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Old 11-04-2013, 09:39 PM   #16
Hardstuff
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I do appreciate your comments gstitch an I do agree that DIY will only produce for a given time & that you did not say that HOB filters do not cause out gassing. However HOB filters do effect how long you can run a given fermentation batch BECAUSE the HOB filters out gas so much that during the production hight lets say you get 4 or 5 really good days, during those days the HOB filter will not effect CO2 discharge as much & may even help in CO2 gas control so the ph does not get pushed down too far.
After that things change fast as the production falls just a little your ph will rise & bounce a little. I consider this period non productive & I do not count those days.
My DIY reactor hold gas really well & to a great degree because of low surface agitation, but I feel the ph would rise a little faster if micro bubbles were used.
That being said I babysit my reactor by using a timer which I change all the time considering what my ph is doing. I also use a heater in a bucket that seems to wake up the yeast more & produce better. The heater shuts off at night to cool down the bucket & seems to calm down the yeast which in theory gives me a longer burn time if they are less active during this time. In theory this should save me some gas, however you want to look at it. This is mostly a winter thing & may not work as well in the summer for some folks.
I am now approaching day 10 & my tank is still 6.6! Some folks may chime in & say they can get 2 weeks or more but I would ask you what is your ph? + kh I feel 10-14 days will be the cut off point any further past that & the reactors will not be able to produce 30ppms of CO2 or more! Hope that helped to clarify a little what I was saying?

Last edited by Hardstuff; 11-04-2013 at 09:52 PM.. Reason: edit
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Old 11-05-2013, 02:56 PM   #17
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I have never heard of someone investing that much time and effort into regulating DIY. That's kinda cool. At this point, I would consider running your reactor on a pH controller to maintain a steady pH.

Heat will definitely impact the rate of fermentation up to a certain point. I used to keep my bottle on a reptile under-tank heater to maximize the production I got from my bottles.

pH in my tank at rest is 8.4. I set the controller to run at 7.4. I haven't tested kh in a while as I just have simple fish and gave up on shrimping in that tank. Last time I tried to test, I stopped counting at 18 drops with the API kit. (Hooray Florida liquid rock)

All this said, with the HOB filter and DIY, you might see a problem. I got away with dual HOBs plus a canister on my 55g tank using 2-2L bottles into a Rex Griggs reactor. I didn't measure pH much with that set up, but the drop checker at 4dKh stayed nice and light green. I switched to pressure because I got tired of fighting with that much mixing. I also alternated the bottles to keep things steady. Changed out one bottle each week.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:00 PM   #18
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IME I noticed fermentation being affected by;

i) temperature,
ii) type of yeast (I found more success with champagne yeast),
iii) and the amount of sugar added,
iv) and whether or not you put baking soda didn't really seem to change the longevity of the brew for me.

That said, this is an old method of DIY co2 since the introduction of the new citric acid and baking soda method. Apparently it lasts much longer, up to 4 weeks, as opposed to 1~2 weeks with yeast. But I think I'll happily stick with my pressurized systems & canister filters.
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Old 11-05-2013, 10:59 PM   #19
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My opinion...

The only realdownside of a HOB in a planted tank is having to maintain consistent water level. A second would be they can be ugly when on long tanks where they work best on the sides. That is debatable and plenty of tanks look fine with HOB. Lastly, they tend to be noisier than canisters. Again, debatable but you can't put a HOB in a cabinet which will quiet down a loud filter.

The plus for me is more oxygen.


Off gassing CO2 doesn't matter. Just add more CO2. In my experience, I can use almost 2x as much CO2 in a tank with a HOB compared to a canister. So what...I think refilling a CO2 tank is a cheaper part of the hobby.

As for bio media. No scientist but it makes sense a canister does a better job. However, I really don't believe that you cannot stock a tank to a reasonable level with a HOB. So if you can stock your tank and it stays stable, it really doesn't matter what does a better job on paper, they both work well in practice.


That said, I am not a fan of HOB. I don't like to top off everyday and that leads to CO2 inconstancy. More importantly, if you have a bunch of stems, they get pushed around with just a slight drop in water level.

