60 Gallon heavy planted high tech co2 build - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-09-2017, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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60 Gallon heavy planted high tech co2 build

So I am pretty new to the planted tank hobby. I had a tank with no plants for about 6 months. Then about a month ago I got a great plant package that included a ton of different easy low/medium light plants. This is all in a 60 gallon tank. I will give the specs of what I have and then what is on the way so what it will have. Thanks to others especially the mod on here (Darkblade48) I have learned a ton that made what I thought going high tech would be very hard to not hard at all. Now on to the list.

60 gallon high (48"x12"x24")
stock includes 12 Glowfish tetras, 2 glowfish danios, one 9" Pleco, 3 cory cats, 10 Clown loaches(small)(I know will get large and will have a 125 gallon for them in a few months), and 4 amano shrimp.

Plants include
1xAnubias lanceolata
1xAnubias barteri
2xEchinodorus "Red Rubin Narrow
2xEchinodorus argentinensis
5xCryptocoryne wendtii
2xMicrosorium pteropus
5x Hygrophila lancea
10xBacopa monnierii
6xEgeria (Anacharis) densa
6xRotala indica
6xLudwigia repens
5xHygrophila salicifolia

I know it seems like a lot but many are just stems. I have been using the entire Seachem flourish line including excel. Very good stuff and easy for someone like me. May end up going with the "other" cheaper route down the road but I have a good schedule going with these and the results are pretty good so far.

For my filtration I have a Fluval FX4 and a AquaClear 70 HOB. I like having two filters for the fact of staggering out maintenance if one stops working I am still good. I love the fluval line of filters. The only chemical filtration I use is Purigen. I did get a thing of the new chemi-pure green that is meant for planted tanks but have not used it yet as I really do not have the need that I can tell. I keep the HOB filter on low trickle setting and the FX4 not pointed at very top to not disrupt the top as much for obvious reasons. I also have a Jaebo PP8 Powerhead that I turn on first thing in the morning when dosing the ferts to make sure its all mixed good in the tank for all to eat. I keep it on the lowest setting when it runs. Usually only run it for about an hour a day.

I have the Finnex Planted 24/7 light and love that light very much. But because I have a deep tank from the top of substrate to light is 23" so I keep it on max setting for 10 hours during the day instead of the non programmable 24/7 cycle. According to a great review by Matt on here I am most likely getting between 30-40 par at the bottom but not 100% certain. Like many others that is my only complaint about the light is not being able to program the 24/7 cycle. Other than that its an awesome light and seems to be good enough light for my low/medium plants at the moment. I have a question in regards to my light but will ask at the end.

So now on to my pressurized co2 build that I will be installing this weekend. I will first say I have done a TON of research in regards to it as at first it seemed kind of scary. Just heard horror stories of some that have something fail to find their stock dead in the morning. I do not want to do this so I wanted to make sure I have all info and can be as prepared as possible to prevent that. So anyone that has suggestions feel free. I wanted to get a good reliable system so I searched around a lot. I will list below what my system will consist of

Pressurized CO2 system
I wanted this to be as clean and hidden as possible so below is what I went with.
--Fluval 206(dedicated just for the co2 with inline reactor). It will include no media, not even mechanical. Again its solely for the co2. I got the idea from a few people and think its a wonderful idea if you can fork up the $ for it. I was originally going to tap into my existing fluval fx4 but the concern was going from 1" down to 5/8". Why restrict the flow of existing filter. Much better in my mind to run a dedicated system just for the co2. I will place the 206 output right behind my existing FX4 out to maximize the co2 flow throughout the entire tank.

--DiCi CO2 Regulator Aquarium Mini Stainless Steel Dual Gauge Display Bubble Counter and Check Valve w/ Solenoid. Was a hard choice between this and the Aquatek but many great reviews about this one sold me on it. This will be used with a 5lb tank of course. Was almost going to go the Paintball tank route due to space limitations but did not have to after all. I have 22" high of space to work with in my cabinet and thought that a 5lb bottle with the regulator on it would be too high. However it seems I will have a couple inches to spare after all. What I like about this regulator/solenoid is it comes with the bubble counter on it. And a one way valve in the bottom of the bubble counter. Seems high quality. Are any of you running this one?

