If you need to supplement the released carbon dioxide levels in your tank, you must use a co2 diffuser to bring your water’s co2 levels back up.
If you haven’t ever needed to use a co2 diffuser, you may be wondering what it is, how it is used, and why using one would benefit your tank. We’ll help you understand all of that, including how to properly install the co2 diffuser you purchase.
We’ll also help you understand other equipment that is used alongside co2 diffusers and why.
Top 5 Best co2 Diffusers In 2019
If you’re here for a list of recommendations and already know why you need to use a diffuser in your tank, below are 5 of the best co2 diffusers that are available in 2019.
1. JARDLI Pollen Glass CO2 Diffuser - Great Addition To Your Planted Tank
The JARDLI co2 diffuser is the best co2 diffuser kit we have found.
Each diffuser is constructed from a mix of high-quality ceramic and glass. The kits are available in 1.5-inch and 2-inch sizes for tanks ranging from 30 to 70 gallons.
The JARDLI features a u-shaped tube that gets installed over the glass to help eliminate the chance of getting blocked by co2 gas buildup. The diffuser is a bowl-shaped design which forces the gas to go through the ceramic membrane.
Bubbles pass through the membrane as smaller particles in a continual mist, rather than the more conventional style of a constant flow of larger bubbles.
Installing the diffuser is to do. The kit comes with multiple suction pads to help you quickly affix it to the side or bottom of your tank. The most common sizes of tubing can be used, so you don’t have to worry about tracking down hard-to-find parts.Aside from being incredibly compact with a small footprint, the JARDLI’s ceramic plate helps add a bit of decorative flair to your ecosystem. It looks sleek and elegant and does the job.
- The diffuser is compatible with most standard tubing sizes.
- The glass and ceramic are of high quality.
- The suction cups are strong and durable.
- Compatible with tanks in the 30 to 70-gallon size.
- The glass can be fragile if you aren’t careful
- You can only install this in the corner of your tank.
- The system only works if your tank doesn’t have a rim.
2. Pm0606 Micro CO2 Bubble Diffuser Air Stone - easy to maintain
A good co2 diffuser for 10-gallon tanks is the Pm0606 CO2 Bubble Diffuser Air Stone. If you are going to use it in smaller ecosystems, you will want to make sure you are using a regulator.
There are two main styles of Pm0606 — one for larger bubbles and another for smaller bubbles.
Both styles of the diffuser are nearly identical in their design and are built with plastic cases surrounding a ceramic pad that helps evenly distribute co2.
Even though the ceramic pad is relatively small in size, it is still incredibly powerful. It pushes out a large number of bubbles that do not disturb the surface of your tank. The Pm0606 also runs quietly, which means you won’t get the same bubbling noise associated with other diffusers.
While the case is plastic, you shouldn’t necessarily worry about quality. The diffuser is still durable and won’t break if you make a mistake as glass diffusers will. At first glance, it is hard to tell that the case is plastic.
The dark red/brown ceramic disk sits on top of the cylinder to give it an appearance similar to a pipe. Each of the models available is both small and inconspicuous so they won’t take away from the decorative flair in your tank.
The diffusers are easy to adapt to most systems and can provide both high and low flows, depending on the size of your tank. Even when you increase the pressure, the bubbles remain relatively small in size.
Installation of the Pm0606 is easy to do. The large suction cup helps keep the diffuser from slipping or moving around once you have it properly installed.
- The Pm0606 works well at all flow levels.
- The discreet design is easy to install and stays put.
- The case is sturdy and resists cracking, unlike glass containers.
- The ceramic pad quickly diffuses small to micro-sized gas bubbles.
- You must soak the unit before it begins diffusing.
- The suction cup may get a milky appearance over time.
3. fibst CO2 Diffusers - easy to clean
The fibst CO2 Diffuser is a unique design. While it isn’t a Co2 ladder diffuser, it is built to add some decorative flair to your system instead of being a bulky addon.
Each fibst is constructed from stainless steel and utilizes a ceramic pad to help diffuse the gas.
While the size of the disk depends on the size of the diffuser you purchase, the design remains the same across all models. If you need to use a high-pressure flow, the fibst is perfect for you.
Keeping the fibst clean and sterile is easy to do because of the stainless steel construction. You don’t have to worry about being too aggressive while you are cleaning or maintaining it.
The internal ceramic stone can be easily removed for maintenance, too. It is removed by turning over the protective cover. This means there are no latches or locks that could break, leaving your diffuser a useless piece of gear.
