So here it goes. I have a somewhat heavily planted 120 gallon tank, that is planted with low to medium light requiring plants. So, you have all the facts its organic potting soil with root tabs capped with eco complete and then capped again with black diamond blasting sand.
The tank has a over flow and a sump. (I sealed both with 6 mil thick plastic and taped securely) I placed a order, received and then setup my GLA system. I just got the basic setup with the 5Lb tank. No PH Controller, just the dual gauge rig with bubble counter. I also opted for atomic diffuser and the drop checker, which I am getting around to asking a question about. But want the specifics out the way so yall have as much info as possible.
So the first day I had everything setup the diffuser was positioned below the intake on the sump, made the entire tank look like it was filled with Sprite. I wasnt really a fan, but also the drop checker didnt change color at all. I had it set at about 4 bubbles per second.
Next day goes by and I upped it to 8 bubbles per second, then 10, and 12 (slow mo camera to count) any way what I am getting at is I had a crap ton of bubbles in the tank that all seemed to be gassing off with a non color changing drop checker so I looked into other options. I decided yesterday to build a Griggs style reactor. I got it constructed out of 3" PVC with 1 1/2" reduced couplings that reduced into my 1" return piping. Immediately I was happier with it. I started at 4 bbs and I never seen one pop out of the return pipe. But I noticed nothing in the tank, so I stepped it up to 8. About 2 hours later I got light pearling out of my plants and a few bubbles escaping from the return spray bar, drop checker became a dark green. Today is the second day, and next go around on upping the bubble count. I have it at about 10-12 Bubbles per second, plants are pearling pretty well but Drop checker is still this dark green color. I have a fair amount of bubbles escaping from the spray bar, but not a ton.
So my questions are this, as long as bubbles are leaving my spray bar am I wasting gas? Should I dial it down until the bubbles stop or fall to a absolute minimum? Or is some waste inevitable and crank it until I find my lime green shade in the drop checker?
Should I worry about the drop checker color or should I care more about the fact my plants are pearling? I want to get the ideal amount of CO2 in the water, but since these aren't high requirement plants.
Ill see if I can get a short video posted to show the gas escaping the spray bar. Also, the pearling plants.