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CO2 mazzei vs diffuser disc, what are the important factors?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Tom Barr, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I recently switched back to diffuser disc(Rhinox brand, Greenleaf Aquarium sells them, or Aquatic magic etc). I left the bubble flow rates the same and simply swapped out the mazzei, closed it off, then placed the diffuser disc into the out flow filter current.

    the results are about the same, perhaps too early to tell, but it appears the disc do a little better job.

    Trade offs:

    1. Have clean them, Tilex works wonders, far better than H2O2/Bleach etc.
    2. They are easy to see and make sure they are working correctly.
    3. Bubble counter semi built in
    4. Cheap and easy to add
    5. Another thing in the aquarium, but they look decent and the same as ADA

    I think the real issue with good CO2 is more to do with the mist itself and current.
    Less to do with the method itself.

    I do not think 100% dissolving CO2 into the water is more efficient really (like the case with a CO2 reactor), because most of the CO2 simply degasses anyway before getting to plants etc(maybe 90%).

    So whether it's dissolved or in gas phase, really does not matter.

    What seems to matter most, current, mixing, and the sticky misty bubbles

    As my mixing, current and use of mist are the same for each of the 5 tanks I switched(not just 1 aquarium!), the results are fairly independent and support the conclusions.

    This can explain good results from mazzei, disc, needle wheel etc.
    The real issues are the above 3 traits it would seem.

    So what are the trade offs for the mazzei?
    1. Out of the aquarium
    2. Looks cool, something new for the planted hobby
    3. Easy to control mist sizing
    4. Requires high pressure flows- more energy from pump
    5. Head flow losses
    6. Filter can clog reducing the pressure across the mazzei venturi valve, reducing the efficacy of mist
    7. Requires more plumbing and more plumbing skills than a disc
    8. Nice for in line systems
    9.
    Over all, the cost is about 2X less or perhaps even a large factor, than the mazzei method(mazzei vs a Rhinox).


    I've used all of these methods successfully, but wanted to see how things compare with several tanks and the flow/current and mist as independent variables and growth/algae presence as the dependent factors.

    The plant growth is still excellent, no algae of any sort etc.
    I'd like to use a CO2 meter, but that will wait for another day:cool:

    I'm not advocating either method, I'm interested in each method on it's own merits.
    You need to consider the trade offs and think what is something you might like to do and try out yourself.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  2. JDowns

    JDowns Lifetime Charter Member
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    I prefer the mist method. I've bounced between mist and reactor and plant response is much quicker with the mist. With misting the tank is pretty much full of mist within minutes of the solenoid kicking in. Good flow and circulation I think is key here also. The only real difference I've noticed with misting is the reaction time and intensity of gas release from the substrate. Within two hours of lights on I start to get a good release of O2 from the substrate, usually from the hairgrass and larger crypts first. Later in the day its a constant release from all over the tank. I take this as a good sign of O2 being pumped into the rhizophere keeping the substrate airated which is beneficial for the bacteria and the roots.

    I haven't tried a mazzei. I've seen one in action and am comfortable with my setup as per mist size. I essentially do the same thing. I use a small diffuser that gets sucked into an intake for a modded wheel Mag 5 then distributed around the tank. Mist size is very small and the bubbles easily float around the tank in the current.
     
  3. bibbels

    bibbels Prolific Poster

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    I think I'm liking the mist method best also even though it is the one I have the least time using.

    I started with AM1000 reactor on my 125gal with 55gal sump and had poor results. I later modded the reactor by driving it with a needlewheel pump and hooking the bleed valve to the needlewheels input. That helped alot but I still didn't have good CO2 relative to my light and my sumps offgassing.

    Finally went to Mazzei and I now have this tank stable and algae-free for several months. Because of that I won't be removing my Mazzei anytime soon but I also have no plans to use Mazzei again in the future.

