Need Opinions With My Co2 Setup - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-23-2018, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Need Opinions With My Co2 Setup

Hi I'm new to the forum and was hoping you guys can help me out.
and BTW wasn't sure to post this so please move it if I posted it on the wrong spot

So I've recently decided to try a glass diffuser for my CO2 setup on my 60 gallon planted tank.
I'm surprised that my drop checker doesn't change color if it does it's very minimal.

Here's some pic of the gauges on my regulator when it's on.




I'm using the sera flore precision diffuser. And it has a built in bubble counter.

My concern is even if I have the valve control maxed out on my regulator I can't increase the bps on my diffuser.

Here's a vid of how much co2 is being diffused and how many bps.

DIFFUSER AND BPS VIDEO

Is my diffuser still in its breaking in stage? Only had it for couple of days.

Or is there and issue with my CO2 tank? Regulator?
Or should I just go back to my ista mixmax reactor?
Reason of the switch is my reactor cuts the flow on my fluval 406 with noticeable amount.

I do have a small circulation fan above where the diffuser is placed. Here's a pic of my tank



So on the right side that's where the diffuser is hidden. There's a wavemaker and the outflow on the same side. Also on the left side is where my drop checker is placed plus there's a AC100 on the left side for additional flow.

It's just wierd because when I was using my reactor I can even make my drop checker to yellow if I over turn my regulator.

I m,y co2 and lights on a timer for 8 hrs a day (used to have it on only for 6 hours, but wanted to test out longer hours since plants have rooted and established properly), co2 turns on 1 hour before the lights and turns off 1 hour before the lights.
I honestly can see the micro bubbles all over my tank when co2 is on.

What I'm thinking is, could it be my drop checker solution is bad already (if it can even go bad).
Or that I have too much surface agitation that the co2 just escapes? cause I have the output, and wavemaker pointed up plus the agitation that the AC100 makes.

Thoughts?


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 03:23 AM
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Assuming that your drop checker solution was prepared properly, I would just say that the diffuser you currently have does not effectively dissolve CO2 as well as your previous reactor (which is usually the case when comparing diffusers vs. reactors).

If you are noticing problems with keeping up with CO2, you can always switch back to your reactor.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 05:29 AM
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You can try putting your drop checker closer to your diffuser? Just to make sure it's not a circulation issue. But I think with a tank as big as yours, you are better off sticking with your reactor. Just my 2 cents


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by KZB View Post
You can try putting your drop checker closer to your diffuser? Just to make sure it's not a circulation issue. But I think with a tank as big as yours, you are better off sticking with your reactor. Just my 2 cents

Might have to agree here - reactors simply seem to be more efficient at dissolving CO2 into larger volumes of water. In looking at your video obviously the diffuser is doing its job and producing a reasonably fine amount of bubbles in the tank. I have seen some diffusers that generate a much finer mist - do those generate a greater pH drop in the tank? I dont know.


You stated that with your regulator, even maxed out on the needle valve, the bps does not change. I suspect that has more to do with the working pressure leaving the regulator. If the diffuser can only flow say 3 bubbles per second at 30psi then it wont matter how far you open the needle valve.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
Assuming that your drop checker solution was prepared properly, I would just say that the diffuser you currently have does not effectively dissolve CO2 as well as your previous reactor (which is usually the case when comparing diffusers vs. reactors).

If you are noticing problems with keeping up with CO2, you can always switch back to your reactor.
Ista Drop checker solution is what I'm and it was ready to go on the bottle.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KZB View Post
You can try putting your drop checker closer to your diffuser? Just to make sure it's not a circulation issue. But I think with a tank as big as yours, you are better off sticking with your reactor. Just my 2 cents
I bought opened up another drop checker I have as a spare and will be putting it clsoer to the diffuser. But yeah I might go back to my reactor or return the diffuser and get the Sera Flore 1000 instead.

