Best place to put Co2 Diffuser/Drop Checker

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Sovereignty

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Good morning all.
I'll start off by saying I am new to Co2, but I have done research on it, however; I'm facing some... maybe not issues... but... ones that potentially can CAUSE issues down the road if I can't get this figured out?

I bought a Co2 system from my LFS for this tank, its an all-in-1 kit kind of that has both gauges, a bubble counter, and a solenoid which is plugged in to a timer that comes on an hr before lights and turns off an hr before lights turn off. It also came with the drop-checker and diffuser you see in the photo. Initially these two items were switched around the tank. I had my diffuser close to (but not directly under) my filter in hopes the outflow of it would carry the Co2 bubbles through the tank, and then I had my drop checker across the way by the log.

I shared a photo of it on a FB group and a person recommended I switch it, not quite sure why as it made more sense to me to put it near the beginning of the current, but the video they linked and a few other videos I went and searched, the people always put the diffuser opposite the outflow. Strange... but since my drop checker was still blue, I figured I'd give it a shot. It's been 2 days since the change and my drop checker is STILL blue... despite running 2-3 bps in my bubble counter...

However I KNOW there is co2 in the tank, as my source water is 6.6 pH and my tank water is 6.4pH (and this was BEFORE i put the log in, same bps then as now) and I've read Co2 does tend to lower your pH a bit. I don't have a GH/KH kit yet, but i'll be picking one of those up soon.

I know my plants will be the main sign of whether there's enough Co2 in there for them, but they're all brand new to the tank so I'm sure it will take a week or so before they acclimate (or melt and die knowing my luck lol but I hope not) but I want to make sure I have this figured out now, before I get livestock in the tank, so I don't risk... ya know... accidently offing them.

So my main questions are these:
Is this the proper positioning for the diffuser/drop checker in relation to my HoB? If not, where?
Why is my drop checker still blue after about 4 days of Co2 being present? Bad drop-checker?
Do I need a small powerhead in my tank to help circulate the Co2? If so what kind? I don't want a TON of flow in this tank as I worry my small fish I plan to get won't be able to handle it, and it seems all these powerheads are super strong.


P.S. Yes I know the light placement is strange. It's just going to have to be for now until I figure it out. I bought risers off amazon but they didn't work. I can't run wires from the ceiling because a.) i rent, I don't want to drill holes, and b.) even if I didn't care about holes... I can't reach the ceiling lol. So it would have to be a floor stand of some sort or different risers that are actually designed for rimmed tanks... because the ones I got said they were, but they weren't deep enough to clasp the rim firmly and they just kept popping off.
05-20-23 Day 2.jpg
 
How you have it now I think is the best way - if you put it under your filter outlet it can just rise up behind it and bubble out the tank. The idea with opposite is so the flow smashes into the bubbles, bouncing the flow into the glass and sending them off all over the tank - ideally in a gyre like format.

What brand is your drop checker liquid? Some you sometimes need to add something to to make them get going so worth checking out.

I would recommend getting a lot more plants in there from the start though, certainly double at least the amount of monte carlo. For your lights have you seen the hang on back kits you can get? I think Chihiros do quite a good one, or D+D? Its a frame that balances/ clips onto the back pane and then the light sort of counter balances down.

Kind regards,
Andy
 
How you have it now I think is the best way - if you put it under your filter outlet it can just rise up behind it and bubble out the tank. The idea with opposite is so the flow smashes into the bubbles, bouncing the flow into the glass and sending them off all over the tank - ideally in a gyre like format.

What brand is your drop checker liquid? Some you sometimes need to add something to to make them get going so worth checking out.

I would recommend getting a lot more plants in there from the start though, certainly double at least the amount of monte carlo. For your lights have you seen the hang on back kits you can get? I think Chihiros do quite a good one, or D+D? Its a frame that balances/ clips onto the back pane and then the light sort of counter balances down.

Kind regards,
Andy
I'm not sure the brand, I got the kit at my local fish store. It's the Ista brand, tons of either Chinese or Japanese lettering on it, the liquid came in that but im not sure if it's THEIR brand or something else. I'll have to check when I get home. I've seen some people add water to their liquid but the bottle instructions just say at the solution to the line and that's it.

I can certainly get more monte carlo.

I actually went on etsy and found a stand for it so we'll see how it goes. Should get it in about a week.

I went and bought a small circulation pump. Smallest I could find. Still seems strong but I have it angled half way at the long to reduce it a bit.

This is the pump atm. Does it look too strong? Or perhaps needed at all? The bubbles from the diffuser weren't really moving today just going up.
 

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