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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Soon, soooo very soooon I am upgrading to a 125 gallon tank over my 55 gallon. In my current 55 I am running pressurized CO2, needle valve, glass bubble counter and glass diffsuor and drop checker. System works fine. However stepping up to a larger tank... the CO2 diffusion for some reason is something I have overlooked until I browsed a post that made me stop and think.

If I have been reading correctly a CO2 reactor would be better suited for larger tanks then a diffusor? Is there some truth to that or is more do you want to see bubbles or no bubbles?

Secondly not much to do with this, but the regulator I picked up for my CO2 tanks (5 pound) is a standard one i picked up from harbor freight tools. the spiggot that comes off is larger then the standard air tubing for aquariums and stepping down from it to regular hosing has been a pain in my butt. Any recomendations?


EDIT: Also I am running a cannister filter rated at 525 gph
 

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You should be able to put whatever hose barb you want on the regulator, downstream of the needle valve, which you have to supply too.

The major problem with large tanks and CO2 is finding a way to ensure that CO2 enriched water is reaching all plants in the tank. That can take multiple points where the CO2 enters the water, very good water circulation in the tank, and a reactor or diffuser big enough too put enough CO2 into the water flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have had really good luck with the diffusor, may pick up one of those super ones from the link sponsor. I think what I am going to try and do is place my return bar vertical in the tank and create a current along the backside and place the diffusor next to the filter intake... Have read that running the co2 through the canister has worked fairly well for some
 

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It seems to me that an "in the tank" diffuser may not be as efficient in a 125g tank.

I ran CO2 into my "525gph" canister for some time on my 75g. It worked reasonably well, but there was constant gurgling and co2 burping from the outlet every minute or so. Drop checkers never got past "oak leaf" green. I was also concerned with the CO2 rich environment in my filter, which is not a good thing for Benny the Bacteria.

Reactor: At first I built a standard "Rex Grigg" style reactor out of 2x22" PVC. The flow from my canister was too much and consequently co2 mist was ejected from the outlet. Back to the drawing board... I cut the reactor in two and spliced in a 18" section of 4" PVC using some reducer fittings. In addition, I inserted two 20" sections of "egg crate" into the chamber to cause further turbulence... Problem solved. No misting, burping, and drop checkers now show a nice "Kermit the Frog" Green.

CO2 plumbing: For getting CO2 into the reactor, I used a 3/4" Hose barb "T" that has a 1/2" FPT opening on the perpendicular side. I had to reduce this to 1/4" using a reducer to accept a 1/4" MPT / 1/8" hose barb fitting. This is where I hook up my CO2 line (using a quality check valve, of course). This contraption is plumbed in between the canister outlet and the inlet of the reactor.

All fittings were readily available from the plumbing and "Rain Bird" sprinkler section of my local Menards. Total ~$30 and 30 min of time.

I can take a few pictures of the components if you would like.
 

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Bump! I also am in the process of building a 125 and looking for advice on just about anything I can get. I have a 40 gallon sump where the heater and filtration etc is. The heart of the system is a 950 GPH mag pump and a 6 foot Reefbrite LED bar that is mounted to the canopy. Maknwar is building a reg for me. I was thinking about making a reactor but wanted to make sure I can get the diffusion I need in the tank.

So what do I need to make this work? Where can I pick up a drop checker and does anyone have a link where I can do some reading on how they work and where they should be placed in the tank etc?

Pooch, did you end up taking pictures?

Any advice is really appreciated.

Chris...
 

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First, for your hose issue, you should be able to get a fitting at any larger sized hardware store. There in the section for compression fittings. Should only cost you a few dollars.

As for diffusion, a reactor is probably going to be better than a diffusor in all cases, no matter how big or small. On smaller tanks, sometimes you don't have room, or you don't have enough flow. I have seen larger tanks with diffusors though, you probably would want to run two. You also probably want to get the biggest you can find (I have seen some that are over 2.5 in in diameter. I would personally go with a reactor for both function and cost.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To note on this, once I ended up setting my 125, I invested in a atomic diffusor and upgraded to a duel stage regulator with solonoid. I am in the process of cleaning my atomic (need to get off my butt and do it) and have a little cermic diffusor right underneath a power head, it chops the bubbles up nicely! Only running it at around 3 BPS and on 10pounds operating pressure and my CO2 stays nice and happy.

I have my drop checker on the opposite site of where my CO2 is injected. I am also going to be moving to a sump setup soon and since my success with the powerhead I am probably just going to feed my CO2 right into my pump for the return.

As to getting a drop checker, check the swap and shop, someone was selling them shipped for like $9!!
 
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