Cleaning your Professional Atomic CO2 Diffuser

Our professional Atomic CO2 diffusers are designed for supreme diffusion of CO2. Overtime, however, you may realize that it’s time to clean your diffuser to keep it performing optimally. We have put together a few guidelines and tips to help you clean and maintain your diffuser.

  • Please remember to always handle your Atomic CO2 diffuser carefully. Install and remove the tubing carefully. Do not touch the ceramic.
  • Monitor and clean your diffuser regularly. Observe the performance and appearance of your diffuser. The in-tank type CO2 diffuser should be cleaned approximately every 2-3 weeks, or sooner if needed. Clean the in-line type diffuser approximately every 6 months, or as needed.
  • Clean atomic diffuser carefully with mixture of 3 parts water to 1 part bleach. Never rub ceramic.
    • Leave diffuser to soak for 30 minutes.
    • Rinse diffuser carefully with fresh water, do not rub or touch ceramic of diffuser.

We find it convenient and always recommend to keep two diffusers for your aquarium and rotate cleanings. This avoids any downtime in CO2.

 

Our PPS-Pro Fertilizer Pack … Just Mix & Dose

It’s ready to go…our new PPS-Pro Fert Pack is everything you need to get started with the Perpetual Preservation System (PPS) method of fertilization. The PPS Pro method is a convenient, low maintenance method of fertilizing your planted tank.

Our PPS-Pro Fert Pack includes:

  • Two 500mL Fertilizer Dispensing Bottles
  • Plantex CSM+B (trace elements)
  • Potassium Nitrate KNO3
  • Mono Potassium Phosphate KH2PO4
  • Potassium Sulfate K2SO4
  • Magnesium Sulfate MgSO4
  • dosing pipette

 

What you will need to get started…

  • our PPS-Pro fertilizer package
  • distilled or RO water
  • a digital scale

 

Preparing the fert mix in the 500mL dosing bottles…

The following solution recipe is based on the use of two 500mL bottles. Before starting, we recommend to boil the plastic bottles to sanitize them.

Step 1.

Bottle #1 – use your digital scale to weigh the following ferts, then place dry contents in bottle:

  • K2SO4 – 29.3 grams
  • KNO3 – 32.6 grams
  • KH2PO4 – 2.9 grams
  • MgSO4 – 20.2 grams

 

Step 2.

Bottle #2 – use your digital scale to weigh the following ferts, then place dry contents in bottle:

  • Plantex CSM+B – 28.6 grams (Trace Elements (TE) recipe updated 4/11/2016, previous recommendation was 40 grams)

 

Step 3.

Fill both bottles with distilled or reverse osmosis (RO) water, up to the 500mL water level line. Screw on caps tightly and shake well. Let the mixture sit over night until dissolved completely.

How to dose the mixture…

Bottle #1 Macros: daily dose of 1 mL per every 10 gallons or 40 litres of aquarium water. Dose daily, prior to your aquarium lights turning on.

Bottle #2 Micros: daily dose of 0.1 mL or 2 drops per 10 gallons or 40 litres of aquarium water. Dose daily, prior to your aquarium lights turning on. (updated 4/11/2016, previous dosing recommendation was 1 mL per 10 gallons)

(1 ml = 20 drops)

How to do PPS-Pro with water changes?

Dose PPS-Pro Solution #1 and PPS-Pro Solution #2 at the same time daily for a week, then 50% water change.

Low light
PPS-Pro Solution #1, 0.5ml or 10 drops per 10 gallon or 40 L
PPS-Pro Solution #2, 1 drop per 10 gallon or 40 L
Water change 50% once a week
This limits water column nutrient levels to 7 ppm NO3, 0.7 ppm PO4, 9 ppm K, 0.7 ppm Mg, 0.07 ppm Fe(TE).

Medium light
PPS-Pro Solution #1, 1ml per 10 gallon or 40 L
PPS-Pro Solution #2, 2 drops per 10 gallon or 40 L
Water change 50% once a week
This limits water column nutrient levels to 14 ppm NO3, 1.4 ppm PO4, 18 ppm K, 1.4 ppm Mg, 0.14 ppm Fe(TE).

