DIY Co2 for 90 gallons- - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2004, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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DIY Co2 for 90 gallons-

Hi Guys: I just read the article on DIY CO2 using sugar, yeast water and a soda bottle. It says this works well for 30 gallon tanks or smaller.Why is it not possible to use this method in a 90 gallon tank and use two bottles. Suggestions for DIY for a 90 gallon?? Thanks for helping-
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2004, 02:38 AM
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yes, you can

Yes, you can DIY, but you'll need big bottles. Try 1 gallon gatorade jugs. At least 2, maybe 3, test and see if you get the pH drop you need before you bother with the 3rd.

You'll be changing bottles pretty rapidly, on different weeks to keep the CO2 constant. It can be done.

Just keep in mind that a pressurized system costs about $90 for the regulator/bubblecounter/solenoid, plus about $70+/- for the tank of CO2 so that is $160, plus some sort of reactor. If you make a power reactor that may cost $10+/-, buy one for $25 to $75, depending.

Just be careful to not nickle and dime yourself to the point where you've wasted money you could have spent on a pressurized system. $10 for silicone, $10 for a different glue when the silicone keeps breaking, $6 for silicone lines, $16 for a pump or power head, it just adds up.

With 90 gallons, you will do better with a pressurized system.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2004, 03:55 AM
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I'd go with pressurized. I have a 46 bowfront and can't seem to get over 22-25 ppm CO2 with two bottles running through a powered reactor. Sugar is getting expensive every few weeks and after switching from silicon sealant to epoxy, then silicon tubing to vinyl, the cost does start to add up. Once I finish my grad degree and get a decent job I'll invest in the pressurized system. If you have the funds now, go for it!!

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2004, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Trouble is I know nothing about Co2 and the local store is useless. I will read up on it first. Thanks for helping!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2004, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe this is a crazy question but, if I were to use Flourish Excel on a daily basis by direction ,is it possible to get enought co2 that way?? ( I know it would be expensive). Just want to know if that could work... Thanks for helping-
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-02-2004, 07:47 PM
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I tried excel briefly in my 30g, and gave up quickly. Way too expensive and tough to get consistent levels. Also a hassle to try to remember every day (for me, at least), and to keep in stock.

I'll join in the chorus encouraging you to seriously consider pressurized. My long term plan/dream is for a 90g, and when/if I do, there is no question but that I will go pressurized. And I say that even tho I currently do DIY and know nothing about the specifics about pressurized systems.

I think this is the kind of thing where you just need to rely on the best info you can get from this and other similar boards, and make a leap of faith.

As far as cost, I think you might be surprised at the amount of sugar you would be going through on a regular basis to DIY CO2 on a 90g.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2004, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your help!
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-03-2004, 09:22 PM
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Hi Fishlady-

I'm going through the same thing, and I have a similarly-sized tank- I have a 100g I've had set up for 2 months. I started out with DIY co2 (1 1-gallon jug). It was noticeably better than just Flourish Excel, especially in the corner I had the diffusion bell in, but not by any means good enough for a large tank. So I added another 1-gallon jug coming out of a powered reactor in the other corner. That's what I've been running for a month. This set up is better (with 2 gallons), and it does really help. And the method you use to diffuse the co2 matters a lot too. IME, a diffusion bell is better than a bubble ladder, and a powered reactor is better than a diffusion bell. But the best way to diffuse the co2 is a non-powered reactor used inline with the outlet of a canister filter.
But, I will re-emphasize what almost everyone else here is saying, that PRESSURIZED is definitely the way to go with a large tank. I have it on my list for the near future. In the meantime, DIY is better than no co2, I would use gallon jugs instead of soda bottles, and get the best method of diffusion you can (whether powered or inline reactor).

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-04-2004, 01:25 AM
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Another vote for pressurized. Anona said it very well. Some of the money spend for DIY will be components usable on a pressurized system if you can't make it work. You will be a candidate for some nasty algae if you don't maintain consistent CO2 levels. And if you could afford Excel for that size tank, you can afford the superior pressurized system.

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