    My newest tank is a 24gal Aquapod. It has the sump area behind a false back wall. I have a Rhinox diffuser disk back there and right above it is the Maxijet 1200 that serves as return pump. This has worked great. Co2 mist everywhere moments after solenoid turns on and the mist size is only barely larger than what my Mazzei is producing. The Maxi's impeller is not modified. I have the unique benefit in this tank that the diffuser disk gets no light (haven't needed to clean yet after 4 months):)

    I'm in planning phase for a couple more tanks and plan to use mist there as well. Think I might try one of those new Danner pumps next.
    Danner Model 3 Supreme 350 GPH Pump w/ Fractionating Impeller
     
  4. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Tom,

    Was this done on the tanks in your home or elsewhere like the behemoth? lol

    I would be curious to know if the starfire 180 is no longer using the mazzei?

    The mazzei/mist method has also worked best for me so far..........
     
  5. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    hmm well im a sucker for new things sooo... the glass diffuser is back in the tank :p
    I did a WC before lights on so i cant say my results are thus far conclusive but.... what do you know... sticky bubbles on 90% of the leaves and a good amount of 02 launches from the stems...
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I am using these on my tanks at home(5 of them, from 38 Gal to 180 gal).

    Some have canister, some Wet/dry filters.
    In each case, the growth is on par with the venturi.

    The mist method I think is well validated and better.
    Higher flow and mixing is as well.

    How you add those is a a debated matter.
    Engineering wise and electrical efficacy, the disc are easier to add.

    No pump, no head loss etc, but you need to place the mist in the higher flow regions, not always so simple in some designs.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

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    well i have to say i ran the mist at the same bps as my inline and did not see any noticeable pearling all day. The drop checker took longer to go yellow. Is it typical for the diffuser to hide or cause the plants to not off gas o2 as much? Im going to hook my inline back up and see if the results are different today. To help mix the bubbles from the diffuser i placed it under my koralia 1, was kinda fun to watch it blast the bubbles around the tank. Ill keep you guys updated on my findings.

    O.. one other question, about two hours after my WC on sat the plants stopped pearling and have not done so since. I added FE and NO3 and P on sat after the wc and a little more FE sun. If the plants stop pearling what are the possible reasons? Limited co2? or Limited ferts? ... I cant really figure it out..
     
  8. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    What results did you get by switching back to the inline reactors? I would expect your drop checker to show lower dissolved CO2 due to the misting effect. How has the overall growth been with the misting vs. the inline reactor?
     
  9. Signus

    Signus Prolific Poster

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    What about the case of in-line diffusers like Greenleaf Aquarium's "CAL AQUA LABS 13 mm Inline CO2 Diffuser - II" ?
    CAL AQUA LABS Inline CO2 Diffuser | 13 mm | Green Leaf Aquariums

    Any benefit to having the CO2 dissolution in your outflow and still being able to adjust the direction of the filter's nozzles?


    Edit: I noticed that it was a diffuser disk inside the device. I guess what I'm asking is whether or not your get the best of both worlds as a result. Is this even cost effective and easy to clean?
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    They are fragile, they only handle certain flow rates and are hard to pull off to clean.
    You can DIY also.

    I think in the tank, as the mist comes up, the CO2 goes into solution some, and this item delay is what helps, in line, there's less time delay.

    Might be some trade off between time delay, % dissolution into water vs the gas mist itself.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. Signus

    Signus Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Tom!

    Cheaper to get those Rinoxes anyways! :D
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, the jury is still out.
    There are trade offs etc

    I'll need to run some decent test in specific experimental systems to answer some of the questions I have. That will be some time before I get around to that.




    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. jazzlvr123

    jazzlvr123 Guru Class Expert

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    Ive paid too much money and spent too much time plumbing my mazzei to admit that simple rhinox diffusers can do the same job even if it may be true :p I'm just a mazzei fan. I recently added 6 discus to my 60 gallon cube and the fact that you can reduce the flow to keep the discus happy and subsequently produce a very fine co2 mist is one of the reasons why i love the setup.
     
  14. captain_bu

    captain_bu Prolific Poster

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    Tom

    I am about to clean my diffuser and was going to try Tilex as you suggested. Do I spray it on the disc at full strength or does it need to be diluted like bleach? I assume the diffuser will still need a bath in a declorinator after rinsing?

    Thanks!
    SR
     
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