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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I think that I have had enough experience with plants and have decided to go into using co2. have a couple questions though. For now I plan on using diy co2 as it is cheaper for me to do.

So here are my questions

1. Ceramic diffuser vs. atomizer, which is better?
2. How do you go about sizing the right co2 diffuser/atomizer for your aquarium?
3. Also do I just use airline tubing for this or do, I recall seeing and hearing in mentioned in a couple vidoes about co2 tubing?
4. How do I know how much co2 to add to my tank, I plan on using a bubble counter
That's all I can think of for now that found vague.
 

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1) Depends on if you like the CO2 "mist" or not. Diffusers tend to have more of a mist effect than atomizers. Atomizers may require higher pressure.

2) The manufacturer should specify for their products. Large aquariums may require multiple diffusers and/or other methods of CO2 dissolution (e.g. reactor)

3) Airline tubing works, as does CO2 tubing. The loss of CO2 in regular airline tubing compared to the more expensive CO2 tubing is minimal.

4) A bubble counter only serves as a quick visual check to see that your CO2 is indeed being injected. A drop checker with 4 dkH reference solution is an alternative, or even just watching your livestock and plants will do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, so back with more questions. I had to put of this co2 escapade for a little bit because I got really busy. So I want to start off slow with this. I was gonna try the citric acid diy co2 method discussed in this video on my 5 gallon dirted tank with medium that I started a few months ago https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JzvfHO31Ug

So something that I have been wondering about is what can be done to minimize the amount of co2 I lose from bubbles popping at the surface? Also what I am curiuos about is the fact that co2 is best run when the lights are on. However my lights run from 10:30am-6pm, so what is the leeway for if the co2 runs while lights are off in case I don't get to it in time? I know a major downfall to diy co2 is the fact that they can't run on solenoids which are pretty much timers right? Correct me if I am wrong
 

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You may be able to find some ceramic CO2 diffusers that work at lower pressures. They work by creating a fine mist, increasing the surface area that is exposed to the water column, allowing faster dissolution of CO2.

Alternatively, there are commercial devices such as a CO2 ladder, which increases the time the CO2 bubble has to dissolve into the water column.

I'm not sure what you are asking regarding the leeway of the CO2. As you plan to use the citric acid DIY CO2 method, you cannot turn it on/off, and I assume your lights are on a timer. The CO2 will just be running all day, so that should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok, so now to my last question. Because co2 is best run with the lights on and my light are on a timer but the co2 is not, what is an appropriate amount of time for the co2 to run while lights are off, in case I can't always be in time to turn off the co2 when the lights go off?
 

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Ok, so now to my last question. Because co2 is best run with the lights on and my light are on a timer but the co2 is not, what is an appropriate amount of time for the co2 to run while lights are off, in case I can't always be in time to turn off the co2 when the lights go off?
AFAIK the only issue is the potential to run the CO2 too high for the fish since the plants won't be consuming any CO2. I know some people with pH probes run CO2 all the time to keep the level constant at all times. However, I don't use DIY CO2 so I can't really offer anything more on how people with those set-ups handle the overnight period. Though I suppose you could simply let it run while you are home and see what happens. That way you are there to respond if it does start to go too high. Then you would know when, if at all, it might become an issue.
 

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Ok aside from fish gasping for air, is there any other way of monitoring co2 levels?
You can also monitor it by using the PH/KH/CO2 chart with a good PH meter. This is how I determine my CO2 levels to get a baseline then I slightly increase/decrease CO2 depending on the response of the plants or fish.
 

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I use 2l of DIY CO2 and run for the whole time in 23g shrimp tank, it is not that different in my views whether you turn it off or on for the whole time..my drop checker is always green and I havent any issue with shrimps and plants for that. May be cos it is just diy CO2. I use ceramic diffuser as I hard atomizers need high pressure and will work only with pressurized system.
 

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You can also monitor it by using the PH/KH/CO2 chart with a good PH meter. This is how I determine my CO2 levels to get a baseline then I slightly increase/decrease CO2 depending on the response of the plants or fish.
Do note that this relationship only is accurate if the only pH altering buffer in your water column is carbonate (which is unlikely to be true). This is why some people use a drop checker with a 4 dkH reference solution consisting of only carbonate as the buffering species.
 

