Questions about DIY CO2
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:57 PM   #1
MarieB
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Questions about DIY CO2


I am just setting up a 10g planted tank, and have been researching DIY CO2 but I have a couple questions that I'm sure you've heard before but I just couldn't find the answers to

If I'm running a medium light (~2.5 watts/gallon) do I need CO2 in the tank? Will my plants grow without it? I know it's not hard to set up, so if it won't hurt anything I would probably do it anyway, I was just curious.

If/when I set up the CO2, can I diffuse it through an airstone? I've heard mixed things about it and wanted to be sure that was okay, I can always find a different way to diffuse it if you guys don't think airstones work very well.

Last question (for now anyway) do you need a drop checker or a bubble counter with DIY CO2? Or should I just assume that it's hard to put too much diy into the tank and leave it at that?

Once again sorry if these questions have been asked over and over, and I was just not seeing the answers!
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:22 AM   #2
cjp999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarieB View Post
I am just setting up a 10g planted tank, and have been researching DIY CO2 but I have a couple questions that I'm sure you've heard before but I just couldn't find the answers to

If I'm running a medium light (~2.5 watts/gallon) do I need CO2 in the tank? Will my plants grow without it? I know it's not hard to set up, so if it won't hurt anything I would probably do it anyway, I was just curious.
Without CO2 you will need to limit the amount of light you can give your plants, unless you want to end up with algae problems.

What type of lighting do you have and is it raised above the tank? Your 2.5 wpg could be anywhere from low lighting (on the high end) to high lighting depending of the type of lighting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarieB View Post
If/when I set up the CO2, can I diffuse it through an airstone? I've heard mixed things about it and wanted to be sure that was okay, I can always find a different way to diffuse it if you guys don't think airstones work very well.
Since DIY CO2 usually don't product that much, I would suggest maximizing your diffusion. Airstones are not one of the better ways in this regard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarieB View Post
Last question (for now anyway) do you need a drop checker or a bubble counter with DIY CO2? Or should I just assume that it's hard to put too much diy into the tank and leave it at that?
With a 2L bottle on a 10g tank with good diffusion, you may be at risk of too much CO2 if you get excellent production (which will likely be short lived). I've seen some people claim 1 to 2 bps with DIY on 2L bottle. I usually do no better than 1 bubble ever 3 seconds, but I get long production (still at 1 bubble every 5 seconds after 4 weeks).

However, I think most will say don't worry about too much CO2 in this 10g setup.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:44 AM   #3
MarieB
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The lighting is condensed fluorescent, 2 13 watt bulbs/850 lumens each. So 26 watts/1700 lumens in 10 gallons. The lights are on an aquarium hood, like this one:

http://www.pets-warehouse.com/pic-a/AAG09009.jpg

Is that low or high lighting? I didn't think about the fact that the placement of the bulbs would make a big difference.
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:59 AM   #4
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I think you mean "compact" fluorescent, more commonly called CFL (they are spiral lights, right?).

I'm not a lighting expert, but CFLs on the hood you have is probably your least efficient 26w fluorescent lighting option, so I would say you are on the high end of low light.

As for placement, many people raise their lighting fixtures to lower the intensity and/or give a more uniform distribution. It's a good way to tweak your lighting to get just the right intensity, but is not really an option with your fixture.

BTW, your lighting will be pretty intense, relatively speaking, in the center back compared to the corners. That type of setup does not give very uniform lighting, especially high in the corners, which get very little light.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:11 AM   #5
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you're right ... I MEANT compact florescent I have african dwarf frogs in my tank though so I need to have a cover on it (they'll jump out ... happened to me when I first got them). What types of lights would you recommend instead of the CFLs?
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:06 PM   #6
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You can buy a glass cover for about $14, and then you can put any type of light over it, and elevate it if you wish.

You don't necessarily have to replace what you have. I know others have that setup. It would be nice if some of them would share their experiences.

Your lighting will determine what you can grow, but will also determine how much CO2 and fertilizer you need. If either are too low for the light you have, the result is algae problems. Since your light is on the low end right now, you should really just consider low light plants.

However, since your fixture probably doesn't produce very uniform light, you might find you have some algae problems in the center, so you may have to contend with algae in that area. Possibly your DIY CO2 will be enough to prevent it. Getting some algae eaters (like nerite snails or amano shrimp), would also help. You may also want to keep smaller plants in areas where the light is more intense, since the light will be less intense at deeper depths.
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