Don’t be fooled in thinking that all bubbles counters are the same and don’t get hung up on your flow rate. 1 bubble, 2 bubbles, 3 bubbles, 4.
Let me give you an example. We have glass bubble counters and plastic bubble counters. If we add the glass one to one of our set ups, it will show 4 bubbles per second – pretty fast heh. If we remove it and then swap it for a plastic version, it will show 1 bubble per second. So which is it? It all depends on the manufacturing process of the bubble counter and this is a perfect example why you MUST NOT get hung up on your bubble counter flow rate. No one cares, and your plants certainly don’t. All they care about is are they getting enough CO2 and you’ll only know this if your drop checker is showing an approximate green colour (don’t get too hung up on that either). You’re simply looking to have as much CO2 in your tank as possible without distressing the inhabitants.
So for all you lovely hobbyists who email me and say they have 2 bubbles per second and they can’t work out why they don’t see their plants releasing O2 bubbles, now you know!
I like bringing new products to hobbyists and this one is pretty cool. There’s been a complaint for years with bubble counters that you have to continually top up the solution as the water which they are filled up with, simply evaporates. If you have an external bubble counter that sits on the side of your tank, a half filled counter can look a little untidy. This is where AE Design Bubble Counter Fluid comes in.
The non toxic formula is for use with external bubble counters only and does not evaporate.
This means no more work for you and once you have filled your counter up, it stays filled up. In addition the other major benefit is the accuracy of this fluid. When using water, if you wanted to count 2 bubbles per second, it can be a little tricky. With the AE Design Bubble Counter Fluid counting bubbles is as easy as 1,2,3 :). The fluid is much thicker than water, making counting bubbles very easy.
All in all a pretty useful product – don’t you agree?!
Since Fluval finally embraced the world of CO2, things are definitely looking up and customers have never had such a wide range of products to choose from. Sometimes too much maybe!! Either way, it is great to have choice but at the same time with such selection you can miss products so thought I should mention one you may be interested in called the Fluval CO2 Bubble Counter.
This counter is neatly designed, made of solid plastic and like all the latest Fluval products comes in delightful packaging that is very eye catching. It’s very easy to use and by filling your bubble counter with ordinary tap water you can soon check and easily read how many bubbles per minute your CO2 is flowing at.
The connection pieces are at the top of the bubble counter which are easily secured on which means that even under high pressure, your CO2 tubing won’t pop off. You can use this bubble counter with any type of CO2 system which makes it rather versatile and the added benefit is that being made of durable plastic, you won’t break it.
If you are interested in other types of CO2 bubble counters please see here.
Bubble counters play an important role when you’re running a CO2 infused planted aquarium and for good reason too. It’s a great way of knowing how much CO2 you are pumping into your aquarium.Of course we still suggested drop checkers with bromo blue are the ultimate solution for understanding CO2 levels, but bubble counters still play an important role.
But like so many things these days you have lots of choice so which is the best?
The answer really depends on what you are running – are you pressurised or are you using yeast to produce your CO2? If you’re using the latter then you can probably stick with the bubble counter that came with your CO2 set but if you’re running pressurised then consider the Easy Aqua Bubble Counter & Check Valve. Pressurised systems which operate with 2 bar pressure place a lot of strain on equipment which is manufactured to lower quality levels. Non return valves for example will easily pop off their CO2 tubing or just not functions as they should and can leak (normally when you’re not at home…). At the opposite end of the spectrum with quality equipment you know it will do the job which it should. The Easy Aqua Bubble Counter & Check Valve falls into the category of quality. It allows CO2 tubing to be attached securely to the bubble counter and the screw ends make sure that there is no way that the tubing will pop off. So it offers piece of mind more than anything else. In addition, because the non return valve is immediately below the bubble counter there is less water lost over time. It’s common for water to migrate south with bubble counters but this isn’t possible with the Easy Aqua Bubble Counter & Check Valve.
How to fill it up?
Filling this unit is simple and we recommend using normal tap water. All you need to do is undo the top piece and hold it under your tap until the clear section fills up (fill it all the way up). Once you’re done, keep it upright then attach your CO2 tubing onto the unit, then onto your CO2 diffuser.
The final benefit of the Easy Aqua Bubble Counter & Check Valve is that you can attach CO2 tubing onto it without the risk of damage. Glass units can break easily especially under pressure but you won’t have this concern here. For the above reasons we have great confidence in recommending the Easy Aqua Bubble Counter & Check Valve and it can be used in any pressurised CO2 system without any problems.
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Sometimes brands really hit the nail on the head when they launch a new product and TMC is no exception. A company better known for their marine products, they are now dipping their toe into freshwater aquariums but particularly those which are CO2 infused.
We’re currently listing a range of their CO2 diffusers suitable from small to large tanks. Not only that but we also stock their bubble counters and non return valves.
See the range here.