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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

I'm looking at building a regulator and trying to determine which way I want to dissolve the CO2. I'm running a 20g and don't have a lot of space under the stand so a reactor is probably out. I'd also like to keep as much equipment out of the tank as possible, so this leads me to an inline diffuser.

Can anyone recommend one to either stay away from or to buy without hesitation? Also, how many bubbles in the water are we talking? I've never done CO2 before and I'm not sure what to expect in this area.

Thanks!

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16g rimless cherry shrimp, 20g cube dwarf cichlid, 40g breeder nano community.
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I've been using the Nilocg inline diffuser on my 45g (moving it to a 39g this week) and it works great, but I do get a lot of bubbles coming from the inflow lily pipe that makes the water less than clear. I have the ISTA External CO2 Ceramic Reactor Diffuser coming in tomorrow's mail to setup on a 16g. It might be overkill, but I'm hoping I get less hazy water on this setup... note - I'm also using a spray bar on this little tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've been using the Nilocg inline diffuser on my 45g (moving it to a 39g this week) and it works great, but I do get a lot of bubbles coming from the inflow lily pipe that makes the water less than clear. I have the ISTA External CO2 Ceramic Reactor Diffuser coming in tomorrow's mail to setup on a 16g. It might be overkill, but I'm hoping I get less hazy water on this setup... note - I'm also using a spray bar on this little tank.
Less then clear? I understand there will be some bubbles, but how bad is it? I think I'm either going to go with this one from Colin at Nilocg or the one from CO2Art.

I'd also appreciate any input on a post body question. Over on Barr's site, it seems like bubble counters aren't put on the post body any more(alright so its been a few years since I've looked at this) and its just a nipple for the hose. Definitely need a check valve but what about the bubble counters?

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Less then clear? I understand there will be some bubbles, but how bad is it? I think I'm either going to go with this one from Colin at Nilocg or the one from CO2Art.

I'd also appreciate any input on a post body question. Over on Barr's site, it seems like bubble counters aren't put on the post body any more(alright so its been a few years since I've looked at this) and its just a nipple for the hose. Definitely need a check valve but what about the bubble counters?

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You will want a bubble counter for that sized tank. I like the glass ones (such as this one, or this one), just put them inline after your check valve.

An inline diffuser is exactly the same as an in tank diffuser just.. inline. So if you have seen how many bubbles come out of an in tank diffuser its the same, only they are going to come out much closer to the surface so they will go away faster and in theory, some will dissolve on their way to the lily pipe.

Anyway a reactor doesn't exactly take up a lot of space, as in a few inches at most. You can build one just 12 or so inches tall with that size tank. If you can fit a canister filter under that tank you can fit a reactor. /shrug its up to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You will want a bubble counter for that sized tank. I like the glass ones (such as this one, or this one), just put them inline after your check valve.

An inline diffuser is exactly the same as an in tank diffuser just.. inline. So if you have seen how many bubbles come out of an in tank diffuser its the same, only they are going to come out much closer to the surface so they will go away faster and in theory, some will dissolve on their way to the lily pipe.

Anyway a reactor doesn't exactly take up a lot of space, as in a few inches at most. You can build one just 12 or so inches tall with that size tank. If you can fit a canister filter under that tank you can fit a reactor. /shrug its up to you.
I appreciate the reply. Here's the trouble with the available space. I'm running a canister filter that takes up let's say 1/3rd the foot print. Then ( I need to double check measurements) but a 10lb co2 tank, maybe another 1/3rd. Under this stand is a hvac floor vent. I can't cover that up and I am limited to what I can keep under the stand. Can you recommend a small reactor? I may be able to attach it to the stand and keep it off the floor some how. I'd rather not DIY one, (looked into Griggs a while back).

So looking at more pictures if reg builds, I see most people aren't mounting the bubble counter to the post body, they just run it inline below the tank as the line comes up. I suppose however, if I do a inline or reactor somehow, it'll probably need to be mounted on the post body.


Thanks!


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I think you can fit in there with the canister filter etc, but even if you can't its easy enough to build or adapt something that will hold the co2 tank off of the floor allowing the hvac to vent air without being blocked. You should definitely just build a reactor even if you have never built one before you can google it and find videos, its super easy and will save you a lot of money. If for whatever reason you still don't want to to build it, you can buy one of these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welp, Rex Griggs it is. Built and currently employed. I'm getting some really small bubbles from my filter exhaust, I can't tell if it's just air from the filter(cleaned it while I plumbed everything up and air was introduced) and reactor or if it's actually CO2. I'll give it a day or two and monitor it.

Thanks for the input everyone, I'm happy I went with the DIY reactor route.
 
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