Stainless steel does not rust or get foggy in color as other materials can. Installation is easy because of the design. All you have to do is hang the diffuser over the side of your tank and then follow the instructions to get it functioning correctly.
Each fibst diffuser comes from the manufacturer with a 6-month warranty for the plate and a 2-year warranty on everything else. If you have any issues with the setup or function, fibst is there to help you every step of the way.
- The fibst is incredibly easy to clean and maintain.
- The design and construction are top-notch.
- The manufacturer’s warranty easily beats most other manufacturers.
- You can use the fibst diffuser in most size tanks, even smaller 10-gallon setups.
- Smaller tanks will require a regulator and check valve.
4. JARDLI Pollen Glass CO2 Diffuse with bubble counter - Has Built in bubble counter
For small tanks that focus on decorative design and visual appeal, the JARDLI Pollen Glass CO2 Diffuser is hard to beat. At less than 1-inch in diameter, the internal ceramic stone efficiently distributes carbon dioxide and creates a visually appealing stream of bubbles.
If you are a new tank owner, the JARDLI Pollen Glass Diffuser is your best bet. It can be easily installed and doesn’t take hours to set up. Even if you aren’t new to maintaining a tank, the simple setup makes this diffuser highly-attractive.
The JARDLI Pollen features a small u-shaped pipe that holds the cylinder and ceramic disk. That means there are no extra glass tubes or parts to break while you are installing it potentially.
A strong suction cup helps keep it mounted to the side of your tank, and each kit includes a second suction cup in case the first wears out.
Cleaning the Pollen is easy to do, as well. There is only a single part to watch instead of multiple tubes and other components. While cleaning, though, you do need to pay attention and be careful. The glass design can be fragile if you aren’t taking care of it.One of the most significant selling points of the JARDLI Pollen is that it comes with a bubble counter.
- The JARDLI is easy to install, set up, maintain, and clean.
- The JARDLI is perfect for beginner ecosystems.
- Each JARDLI provides a beautiful stream of co2 bubbles.
- The built-in bubble counter makes monitoring the performance easy to do.
- The unit is loud at higher flow rates.
- You need to soak the unit for 24 hours before it will begin working.
5. yagote CO2 Glass Diffuser - high performance
Another great co2 diffuser kit is the Yagote CO2 Glass Diffuser. Each Yagote comes in three different sizes, ranging from Nano, the full Diffuser Set, and the larger 1.6-inch version.
The diffusers are constructed from high-quality glass and ceramic. The design helps them circulate micro-sized bubbles of co2 gas uniformly.
The Nano size is designed to function flawlessly in smaller tanks, up to 20 gallons in size. It features a pipette and a suction cup to help keep it mounted securely. If you are searching for a diffuser that doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb, this is the one for you.
Installing the unit is quick and effortless. All you have to do is attach the U-shaped pipe and then stick the suction cup to the wall in your tank.
If you are looking for a kit that includes more than just the diffuser, the Diffuser Set is what you need. It consists of the Nano diffuser along with bonus extras. Yagote consists of a check valve and an extra suction cup in case your first stops holding down the line.
The larger 1.6-inch model is designed for bigger tanks, in the 30 to 50-gallon size. The design of the larger model is a bowl shape instead of the smaller Nano design. The included disk features a larger surface area to help disperse a more significant number of bubbles.
Even though it is larger than the Nano, the 1.6-inch version still doesn’t take up a ton of space in your tank. When installed, the white ceramic disk takes on an ethereal look that adds to the decorative design instead of taking away from it.
- The ceramic and glass are high-quality materials.
- The U-Shaped tube is easy to install.
- The included suction cups hold steady.
- The Nano is compatible with 20-gallon tanks.
- The larger 1.6-inch size works for 50-gallon tanks.
- The Nano model can be fragile; take care while installing it.
- The suction cups may weaken over time; extras are included.
What Is A co2 Diffuser And What Does It Do?
A co2 diffuser is, as the name suggests, responsible for moving carbon dioxide throughout your tank. It helps disperse the co2 evenly and thoroughly instead of concentrating it all on a single area. You can see the process happening as bubbles begin rising from the diffuser.
This is a relatively important piece of equipment in every tank. If your tank has too much co2 in it, you could potentially suffocate your fish and plants. A lack of oxygen can be disastrous.
A high-quality co2 diffuser will inject small bubbles instead of large pockets of co2. Large bubbles do not diffuse as well as smaller bubbles do. The gas in your water gets distributed when it comes in contact with another surface.