At the end of the day, I feel the differences in practice, not theory, are minimal.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardstuff View Post
Thanks sleepswithdafishez, that is a really good idea to try & slow down or minimize the flow on the surface. I have tried similar ways but I always found the water wants to back flow into the intake compartment & back into the aquarium in reverse, but only about 10%. But you took it to a new level. Especially with plugging the intake & using sponges at the outflow.
Last night I tried installing my Fluval 30 again & that lasted a whole 6 hours before I noticed my ph rise from a nice 6.6 to 6.8 I knew it was over for that filter. Although after reading what you just posted I feel like giving the old plug try a go.
For now I installed my only other last option which was a Fluval 1 internal. Within hours it helped my struggling Ehiem 2211 clear the tank much better! Best of all my ph fell back down to 6.6 which is my target range. So its obvious that HOB filters will out gas a lot. Thats with it turned all the way down & high water to the point of almost touching my canopy!
There probably is a way & similar to what you did to minimize the surface agitation, I would not give up on them totally until the tweaking is 100% tried! From a low tech stand, I can see them work well.
I forgot if you mention if you inject CO2 sleepswithdafishez . You still need to get your ferts+ lighting to name just a few in order & all else thats involved with this kind of set up as far as your yellowing is concerned. I have found that planted tanks are sensitive to just small changes, which can tilt your tank into an ugly mess. There are many factors that make these tanks run well and countless ways to mess a tank up!
Yes I just started using DIY Co2.My PH has gone down to 7.6 ,just like when I started the tank ,after only 2 days.The Eheim HOB is on minimal flow ,water movement barely noticeable.if PH continues to drop ,I'll crank up the flow a bit.
Someone said temperature can affect production of ,CO2 ,generally = cold room ,means less bubbles.I am thinking I could insert my Diy CO2 canister in a bucket of water or something ,and add a heater with thermostat.Constant warm water so good bubbling from the canister.Hotter water - many more bubbles(maybe?)
For the moment I'll wait and see what gives ,and I'll try the warm water trick if not satisfied ,it's only been 2 days with CO2.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:13 PM   #21
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Thanks again gstich for your useful comments. I spend so much effort on my getto DIY CO2 tank because I want it to succeed. I want to learn how to beat bba algae. I grew the stuff when I switched over from total low tech, which is a common problem when switching over to a CO2 system. Plus I briefly switched lighting spectrums & intensified my lighting before adding CO2. That was more trouble.
However since switching to a CO2 DIY driven internal reactor I have been beating this stuff back little by little. The tank is about 98% clean now! The only place the stuff currently grows is on the back glass in small patches. I caught the stuff festering on the powerhead only a week ago then nuked it with some peroxide & appears to be gone.
As far as a controller , how would I do that with DIY CO2??? I use a solenoid like method now but it simply relies on turning off the powerhead. Plus right now I cannot afford to put any money into this tank.
I think I already mentioned I gave up on the HOB filter . The ph went up too fast for me! No I am done with them unless as mentioned I was running pressurized then I would waist a little more gas & not care.
Yes the extra O2 would be a plus but again in another tank with pressurized it may be ok but can still could be a problem in my opinion. Would not want to risk red algae!!!!!! Canisters can be flow adjusted which means you can dial in custom surface agitation for any tank provided you have the right filter.
Yes I agree on stocking levels as well, I have more faith in canisters than HOB filters as far as bio filtration anyway.
Bottom line: I feel that HOB filters can work if constant care is maintained regarding water line & flow if running pressurized but inferior to canister filters unless running very small tanks but then you run right back into CO2 issues. From a low tech standpoint they probably work well since CO2 is limiting & constantly low & stable anyway.
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:19 PM   #22
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I forgot to mention that I am running R/o water on my tanks. I wish I did not have to because balancing this stuff is hard. My fish seem to like it but sometimes I feel besides CO2 deviations I am missing a nutrient or 2. That being said I do this because I have 21 degrees of hardness in my tap & 17 degrees of carbonates , ouch. I feel your pain gstitch. You think Florida water is hard , try AZ water it is as hard as it gets!
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
They do offer good organic filtration but semi poor bio filtration. This would seem to be a tossup.
The aquaclear offers great biological filtration. The fact that it is customizeable much the same way a canister is, makes it more economically efficient in my eyes. As with the majority of things in life, it comes down to what you can afford.

Quote:
Personally I don't use many HOB filters because they're an eye sore. Too much equipment is a con for me.
How is a HOB too much equipment? If anything, it is far less equipment than a canister filter. A HOB sits neatly on the back of the tank, where a canister has all these hoses and spraybars and whatnot.
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:07 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
My opinion...

The only realdownside of a HOB in a planted tank is having to maintain consistent water level. A second would be they can be ugly when on long tanks where they work best on the sides. That is debatable and plenty of tanks look fine with HOB. Lastly, they tend to be noisier than canisters. Again, debatable but you can't put a HOB in a cabinet which will quiet down a loud filter.

The plus for me is more oxygen.


Off gassing CO2 doesn't matter. Just add more CO2. In my experience, I can use almost 2x as much CO2 in a tank with a HOB compared to a canister. So what...I think refilling a CO2 tank is a cheaper part of the hobby.

As for bio media. No scientist but it makes sense a canister does a better job. However, I really don't believe that you cannot stock a tank to a reasonable level with a HOB. So if you can stock your tank and it stays stable, it really doesn't matter what does a better job on paper, they both work well in practice.


That said, I am not a fan of HOB. I don't like to top off everyday and that leads to CO2 inconstancy. More importantly, if you have a bunch of stems, they get pushed around with just a slight drop in water level.