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Well because in the video he talks about how the system works, and that you can turn of the production of co2 by shutting the needle valve.
There is a very cheap solenoid valve listed on Ebay that I'm using now. It works fine with a DIY CO2 system, and lets you use a timer to shut off the CO2. I suspect this cheap solenoid valve will not last a really long time, but at the $15 price, it doesn't matter.
Sorry if this is a dumb question, but co2 is new to me. How do you use 4dkh solution with the drop checker?
A drop checker only indicates a rough estimate of how much CO2 is in the tank water if you use distilled water, with just enough baking soda in it to get a known KH of 4 dKH, in the drop checker "bulb". You add 2-3 drops of API pH test kit reagent to that water to turn it to a solution that is blue for very low ppm of CO2 and green at around 30 ppm, and yellow at much higher ppm of CO2.
 

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There is a very cheap solenoid valve listed on Ebay that I'm using now. It works fine with a DIY CO2 system, and lets you use a timer to shut off the CO2. I suspect this cheap solenoid valve will not last a really long time, but at the $15 price, it doesn't matter.

A drop checker only indicates a rough estimate of how much CO2 is in the tank water if you use distilled water, with just enough baking soda in it to get a known KH of 4 dKH, in the drop checker "bulb". You add 2-3 drops of API pH test kit reagent to that water to turn it to a solution that is blue for very low ppm of CO2 and green at around 30 ppm, and yellow at much higher ppm of CO2.
Hoppy you got a ebay link to the solenoid valve that you use? I saw the milwaukee one but i don't want to spend that much...

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Hoppy you got a ebay link to the solenoid valve that you use? I saw the milwaukee one but i don't want to spend that much...
There is a very cheap solenoid valve listed on Ebay that I'm using now. It works fine with a DIY CO2 system, and lets you use a timer to shut off the CO2. I suspect this cheap solenoid valve will not last a really long time, but at the $15 price, it doesn't matter.

A drop checker only indicates a rough estimate of how much CO2 is in the tank water if you use distilled water, with just enough baking soda in it to get a known KH of 4 dKH, in the drop checker "bulb". You add 2-3 drops of API pH test kit reagent to that water to turn it to a solution that is blue for very low ppm of CO2 and green at around 30 ppm, and yellow at much higher ppm of CO2.
 

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I think that I have had enough experience with plants and have decided to go into using co2. have a couple questions though. For now I plan on using diy co2 as it is cheaper for me to do.

So here are my questions

1. Ceramic diffuser vs. atomizer, which is better?
2. How do you go about sizing the right co2 diffuser/atomizer for your aquarium?
3. Also do I just use airline tubing for this or do, I recall seeing and hearing in mentioned in a couple vidoes about co2 tubing?
4. How do I know how much co2 to add to my tank, I plan on using a bubble counter
That's all I can think of for now that found vague.
Just note that if you decide to use DIY CO2, don't use an atomizer (def not enough pressure).

Also, D501 kit is a great DIY CO2 kit w/ citric acid/baking soda vs yeast (i hated cleaning my used up bottles when using yeast).
 

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Goto Green Leaf Aquariums Start here if you are really going to do co2! If you buy all that cheap stuff IT WILL COST YOU IN THE END! I just got into it to and started here and yes I paid ($400) but that is all in! For probably a lifetime minus the $11 is cost to fill my tank maybe once or twice a year! So in the end it will be cheaper! And safer for your fish!
 

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Where can I get that lot from?
Here you go (gotta do a search for the ebay links):

D501:
[Ebay Link Removed] CO2 Generator D501 Kit Planted Aquarium Valve Pressure Gauge Diffuser | eBay[/url]

bulk Citric Acid and baking soda:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B002SKVZIQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GNBHPAS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Solenoid:
[Ebay Link Removed] Aquarium Agnetic Solenoid Valve Magnetic Valve 110V 220V Regulator | eBay[/url]

Timer for your solenoid and lights (citric acid mixture will stop creating co2 when valve is closed):
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B002QB1AYQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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Drop checker is great for a quick reading of co2 concentration. I would recommend at least once, take a cup of water out of your aquarium and let the co2 escape from the water for about a day and then measure your ph. When you start injecting co2 aim for a 1point ph drop. That will mean that you are at about 30ppm co2 in the aquarium.
 
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