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CO2 diffusers

Randall

Active Member
5 Year Member
Hello Friends,

After killing thousands of dollars worth of aquatic plants over the years, I finally started dabbling in CO2 infusion, and the results are amazing. What kind of diffusers are best? Currently, I use an 8-coil glass diffuser on one tank, and an aerator (it resembles a small powerhead) on another. Can anyone help me out with brand names, please?

Thanks!

Randall Kohn
 

kingborris

New Member
5 Year Member
first off, what size tank are we dealing with?
secondly, whats your planting level like (as a percentage of substrate covered)?
Thirdly, are you using pressured CO2 or a yeast based reactor?
fourthly, whats your lighting like?

the above determines how much CO2 you will need to add to your aquarium, and therefore the type of reactor you should probably use.
 

Randall

Active Member
5 Year Member
Hello KB,

Thanks for responding.

To date, I've been using DIY yeast-based reactors on the two planted tanks. To be planted tanks include 90, 75, 30, 29, and 20-gallon tanks (one of each). I use high intensity lighting that averages about 3-4 watts per gallon, and planting levels will run from one-half to two-thirds of the substrate. My fish are all soft water fish, so liquid fertilizers are out of the question. I use substrate fertilizer in tablet form instead.

Thanks!

Randall Kohn
 

Randall

Active Member
5 Year Member
Hello KB,

Thanks for responding.

To date, I've been using DIY yeast-based reactors on the two planted tanks. To be planted tanks include 90, 75, 30, 29, and 20-gallon tanks (one of each). I use high intensity lighting that averages about 3-4 watts per gallon, and planting levels will run about one-half of the substrate. My fish are all soft water fish, so liquid fertilizers are out of the question. I use substrate fertilizer in tablet form instead.

Thanks!

Randall Kohn
 

Fatts

Member
5 Year Member
Randall,
Are all of those tank individually filtered, or are you using a central filtration system?

If you are using a central system, a good reactor plumbed inline with your return water would be the way to go.
 

kingborris

New Member
5 Year Member
Hi Randal,

The fact that you are using DIY yeast reactors will limit you to the type of diffuser you can use. With any type powered reactor you run the risk of a venturi type effect, and having the contents of the reactor drawn into the water. there is also the problem that the gas released isnt pure CO2, but rather a mix of the CO2 produced by the reactor, and the air present in the bottle when the reaction starts. this will rapidly build up in a powered reactor, and you'll be spitting bubbles all over the tank. The same is true of inline reactors for external filtration. Too much air in the reactor could cause you problems. Inline reactors also sit under a fair ammount of pressure (basically the same kind of pressure an external filter sits at due to the water above it). This pressure may effect how well a yeast reactor can deliver the gas.

Based on the above, i'd say the ladder / spiral type diffusers are the best to use with yeast reactors. try to position them as deep in the aquarium as possible, and in an area with a bit of current. this should help increase contact time and diffuse the gas better.

On your bigger tanks, you will probably need a few yeast reactors to get the CO2 levels up to the desired level. using more than one also means you can stagger when you recharge them, causing a more consistent CO2 supply.

If you were to change to pressurised systems, then this gives you a lot more options. I use both an internal powered reactor (aquamedic 500) on my 25G and an inline external reactor (aquamedic 1000) on my 200G tank. i find both work very well.

as an aside, with high lighting and CO2, you will almost certainly need to provide some micro nutrients for your plants. while substrate ferts are good for heavy root feeders (crypts and swords etc), many plants predominantly take nutrients through the leaves. I would advocate the use of a micronutrient solution (something like Seachem flourish or equivalent, i use CSM-B with added Iron). even though you have soft water setups, this shouldnt increase TDS very much, but will give your plants a helping hand.

HTH
 

Fatts

Member
5 Year Member
Randall,
I was going to say the same thing that KB said. The Hagen ladder has gotten quite a few reviews online. The owner of my LFS uses one in each of his smaller tanks (as a display to "how it works"). He swears by them. I am not 100% but I think most of the "glass diffusers" rely on a bit of pressure created by the generator, so if the pressure is a bit low the diffuser don't break up the bubbles as well. I use the external reactor that KB mentioned.

I use CSM+B also. If I maintain my Fe at .1ppm, it raises my total TDS from 180 to 220. I have a heavily planted 240 gal tank. I use my TDS as my baseline for when I need to add more trace. The trace seams to have little effect on my fish (currently: T. candidi, A. aggies, D. filamentosus and various tetras and catfish)
 

Randall

Active Member
5 Year Member
Hello KB & Scott,

Thank you both very much for sharing your experience with me and for your good information. A ladder diffuser it is then.

All the best,

Randall Kohn
 

jeepjon

New Member
5 Year Member
I actually use limewood air-"stones" as my CO2 diffusers with my yeast systems. They are mounted horizontally, with a bubble side on the top. The bubbles are very fine, and there is some CO2 loss, but it is very good, especially below the output of a power filter. I can see some of the bubbles dissappear.

Probably not as good as a glass diffuser, but works very well for $4 in parts for two limewood airstones and the airline suction cup mounts.

-Jon
 

arjay

New Member
5 Year Member
Another alternative is a cigarette filter (the type you buy if you roll your own). They push into standard airline and give off an incredibly fine mist of bubbles. Best thing is they're around $2.00 for 100 so when one clogs up you just replace it. I've used them for years and have found that if you replace them regularly they're almost as good as glass diffusers.
 

apistoireland

New Member
5 Year Member
I use a limewood diffuser on all my tanks. I have some yeast based DIY systems and a bottle based system on my 70 gal tank. Both work fine.
My bottle based system is a gas bottle and pressure system from a CO2 dispenser unit originally used for softdrinks. I talked my local brewery rep out of it. Much cheaper to run than systems made especially made for the aquqrium trade
 
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