Looking for More Options for CO2 Diffusion - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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Looking for More Options for CO2 Diffusion

I'm currently running a griggs reactor that is operated by an eheim return pump. The reactor is a 22" piece of 2" PVC based off of the original design. I cut the tubing so that it comes out in the center of the PVC.
The issues I am having are
1)I get co2 build up which results in CO2 levels staying high LONG after CO2 is turned off
2) sloshing sounds
3) The only way I can get it primed after a WC is taking it off the tank and draining the reactor. I have been fooling with the reactor since the tank was setup.

Is there a reason a simple ADA style diffusor will not work on large tanks? I'm hesitant to do an atomizer because of the sprite look. My tank is a six foot 125 gallon.
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 03:32 PM
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My understanding of diffusers is that they are only efficient for small- to mid- size tanks: up to ~40 gallons for a single diffuser, this could be pushed up somewhat but I think the problem is that the diffuser only has so much surface area on the ceramic disc, which places an upward limit on the dispersion capability. This means that at a certain water volume it cannot maintain uniform dispersion of a stable CO2 level in the tank. I suppose you could add multiple diffusers to account for the volume but I doubt you're interested in all that extra stuff being in your tank and adding more airline tubing. With an atomizer you're piggy-backing on the dispersion power of your air pump (and using more pressure) so in addition to pre-mixing the CO2 it is able to efficiently disperse the CO2 in a greater volume of water compared to the diffuser on its own, so your gallon limit on efficiency is higher.

If you were interested in multiple diffusers I found this older thread discussing it: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-...ce-please.html
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.

I may try an atomizer to see how bad the sprite look is. One really helpful thing with the bubbles is I would be able to make sure I have adequate circulation.

I'm sure my issues with the reactor can be fixed. But I would rather take it off and go with something less of a headache to dial in for the time being. Right now, the 20 LB co2 tank is out in the room just to leave me room to burp/maneuver the reactor. I'm ready to hide everything under the stand and focus on the plants.

I am not ready to go to multiple diffusers.
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahud View Post
...
Is there a reason a simple ADA style diffusor will not work on large tanks? I'm hesitant to do an atomizer because of the sprite look. My tank is a six foot 125 gallon.
Of course it will work. That's all ADA sells and uses on their six foot tanks.

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 05:12 PM
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I don't mind the seltzer water look to my tank, and I actually like seeing the micro bubbles blow around the tank and disappear as they integrate with the water column. Let's me know if I'm lacking in circulation.

And then the tank still looks like that after co2 is off because the plants are creating o2. Like upside down rain with the filter off.
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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So the large ADA tanks only run one diffusor? I always assumed they ran multiple. The standard diffusor seems nice because its simple, clean, and no sprite look. I don't mind cleaning it often since I am doing weekly water changes anyway with the EI method.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 07:19 PM
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Keep in mind that the CO2 concentrations in the water are roughly equal everywhere, assuming you have good circulation. The only real drawback of diffusers vs atomizers or reactors is the larger bubble size means the CO2 is less efficiently absorbed into the water column.

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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 09:55 PM
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The efficiency of diffusion all the co2 into the water column is highly overrated. The bubbles from the diffusers attach to plant leaves and are used as well.

ADA has a pretty good system down if there was any kind of 'real' disadvantage to using a diffuser they would easily have developed a reactor, in-line atomizer, etc. I don't even think they sell or use powerheads to move the co2 around six foot tanks. I know I never did when using a single disc in my 4-footer. In tank diffusers also give you a quick visual check on the diffusion as well.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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What type of glass diffuser would you recommend HouseofCards? The visual check is something I would appreciate right now.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 11:30 PM
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What type of glass diffuser would you recommend HouseofCards? The visual check is something I would appreciate right now.
I've used the Rhinox 5000 for my large tank in the past with very good results. I think the disc is 2" wide. So many different ones out now with different aesthetic appeal. I think the 5000 is around the same size as the large one ADA sells for their big tanks.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahud View Post
What type of glass diffuser would you recommend HouseofCards? The visual check is something I would appreciate right now.
He uses the cheap basic ones off eBay. I just switched from a Griggs powered by a 2215 on my 29 to a Qanvee M1 (inline atomizer off eBay, just look up picture then buy whatever one is cheapest), and I've been really happy with it so far. It does use a little bit more CO2 than my Griggs, but the plants have responded much better in the past week.

I thought I'd hate the bubbles because I never liked the ceramic discs in tank on my smaller tanks, but the bubbles are smaller and really show my flow well. I'm really surprised how much I like that.

Pro tip on the Qanvee, make sure clear part is really tightened down all the way into the metal part or you'll get a small drip every minute or so. I was worried about overtightening, but it actually bottoms out.
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 11:53 PM
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Well you could by the ADA Pollen Glass Diffuser but it's 189 at Aqua Forest Aquarium. That's alot if you end up breaking it. The Rhinox I used for years on my 4-footer (72 Gallon)

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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 12:01 AM Thread Starter
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I can't easily go inline. I have an in tank matten corner filter. The tubing is the ribbed fluval fx5 tubing (I like to reuse stuff haha).

The Rhinox sounds like its worth a shot. If the drop checker will not turn green then the diffuser is not working...is it that simple?
ADA is a bit too pricey for the large diffusers.

Bump: Looks like they no longer make the Rhinox 5000, but the JARDLI brand has a 2" ceramic diffuser.

Last edited by ahud; 05-14-2018 at 12:12 AM. Reason: left off
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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 12:15 AM
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Go on ebay and search --- Pollen Glass CO2 Diffuser ADA --- Look for the 2" size. I can't vouch for how good these are, but they look similar to the Rhinox.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks. What were you typically spending on one? Found a 2" for $15. The JARDLI brand is $24.
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