should i be seriously considering co2?
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:57 AM   #1
genocdex
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should i be seriously considering co2?


i was wondering if i should be seriously considering buying a Paint ball CO2 system for my 55g tank.
it has a nova extreme dual t5ho light both 6500k bulbs.
the plant list are:
Alternanthera Reineckii Lilaciana
Hygro Corymbosa Siamensis
Bacopa monnieri
frogbit (covering half the tank)
and some crypt i forgot the name of (will be looking it up soon)

im dosing lightly with root tabs around the crypt and Alternanthera Reineckii Lilaciana. and some liquid ferts from seachem flourish. and a daily does of 4.5mls of api co2 booster.

any ways, should i be considering buying a pressurized CO2 pb system for this tank? the plants seem to be doing all right...

looks like i can possibly get a pb co2 from the trade section for 69$ (and i have several co2 canisters laying around)

if i do decide to get one, should i worry about the fish and the ph drop im sure will happen when i start the co2? any other precautions i should know about? (i do know untill i get a solenoid switch i will have to shut off the co2 at night and turn it on manually with the lights.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:11 AM   #2
Darkblade48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genocdex View Post
i was wondering if i should be seriously considering buying a Paint ball CO2 system for my 55g tank.
Pressurized CO2, yes; paintball, I would not recommend (it will not last very long on a 55 gallon aquarium).

Quote:
Originally Posted by genocdex View Post
any ways, should i be considering buying a pressurized CO2 pb system for this tank? the plants seem to be doing all right...
Given the amount of light you have, pressurized CO2 will be beneficial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by genocdex View Post
if i do decide to get one, should i worry about the fish and the ph drop im sure will happen when i start the co2?
You do not need to worry about any pH drop associated with injection of CO2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by genocdex View Post
any other precautions i should know about? (i do know untill i get a solenoid switch i will have to shut off the co2 at night and turn it on manually with the lights.
I would suggest that you have the CO2 on 24/7 (albeit at a lower rate) until you obtain a solenoid. This is because manually turning on and off the cylinder is not only a hassle, but you may forget to turn it on/off one day. In addition, with cheaper setups, you may have to worry about readjusting the CO2 every time you turn it back on.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:14 AM   #3
genocdex
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how long would a 20oz co2 canister last for a 55g? estimate lol

edit:
tbh i cant seem to find places around my area to fill the larger canisters, or to even sell those. ebay is an option but then again im on a budget...

if the 20 oz canister will give me a couple of weeks or a month i can easily refill it and have a spare on hand, those larger ones im just not familiar with buying/refilling

Last edited by genocdex; 03-25-2013 at 05:45 AM.. Reason: added details after research
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:24 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genocdex View Post
how long would a 20oz co2 canister last for a 55g? estimate lol
There are too many factors (i.e. bubble rate, whether you use a solenoid or not, whether or not you have leaks, the method of diffusion you are using, the concentration of CO2 which you wish to achieve, etc)

I would say no more than a month though; maybe 3 weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by genocdex View Post
edit:
tbh i cant seem to find places around my area to fill the larger canisters, or to even sell those. ebay is an option but then again im on a budget...
You can purchase cylinders online if you wish. For refills, check out welding stores or stores that refill fire extinguishers. You may also have some luck at paintball stores that are willing to refill larger cylinders.

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Originally Posted by genocdex View Post
if the 20 oz canister will give me a couple of weeks or a month i can easily refill it and have a spare on hand, those larger ones im just not familiar with buying/refilling
A larger cylinder will not only last longer (less hassle of having to refill on a regular basis), but will also save you money in the long run, as refills for larger cylinders do not usually cost significantly more.
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A Primer to Pressurized CO2 and A Primer to Planted Tanks
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genocdex View Post
how long would a 20oz co2 canister last for a 55g?
I would say like 2 weeks. 3 weeks max.

I really would recommend getting a 5 or 10lbs cylinder. It's going cost 50 -100$ initially more then paintball co2, but it's worth the hassles and way more cost effective in the long run.