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Originally Posted by Immortal1 View Post
Might have to agree here - reactors simply seem to be more efficient at dissolving CO2 into larger volumes of water. In looking at your video obviously the diffuser is doing its job and producing a reasonably fine amount of bubbles in the tank. I have seen some diffusers that generate a much finer mist - do those generate a greater pH drop in the tank? I dont know.


You stated that with your regulator, even maxed out on the needle valve, the bps does not change. I suspect that has more to do with the working pressure leaving the regulator. If the diffuser can only flow say 3 bubbles per second at 30psi then it wont matter how far you open the needle valve.
So my regulator might be weak and maxing out at 30psi? that the only regulator I have tried and bought it 2nd hand and there's moments where I really don't know what I'm doing lol


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 02:32 PM
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My concern is even if I have the valve control maxed out on my regulator I can't increase the bps on my diffuser.
Are you adjusting the needle valve or the working pressure?

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MCFC View Post
Are you adjusting the needle valve or the working pressure?
Don't know which is which sorry but, the knob on both the co2 tank and regulator is maxed out


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCFC View Post
Are you adjusting the needle valve or the working pressure?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ventus0907 View Post
Don't know which is which sorry but, the knob on both the co2 tank and regulator is maxed out

From what I can see in the pictures it looks like your regulator has a fixed working pressure (lets say it's 30psi for the moment) and an adjustable flow rate.
(I am only guessing at 30psi as it is very difficult to tell in your first picture what the pressure is. Between 0 and 50 I only see 2 lines. Between 50-100 it is much easier to tell what the pressure is) (The knob at the top of the fist picture I assume to be your needle valve. Not sure what is partially shown on the far left of the first picture)

With your reactor, you could adjust the flow rate from a few bubbles per second to many bubbles per second because after the co2 passes by the needle valve (what you are adjusting), there is basically no resistance in the tube as it goes to the reactor.
With your diffuser, there is likely a minimum "recommended" operating pressure (lets say it's 35psi) and a preferred operating pressure (lets say it's 40psi).
At 30psi you are getting co2 into the tank. Could the bubbles going into the tank be a little finer mist with more pressure? Maybe.

"IF" your regulator had an adjustable operating pressure, and you adjusted it to 40psi would you be able to get more bubbles per second? Likely.


So, which would you prefer to do? Keep you diffuser and get a different regulator (maybe a lot of money) - or keep your regulator and try a different diffuser (maybe less money) - or go back to the reactor (no money)?


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-24-2018, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immortal1 View Post
From what I can see in the pictures it looks like your regulator has a fixed working pressure (lets say it's 30psi for the moment) and an adjustable flow rate.
(I am only guessing at 30psi as it is very difficult to tell in your first picture what the pressure is. Between 0 and 50 I only see 2 lines. Between 50-100 it is much easier to tell what the pressure is) (The knob at the top of the fist picture I assume to be your needle valve. Not sure what is partially shown on the far left of the first picture)

With your reactor, you could adjust the flow rate from a few bubbles per second to many bubbles per second because after the co2 passes by the needle valve (what you are adjusting), there is basically no resistance in the tube as it goes to the reactor.
With your diffuser, there is likely a minimum "recommended" operating pressure (lets say it's 35psi) and a preferred operating pressure (lets say it's 40psi).
At 30psi you are getting co2 into the tank. Could the bubbles going into the tank be a little finer mist with more pressure? Maybe.

"IF" your regulator had an adjustable operating pressure, and you adjusted it to 40psi would you be able to get more bubbles per second? Likely.


So, which would you prefer to do? Keep you diffuser and get a different regulator (maybe a lot of money) - or keep your regulator and try a different diffuser (maybe less money) - or go back to the reactor (no money)?
Thank you! @Immortal1
This kinda clears more things for me now when it comes to CO2. Right now I decided to go back to the reactor route, planning to sell this diffuser and buy a new reactor (Sera Flore 1000), since I know I'm planning to upgrade to a bigger tank in the future. and right now I don't have money to spend on a better regulator cause I know that can be pricey. but again thanks for all this info
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