That means a smaller stream of bubbles is going to be more effective than larger bubbles. Small streams release a far higher amount of gas into the system, which means they’re more likely to be absorbed by the water.
Diffusers are constructed from a wide range of materials. Some are plastic; some are ceramic, then others are glass or even stainless steel. The sizes and shapes vary from model to model, and some resemble tubes, while others have a more decorative design.
The method used to diffuse the gas bubbles also varies from model to model. Some models utilize spiral tubes to help control the flow of co2 bubbles while others release the bubbles in a solid row.
Some models will use porous stones to help diffuse the bubbles, while others use reactors. For rocks, the bubbles will break up into smaller particles, making them easier to be absorbed by the water around them. Reactors, on the other hand, will agitate the water while injecting co2 into it and then pushing the water throughout your tank.
Some models are shaped like a bell. These hold the carbon dioxide under the bell until the gas begins to release gradually.
There are two main types of diffusers: underwater and external. Underwater diffusers are designed to be submerged in the water while external diffusers are made to be used outside of the tank.
What Aquariums Benefit From Using A co2 Diffuser?
If you have any plants in your aquarium, you will usually need to use a co2 diffuser to keep them alive. Plants will use up extra carbon dioxide that is available and increasing the amount they have to process helps speed up their photosynthesis.
Adding carbon dioxide can be useful in nearly every aquarium, though. You have to remember that your tank is a closed environment. That means everything exists inside of a small ecosystem, and what doesn’t get replaced quickly gets reduced.
When your plants have the co2, they need your fish will thrive, as well. Your plants will add more oxygen to your water which helps your fish growth. Plants will also pull nutrients from your substrate, such as waste from your fish. This waste can be detrimental to your tank’s health if it is allowed to build up to harmful levels.
Increasing the levels of co2 in the tank helps plants grow faster than they would in a tank that isn’t being supplemented. This increased growth helps your plants act as natural filters, taking some of the load off your artificial screen.
Plants also play a significant role in helping to control algae blooms. Even though most people believe algae is a plant, rather than a fungus, they need carbon dioxide to survive. If your plants are absorbing the majority of available co2, the algae don’t get a chance to thrive.
Algae are, for all intents and purposes, a much stronger, hardier version of a plant. When the bloom is allowed to grow unfettered, it can quickly overtake your entire aquarium. This creates a nightmare situation no tank owner wants to deal with.
If your plants are kept strong and healthy through supplemented co2 gas, the plants can help fight the algae bloom and keep your water crystal clear. Dying plants also release nitrogen and ammonia, which can be just as harmful to your fish as an algae bloom that is out of control.
What Other Equipment Is A co2 Diffuser Used With?
A good co2 diffuser is usually part of a more extensive, more comprehensive system. Some other parts of the system are mandatory, while others are considered accessories. Then, some are deemed useful enough to have.
A co2 regulator will help you control the carbon dioxide levels inside of your tank. Because co2 is odorless and colorless, using a regulator is a requirement. You can’t play the guessing game with a gas that can be dangerous at high levels. It could potentially kill your plants and fish.
Regulators typically come with two gauges, one for high pressure and one for low pressure. The low-pressure gauge helps determine the force of co2 gas being released into the tank. The high-pressure gauge tells you how much of the gas is left inside of your cylinder.
When the arrow on your high-pressure gauge begins to point to red, you know you are running low on the gas.
Your regulator will also have a needle valve that helps you control the pressures. Different regulators will have some valves that are simple and straightforward to operate while others will be more complex to dial in. Some regulators will allow you to control the number of bubbles being released.A built-in check valve is a requirement, as well. The valve helps prevent water from making its way back into the regulator, which could damage the equipment.
A bubble counter isn’t always a necessity, but you may want to add one to your tank. The counters help you visually see the level of carbon dioxide entering into your system.
This isn’t only interesting to see, but it can also help you closely monitor the flow of gas. If your gas levels are getting too high, as displayed on the counter, you can close the valve on your regulator to limit the flow of gas.
Cylinders are where your compressed co2 gas is stored before being released into the tank.
The cylinders range from small, to medium, and large for bigger tanks. Small cylinders will usually hold around 20 ounces of gas and are most commonly referred to as “paintball tanks.”
Larger tanks can hold upwards of 5 pounds of gas or more.
It’s worth noting that a cylinder is not a reusable piece of equipment. Once the gas has been depleted, you will need to replace it with a new cylinder.
