Going Pressurized CO2 need suggestions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2015, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Going Pressurized CO2 need suggestions

Ok so I am going to take the plunge with pressurized CO2 with a 5 or 10Lb bottle and this regulator. (SMC needle) and I cant decide on a mix max reactor, or a diffuser. I have heard some not so great things about the reactor, aka weak plastic, loud, but am also unsure of how "Spritish" the water would get in my tank using a diffuser.

Tank info:
40G bowfront ~24" tall from substrate
SunSun 304b canister filter (loving it as a first canister)
2 Swords, bunch of Italian val, Broadleaf and narrow ludwiga, Red Cabomba (a bit green at the moment, and some glasso.

Along with a firemouth, electric yellow, kenyi, and red zebra cichlids. (all still babies)

I am currently running 2, 2L Diy co2 bottles through a powerhead and the flow in my tank is back top to front top and around which swirls my little bubbles quite nicely. I just have a picture in my head of a huge amount of bubbles everywhere that would really take away from the tank. So, if anyone has some pictures of how "sprite-like" a tank with fish could get i would love to see them.

Also if there are other "cheapish" inline reactors that I could use please let me know, And how loud are these reactors?

One last thing I am tight for space and with the canister and bottle in the cabinet I will have less then 1/3 of the space left for storing ferts, food, air pump, so on and so forth. Which is one of the reasons I am hesitant to do a DIY rex reactor, but it might fit....

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-29-2015, 11:38 PM
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I just got that same setup for my 75g. I use cerges reactor. Its silent for the most part. Big though.

If you ate going to get a diffusor I would get the atomic ones. I hear they are great. But I don't know about the bubbles though.

75 Gallon Low Tech w/ Green Terror Pair
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 12:05 AM
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I use an Up Aqua inline diffuser and it is quiet and does the job. Bubbles are really tiny. I like the idea of using a diffuser that completely dissolves the CO2, but I went the easier way.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 12:23 AM
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If your are thinking about a reactor, they can be reasonably compressed. I have a reactor, 5# bottle, air pump and a Marineland C-360 crammed in there.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
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Well im working with 30' x 11' at the shortest and the 304b is basically the c-360 and is the same size. I am pretty confident that I can fit the can and regulator in there using about 2/3 of my space. My ferts, air pump, surge protector/timer, and plant tools take up almost all the space that I currently have and then a little with the 2 2L, and a milk jug bubble counter/dump that the can would use, maybe the can would be a bit smaller. I have the day off tomorrow so I'm going to do a few things.

1. test flow rate (timed milk jug fill) doing a partial water change anyway.
2. try to compress some of the things by mounting surge, and light boxes (2 finex planted +'s)
3. little pruning
4. glass cleaning
5. try to figure out some acoustic dampening. (open back stand :/)

I will grab some pics so maybe you guys can get some better understanding of the situation.

I have been trying to find an inexpensive house filter top (reactor thing) but the ones i have found locally are like $30 and the max mix is like $12.... but like I said i have heard they can be loud and the filter hum (barely audible) is enough.

Thanks for the help so far!


Ok so I have decided that I dont want to see the bubbles, so now I just have to see how much space I can free up and even if maybe I can squeeze in a 10 Lb can. I think hight may be my limiting factor on the can. a 10Lb looks to be 21" tall and then I have to have some space for the reg as well. I have 27" of height to work with so I think it would fit but I am going to shoot CO2art an e-mail and see if they can get me the measurements from nipple center to the top of the gauges if I cant find that on the net.

Now I just need to find that house filter thing as well as some specs on size and figure out if I can make it work

This looks like my best option in 1/2 style but I am worried about the flow. Spec sheet says 5 GPM which seems lower then I would want but im not sure if that is with filter or without. :/

Last edited by Eclipseaudio4; 06-30-2015 at 02:27 AM. Reason: added information
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so I got everything as compact as i think I can get it at this point. Grabbed a 10 Lb can and set it in there as well. (plenty of room for the reg) I have about 6" x 8" and plenty of height, so I'm thinking of making a DIY Cerges. Maybe a 4" outer with a 1" inner maybe 20" tall, this would work with my space available and should give me 100% saturation(I think). I am running between 300 and 350 GPH which is right around where I figured. I am trying to figure out both if I really need a bubble counter and and what type I should use, or if maybe I should just DIY one.

upon further thought I think I am going to start with a diffuser see how i like it then go from there.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-08-2015, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Got the regulator and others in today. OMG it looked like they used my box as a soccer ball!!!! Thankfully everything was ok. What misting there is in the water is so small that being more then a couple inches away means you can't see it. I'm still waiting on my drop checker to get here but started slow (1bps) and moved it up every other hour till I got to 3bps. Seems like a lot to me for a 40g but I am prob wrong. That being said my fish acted like nothing had changed so I will leave it there till the checker gets here tomorrow. I do have a ton of surface agitation so I'm not too worried about a lack of o2. I think if I end up having to go much higher on the count though I may just switch to a reactor.
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