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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry to sound ignorant...but I am. I was reading in a thread that for atomizer/diffusers bubble counters were useless. Is this accurate? Also the bubble counter that comes with the GLA primo setup...can it be used with water because the directions on the atomic inline diffusers say not to use the solution with bubble counters?
 

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You can use water in your bubble counter but people like mineral oil because it doesn't evaporate.

I'm not sure why bubble counters will be useless? How would you know how much Co2 you're pushing out? Are you going to sit there and gauge your plants and fish or wait the 2 hours for the drop checker to change?

I'm not directly asking you that question, it's more so on whoever says it's useless. It's useless in the sense that my bps is different from your bps if we have two different set up.

Bubble counters are great for monitoring if the rate of flow is changing, not great at describing the amount of Co2 in the tank. What I mean is, if you're set up is at 1 bps and the next day it's at 1.5 bps and changes on the third day, you will see the changes right away in your bubble counter.

For the GLA primo setup, you would have to ask them about that. Maybe they don't want mineral oil to leak into the flowing water, it would probably clog your inline diffuser.

TLDR; Bubble counters are useless at describing the Co2 in your tank compare to someone else, but they are great at describing the amount of Co2 you're releasing with the needle valve.
 

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Exactly what FHF said...it is a tool to measure the CO2 output and is the only "real-time" measurement you have. Also as mentioned, it is not an indicator of how much CO2 is in your tank as there are many variables in how it is diffused by the time it gets there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all your answers I am trying to clarify what I read in another source. I am trying to do as much research as I can before I drop 300 or so dollars on a system. The only difference I see in buying the primo system and regulator by itself is that I would be buying a timer for 20 dollars. Do I need the permaseal...is it worth buying the brass for 5 bucks rather than the nylon you get at the refill centers?
 

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I don't know why, but I had my CO2 running fine, added a bubble counter, ended up cranking the needle valve open more than normal, had a ton of bubbles, but less CO2. No leaks, couldn't figure it out. So I took it back off.

If it works, it's great, but I haven't found the need for it. The blue moon when I get my CO2 refilled I note my pressure and how far my check valve handle was turned. When I'm getting things flowing again I turn it about 75% of the way. Wait 3 hours, look at drop checker, increase a tiny bit. Repeat until drop checker is the color is good and all the fish still look happy.

Not a fantastic system, but it works.
 

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I can see them being useful as not all needle valves have increment marks on them.

I used a bubble counter as more of an on/off type visual aid. Now that I have needle valves that are marked, I found I no longer need a counter AND that I fussed with the count more if I could see the bubbles...
 

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the bubble counters say not to use oils because they don't want the oil ending up in the atomic inline diffuser. That's only if you're using the diffuser. If you use another sort of diffuser you can use oil in the bubble counter.
 

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Sorry to sound ignorant...but I am. I was reading in a thread that for atomizer/diffusers bubble counters were useless. Is this accurate? Also the bubble counter that comes with the GLA primo setup...can it be used with water because the directions on the atomic inline diffusers say not to use the solution with bubble counters?
It's not so much that they're useless, you just have to understand their limitations. Bubble counters are only a reference so you can titrate co2 in your particular setup. It is not a means of measuring how much co2 you are using. Some people describe their setups saying "i'm running at 2 BPS". This is useless information because a bubble is not a quantity of co2. The amount of co2 in a bubble varies based on many factors (temp, pressure, solution etc).

When the atomizers first came out some people claimed they were much more efficient because they used half as much co2. These claims were based on the observation that they were able to drop their bps to half their previous rate and have same level of co2 in the water. These claims were later proven false. The BPS was lower mostly because of the increased pressure used to run the atomizers (and only partially due to the greater diffusion efficiency of atomizers).

As for the solution in the bubble counter, people have had issues with the mineral oil destroying their atomizers. Basically, if oil finds its way into your atomizer, the atomizer will be damaged beyond repair. Because of this it is recommended to only fill the bubble counters with water.

For measuring co2 levels in your tank, a drop checker is really the only economical means of doing.
 
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