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Which CO2 diffuser is right for your aquarium?

The CO2 diffuser is a very important piece of equipment used to inject CO2 into your aquarium to promote healthy plant growth. Having the ability to break down the CO2 gas into tiny bubbles that are then dissolved and absorbed by the plants during the photosynthesis process is really important. After all,  the more you can break down the gas, the more your plants can absorb and the less CO2 is wasted.

There are a variety of different styles of diffusers available which can be split into two types. 

In-tank diffusers - the clue is in the name here. They sit inside your aquarium and create millions of tiny bubbles that are quickly dissolved within the water.

Inline diffusers - These attach onto the outlet pipe of an external canister filter, between the canister and the spray bar inside the aquarium. 

Both do things the same way. They are supplied CO2 by a regulator attached to a CO2 cylinder. The CO2 is forced into the diffuser and pushed through a ceramic element. The Ceramic element is where the magic happens. Each element has millions of tiny holes and when the CO2 enters at one end, it is forced to leak out via these tiny holes, creating the tiny bubbles.

For the purpose of this blog, I have some diffusers from CO2 ART. Both are highly rated by aquascapers worldwide and produce the worlds finest CO2 mist. I want to go into a little more detail about each type of diffuser and hopefully help some people make a choice on which style suits their setup.

Obviously, this is aimed more at the beginner aquascaper and the following options are based on my own thoughts and ideas but I hope it helps you decide. I also have a nice discount offer available for anyone who is interested in purchasing one direct from CO2 ART themselves. read on for more details.

The In-Tank Diffuser

CO2 Art Flux_diffuser comes in two sizes. Large or Small. They used to offer a range of sizes but recently simplified their range. If your aquarium is under 205 litres you have the small sized Flux_Diffuser and for aquariums above 250l, the large size. The Flux_diffuser boasts of the worlds finest bubbles and it doesn't disappoint. This type of diffuser is also known as the bazooka style.
It works by attaching the diffuser to the inside of the aquarium glass (at the bottom) then running some CO2 resistant tubing out the tank and down to the regulator. CO2 is pushed into the Flux_diffuser and through the ceramic element. CO2 ART calls this part the 'Nano mist technology membrane' and it is extremely porous. I especially like watching this part because it produces lots of tiny bubbles of CO2 that float across the aquarium until they are dissolved into the water to be used up by your aquarium plants. Many aquascaper friends have shared videos of this, check this one out.

The second diffuser CO2 ART have is the 'Inline' CO2 Aquarium Atomizer diffuser. This diffuser also uses the ceramic nano mist membrane to produce tiny bubbles however unlike the Flux_diffuser, the inline atomizer remains on the outside of the aquarium. To run this type of diffuser, you must have an external canister filter. The diffuser works by attaching to the pipe coming from the filter back into the aquarium.
The diffuser, which is also attached to the regulator, receives the CO2 directly into the ceramic membrane. The CO2 is then pushed through the membrane and into the filtered water returning to the aquarium. This method does require a working pressure of 30psi to operate efficiently but as a result, you have less equipment inside your aquarium.

Here is a good video explaining how the Inline atomizer works.

Each diffuser offers different benefits and it really comes down to what suits your aquarium best. If you have a small aquarium and wish to maintain a focus on your aquascape without unnecessary equipment on display then I recommend using the Inline diffuser and an external filter. You could even go one better and use an external filter with a heater included. This would allow for almost no equipment at all inside the aquarium.

Alternatively, if you don't have space for an external filter in or around your aquarium then choose the Flux_diffuser. This is a very popular choice for all kinds of aquascapers. Many people enjoy watching the bubbles, myself included. The Flux_diffuser comes equipped with suckers to allow you to neatly place the device to the bottom of the aquarium glass. If you have an open-top aquarium,  would recommend also using the glass U-Bend to keep everything nice and tidy.

So really the choice is yours. Want less equipment in your aquarium - go with the In-line Atomiser. An external filter not an option? The Flux_diffuser is your best option.

To find out more about the Flux_diffuser just click here
For more information on the In-Line Atomiser click here

I also have a nice discount code for anyone who is planing a purchase from any of the CO2ART website. simply visit the Lothian Fishkeeper Channel unique discount link or add the voucher code Lothianfishkeepers15 at your checkout


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