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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am possibly having some troubles with CO2 diffusion in my 55 gallon 4' tank. I am using a single glass/ceramic diffuser and I have two complaints. One is that I seem to get a flow of largish bubbles out of only one part of the disc, there are a few small bubbles but the majority of CO2 is going straight up (This diffuser has recently been soaked in bleach and looks completely clean). Also I am having significant algae issues which I attribute to not enough CO2 to match my lighting (160 watts of T12s), could also be a lack of bio load as the plants are not well grown in yet. My questions are:

1. Do the ceramic diffusers wear out and start to produce larger bubbles or are they just a bit crappy.
2. Would I get more benefit out of adding a power head to increase circulation (and possibly run the CO2 through if that's possible), or by using a splitter valve to run two ceramic diffusers simultaneously?

Any input is much appreciated. Thanks for reading.
 

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Do you use a canister filter? If so I highly recommend a co2 atomizer... It'll run in line with your output hose and circulate pretty well for a 4 feet tank. I'd only use ceramic disk for a small tank
 

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I don't have much experience with CO2, but I heard that using a HOB filter is a waste of CO2 because the surface agitation gases it out. Canister filters are the way to go when using CO2.
 

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One way to do it is to somehow hook it to a small power head and use that to distribute the co2. That's what I did when I used diy co2 for my 33gal tank. I used hob back then too. But canister is definitely best for this situation
 

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If you are using a HOB filter you probably should inject more CO2, I'm talking about 3 bubbles per second or more. Using a reactor with a canister filter works best but I know a couple guys who use 2 diffusers in a longer tank and still get great results. Adding a small powerhead for more circulation won't hurt.
That being said I think there are either variance or some ceramic discs/diffusers are just cheaper than others and hence produce bigger bubbles. Ask Pat at Canadian Aquatics if he still keeps the Bazooka type diffusers. Those seem better than the ceramic discs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the help guys, I'm writing with a little update. I got my hands on an aquclear pump for a good price and it does a great job of diffusing the Co2, the one downside is it turns the water into 7up; I'm guessing an inline diffuser on a canister doesn't have this problem.

Unfortunately I didn't have much time to worry about the champagne water because shortly after getting the pump I got hit with 'dum dum dum' - GREENWATER! Ugh, I wanted to, as usual, try to fix this on the cheap so I tried the willow branch technique. Being a bit of a knuckle head I didn't twig to the idea that at this time of year the trees are dormant and not prone to rooting from cuttings so that attempt has gone nowhere in a week.

That's ok because my wife, God bless her, has given the green light on a canister filter and uv sterilizer - I'm stoked. I've had some bad experiences with canisters that has kept me away from them, I think the leaks may have been caused by un-lubricated seals. Anyhow, I'm in the market for a good used canister for a 55 gallon and a uv sterilizer if anyone knows of such things around. I would like to come in around $150 for the set up but I also want to get quality items so I realize I may have to go over a little bit.

I'm hoping to attach the uv and an inline diffuser to the filter, is this too much to put inline? Anyhow I will post some ads in the classifieds shortly, I have some stuff for sale/trade but if anyone has or knows of a canister/sterilizer for sale, hit me up.
 

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Bubbles from plants indicate that they are photosynthesizing. You're going to see pearling regardless of what CO2 diffusion method you use.
 

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T12 lights. Time to switch those in for T5's. I have no issues with my aquaclear hob and injecting Co2. Just place the disc near the intake and let the the bubbles get ducked in and the other half left to float in the tank.
 

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jbyoung00008 can attest to that there is a learning curve when using an inline atomizer. Just make sure you are around to monitor if you eventually set it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the help guys, I'm checking in with an update. We had to put the uv purchase on hold but...the willow trick worked. Turns out Willows will grow roots in the winter (probably not news to a lot of you). About 2 weeks with the willows in, and increasing my plant load considerably (thanks Denis), and the water is crystal clear. I'm still going to go canister/uv when I can but this was a really nice short term fix.
 

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What co2 regulator are you using?i use the same diffusers with canister filter with no problems.
 

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Unless you're worried about parasites and such, an inline UV is over kill to deal with algae. You'll need to balance the lighting, co2 and fertilizing. I'd skip the UV, and just get the canister in the future. You can play with those 3 aspects, which will prevent the problem, instead of removing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
T12 lights. Time to switch those in for T5's. I have no issues with my aquaclear hob and injecting Co2. Just place the disc near the intake and let the the bubbles get ducked in and the other half left to float in the tank.
I'm wondering what the issue is with T-12s. I'm using 2 shop lights with 2 40 watt T-12s a piece. Just the cheapo plant bulbs from the hardware store although I'm planning to switch to of them out for cooler bulbs for better colours. I'm curious to hear what the downsides of these bulbs are.
 

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I had my co2 running into my canister intake for awhile but like you said it's like soda water , now I just have a disc under my intake and like Youngblood said some goes in and some goes up . I also have bought a couple ceramic disc and thrown them away as they were sh--. And just alternate as one is cleaning and drying I just switch them out from time to time.another thing you can do to get better co2 transfer is put the disc under plants like Anubis as they trap the co2 under their leaves in pockets that look kinda neat .I just replaced my fluval 305 for a 405 in my 55 gal and my algae has almost vanished. why they pair a filter designed for a tank with 2 fish and no plants with t5 ho lights I don't know but Ive gone from a grey gong show to a lush underwater garden with the help of all of the users here . 👍 Good luck and remember to over size whichever filter you do get so you don't have to add more flow later once the plants fill out.
 
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