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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I want to start by stating that I'm completely new to CO2 and have always held back due to intimidation. However, I've recently purchased a 5lb CO2 tank from Bev Factory and a JBJ dual guage regulator with Solenoid and bubble counter.

I currently have a 4 ft 60 gallon tank with Seachem Flourite black as substrate, a 48" 130 watt PC lamp, and two HOB filters (Emperor 400 and Aqua Clear). In the tank i have 2 large amazon swords, a few small crypts, several Anubias Nana, and two Water Wisteria. My tank is well stocked with various tetras, angels, and 2 dwarf cichlids.

My question is, am i headed in the right direction?
Also, what additional equipment will i need for my CO2 system?
What brand do you recommend for a diffuser/reactor?
Do i need a canister filter instead of HOB's?
What type of drop checker is recommended?

Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks.
 

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With little experience I'll offer my thoughts...

With a single diffuser in your tank I'm not sure you'll be able to distribute the CO2 throughout the tank

The HOB will be gassing out your CO2. You'll just be using more CO2 and it might be difficult to get/keep it where you want.

Drop checkers IMO all work the same. You'll need the proper fluid to get a good reading. Some, like Red Sea's version instruct you to use tank water.

SteveU
 

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You definitely are headed in the right direction regarding CO2. Don't forget that with lighting as well as CO2, you will need to watch your nutrients level as well.

I think the other piece of equipment that you are missing is a check valve. They will help prevent a back siphon from destroying your regulator.

With a larger tank such as yours, I would recommend a reactor rather than a diffuser. Larger tanks often have trouble with diffusion, so as GTR mentioned, if you want to use a diffuser rather than a reactor, you may need more than one.

A canister filter is better than a HOB in the way that it will outgas CO2 less than a HOB filter. However, you can compensate for this by increasing your CO2 delivered to the tank.

Drop checkers work the same. There are cheap glass ones on eBay, expensive glass ones from ADA, cheap DIY ones, etc. Be sure to use a 4 dkH reference solution (along with bromothymol blue) to get the right readings.
 

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I think the JBJ bubble counters all have a check valve build in. I've used them in the past on SW tanks and they've worked without failure.

SteveU
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks gtr and darkblade48. I appreciate the help.

Do any of you have a reactor that you can recommend to a newb like me?
 

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... Do any of you have a reactor that you can recommend to a newb like me?
Many people have made a Rex reactor from PVC.

AquaBotanic.com has an AM1000 reactor at a very good price. It needs a pump, powerhead or canister filter with 1/2" or 12mm ID tubing.
 
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