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Old 05-23-2020, 12:58 PM   #1
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Co2 system questions

Hi I have a few specific questions regarding a CO2 system I want to set up in the near future. Finding information that best fits my situation seems to be difficult, firstly I see many of the same exact diffusors say on GLA however they vary in length, do these length differences matter at all (because the greater the length the more expensive)? As well would anyone recommend a different diffusor? Also how do most people fill CO2 canisters? I am having a really difficult time finding a place the only one I could find was a dick sporting goods 45 minutes away which isnt terrible but are there other places? Also is a dual stage regulator required? Are there good enough alternatives? If recommended or required would anyone recommend one thats not too pricy or recommend a DIY method which I hear about often but can never find any information on. The overwhelming consensus seems to be burkert solenoids are the best quality for price however I cant determine where to purchase one all the websites mentioned just dont sell them anymore. Finally I ask what is the point of a bubble counter and should I invest in one. Thanks
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Old 05-23-2020, 01:28 PM   #2
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Bigger the diffuer, the more they cost and the more CO2 you can pump through them (typically).

For finding a source to fill canisters, post a question or a help wanted ad on social media / local groups for a more localized answer.

Dual stage is not required, but they cut down on the risk of "end of tank dumps" where a single stage regulator can allow massive amounts of CO2 to be uncontrollably let go as the last of the liquid CO2 turns to gasn(nearing empty).

DIY is basically building everything on your own, regulator, solenoid, manifolds and needle valves.

Most quality regulators come with a solenoid that is cut for the job.

As to bubble counters, anything larger than a 25 gallon tank and they are for reference only. Tanks larger than 25 gallons are going to require so much CO2 that counting bubbles is impossible. My 25 gallon tank was well over 4 bubbles per second (uncountable) I had to use a metronome's beats per minute set to match the bubbles entering my reactor and dividing by 60 seconds to estimate my bubbles per second.

Drop checkers and pH drop are better for larger tanks. Drop checker for visual reference, and pH drop to moniter CO2 usage. A Dwyer flor meter would be a nice addition to fine tune and measure CO2 usage. RMA-151-SSV for medium sized tanks or RMA-150-SSV for larger tanks is whats usually used. You will need the correct adapter to go from a threaded connection to a barbed connection for the CO2 tubing.

Aa for pH drop, a pH pen from amazon is an affordable way to more accurately measure pH (so long as it come with calibration fluid and is calibrated every so often). a Ph controller is "best" when using the pH drop method. Also, pH drop in a tank with active soils such as ADA or Tropica soil is less effective as the water is stripped of kH and has a buffered acidic pH to start with. The pH drop method is best used on non-buffering substrates:

Ensure CO2 is dropping the pH of the tank water a full 1.0 – 1.2. To do this, measure the pH of tank water with no CO2 dissolved in it, and then measure again 2-3 hours after CO2 has been running. Ensure the drop in pH is a full 1.0-1.2. If the drop is not there yet, slowly up CO2 over a few weeks until at least a 1.0 drop is achieved, and watch fish / livestock carefully. Adjust CO2 down if you notice fish gasping at the surface and consider running an airstone at night when pushing a 1.2 or greater drop. For example, a tank water pH of 7.5 with no CO2 dissolved in it, should reach a pH of 6.5 – 6.3 for CO2 to really shine, and for maximum plant health.
Consistency in CO2 levels is key to plant health. Keep CO2 levels as stable as possible once a desirable level has been reached during the entirety of the photoperiod.
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response, it has plenty of useful information Ill use. I plan to get an atomic diffusor from GLA probably do you think size matters or would perfer a specific size? My tank is 60 gallons by the way.
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Old 05-25-2020, 08:09 AM   #4
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I would go with a larger sized diffuser for 60 gallons, doesn't matter the brand so long as it's quality.
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:43 AM   #5
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I would go with a larger sized diffuser for 60 gallons, doesn't matter the brand so long as it's quality.
ill do that, thanks
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Old 05-25-2020, 02:38 PM   #6
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The GLA diffusers are amazing. I have used all sorts of glass and ceramic diffusers, but nothing works like the GLA atomizer. Save you CO2 in the long run too since you have to run less gas to achieve optimal CO2 in solution.
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Old 05-25-2020, 02:51 PM   #7
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The GLA diffusers are amazing. I have used all sorts of glass and ceramic diffusers, but nothing works like the GLA atomizer. Save you CO2 in the long run too since you have to run less gas to achieve optimal CO2 in solution.
Thats what Ive heard, what do you think about CO2Art diffusors? Im considering getting one of those as well.
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Old 05-26-2020, 02:32 AM   #8
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Thats what Ive heard, what do you think about CO2Art diffusors? Im considering getting one of those as well.
Never used them, but judging off of the pictures I see it looks like they borrowed design elements from the GLA style diffuser.
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:36 PM   #9
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Never used them, but judging off of the pictures I see it looks like they borrowed design elements from the GLA style diffuser.
Ok thanks
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