02-10-2015, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
| | Wanted: A reliable CO2 system for large planted tank
I am in the process of up grading my CO2 system on my 300 gallon, heavily planted, aquarium. The system Iíve been using is a collection of assorted parts which have all been reasonably successful on smaller tanks, but are proving unmanageable on the larger tank. I am considering purchasing a complete kit (regulator, bubble counter (s), diffuser(s), reactors, etc.), and am wondering if anyone has done this before on a large tank. If so, I would like to know what system people have tried (names, suppliers), and how pleased you are with the system youíve installed. I am not interested in DIY systems. I want a completely off the shelf, professional quality system for a large, heavily planted tank.
So my problem is that the CO2 is not dissolving in the water prior to getting to the tank so there is misting or microbubbles throughout the tank when the system is on. Also, the Milwaukee kit isnít reliable: It doesnít always start up when the upper pH threshold is reached (I have to unplug the solenoid and replug it into the pH controller). Thirdly, the bubble counters, although brand new (eBay variety), seem to be plugged sometimes and donít start up when the others are working well (this changes from day to day, and week to week). Fourthly (is that a word?), the bubble count drops over several days and has to be reset after only a few days or a week.
Presently I have a Milwaukee regulator/solenoid kit, with a set of bubble counters (3), and three UP Aqua in-line diffusers. One diffuser is before an Eheim 1500XL filter (used as a reactor), one is before an Eheim 2215 (functioning as a polishing filter and as a reactor), and the third one is after a second Eheim 1500XL filter (I have a UV sterilizer after this second 1500XL, and until I hard line the filtration system have no room to install it before the filter). I am using an American Marine Inc pH controller (set point is presently pH 5.3 Ī 0.1 units). The substrate is ADA Africana which buffers the water to about 5.8, and reduces the KH to ≤1.0̊; the GH is raised to 4̊GH with Equilibrium; and I use the PPS dosing strategy and test my parameters to maintain a [NO3] of 10 ppm, and a [PO4] of 1.0.
The system functions well when itís working properly, plant growth is good (reasonable pearling), and algae issues are minimal (probably fluctuating [CO2]). Livestock are doing extremely well and Iím generally pleased with the set up except for the reliability of the CO2 system. I want to be able to be away for a while without worrying that everything is failing.