DIY CO2 Diffusion Methods - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 Diffusion Methods

So I just purchased a 24" Finnex Ray 2 for my 25gal tank. Seeing as how I'm being upgraded to a higher light source, I will be doing my first tank with CO2. I'm really bad at this kind of thing, but seeing as I just bought that light i'm not interested in shelling out another $80 for a pressurized system (which I know isn't even bad for a CO2 system but i'm a cheapo). So I will be making my first DIY Yeast Co2 setup. I seem to have most of it down, except I can't find a good way to diffuse it in the water. I would like a glass diffuser, because they look cool but I read somewhere I can't use that for a DIY setup. I also heard I can inject it directly into my filter intake (I have an Aqueon QuietFlow 30) which would be the best, one last thing in my tank minus the hose, except my filter causes a little trickle of surface agitation which I heard isn't effective. What are my options on something that is easy, inexpensive, effective and not ugly?

EDIT: Would something like this work? http://www.amazon.com/Fluval-Ceramic-88g-CO2-Diffuser-Ounces/dp/B004GCO35G/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1376609465&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=co2+diffuser+aquarium

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Last edited by SunDevil76; 08-16-2013 at 03:14 PM. Reason: added link
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 01:13 AM
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I tried the fluvial diffuser with diy jello co2 in a 2liter coke bottle but I couldn't get a tight enough seal. The silicone ended up blowing out. I will try again using those large gaterade bottles after this batch runs out. Currently I'm using an air stone and have that positioned under my aqueon 50 filter intake and it works well. I use the air stone to break up the bubbles before they hit the impeller. Without it the air stone, those large bubble made a loud noise when they would come in contact with the impeller.

Also with that filter I removed that blue bio media tray that causes the water to trickle and that filter is soo quiet now. IMO this helped greatly with reducing co2 loss.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 01:38 AM
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Exactly what I was looking for, much appreciated that someone posted about this already.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 06:43 AM
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How would you make your own diffuser disk like the fluval one or possibly a plastic one that works as well as the bubble counter diffuser combo glass ones?

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 07:22 AM
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I would go with Tom Barr's viewtainer reactor. Do A google search for Tom Barr's internal DIY CO2 reactor. WWW.aquaticquotient.com . Probably the best diffusion I have seen yet for DIY CO2. I made one myself. It took me 3 times but I could hand make one in about 30 minutes again. I have been running it on my 10 gallon an its been pinned at 6.6 kh4 for weeks now. It diffuses really well. I watch it fill up for awhile than turn on my powerhead which powers it & I watch CO2 keep going in with no further volume noticed so you know its going into the water. After the gas spins around in the viewtainer it gets sucked through a ventura line & back into the powerhead to be mashed up even more! A mist of fine bubbles can be seen , although not as good as a pressurized atomizer but good enough. You could use a larger 1 for bigger tanks or run 2 separate one's . I run them 24 -7 but there is a burp tube that releases excess Co2 to the surface at night is an option or you can do what I do which is run a HOB filter slowly at the surface to release excess CO2 but you will have to play around with the agitation an experiment & find out what works best for your tank.
I have found out that running an empty bottle between the yeast generator & aquarium will keep yeast from getting into your tank.
For me it works, but I run 100% remineralized r/o water with my custom GH booster & baking soda for my kh. I run KH4, so your results may vary. It will depend on what your hardness & kh is pretty much HOW MUCH CO2 you will end up with. But to me, with DIY I would see if you can download the blue print for it, because it works really well with few draw backs.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 07:37 AM
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I was a able to push bubbles through the cheap fleabay glass ceramic diffusers with a yeast setup. I think they're generally nicer and easy to clean. Just my experience. DIY co2 is a nice place to start before you go pressurized but pressurized really is worth the rewards if your willing to trim. Especially with stems if you sell them.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 07:44 AM
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I also used a cheap eBay glass diffuser when I had DIY Co2 and it worked well. I now use that same diffuser on my pressurized set up.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 07:49 AM
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You will get much better diffusion with the Barr internal reactor. You have at least 3 sizes to choose from. Much better than glass diffusion. I have run them with pressurized & they always have issues + DIY will have trouble diffusing with them. They are algae prone an fragile. Glass diffusers on average are more money & are cheap & will not last the test of time. All do respect!
The Barr diffuser can be made for about $7.00 bucks but you will need a cheap powerhead to run it. You may find it ugly but if your plants are growing well it can be hidden behind some stem plants. If you do make it make sure you use pure aquarium silicone because many silicones are toxic to fish & shrimps!
It takes about 30 minutes to make & it looks pretty cool I think an you will be proud you hand made it as well.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 07:56 AM
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If I was going pressurized, an insisted on a diffuser I would run Green Leaf Atomic Diffusers. They are superior to standard glass diffusers but require more line pressure to run than standard diffusers. They diffuse much better an need less up keep. They cost about the same as well. I find them bomb proof if you have a good regulator!
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 10:54 AM
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Check out my journal. I have a diy co2 that can push bubbles through diffuser using citric acid and baking soda. Its better than going yeast!

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great resources and input everyone. I googled the Tom Barr Internal Co2 Reactor and that may be an option. Like I said before, i'm really bad at these kind of DIY project, not as crafty as i'd like to be. I think in the future i'd like to try my hand at it, but for now I might just let the pros handle it. Would something like this work?:
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...7&pcatid=24117
I'm planning on ordering a few other things from Dr. Fosters Smith so it wouldn't be too much of a hassle to just add that on to my order. Is this compatible with DIY CO2 or is this strictly for pressurized systems? In the reviews i've seen a little bit of both.

EDIT: After a bit more reading, I noticed it said its to be used in conjunction with an external filter with an output line. I don't think that would work because mine is a HOB filter. Can I attach a powerhead in place of the external output line? I would really just like to use a powerhead by itself for diffusion but i've heard this makes the water cloudy, am I right?

Even better yet: Can it all be so simple? https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=68951

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Last edited by SunDevil76; 08-16-2013 at 05:49 PM. Reason: more info
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardstuff View Post
If I was going pressurized, an insisted on a diffuser I would run Green Leaf Atomic Diffusers. They are superior to standard glass diffusers but require more line pressure to run than standard diffusers. They diffuse much better an need less up keep. They cost about the same as well. I find them bomb proof if you have a good regulator!
Hey Hardstuff,

You mentioned elsewhere that you had a pressurized setup too. Do you use this reactor or the GLA diffuser? Just curious of what you have discovered since you have both.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 06:43 PM
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You can make a good diffuser out of cotton pads and a plastic syringe for less than 5 bucks. Everything is at wal-mart. I use it and recommend it.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-17-2013, 02:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edub View Post
You can make a good diffuser out of cotton pads and a plastic syringe for less than 5 bucks. Everything is at wal-mart. I use it and recommend it.
Please, elaborate. I have no idea how this would be setup.

but I do know that you can cut a q-tip in half and stick the stick part in the tubing and it will make some finer bubbles.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-18-2013, 09:45 PM
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Buy a cheap plastic syringe from wal-Mart and a package of those round cotton pads that people use on their face. Roll a few of those pads into a tight wad that you can just barely stuff into the syringe. Pack it in really well. The cotton pad acts like a ceramic diffuser plate, so you want it to be dense. The pointy end of the syringe fits airline tubing. Cut the syringe down to a size where the cotton is about a half inch long. Plug it in to the line coming off your bubble counter/waste catcher and you're good to go.

You can google "DIY co2 diffuser syringe" or something similar and find pictures and a video or 2.
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