At the end of the day, I feel the differences in practice, not theory, are minimal.
+1

My "opinion" pretty much coincide here with talontsiawd . Although I like canisters + lilies much better, I have a couple tanks like this (my 60F as one), but HOB's when done right can look decent, be effective, and save money. I have a pair of brand new do!aqua pipes for my newly setup 60P that I can literally go buy another canister tomorrow and set it up that way.. HOWEVER, I choose not to (yet) because I wanted to go a different route for kicks and it's working out surprisingly well for me. I'm using a Fluval C2 with double the bio (replaced the carbon with bio) alongside a SunSun 301 surface skimmer HOB to not only keep the surface crystal (which it is) but I also filled that with extra bio. Also, although I don't monitor my pH and co2 with high tech meters or what not, my drop checker remains a happy green with about 2 BPS. If I do get some gas off, who cares... My plants are thriving, minimal algae... HC and UG carpeting in nicely. No fancy reactors either, just a cheap ceramic diffuser.

I keep my water level high... I top off with my daily fert dosing. Just part of my routine, no biggie.

Skim through the progress of my thread. HOB doesn't look too bad IMO against a black background on my 60P.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=441873
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Old 11-06-2013, 10:47 PM   #25
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Brian your tank looks very nice! However, I do not want to be a kill joy but your tank is very young yet. New tanks usually experience some early algae issues that can blow over & end up not being bad. That being said my tank went through a lot of early algae issues in the early stages. BGA, diatoms, green algae, & GSA! After I knocked then down 1 by 1 I was very pleased & for about 6 months I could do nothing wrong. Then in May I noticed BBA algae appear & my dream of an algae free tank WAS OVER.
For the last 5 months I have tried everything I will not list because it would be another thread starter.
It came from overconfidence & neglect. I Now have to work at it extra hard to avoid CO2 fluctuations! Watch out for those fluctuations from the HOB filters they could cause BBA at some point! My fluctuations did not come from HOB filters in my tank since I was not running them, they came from neglect!.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:17 PM   #26
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Thanks... time will tell. I did have some nasty filamentous diatoms or rhizo... I already killed that off. I do get a bit of GDA, I just scrub off what my Otos aren't getting to by the time I do my weekly maintenance. No signs of BBA, yet... I do add some Glut to my daily PPS-Pro regimen. So that may give me a cushion to would-be algae problems. Also I think because I keep my water level high, there's less surface agitation (= reduced gas off). If I were just running the C2 by itself, I know I'd get a nasty protein layer where I'd have to run the HOB with a lower water level to create more surface turbulence to break up the surface scum (= more gas off). That's the beauty of running the SunSun 301 in tandem with the C2. Excellent tag team efficiency. If I run into problems, I'll be sure to report back. But I'm optimistic at this point.
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:48 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terminalance View Post
How is a HOB too much equipment? If anything, it is far less equipment than a canister filter. A HOB sits neatly on the back of the tank, where a canister has all these hoses and spraybars and whatnot.
It's too much equipment for me on a rimless tank. With a canister, using clear hosing & glass lily pipes (not a sparybar) it's obviously less equipment to look at. However, Brian Cali77 has done a nice job with his HOBs on his 60P, and the black background. Very nice!
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:58 AM   #28
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I find in my 75 since I put my hob filter on it help regulate co2. Before my co2 would keep getting higher and by the end of the day it would slowly creep up to 50+ ppm. Now it hits lime green on the drop checker and stays there. I think you need a certain amount of surface agitation to make an equilibrium and my hob filter works perfect for it. I use a filter baffle so water level doesn't matter to an extent.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:33 AM   #29
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I feel you have more options with the kind of surface agitation that you can get with canisters. Keeping the outflow pipe well below the surface & using the flow control you can get any amount of surface agitation you need. Of course this is without the spray bar.
With my Fluval I turn up a little more agitation during the night & decrease it a little during the day when CO2 is needed more. What I like is there is zero braking of any kind but I can get 60-80% of the entire surface moving to almost mimic a light windy day if the outflow is adjusted correctly. The flow control also doubles in respect that it creates more flow evenly around the entire tank, something that HOB filters cannot do in larger tanks, especially in getting a smooth even agitation around most of the surface & around the tank volume.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:54 AM   #30
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I forgot to mention that those drop checkers are really not that accurate. Especially if you are making micro bubbles. The tiny bubbles get lodged inside the drop checker & give you lower readings than you think you have. They are general guides only & can lag hours behind what the tank is in real time.
As far as your tank getting lower as the day goes & needing HOB filters to help off gas the excess CO2 , that would mean if you are running a canister that you need to adjust the canister so it moves the surface more but not braking it!
I have miss adjusted my filter many times , you just have to be more diligent in your adjustments & play around with it some.
I like running outflow pipes more than spray bars but sometimes both is better running 2 separate filters.
I have used HOB filters as stated to out gas CO2 but found they waste a lot of gas. I know people will say the gas is cheap but a properly positioned Canister will beat any HOB filter from what I can see. What do I mean by beat? Better bio filtration , proper surface agitation , more bio media capacity, more flow options , better filtration & less bi pass, less surface scum, inline CO2 reactors, generally moves more water, out gasses less CO2 if properly positioned, less stuff hanging on the tank . The list is too long to list.
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