Hey guys, so as the title suggests I'm looking for some advice on a a kick-ass CO2 setup. I'm looking for the best way to automate and regulate CO2 in my Mini-M planted. I guess I should start by listing my setup.
Initial CO2 setup:
-2.5 lb pressurized tank
-Aquatek regulator with integrated solenoid valve
-ADA nano diffuser
-ADA standard bubble counter
-CO2 distribution is on the same timer as the lights
The problem I had with this setup is that I didn't know how to precisely check my CO2 levels. I had a very general sense by checking PH when I did my weekly water changes. Plus, I figured everything was fine because the plant growth was doing well for awhile. Then I started to get some algae issues. Which, after a little research, was caused by insufficient CO2. So this lead me to this setup.
current CO2 setup as of 2 days ago:
-recently replaced the diffuser with the Sera Flora Active reactor 500
-added in a cal aqua labs drop checker
So this setup is good in that I have a quick visual reference of my CO2 levels. But I've found that my Eheim 2211 doesn't have enough flow power to actually rotate the propellers in the reactor. I'm not overly concerned with that because the flow in-tank is still strong and the drop checker is showing that good green color. BUT I'd be lying if I said it didn't bother me a little bit. I feel like if I'm going to upgrade, then I'd like to do it better. So, this led me to another flurry of internet searches and I landed on another setup that I wanted to run by you guys.
I'm seeing that some people are running their CO2 distribution through a reactor that is controlled by a PH meter. Also, instead of using a solenoid valve, they are using an electronic valve. From what I've read it's more accurate because it doesn't rely on cylinder pressure for a consistent bubble count like the mechanical valve does. So I guess that leads to a much more consistent bubble rate. Then, of course, I came across this setup from Aquariumplants.com
ANYWAY, this is where you guys come in.
I'm interested to see if anyone has experience with a setup like this. If so, then how do you like it? Would you recommend this or is there something else you'd suggest? Thanks in advance guys for taking the time to read this post and give your opinions! I can't wait to hear about all the crazy awesome setups some of you are running! Please post pics if you got them!