--Sera Flore Active CO2 Reactor 500. I wanted the least amount of bubbles in the tank so after much research this one seems to be better than the other atomizers and inline diffuses out there. Also this one will be a perfect fit for the 5/8 rubber hose attachments this will hook up to on the Fluval 206. Win win in my book. Also seems from reviews MUCH more durable than the other brand one out there. Did not want to build my own but I knew that was an option.

That is the heart of the system and I will list the other little stuff wanting to make sure I am as prepared for the build this weekend as possible.
-AQUATEK CO2-Proof Tubing 16 Feet. May just use existing standard airline tubing but got just in case any leaks. I know the co2 loss is minimal thanks to Darkblade. If the Aquatek is too hard to work with and will not bend where I need it to then I will use the standard airline tubing as its much easier to work with.

-Glass Co2 Drop Checker With 4dKH Drop Checker Solution. Do not want to make up my own solution so this will work. Needed something reliable. When it comes to the entire co2 system this is the only way one would be able to tell I am evening running pressurized co2. Again I wanted everything as clean and hidden as possible.

-CO2 Tank Leak Stopper. Amyzon has it. Do any of you use it to go between the tank and regulator? I wanted to be sure as good as seal possible and in case any issues this should work.

-Silocone Rubber self fusing tape to use connecting reactor to output of the Fluval 206. And wherever else may be needed.

-Pipe sealant tape. No explanation needed.

-5lb bottle clamp to mount the bottle in the cabinet beneath the tank. Would not want it to tip at all.

-Adjustable hose clamps. No explanation needed.

-Spare Fluval Rubber Adapter for Ribbed Hosing- This will be used again to attach the Reactor to the out of the filter. the 5/8" matches exactly with the Reactor and will connect directly up to my 1/2 ribbed hosing on the out.

I also ended up getting the SENEYE Reef Aquarium Monitor and Par Meter more for the PAR capability. That will not be here for another couple weeks though. Reason is I want an exact measurement of par my lights are getting at the bottom of my tank. Have not seen any readings out there showing the par from this light that far down. I guess between 30-40 but that is just a guess. I want an exact.

So that is it everyone this is my very first build and I will update when I get it installed this weekend. Please respond with any suggestions or lessons learned. I know this is a long post and hope you enjoy. I know I have not been able to sleep well at night while waiting for everything to come in. Saturday is the day

Bump: Forgot to ask the question about my light. So now that I am bring in co2 into the tank will I need more light for my low/medium plants if they are doing ok now? Do you suggest me getting another Finnex Planted 24/7 light? I do not want to cook my plants but also do not want to deprive them especially since there will be co2.

Last edited by clownplanted; 03-09-2017 at 08:19 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
I have the Finnex Planted 24/7 light and love that light very much. But because I have a deep tank from the top of substrate to light is 23" so I keep it on max setting for 10 hours during the day instead of the non programmable 24/7 cycle.
8 hours will be enough. 10 is a bit long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
--Fluval 206(dedicated just for the co2 with inline reactor). It will include no media, not even mechanical. Again its solely for the co2. I got the idea from a few people and think its a wonderful idea if you can fork up the $ for it.
I don't really think this is necessary; the extra saved money could be better spent elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
--DiCi CO2 Regulator Aquarium Mini Stainless Steel Dual Gauge Display Bubble Counter and Check Valve w/ Solenoid. .... Are any of you running this one?
I believe several people have tried using this regulator with various rates of success. You can try to do a search and read up on their experiences.


Quote:
Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
-Glass Co2 Drop Checker With 4dKH Drop Checker Solution. Do not want to make up my own solution so this will work. Needed something reliable. When it comes to the entire co2 system this is the only way one would be able to tell I am evening running pressurized co2. Again I wanted everything as clean and hidden as possible.
Technically, a bubble counter will tell you if the CO2 is flowing or not. The drop checker will tell you whether the CO2 is being dissolved into your aquarium. Do note, however, that drop checkers have a lag period of a few hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
-CO2 Tank Leak Stopper. Amyzon has it. Do any of you use it to go between the tank and regulator? I wanted to be sure as good as seal possible and in case any issues this should work.
This appears to be a permaseal. It is meant to replace the disposable compressible nylon washers that go between the regulator and the CO2 cylinder. The disposable washers should only be used once (though I have used them 2-3 times with no ill effects; they are quite cheap, maybe 5-10 cents each, and I usually get them free when I refill my CO2 cylinder anyway).