A drop checker gives you a quick way to gauge the co2 levels inside of your tank. Most kits come with color-coded templates to help you understand where your levels are at.Drop checkers are critical and should be used in every setup. You must pay attention to what is happening inside of the ecosystem to maintain healthy levels of co2.
Finally, a solenoid valve can make your life easier and isn’t always a requirement. The solenoid valve can help automate the process of regulating the level of carbon dioxide being diffused into your tank.To give you a quick example, if you want to lower the levels at night when plants and fish are more active, you can set the solenoid to reduce the amount being dispersed during the evening hours. This keeps you from having to remember to do it manually before you go to bed.
How Should I Choose A Good co2 Diffuser?
Before you purchase a new co2 diffuser, there are a few factors you’ll want to consider. Each of these factors is also what we’ve used to help determine what the “best” co2 diffusers are.
Co2 diffusers are essential to maintain life in your tank so you should be selective about the brand and model you choose. Making sure the diffuser you’re using is high-quality and saves you time is the name of the game.
The quality of the product you’re buying is critical.
You want to avoid trying to skimp on price because low-price typically means low-quality. On the other end of the spectrum, a high price tag doesn’t always mean that you’re getting a higher quality piece of gear, either.Low-quality diffusers are known to leak, are hard to monitor and regulate, and end up causing more frustration than they’re worth.
If you already have a system you are using; you want to make sure that the co2 diffuser you purchase is going to be compatible with your existing equipment. Different diffusers have different inlet and outlet sizes, meaning your tubes will need to be changed.
Other times, specific models may not work well at lower or higher levels of co2 dispersion.You will also need to think about the future of your ecosystem. Are you going to be able to easily find replacement parts for the diffuser you are thinking about buying? Purchasing a reputable brand makes this part significantly easier down the line.
Depending on the diffuser you purchase, you may need to buy extra accessories. If this is a brand new setup, purchasing a kit that includes everything you need can save you time and money down the road.On top of this, it’s always a better feeling to receive everything you need instead of being forced to piece together a system that may not function properly.
If you are trying to build a thriving ecosystem that also looks great, visually, you will want a diffuser that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.A functional diffuser can look good. Think about how the look of the diffuser you are thinking about buying will fit into the decorative flair you already have. You don’t want it to be a sight for sore eyes.
Tips For Installing Your co2 Diffuser
You would think, at first glance, that all you need to do is install your co2 diffuser inside of your tank and then you’re good to go, right?
Once you start installing it, though, you’re going to realize it is easier said than done quickly.
No two aquariums are the same, and no two installations are the same. There are certain areas where you would not want to place a co2 diffuser.
For instance, you never want to bury the diffuser underneath your substrate. You might be tempted to try hiding it, but you’ll end up defeating the purpose of it being in your tank.
Your substrate, rocks, and sand will block the co2 from correctly entering into the tank. The bubbles generated will not be able to make it past the substrate.
This means that the bubbles will congregate under the surface of the substrate until they grow large enough to be expelled. This can blow your substrate around the tank and cause your filter to clog.
On the same token, you should avoid installing the diffuser anywhere that it could get blocked. For instance, you are hiding it underneath decorative items or rocks where the flow of bubbles could be interrupted.
You also shouldn’t install the diffuser directly in the middle of a clump of plants. Even though you’re trying to give the plants what they need, your plants will block the diffuser from being able to do its job correctly.
This is especially true if you have thick underwater plantlife. Carbon dioxide bubbles will begin to gather instead of dispersing, just like they would if you buried the diffuser under your substrate.
Avoid mounting the diffuser too high into the tank. The carbon dioxide bubbles will reach the surface too quickly, effectively eliminating the co2 diffuser’s purpose.
The best place to install your diffuser is an area in your tank that has a consistent flow of water movement. This helps disperse the bubbles throughout the tank, instead of letting them collect.
If you’re not utilizing a powerhead or a wavemaker, you can install the diffuser next to your pump’s return outlet.
The goal during your installation should be to install the diffuser near the bottom of an area that gets adequate water flow, so the bubbles disperse throughout as much of the tank as possible.
So What’s The Best co2 Diffuser In 2019?
By far, the best co2 diffuser available in 2019 is the JARDLI Pollen Glass CO2 Diffuser. It not only looks great but functions flawlessly in a wide range of ecosystems.
If you are looking for the best of the best, JARDLI has long been known for producing only the highest-quality components for both freshwater and saltwater ecosystems.
Affiliate links & Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. Last update on 2019-12-12.
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