High light
PPS-Pro Solution #1, 2ml per 10 gallon or 40 L
PPS-Pro Solution #2, 4 drops per 10 gallon or 40 L
Water change 50% once a week
This limits water column nutrient levels to 28 ppm NO3, 2.8 ppm PO4, 36 ppm K, 2.8 ppm Mg, 0.28 ppm Fe(TE).
(1 ml = 20 drops)

Understanding Aquarium Fertilizer & Planted Tank Fertilization Methods and Calculators

AQUARIUM FERTILIZATION METHODS

Fertilizer Dosing Methods:

 

Fertilizer Dosing Calculator:

 

WHEN, WHY, AND HOW TO FERTILIZE YOUR PLANTED TANK

When to Fertilize, and Why Fertilize

Fertilize planted tanks that implement carbon dioxide (CO2) injection, pressurized or DIY, combined with moderate to high lighting. Macro and micro nutrients are essential to proper plant growth, coloration, and survival.

How to Fertilize

There are two major Fertilization Methods to follow – PPS (Perpetual Preservation System) and EI (Estimative Index). To properly fertilize your planted tank, you will need to research and choose a method that fits your needs and tank conditions. Always be sure to carefully observe the plant conditions in you tank to avoid over or under fertilizing.

How to Dose the Fertilizer

There are several methods you can use to get the ferts in your aquarium.

  • Measure out the predetermined amount of dry ferts and place the dry fert(s) directly into the aquarium water.
  • Mix the predetermined amount with a little bit of aquarium water in a container until it dissolves, and then pour the solution into the aquarium.
  • Check out our detailed PPS-Pro dosing instructions.

 

FERTILIZER IN DEPTH: MACROS & MICROS AND THEIR BENEFITS

Macros / Macronutrients (NPK) – there are three major macronutrients: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K).

Micros / Micronutrients / Trace Elements – the most popular include: Iron, Boron, Manganese, Plantex, Miller Microplex.

Nitrogen (N) – the most common source is Potassium Nitrate (KNO3). It is the staple nutrient of all plants. It helps plants produce enzymes, proteins, and amino acids. A lack of nitrogen halts plant growth and promotes decay.

Phosphorous (P) – the most common source is Mono Potassium Phosphate (KH2PO4). Assists in plant DNA and RNA replication, and growth related processes. A lack of Phosphorous can result in the decreased ability for plants to uptake or absorb nutrients, leading to excess nutrient in the water and potential algae conditions.

Potassium (K) – potassium is found in compounds such as KNO3 and KH2PO4. For tanks with potassium deficiencies Potassium Sulfate (K2SO4) provides the element of potassium. Potassium plays a very important role in photosynthesis optimization, while keeping plant processes and production in a constant state of activity.

8 Tips and “Must Knows” for your CO2 Regulator and Cylinder!

  1. Don’t just remove your CO2 regulator when it’s time to refill. Before you remove it from the cylinder, make sure that you relieve the working pressure from the low pressure gauge. This prevents future damage to the low pressure gauge when you re-install the regulator onto the cylinder.
  2. Vent your CO2 cylinder for 1 to 2 seconds after you fill or refill it, before installing any components to the cylinder. This removes any debris that may be lodged in the cylinder valve. Preventing debris from entering the solenoid of your CO2 regulator and prolonging the life of your CO2 equipment.
  3. After you fill or refill your CO2 cylinder, make sure the cylinder reaches ambient room temperature before re-installing your CO2 regulator. This ensures that the pressure in the cylinder has equalized so that your regulator can take accurate pressure readings.
  4. Don’t forget to put your seal between the cylinder valve and regulator. When using a permaseal, hand-tighten only, a wrench is usually not required and may damage the permaseal if used.
  5. When you are ready to install your regulator to the cylinder make the connection as tight as possible. Use a crescent wrench or CO2 wrench to ensure maximum tightness, so there are no leaks or loss of CO2.
  6. Never over-tighten the bubble counter on your CO2 regulator. Doing so may damage the components that protect your regulator from contamination, or cause the bubble counter to break off.
  7. Don’t forget to use a check valve. To protect your CO2 equipment, install a check valve in your CO2 tubing, close the the aquarium but not in it. This prevents water from creeping out of the aquarium through your tubing, and towards your regulator.
  8. Last of all, if you ever have any questions or problems with your CO2 regulator ALWAYS contact us. Never attempt to diagnose or repair your regulator without prior consultation.

Still a little fuzzy when it comes to the drop checker!?

Check out our blog article about how to properly use the drop checker, and learn the science behind it.

Most importantly, when using a drop checker in your aquarium, you should know what the color of the indicator solution means for the CO2 levels in your aquarium. Accurate color observations can be made approximately 2 hours after initial placement of the drop checker in your tank.

BLUE —> too little CO2 or low CO2 levels —> increase the rate of CO2

GREEN —> proper CO2 levels —> no action needed

YELLOW —> too much CO2 or high CO2 levels —> decrease the rate of CO2