DIY CO2 for larger tanks - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-11-2012, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 for larger tanks

I know that DIY CO2 works well for 20ish gallon tank, but would it work out alright for something larger? I set up two bottles per tank for my 40B and 46 gallon that are moderately planted and I was hoping to get some good results. I was getting pretty good results with excel but that was getting expensive since I was going through it so fast. I understand that a pressurized system would be exponentially better, but I wont be able to afford one, let alone two, anytime soon.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 07:41 AM
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If you want to stick with the Excel route, look up Metricide-14. It contains Glutaraldehyde, but at twice the concentration of Excel. Also, it's a lot cheaper. Just dose it like you would do Excel, but at half the dosage. Or you can dilute it.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 03:48 PM
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I have a 55g newly started tank that I was looking at getting a CO2 system for. How effective is Metricide-14 dosing vs. a CO2 system?
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 03:59 PM
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I had DIY running on my 75 gallon tank 4x 1 gallon jugs of sugar/yeast mix. It worked fine for the 3-4 months i had it running but i got bored of changing them on a weekly basis and went pressurizedI figured by the end of the year i would have gone through about $100 worth of sugar/yeast anyway so i might aswell just bite the bullet and spend that kind of money on pressurized.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProndFarms View Post
I have a 55g newly started tank that I was looking at getting a CO2 system for. How effective is Metricide-14 dosing vs. a CO2 system?
Depends on how high your lighting is. The higher your light level, the more likely you'll need pressurized CO2. Excel by itself is only good if you're setting up a low to medium light tank. Though if you're using CO2, you could still supplement with Excel. It also does a good job of killing certain types of algae.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 04:14 PM
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I currently am running 2 - 48" T8NO 6500K flourescent tubes for 10 hours a day and run 4 48" T8NO tubes for about 6 hours a day (the fixture sits directly on top of the aquarium), which I imagine would put me in the low - medium light range.

My problem with DIY CO2 is getting "enough" CO2 into the tank. Perhaps its just me, but it doesnt seem as though the DIY systems are effective at delivering an ample dose to a tank of that size.

* To clarify the above, I have a four light system. I run 2 bulbs for 10 hours, and then within that 10 hour window I flip on the additional 2 bulbs for about 6 hours.

My apologies to the OP, I wasn't trying to hijack your thread, just made me think of my own tank when I read your comments.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 04:34 PM
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Use several bottles as suggested by stevenjohn21. Swap them out in rotation, one per week.
I have set up 3 bottles for tanks over 50 gallons, or 2 bottles for smaller tanks.

I have even cross-connected several bottles for smaller tanks. That way I can keep on rotating them, and the CO2 from any one bottle is spread around among 20-30 gallons even though the gallons are in different tanks.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 04:44 PM
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I have one 2L bottle on a 40B and even just adding that made a huge difference in my tank. I had three smallish amazon swords. Now I have three huge amazon swords and the other plants are growing well as well.

My lighting is two T5NO 36" bulbs, so not a huge amount of light. I use pool filter sand, dose a bit of Flourish, and have some root tabs under the swords. My mixture typically lasts for about 2 weeks.

I'm thinking about adding a second bottle just to provide more consistency. Oh, I'm also just using an air store for a diffuser, so thinking about getting a proper diffuser as I suspect that will help a lot.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 04:50 PM
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Are you using just a straight yeast/sugar/baking soda mixture or are you adding jello? 2L soda bottle work ok?
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 04:51 PM
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Yeast, sugar, baking soda. And, yes I'm using a 2L Dr. Pepper bottle and silicon tubing.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 04:55 PM
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Awesome, thanks!
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, you guys have been very helpful, I will definitely checkout metricide 14
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 06:42 PM
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You can also look for glutaraldehyde, it is even cheaper. I recently bought a gallon of 50% glut on eBay for $50 shipped. Makes roughly 25 gallons of Excel :-). Don't forget to read and understand MSDS _before_ opening the container.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 07:40 PM
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I found 2L bottles to not work as well as 1 gallon Lipton tea bottles. They are much thicker and easier to carry, refill and so forth. My DIY CO2 last for about 3 weeks using 2 cups of sugar, and 1/4 quick yeast. Warm water, shake to dilute, fill up then cap. I am also using some cheap valve that lets me control the pressure. I got it from PetSmart-11 piece Air Connector Kit $4.99. This will work for a 55 gallon but will have to increase the pressure. This is the cheap way of avoiding to buy a real CO2 kit. I'll eventually will but not until I get my 150 gallon.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 09:10 PM
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I did DIY CO2 on a 100 gal lowish light tank for a year or so. Three 3l soda bottles. Works, but after a while one gets tired of mixing new sugar/yeast solution.

CO2 seems to be safer than Glutaraldehyde... for fish/inverts, plants, and the person dosing it.
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