DIY diffuser for DIY C02 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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DIY diffuser for DIY C02

I have a heavily planted 20 gallon tall tank and I've always had trouble with BBA. From what I've gathered, the root cause is likely insufficient (or fluctuating) C02 in the water column. At the moment I have a Hagan setup w/ diffusion ladder. I don't mind it aesthetically, but I'm constantly fiddling with it so it works properly (e.g. removing yeast colony build up, removing plant leaves that are blocking the bubble track, etc...)

Id really like to move on to something that packs a bigger C02 punch with less maintenance and isn't a pressurized set-up (bc making your own CO2 from yeast is just cooler IMO), so I'm considering going the double 2L bottle route.

I'd like some ideas on an efficient DIY diffuser that would work well with the double 2L bottle set-up. Does anyone have anything currently set up that works particularly well?

Tank facts
lighting - aquatic life dual T5HO, 1 6000K lamp & 1 6700K lamp, both 24 watts
substrate - Flourite
Filtration - Aquaclear 30 HOB w/ purigen instead of carbon
Fertilization - PPS pro from Greenleaf
pH - ~7.4 a week after water change
Ammonia & Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - ~5 ppm
Flora - Cabomba, Anubias, Bacopa, Amazon Sword, Java fern, Wysteria
Fauna - 2 angel fish, 3 bloodfin tetra, 4 nerites, 5 RCS, 1 Oto.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 06:06 PM
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I have had great luck with some cotton ball shoved in the end of a piece of silicone tubing. It's the smallest bubbles I've seen from a DIY setup.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 07:29 PM
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by iadubber View Post
I have had great luck with some cotton ball shoved in the end of a piece of silicone tubing. It's the smallest bubbles I've seen from a DIY setup.
I never have success with DIY diffusers lol I'll try this.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 09:37 PM
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Aquaclear HOB's make a great diffuser due to their unique design. Stuff a piece of cotton ball or chopstick into the co2 line as a pre-diffuser, then run it straight into the AQs intake pipe. Here's mine on a 20H.




I used to have just the raw, open line going in there. That was pretty good, but you could hear a distinct "chirp" every time a bubble hit the prop. And there were a few bubbles that made it out into the water. Once I started pre-diffusing it, zero bubbles, and the only noise is a very low sizzle that is barely noticeable.


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 04:50 PM
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Just use a regular glass diffuser. They work fine with DIY. The only reason it won't work is if you have leaks.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 06:05 PM
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Bamboo chopstick stuck into the end of the tubing.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Oh man, bye bye diffusion ladder! I think that I'm going to go the route of tying the C02 output into the intake of my Hagan HOB. I've heard that this could potentially shorten the life of my filter motor... but I should probably have a filter with a greater flow rate anyway, so if it breaks I'll have an excuse to buy a bigger one.

On a side note, just for sh!ts I stuffed some cotton into the C02 output of my diffusion ladder last night. I have to say that this worked surprisingly well. The bubbles produced were much smaller. Though it wasn't particularly compatible with the ladder because the small bubbles didn't have enough buoyant force to navigate the bubble track. They would stack up on the first rung and coalesce into bubbles large enough to shoot up the track, so the effect was minimal.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 07:19 PM
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this is weird but a cigarette filter works great! literally the best diy co2 diffuser ive ever used and I have tried them all

-Jacklyn
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 03:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmf3460 View Post
this is weird but a cigarette filter works great! literally the best diy co2 diffuser ive ever used and I have tried them all
And how do you hook this up????
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-14-2014, 12:49 PM
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you just remove the filter from the cigarette and stuff it in the end of the airline tubing, watch these youtube videos on it here...what I did was put the bubbles directly under the intake of one of my hob filters and then it dispersed it even more.
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...s+co2+diffuser

-Jacklyn
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-15-2014, 02:21 PM
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My favorite defuser so far is a power head. Expensive I know but by far the best if you have one kicking around. The only diy type defuser I have had luck with is a bell type (I think thats what its called). Basically I took a plastic water bottle, drilled a hole in the cap for a air line, drilled 2 holes on the side for suction cups, and cut the bottom off. Put the clear bottle in my tank under my HOB filter and hooked the air line up to my DIY co2. The bottle fills with co2 and about every 30min or so it would release a big bubble, but it had a really long saturation time. It worked much better than a air stone, or bamboo sticks ( acording to my plants anyway). I have seen people do something similar with old gravel vacuums. I am going to have to try the cigarette filter now!

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 04:34 PM
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Went to the smoke shop yesterday and bought "Top premium filters", it was $2.17 for 100 tips. Got home and tossed some air line tubing in the oven as the lowest heat setting untell the oven was preheated. Pulled a peace out and put one end over the syringe I use to dose ferts (just to open the air line up some more). Then I just held onto the other end while letting the weight of the syringe pull the line straight wile it cooled for a few min. Then pulled the syringe off, rolled a filter smaller, and jammed it in the line. Waited a few hours and found out my bubble counter was leaking, fixed it and let it sit over night. Hooked it back up this morning and I think I found my new favorite defuser.

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Aquaclear HOB's make a great diffuser due to their unique design. Stuff a piece of cotton ball or chopstick into the co2 line as a pre-diffuser, then run it straight into the AQs intake pipe. Here's mine on a 20H.




I used to have just the raw, open line going in there. That was pretty good, but you could hear a distinct "chirp" every time a bubble hit the prop. And there were a few bubbles that made it out into the water. Once I started pre-diffusing it, zero bubbles, and the only noise is a very low sizzle that is barely noticeable.
I'm going to be trying this out in a few days. Just so I have it correct, your CO2 is stuck into the intake of the HOB filter?
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 01:11 PM
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I'm going to be trying this out in a few days. Just so I have it correct, your CO2 is stuck into the intake of the HOB filter?
Correct. But it has to be an Aquaclear filter. Other HOBs dont work well due to how the water passes through the media. CO2 will off-gas in the chamber behind the filter pads before it has a chance to dissolve.


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Last edited by burr740; 11-25-2014 at 01:23 PM. Reason: ,
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-25-2014, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Correct. But it has to be an Aquaclear filter. Other HOBs dont work well due to how the water passes through the media. CO2 will off-gas in the chamber behind the filter pads before it has a chance to dissolve.
Darn. Mine is API. So then it makes me think, how would i get the CO2 into the tank? I was just going to run my tube straight into the tank. I never purchased a diffuser.
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