How often to replace ceramic diffuser discs - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Canada
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How often to replace ceramic diffuser discs

I currently have DIY c02 going on and after my last reactor change my diffuser doesn't seem to be giving off any bubbles. I'm running two 2L bottles and a bubble counter which is showing about 1-3 bps. Is this a problem with my diffuser? I'm using this Fluval diffuser Fluval Ceramic 88g-CO2 Diffuser - 3.1 Ounces: Pet Supplies Fluval Ceramic 88g-CO2 Diffuser - 3.1 Ounces: Pet Supplies
and it has been going consistently for the last 48 hours.

I know you have to replace the discs, but what is the general timeline to do so?

Thanks for the help
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 06:16 PM
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I would first check for leaks. If you are sure (triple check!) that they aren't any leaks, then it might be that your DIY CO2 is not generating enough pressure to push CO2 through the diffuser disc.

Finally, I have never had to replace the diffuser discs at all; if they require any cleaning, a simple dip in some bleach followed by the standard post-treating in double the recommended dechlorinator has always worked for me.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 06:19 PM
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I have never used the Fluval brand diffuser. I actually have only owned one ceramic one that is in tank (use a GLA Atomic and I believe it's made of something else). That said, after many years of use, I haven't seen any difference. It has degrade very slightly as I can see a tiny bit of white stuff after I bleach. Still functions the same as the day I got it, probably 6 years later, with regular cleaning.

As per your bubble count, it will go down significantly when changing from a reactor to a diffuser. The diffuser needs more pressure to get going as you have to force the gas through. When I used DIY CO2, I actually couldn't get my setup to work with certain recipes that were supposed to last longer and be more consistent. I believe the best diffusers for DIY CO2 are the Ebay ones from Hong Kong as they don't need as much pressure to work. The better diffusers (smaller bubbles) need more pressure to work so for DIY, you actually want a not so great one.

You can try a chopstick or BBQ skewer to see if you get more CO2 in for a cheap solution to test. They both work pretty well but usually need less pressure than a ceramic disk type. Just stick it in your CO2 line about 1/4 in or so and cut the rest off. If it works better, you can just use that instead if you want. Or go buy a cheap one or two and use that while it ships.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 07-06-2013, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Canada
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Yah I think I might change the diffusion method, my airline bubbles when I remove the diffuser. Must be not enough pressure
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