DIY yeast vs co2 tank.... which is better - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
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DIY yeast vs co2 tank.... which is better

pros and cons from your opinion.

Deciding which route to go on my tank.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 07:28 AM
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I think first thing to consider is tank size. DIY is gonna get pretty cumbersome over 30gal.

Regardless, though, I vote pressurized all day long. DIY requires upkeep and is unreliable anyway. If you've got the money, time and space to get set up with pressurized, then there's your answer right there.

Be aware, though: pressurized co2 isn't something you'll have hooked up tomorrow. It took me several weeks to get co2 up and running, and I already had a regulator and tanks from my brewing. Consider;
-needle/metering valve
-bubble counter
-random elbows & parts for assembly
-drop checker (& DIY 4dKh sol'n)
-reactor (or diffuser)
-time for assembly and slowly adjusting co2 levels in tank

I found darkblade's primer incredibly helpful.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 12:10 PM
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I agree with Goat. I just put together a pressurized system, and I love it. I have only had it running for a couple of days, but it is doing wonders for my tank. Overall, I enjoyed putting the system together, and the guys on here are really helpful when it comes to questions. Check out the primer, and there are a few other helpful regulator build threads.

If you don't want to put one together yourself but think you might want to buy one, I would suggest asking around on the forums. There are guys around who might sell you a unit.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 01:28 PM
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Pros of DIY: Cheap, works pretty well for small tanks, can run for 2-3 months if your recipe is right and you use a strong, temperature tolerant yeast like champagne. Cons of DIY: Can be messy, output isn't necessarily consistent from batch to batch, not great for larger tanks.

So I have to second what WheeledGoat suggested, as well. It's worth the $100-$150 in the long run to buy a nice dual-stage regulator. Resale value is really high so you're likely never going to lose money on something like that. And, if you start to develop a serious case of Multiple Tank Syndrome like most of us have, you can add a manifold to your post-body kit to run CO2 to multiple tanks.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 01:59 PM
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It really depends on your goals and what size tank you are talking about.

If its a low light small to medium light tank, no bigger than 10 gal, I would do yeast co2. I use to use 2 bottles of 1.5 plastic soda bottles. It would last for about 3 months less if the temperature is higher. In a month and half, I would just take one of the bottles out and pour out half of it and add water and sugar again. Then in a month and half do the same to the other bottle. It was fairly consistent.

I have gotten away with it on a 29 gall tank with 4 2L bottles but at that scale, its much better to use pressurized co2.

Anyway I also agree with the above posters. Just that for something like a 10 gal tank, I really think DIY co2 is the way to go.

I'm not a doctor in real life but I play one on this forum

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 02:13 PM
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Re: DIY yeast vs co2 tank.... which is better

Pressurized. I recently upgraded from DIY to pressurized about a month and a half ago. I already had a drop checker and a glass diffuser for DIY. I just had to get a regulator and a tank. Got the Milwaukee regulator/bubble counter/solenoid for $90 and a 5lb co2 tank filled from a local place for $65. Well worth it. You have better control. You can shut it off at night. More efficient. I have significantly improved growth. It's a little intimidating at first, but ended up being easier than I anticipated to set up and dial in.

If I did a small tank, I'd probably do DIY again. It gets to be annoying after a while though. Its inexpensive in the short term and easy to set up. That's about the only pro.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 02:49 PM
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I use, have both & don't mind the time spent with DIY ( you guys know what I mean) but given 1 tank with 1 source I would go pressurized even if only the mini style (20-90 gm disposable etc.).

5 tanks & growing! Gotta get some moonlights so my fish can sleep cus I cant stop lookin!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 02:51 PM
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I have a 75g and I did yeast for a couple of years, and it worked just OK. I had four 2L pop bottles all connected to run the thing to a homemade powerhead reactor. Though I didn't have a drop checker, I assume that I never got the levels up to where they should be. Plants grew OK and algae was somewhat kept at bay, but changing out the bottles every two weeks got old fast.

I am now in the process of converting to pressurized CO2 and am expecting better results. Now what to do with all that leftover sugar?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 06:54 PM
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DIY was only a good intro to CO2 for me. Most of the cons are listed but the two biggest for me were time and space. It's not all that time consuming to make it but if you are like me, you will spend a lot of time experimenting, adding on to it, changing things around, etc. Then you have to monitor all your changes. The other thing is a 2 liter bottle isn't much different in size than a 5lb tank. I had 3.

Their really isn't a downside to pressurized other than cost, and having to drive to refill. I almost think it's unfair to compare costs because it's like comparing buying a car vs. taking a bus. They are totally different approaches to achieve the same thing, one is a whole lot easier. One costs more upfront, the other will always cost you over time. One has resale, the other does not.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 07:09 PM
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Re: DIY yeast vs co2 tank.... which is better

Excellent analogy.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-23-2013, 07:12 PM
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I'm using a 2L DIY bottle on my 20 gallon and it's working great for me. Plants have been growing like crazy, so I don't see the need for pressurized CO2 at this point. I can see it becoming inconvenient if I need to replace multiple bottles for a large tank, but for 20 gallons or less, I don't see the need to upgrade.
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