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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...a regulator and a diffuser?

I'm just looking into getting a pressurized CO2 setup after doing the DIY yeast for awhile, and I came across both of these, and I don't really see the difference. Help?

Thanks!!
 

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regulators attach to the tank and Regulate co2 from 800 psi to around 30. Diffusers are the method for getting the co2 into the tank, such as a ceramic diffusuer, inline diffuser, etc.



It just so happens that I live just miles away from you.
 

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A regulator is something that takes the high pressure CO2 from your CO2 tank and brings the pressure down to a lower level (what we call the "working pressure"), at which point you need a needle valve to control the CO2 so that it is "low flow" because we don't want too much CO2 in the aquarium. Without the regulator, if you just opened your CO2 tank by itself, the tank would start flying around everywhere and probably blow a hole through your wall and seriously injure or kill you if it hits you. The regulator converts the CO2 to a pressure that we can work with.

We also need a method to diffuse the CO2 into the water though because if we just injected the CO2 bubbles into the water, they would just rise up to the surface and go into the air, doing absolutely nothing for our aquarium. Therefore, we need to take the CO2 gas bubbles and mix them with water until the gas diffuses into the water. This is what we need the diffuser to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Some people use their canister filters as their reactor...can I just drill a hole in my "in" line and insert my CO2 line (silicone tubing?)? That would help me avoid needing a diffuser and a reactor, correct? And yes, I will be getting pressurized CO2. And I need any help finding reliable but budget-worthy parts, or else a great kit. I have seen some with pH controllers...does anyone have any thoughts on those?
 

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You can feed the CO2 tubing into the intake of your canister filter and that should work decently, but some say that this shortens the lifespan of the canister filter's impeller, so I wouldn't say that this method is without potential drawbacks. If you do this, you wouldn't need a diffuser.

As far as pH controllers go, they are not really necessary. Some find that they can be nice to have, but honestly, if you gave me one for free right now, I probably wouldn't bother to hook it up.
 

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I have used a canister (xp1 and an eheim 2213) for years as reactors with no ill side effects. I believe as long as you have a bit of common sense and aren't trying to blast 1000 BPS into the filter you should be fine. Really if yo think about it what is the difference between injecting co2 into the canister for diffusion and just running a canister on a tank with co2 injected into it? You are still having water that has co2 dissolved into it which is very slightly caustic in either situation. I'm talking about o-rings and other parts on the canister that can fail, not the motor blowing up because you injected too much co2 into the canister causing an air lock and the motor over heating.

Personally I think ph controllers are pointless. They do offer some measure of safety v not using one at all but with a setup not utilizing one if you set it up properly with quality equipment you should not have any issues at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks! :) So if you were to put together a full CO2 setup, where would you buy your parts and what would you get? I know where I can get the tank of CO2 but that's about it...
 

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Thanks! :) So if you were to put together a full CO2 setup, where would you buy your parts and what would you get? I know where I can get the tank of CO2 but that's about it...
I purchased both of my dual stage regulators off of [Ebay Link Removed] There are a few sellers here on this site that sell very nice systems for a good price. You could save money purchasing everything yourself but depending on your knowledge though it may be best just to pay a bit more to get a system from the folks on this site.

My two systems consist of-

1. Victor Dual Stage regulator
Clippard solenoid (older US made one, now they are made in China and are horrible and last less than a year in a lot of cases. I now have a Burkert solenoid on my other setup and when this one craps out it will be replaced with a burkert)
Swagelok needle valve
Home made bubble counter made from a v8 fusion bottle
Co2 is diffused by a system I built comprised of an Iwaki md15RLt inline pump pre Rena XP3

2. Concoa Dual stage regulator
Burkert 6011 solenoid
Ideal needle valve
DoAqua! Inline music counter (bubble counter)
CalAqua inline diffuser
 
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