Co2 diffuser - The Planted Tank Forum
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  • 1 Post By Fiishman
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: St. Petersburg, Fl
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Co2 diffuser

Just got my first co2 setup, have to get a bubble counter, tubing, and diffuser. I have a 120 gallon, heavily planted. First, when it comes to bubble counters, does quality/price really make a difference? And with the diffuser, what would you recommend an inline diffuser, bell thingy, or disc diffuser? And why?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 05:54 PM
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Bubble counters are simply a means to pass the gass (harr harr) through a liquid so you can visualize the amount of CO2 going in. The quality doesn't make a difference other than aesthetically. You do want one that doesn't leak though.

As for diffusers, inlines are the most efficient and pricey. Bells are kinda useless and crappy. Especially for such a large tank. Ceramic disks are okay but can be a pain to maintain bubble size. I personally recommend the "bazooka" style. They're sold by GLA and CO2 art and they create a superfine mist of bubbles unlike anything the ceramic ones can do. They cost about 20-30 bucks but are worth it if you don't want an inline.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 07:56 PM
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In line diffuses are the most efficient. The atomic and ceramic discs do well but they need to be placed next to a filter output or power head to spread the CO2 around for absorption. The good is that you can see the CO2 micro bubbles and know the process is working; the bad is that you can see micro bubbles in the aquarium. I'm using an external CO2 reactor (same as inline). I like it because the tank doesn't fill up with bubbles. I use the drop checker and plants to trust the CO2 is being absorbed.
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75g FW Planted
Heavily Stocked
Fluval FX6
CO2 Injection
Trigger Systems Emerald 34 Sump
One BRS deluxe media reactor with carbon & Granular Ferric Oxide for Phosphate Control
One BRS deluxe media reactor with Purigen
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiishman View Post
Bubble counters are simply a means to pass the gass (harr harr) through a liquid so you can visualize the amount of CO2 going in. The quality doesn't make a difference other than aesthetically. You do want one that doesn't leak though.

As for diffusers, inlines are the most efficient and pricey. Bells are kinda useless and crappy. Especially for such a large tank. Ceramic disks are okay but can be a pain to maintain bubble size. I personally recommend the "bazooka" style. They're sold by GLA and CO2 art and they create a superfine mist of bubbles unlike anything the ceramic ones can do. They cost about 20-30 bucks but are worth it if you don't want an inline.
Hey Fishman,

Can you post a pic of what you mean by the "bazooka" style?

Thanks,

MG

-Mikey G
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 08:15 PM
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For bubble counters, I've found that simplest is best. The mounted versions typically have several parts that screw together, and an integrated check valve. Each joint can leak. And the integrated check valves are garbage. And when (not if) the check valve fails, you won't know it, because there's no way to tell that you're losing fluid back down into the needle valve and/or solenoid. All check valves will eventually fail, but those silver ones are almost as bad as the plastic local pet store variety. I like the simple, one-piece, three-dollar glass inline bubble counters from Evilbay.

Diffusers will always be hit or miss. The cheap glass and ceramic guys may or may not work well. I've had success in using superglue around the outer rim of the disc (often a problem area with too-large bubbles). If you use those, buy 2 or 3 at a time, and test them all. The bazooka-type referenced above (just search for "Atomic" or "Atomizer" diffuser on Evilbay) do tend to work much better. While I'd tentatively agree that the inline variety work better than the in-tank variety, they're more difficult to clean, and they *do* need to be cleaned periodically. A simple bleach and water dip once a month will do for the in-tank variety. Cleaning the inline variety is more complicated and possibly less effective. You really don't have to spend ridiculous amounts of money on the in-tank variety. I think they're as low as $10 on Evilbay, and I don't believe there's a definitive quality difference between the more and less expensive varieties. They all, originally, come from China.

Bump: By the way, the Atomizer (tube-variety) diffusers require a higher pressure to function. I've used maybe half a dozen, and they have required between 25 and 40+ psi to function.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-25-2016, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
 
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Location: St. Petersburg, Fl
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Awesome input guys! Thanks a ton! This will definitely help me make my decision!
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