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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i've been doing DIY CO2 for a few weeks and i'm liking it so far but i really don't like the consistency at all. so i'm gonna invest in pressurized co2!

One question is i'm just using regular plan black gravel in my 40breeder right now, is it wise to get it replace with eco-complete or flourite or some sort...? Or will it be ok just to keep on using the plan black gravel from petco...To tell you the truth i didn't even know these kinda substrate exist before reading about planted aquariums. Adding on to that, is it safe to redo it w/o having spikes and causing another cycle? tank has been establish for nearly 10months with an emperor 400 and fluval 304 so i got alot of biological filtration there if that helps with the substrate change.

another quick q' is should i go with a diffuser or make a quick diy co2 reactor? its a 40gal breeder.. which one would be the best?

thanks!
 

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If you replace the gravel completely, keep the filter as it is (don't clean it) and save some of the mulm and water from the original gravel. You could also mix in some of the old gravel with the new gravel.
 

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You might want to diffuse co2 with a power head or water pump to give you more water flow. You might not want to use the Emporer because the surface turbulence will off gas alot of co2. If you do use the Emporer, remove the bio wheel to reduce off gassing of co2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the response, surface turbulence can be that bad? my water level is pretty much topped off always, doesn't seem too much to me... but i wouldn't know =/
 

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Wel, some surface turbulence is good even if it does off gas co2. It adds oxygen and minimizes surface scum build up. I do purposely create some surface turbulence to minimize surface scum but, I do have to crank up the
co2 higher to counter act it. It would be good for you to get a drop checker and use it with 4 KDH water so you can dial in your co2 levels. For additional info, search this website for drop checker. You will find tons of explanation.
 

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It is fine to stick with the gravel that you currently have, unless you want to change it.

Changing the substrate should not cause another cycle, as most of the beneficial bacteria colonize within your filter/filter media.

For a 40g, I would go with a DIY CO2 reactor. It allows for more efficient CO2 diffusion when compared with a diffuser.

Also as hbosman mentioned, having a HOB filter will offgas some CO2, but as long as you keep the water levels high enough to minimize surface agitation, you should be fine. Alternatively, you could crank up your CO2 levels a bit more to compensate for the off gassing.
 
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