I would think a 10 lbs cylinder will last you around 1 year.
While a paint ball setup you will have to refill your tank around 16 times a year (48 weeks/3). lets say it's 5$ per fill that's 80$ already. Now + transportation cost, time, more time to readjust your system.

the Milwaukee regulator system is very cheap. around 100$ and it comes with everything you need. (other then a cylinder). You can look at beer brewery stores or welding stores to get a great price on a cylinder. I have seen a 5lbs for 55$. Furthermore, a second hand Cylinder is also really affordable.
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Old 03-25-2013, 04:40 PM   #6
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i will have to look into that thanks for all the great info. ill do some calling around to look into it. i was seeing price tags on the regulator systems for the larger canisters for like 300$ and got a bit price shocked. i guess >170 wouldnt be too bad. im sure id make it back by selling my clippings lol.

thanks again guys i will probably be around with more questions after i do more research
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:16 PM   #7
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Default To CO2 or Not to CO2

Quote:
Originally Posted by genocdex View Post
i was wondering if i should be seriously considering buying a Paint ball CO2 system for my 55g tank.
it has a nova extreme dual t5ho light both 6500k bulbs.
the plant list are:
Alternanthera Reineckii Lilaciana
Hygro Corymbosa Siamensis
Bacopa monnieri
frogbit (covering half the tank)
and some crypt i forgot the name of (will be looking it up soon)

im dosing lightly with root tabs around the crypt and Alternanthera Reineckii Lilaciana. and some liquid ferts from seachem flourish. and a daily does of 4.5mls of api co2 booster.

any ways, should i be considering buying a pressurized CO2 pb system for this tank? the plants seem to be doing all right...

looks like i can possibly get a pb co2 from the trade section for 69$ (and i have several co2 canisters laying around)

if i do decide to get one, should i worry about the fish and the ph drop im sure will happen when i start the co2? any other precautions i should know about? (i do know untill i get a solenoid switch i will have to shut off the co2 at night and turn it on manually with the lights.
Hello gen...

Plants with low light requirements, like Anubias and Java fern don't need it. They're naturally slow growers. Now, if you research the lighting needs of the plants you have and they need strong to bright light, then CO2 will be needed. You introduce a plant to high end lighting and you have to give it more nutrients. CO2 is the basic food source for a higher light environment.

You will need to be careful with your fish. CO2 is a fish waste product, like O2 is the waste the plants produce.

B
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:23 PM   #8
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Not sure how accurate the 2-3 weeks for paintball on a 55 is. I know I can squeeze like 6 months out of mine on my 5.5g now, lol. A lot of it has to do with diffusion method and leakproofing your setup. However, bigger is always better as far as CO2 tanks go. I personally have a 10lb on my 20g.

As far as CO2 and slow growing plants go, they will still benefit from it. All you need to do is find out how much you need for your most demanding plants and adjust it as various factors change (overall plant mass, light, diffusion method, etc.). Just don't gas your fish.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:07 PM   #9
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Both in the live music world and in IT, we have a phrase: Buy Once, Cry Once.

What that means is if you go cheap the first time around, you will likely have regrets and end up replacing most of your set up in the long run, spending considerably more than if you had bought what you really need the first time.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:47 PM   #10
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I went with the paintball setup strictly because of space issues. I have a 36G and I just yesterday swapped in a new 20oz bottle after 3 months of use. The old one still wasn't empty. I'm using an Ista Max Mix inline CO2 reactor and my bubble rate is pretty high (fast enough that I can't count it.) It is enough to get a light yellow in my drop checker.

I'm not saying you shouldn't go with the full-size setup if that's a better fit for your situation. But if you have a place local to get refills cheaply (mine cost $3.50 or so at Academy sporting goods) and you already have some canisters, the paintball route is not as bad an option as you might think. My guess is you could get 4-6 weeks per bottle in your 55.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:43 PM   #11
genocdex
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ok so i looked into it, and im probably gona go with a larger set up, depending on how much the tanks are when i call around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gSTiTcH View Post
Both in the live music world and in IT, we have a phrase: Buy Once, Cry Once.

What that means is if you go cheap the first time around, you will likely have regrets and end up replacing most of your set up in the long run, spending considerably more than if you had bought what you really need the first time.
i am hoping that the cheaper set ups will last me a while. as it stands im a college student, working out of home. so i have a small fish budget and 200$ for a total set up is kinda killing it. i will be waiting till i hear back from a job before i look into spending this money. but once im out of college (3 yrs max) i will be able to have a larger fund and be able to pass this set up down to another beginner (if its still in GWO)... or pass is to a smaller tank what ever. i know the cheaper ones will most likely mean i have to do more maintenance on them and mickey mouse somethings but im fine with that for the moment.

simply put, the liquid co2 stuff im using now is not cutting the bill and a basic cheapy is all i can afford for the moment.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:26 PM   #12
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I got a 20lb tank for $100, so I'm sure you could get something like a 10lb for cheaper
And if you're really on a budget, there are regulators that seem to be decent for around $100
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