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New to CO2 - New tank setup

1015 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Mirkinator
I am planning to start a new 46 gallon planted tank in the next few weeks, and am slowly purchasing the pieces that I need. I found a Marineland C-220 canister filter on sale today and picked up a 5# CO2 tank, and have ordered a Milwaukee regulator\needle valve\electronic solenoid\bubble counter. I am planning to add a DIY PVC CO2 diffuser inline on the outflow side of my canister filter. What would you recommend I do for the output into my tank? Should I run the output through a spray bar below the surface of the water or just use the diffuser that came with my filter? Do you have other recommendations for this portion of my setup?
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The Milwaukee reg is pretty hit and miss. Seems they are more trouble than not. I would advice getting a better needle valve. The output is up to personal preference. A lot of people use spray bars to distribute co2 more evenly. Be sure to use some good surface agitation to increase oxygen levels. You don't got to blast the surface, but keep a nice ripple across the top. Start slow and increase co2 over several days. Good luck!
The outlet pipe that comes with the C220 is fine, but a spray bar is better imo, as it gives you better distribution in a 46g.
I have a 46 g bowfront and use the Milwaukee set up you've described. No problems with the reg etc and the only thing to note is the bubble counter dosen't have a built in check valve so you may want to add one.

I tried a ISTA Max Mix reactor with my Eheim 2213 but it didn't work very well as the micro bubbles were not very small and it constantly had gas buildup in its top end. Then hooked it to a Maxijet 900 on the outlet side and using the Maxijet as an external pump, better with the increased flow but still not great. Then replaced it with an in-line diffuser on the Eheim, now the micro-bubbles were at lot smaller but I felt the coverage was lacking as it needed more flow. Now have it hooked to the bottom end (intake) on the Maxijet and it puts out what looks like a fog of micro bubbles which dissipates in about 6" and has plenty of flow throughout the tank. I see no bubbles getting to the surface at all. This seems like the most effective setup so far but I don't like the power head hanging in my tank so I'm waiting for a good (500 g) external pump to arrive and will hook the in-line unit into its intake line. That hopefully will do it.
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Id recommend a spray bar that you can elevate at night to get some oxygen. Lily pipes are p koo too and you can raise them each night as well. I have two canisters on most of my tanks so I can do one of each :D
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