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Old 10-31-2003, 05:02 PM   #1
ob1
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Looking to purchase a Co2 set-up

Need some help

I have 60X20X24 100g tank 4X36w Rena tank with a wide range of plants most are light lovingL

I have just set up the tank, with a laterite base mixed into the first layer of small gravel and a heater cable. purchased some plants from an online plant supplier, and they do look good.

However noted that on the first couple of days the plants let of small bubbles, this has now stopped, some of them are now going yellow. (I had turned on my filter very little surface movement)

I think I need a Co2 supplement? However not sure which one to go for, I understand that things can get expensive once you start using PH probes. I also understand that a night switch can also help.

Please can anyone clarify and suggest a typical set-up without PH probe, also bottle size requirements.

Cheers
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Old 10-31-2003, 05:58 PM   #2
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I can't recommend any UK sources for you, but I can tell you what you need to look for. You need a 5 or 10lb CO2 bottle. A regulator to bring down the pressure to around 30psi. A needle valve to regulate output even further to 1-2 bubbles per second.
And that's it, actually.
Optional is a bubble counter (or you could stick the tube under the water to count the rate, but I recommend buying or makign a bubble counter).
Also optional is a reactor. Just bubbling the CO2 into the water column will be a huge waste of gas. You'll be refilling too often. You can make your own reactor by searchign for "CO2 reactor designs" on google or buy one. Or just stick the output of the tube in front of your filter and let it churn the bubbles up. Sounds like you've got a hang-on-the-back filter so this might be your best bet.
The pH probes and monitors and solenoids and timers aren't really necessary. You can prevent massive pH swings by doing two things:
1) make sure your KH is at least 4-5dKH. This will buffer pH swings.
2) Start slow. 1 bubble every 3-5 seconds. Then bump it up. Slowly. Once a day. Monitor pH in the morning and again at night. Once you've got a satisfactory consistent pH level, leave it and you won't need to touch it again.
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Old 11-01-2003, 01:21 AM   #3
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And your real problem is your low light. You say most of your plants are light loving but you are only running 144 watts over a 100 gallon tank. That's very low light even for a larger tank with low light plants.
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Old 11-01-2003, 11:15 AM   #4
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Thanks GulfCoastAquarian / Rex Grigg

I agree my lighting is an issue, currently looking at upgrading my T8 tubes to T5, currently finding it hard to source the basic fittings and power unit, complete set-up cost a small fortune in the uk (48inch). so looking to keep my existing lamp frames and replace the electrics/t8 fittings, any tips?


GulfCoastAquarian - thanks for making is so clear, two question

1. how long will a 10lb bottle last very approx
2. I'm using a XP3 filter, on thought putting Co2 directly into the filter inlet would decrease Oxygen which can hinder the biologic process ?

sorry 3

3. would you suggest to run an air stone over night? I read alot of people do this, I think i understand why.
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Old 11-01-2003, 12:22 PM   #5
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Planted tanks will always make a small fortune out of a large one. They cost money, usually lots of money if you do it right!

Now on the other questions.

1. How long does a tank of gas last in your car? It's a hard question to ask because there are so many variables. You should expect a minimum of 6 months and could well get over 12 months off a 10 lb bottle.

2. Better yet, build a external reactor and put it on the out-flow line. I have done this with both a XP-3 and a XP-2. I would never run the CO2 into the inlet of a cannister with the motor mounted on top. Too many chances of air locking the filter and harming the motor. The idea that it will hinder the biologic process is just not factual. Most of the biological filtration in a planted tank comes from the plants.

3. No. I run CO2 24/7 on three tanks. I would not use a air stone as it will actually cause much larger pH swings than running the CO2 24/7.
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Old 11-01-2003, 01:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Planted tanks will always make a small fortune out of a large one. They cost money, usually lots of money if you do it right!
Amen to that. A planted tank is almost as bad as a boat.

Fortunately, it you choose your purchases well they should last many years so in a way, it's a one time purchase.
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Old 11-01-2003, 05:09 PM   #7
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Cheers all

started to price units this afternoon, around 150-250 price band. I have a UV filter on my XP3 outlet pipe.

Rex Grigg can you expand on your design? I have 16mm dia tubing and have not yet seen the dia of the Co2 pipe work. Have you used a size coupler to bring the pipe work together?
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Old 11-01-2003, 07:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomer
Fortunately, it you choose your purchases well they should last many years so in a way, it's a one time purchase.
Right up 'til the itch for a larger tank strikes...

James
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Old 11-01-2003, 09:07 PM   #9
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So true. All of mine were purchased in ascending order according to size.
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Old 11-02-2003, 12:35 AM   #10
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I build my reactors out of 2" PVC pipe. And I just use a standard threaded (screws into the cap on the PVC) hose barb to attach the tubing too. If you wish I can supply you with a picture.
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Old 11-02-2003, 01:09 AM   #11
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Rex, pls show us.
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Old 11-02-2003, 02:02 PM   #12
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The picture of the reactor can be found at members.dsl-only.net/~rex/reactor1.jpg

It's 2" PVC pipe with the water flowing into the top and out the bottom. I have a threaded top on it so I can disassemble it for cleaning. It's about 2/3 full of bio balls. The CO2 comes in though the top via a 11/64th hole drilled in the cap in which I have just pulled the tubing though the hole. I then placed some rigid tubing on the other tubing to inject the CO2 about half way down the length of the reactor.

The reactor pictured is on my 29 gallon tank. Previously I had the gravel vac design in tank reactor and had a hard time getting good CO2 levels. When I installed this external reactor I had to cut my CO2 bubble rate in half and the CO2 levels were still almost double what they were before.
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Old 11-02-2003, 02:52 PM   #13
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Thanks.
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Old 11-02-2003, 03:30 PM   #14
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Rex, I notice it's sitting in a Tupperware bowl. Is leaking at the threads a problem ?
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Old 11-02-2003, 10:17 PM   #15
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When I first set it up I did not have the cap on tight enough. It was leaking a bit. That was a year ago. I have yet to remove the bowl. One of these days I will get around to that.
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