Planted Tank Guru
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Northern California
You're saying the cheap diffuser was "clogged", so that's why when it popped off, you were getting this huge influx of CO2.
If, for example, at your needle valve you were letting 100 bubbles of CO2 through per second and the diffuser only let 3 bubbles out per second...where did the extra 97 bubbles go? The regulator-to-tubing or tubing-to-diffuser interfaces aren't "strong" enough to account for the difference you saw. I'm just using approximate numbers. Even if the needle valve is cranked to 5bps, there's no way that your diffuser is letting only 2bps through for an extended amount of time. Where does the extra CO2 go?
You have a bigger underlying problem...