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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I'm a newbie on most anything with planted tanks. I just bought my first CO2 diffuser about 2 weeks ago and now its not working. Its a glass diffuser with I think a ceramic insert. I soaked it in bleach over night (read online that that's how you clean them), but it still is plugged. The weird thing is that it allows water through (albeit gradually) but air will only go in it, not out. :( I don't know how to clean it further or if the place in China that I ordered it from is just no good. Please help me!!
Scouter
 

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Hey scouter why do you need to clean it when you just brought it brand new? You're only suppose to clean it when it's dirty, but anyways how are you injecting the co2 into the diffsuer? is it a DIY or pressurize co2? Easiest way to test the diffuser is to get a air pump and stick it in to see if bubbles comes out. GOOD LUCK
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I tried cleaning it because it got plugged and stopped putting out CO2. I use DIY CO2 and when I took off the diffuser, CO2 shot out of the tube-so there was plenty of pressure. I checked it with an air pump before and after I cleaned it and it still doesn't work. I don't know why/ how it got plugged up- frankly I'm a little frustrated that I have to deal with this after only using it for 2 weeks. I figured I'd have to clean it once a month at most.
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DIY often builds up a yeast 'snot', especially if you don't use a trap. If that's what you've got, it will be a little harder to remove. :( Off the top of my head, I would try soaking it in vinegar for a while and seeing if that helps any. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, so I put it in vinegar and left it for a few hours, but still no bubbles. I tried blowing it out as per the seller's recommendation- with my air compressor. I didn't get it to work until I went up to 40psi and it still won't work until then. I don't know what to do- Should I tell the seller that I want a new one? or should I just get a new one from a different seller and blacklist this one? Is there a different remedy that I could use to try and clean it?
Thanks,
Scouter
 

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Are you sure it's a problem with the diffuser? I know some people have had trouble using the ceramic membrane-type diffusers with DIY CO2 as the DIY CO2 simply doesn't build up enough pressure to force CO2 gas through the membrane.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'm thinking that it might not be fit for a DIY set up, but it did work for me for about 1 1/2 weeks. It was advertised as DIY compatible, but I'm not too sure now. I would think that it should still work. The solution was a new mix and I join a 2ltr and a 3ltr bottle together on the same CO2 line, so there should be plenty of pressure(I would think). I guess I'm just going to buy another one from someone else.
:(
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The problem you are having as Pyro has suggested is that not enough pressure is building up now almost 2weeks later. I personally do not think you have an issue with the diffuser but what I do gather from your explanation is that your brew mix isn't performing optimally if its giving no co2 output after only 1½ weeks. You should still be getting enough Co2 output to still maintain good levels depending on your size tank.

Here is my brew mix that was used for 1½yrs in my 20gal tall with a Rhinox 5000. Every 2 weeks a new brew was made so that Co2 levels were always optimal.

2 Liter soda bottle
2 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp Yeast 'not the fancy ones'
3Tsp Baking Soda
RO/DI Water to where bottle Curves

The mix above will give good performance in a 20~29 gal setup with any plants but the mix will have to be changed every 2 weeks.

DIY often builds up a yeast 'snot', especially if you don't use a trap. If that's what you've got, it will be a little harder to remove.
If you have this buildup (which will happen in time) you can also boil the diffuser in bleach water for 5~10min. I do not have a set amount of bleach that I use, I just pour in to what I think is enough to get good concentration. After boiling I let it cool to touch, proceed with shaking the diffuser to get the bleach water thats inside the chamber out, boil it again in fresh water with 1 cap of prime until the chamber is filled with water and then finished up with a final shake. It takes a total of 20~30min to get my diffuser ultra clean.

This procedure I've been using for almost 2yrs now with the same diffuser "R5K" and have never had any issues. I've tried all types cleaning methods but the process outlined is ultra quick, gets the diffuser super clean and gives the best performance! If it's too much for you to do I understand :)

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I would really have to change it every 2 weeks? Before I got a diffuser, I just let the bubbles from the CO2 get shot through my powerhead, and there was good CO2 production for nearly a month. I guess that's why I'm so perplexed by this. Is it usual lifespan of the mixes? I guess I'll change the mix, but if that's how often I'll be changing them then I might just switch to a pressurized system.
Thanks,
Scouter
 

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Having no back pressure on the DIY bottle will cause Co2 generation to appear to be lasting longer but from experience anything after the 2~2½ weeks mark leads to sub par Co2 levels which = all kinds of problems. If good healthy growth is what you are after then you will need to be disciplined with your brew refresh frequency and keep it consistent. If that is not for you then you will be better off going with pressurized.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well its not that I'm worried about having to change a brew every two weeks so much as it is the cost that accrues. I figure after startup costs, it's probably cheaper and easier to just have a pressurized system. Although I still think its cool to generate your own CO2.

Anyways, thanks for the help. I'm probably going to upgrade to a 40 or 50 gallon in the fall so I'll need to get a pressurized system anyways. At least I don't need to buy a new diffuser! Thanks for the advice.

Scouter
 
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