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DIY CO2 Diffuser



Parts List
  • 1 - Mini Gravel Cleaner (1" x 12" Tube)
  • 1 - UGV Filter Stack Head (with grates)
  • Air Tubing (Approx - 6 FT)
  • Air Tubing Suction Cups
  • 1" Heater Clip/Suction Cup
  • Fittings... 1 Tee / 1 Plug for Air Tubing
How to Build It...

Buy a Mini Gravel Filter , pull off the hose , plug that end with a standard Air Tubing Plug . Cut The Gravel Cleaner Body down to 6" .Now cut a piece of tubing to run from inside of Stack Head to 1" from end of tube. I placed a tee on the end to airline , if for no other purpose...it looked good there ! Anyways... Now just run Air Tubing through the Stack Head with a tubing connector . Off the other side of the connector attach your tubing to the CO2 supply ... Simple as that. When mounted properly it hides nicely against the wall of your tank. Remember... The larger the bubble the more CO2 diffuses into water.

DIY CO2 Diffuser Diagram
  1. Connector
  2. Air Tubing clip
  3. Air Tubing
  4. Cut down to 6"
  5. Remove hose and plug or run tubing to powerhead intake for more water flow over bubble
Tips on How to Set it up!

When positioning the diffuser remember that water flow past the opening will increase CO2 amounts entering your water. I have a powerhead in the corner of tank that points down to diffuser and puts constant flow past opening. I keep a heavily stocked tank in regards to fish so water flow is critical to me. Any excess buildup of CO2 in diffuser will just release to surface and dissipate.

At 1 bubble every 5 seconds I have 1 large bubble escaping the diffuser every few minutes. When my Generator slows to 1 Bubble every 10 seconds it still will still release CO2 and maintain a large " puddle " of CO2 dissolving into water at all times. You will be able to tell easily when a new yeast mix is needed because your Mix will not be able to keep up with the dissolving "Bubble" in your diffuser ! It usually takes about 4 - 5 hours for a full bubble of CO2 to dissolve so it gives you a little time to get new mix activated.

Another good feature of this set-up is that it acts as a nice "Bubble Counter" as well. Now you can monitor your Yeast Mix without trouble. You will never need to guess again if your generator is producing CO2 at a good rate and you also can eliminate having a seperate counter hooked up.

Notice the angle in the END VIEW . This angle is what determines the overall size of the CO2 puddle by holding back a " thicker " bubble. It isnt the thickness of the bubble that will gain you CO2 content in your water but the " Surface Area " of the bubble to water contact that counts. If it is adjusted so that the bubble is at the center of the tube and the tube is level it will have the greatest amount of CO2 in contact with the water for dissolving.

For a lesser amount of CO2 simply angle the tube position to give you a smaller amount of bubble contact with water. Excess CO2 will simply rise to surface leaving a constant size of bubble contact as you can see in the SIDE VIEW photo.

DIY CO2 Diffuser from the end      DIY CO2 Diffuser from the side

When it is installed be sure to test water no more than 12 hours later as properties will change RAPIDLY ! For 30 Gallon Tanks and under you should start with an angle in Diffuser and adjust accordingly. All those articles on the how-too's of water parameters are out there and I strongly suggest you do what I did and Read .. Read .. Read ... like I said this setup is in a 30 gallon and my plants were flowing 02 and were noticably happier in the first day ! Now that I have it adjusted to my needs , I am staying nicely in the 20 - 25 ppm range and my plants and fish have never looked better...

If you have been an " Aquarium Accessory Pack Rat " like me over the years you probably have most of the parts allready... and the mini-vac ?? I paid 3.99 for that. Have fun with it and if you have any suggestions or ideas to improve on it I would be interested to hear them . Enjoy !

Article written by Buck (Buckman's Home)

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