more attractive to me would be to take an example from the ugly plastic permanent CO2 testers that many of us go back to using, as in stick a white backgroun on it or in it! For me this would be fantastic, combining the aesthetics of an attractive glass unit, with the ease of reading of a plastic permanent test such as those made by JBL, Dupla et al....


We already have something in the works.....stay tuned :D
 

CAL

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17 Jul 2008
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Guys, thanks for all the comments and suggestions. We realized that glassware is not for everyone but we try to design and make things as best as we can. Some devices aren't meant to be made of glass, and that's just the nature of it. For us, we are passionate about designing and making the best glassware we can for the planted aquarium, and you can be sure that we will continue to improve upon our existing product line. Besides, it's users like you that keep us going so I greatly appreciate the support.

Best regards,
CAL
 

John Starkey

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Hi Cal,any chance of producing something worthwhile to clean the lily pipes with,I cant find a decent flexable bendy brush any where :) ,regards john
 

Garuf

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John the hagen one I find is the best, nice and cheap too, AE stock it. (Y)
 

John Starkey

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Garuf said:
John the hagen one I find is the best, nice and cheap too, AE stock it. (Y)

Hi "Garuf",thanks mate for that i have a big order for AE next week including my new opti-white 60x40x40cm tank,regards john.
 

Garuf

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Envy, that's what I'm feeling right now. Everyone's getting lovely new tanks, it must be the season.
Yeah, as I was saying, the hagen ones are the best but you still need to be careful they have a little bit of spring in them so you have to be careful when pushing them into the lily.

All the best,
Gareth.
 

PM

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Attractive plastic in-let and outflow pipes would be great. I managed to break my first glass in-let the other week :arghh:

Also why the HELL doesn't someone make a glass inflow pipe that you can clean. All you'd need is a small plug at the end that you twist off. Jeeeeez. Could be part clear rubber (seal) and the bottom, glass, just like the shape of the bottom the the pipe anyway.

If I had the resources to make this stuff I'd bloody design it myself!
 

GreenNeedle

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When I cleaqn my lily pipes I use the Hagen Marina one on the twisted coil. This is on both the inlet and outlet. The part at the end of my inlet (the ball type) I stick in bleach for 5 minutes afterwards and then in dechlor for 10 minutes before reattaching.

I also have the Eheim one on the nylon 'string' that you pull or push into/through the Lily pipe. this doesn't striggle with the bends at all but I like to be very aggressive with my cleaning and therefore ram the bigger not so bendy hagen one in. No need to be as gentle as some suggest. Just need to be careful.

Andy
 

Egmel

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With regards to the white background on the glass drop checkers, they wouldn't need to be solid, you could just run a spiral of white round the bulb, or put a white dot on it somewhere.

In fact all sorts of patterns would be suitable... *starts thinking about getting her glass paints out before realising that they're probably not fish safe* :arghh: :lol:
 

Egmel

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Wolfenrook said:
Egmel said:
In fact all sorts of patterns would be suitable... *starts thinking about getting her glass paints out before realising that they're probably not fish safe* :arghh: :lol:
Nor is bromothymol blue, just put it on the INSIDE of the bulb. :lol:
Now that would be a challenge - how to paint the inside of the bulb!
 

CAL

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CAL said:
Wolfenrook said:
....As I said before, something that would make your product far more attractive to me would be to take an example from the ugly plastic permanent CO2 testers that many of us go back to using, as in stick a white backgroun on it or in it! For me this would be fantastic, combining the aesthetics of an attractive glass unit, with the ease of reading of a plastic permanent test such as those made by JBL, Dupla et al....


We already have something in the works.....stay tuned :D


Wolfenrook, I hope this will make you happy:
The Oracle CO2 checker
 

Ray

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31 Oct 2007
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CAL said:
Wolfenrook, I hope this will make you happy:
The Oracle CO2 checker
Clever - faster response time, easier to read, just when I thought I already had a drop checker you come out with that - something for the Xmas list I think! All we need now is one with a digital readout :D

But seriously, did Cal Aqua perform any tests to see how long this one took to change compared to the conventional type? ;)
 

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