Quote:
Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
-Silocone Rubber self fusing tape to use connecting reactor to output of the Fluval 206. And wherever else may be needed.
Provided the hose barbs and tubing is the correct size, I do not see a need for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
-Pipe sealant tape. No explanation needed.
Probably not needed if you are going with a pre-assembled system. Do note that PTFE (Teflon) tape is not required between the CO2 cylinder and the regulator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clownplanted View Post
Bump: Forgot to ask the question about my light. So now that I am bring in co2 into the tank will I need more light for my low/medium plants if they are doing ok now? Do you suggest me getting another Finnex Planted 24/7 light? I do not want to cook my plants but also do not want to deprive them especially since there will be co2.
No, you would not want to introduce even more light for low/medium plants if they are doing fine now.

Your plants will only use as much CO2 as they require; light is ultimately the driving factor behind the nutritional demands that plants have.

Anthony


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
8 hours will be enough. 10 is a bit long.


I don't really think this is necessary; the extra saved money could be better spent elsewhere.


I believe several people have tried using this regulator with various rates of success. You can try to do a search and read up on their experiences.



Technically, a bubble counter will tell you if the CO2 is flowing or not. The drop checker will tell you whether the CO2 is being dissolved into your aquarium. Do note, however, that drop checkers have a lag period of a few hours.


This appears to be a permaseal. It is meant to replace the disposable compressible nylon washers that go between the regulator and the CO2 cylinder. The disposable washers should only be used once (though I have used them 2-3 times with no ill effects; they are quite cheap, maybe 5-10 cents each, and I usually get them free when I refill my CO2 cylinder anyway).


Provided the hose barbs and tubing is the correct size, I do not see a need for this.


Probably not needed if you are going with a pre-assembled system. Do note that PTFE (Teflon) tape is not required between the CO2 cylinder and the regulator.


No, you would not want to introduce even more light for low/medium plants if they are doing fine now.

Your plants will only use as much CO2 as they require; light is ultimately the driving factor behind the nutritional demands that plants have.
I had a feeling 10 might be a bit much I will cut it back to 8. Once my par meter gets here I will get a better idea of the light at different levels. Until then its a guessing game.

The reason is I got the dedicated fluval 206 is I did not want to tap into my existing fluval FX4 and wanted to run the inline reactor. But of course it is not ultimately needed but wanted for the install to be the cleanest in my books. My understanding that the most efficent way to get the co2 into the display tank is through a reactor going through a canister filter. I did not want to reduce my FX4 tubing from 1" to the 5/8 of the reactor. Also I am considering running an inline heater as well and have that option down the road with the 206. To me the less non natural items in the display tank the better. Granted you can hide much with plants.

I will do a search in the forums for that regulator and see how it has turned out. Hopefully more good than bad.

Being new to planted tanks and even newer to co2 I wanted to know more than just the drop checker to know the level of co2 in my aquarium. I do not want to over or under do the right amount.

The reason for the Rubber hose adapters is because the fluval 206 hose size is 1/2 inch and the reactor is 5/8. But the awesome thing about the fluval 6 series filters is they all use the 5/8 rubber ends that connect to the filter so an extra set and just $8 later I can connect the existing piping to the inline reactor without anything else needed. One end of adapter goes to reactor and other goes to the tubing and fits perfect. Just having the different tapes and stuff on hand in case it is needed. I have read that some need the pipe tape to connect the cylinder to the regulator but most do not. Just want to be on the safe side. Especially since this is my first co2 build. Better to have more on hand than not enough. Thank you very much Darkblade for all of your suggestions and comments. I have already learned a ton just from your co2 article.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 04:44 AM Thread Starter
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So I got everything in today as planned and installed my pressurized co2. Most everything went as planned except the Fluval 206 hose that came with the filter was a little shorter than I expected. I guess I was spoiled at the length of hose that my Fluval FX4 came with I did not think I would have an issue having to cut a bit off to go from the Filter to the Reactor. That then made the in/out hose of the filter very short. So short I had to run the in and out on the same side of the tank and the reactor is hanging behind the tank instead of where I was to have it mounted in the cabinet. The reactor is still very secure not leaking but I ordered more Fluval 206 hose to get it the way I want it. To move the In on the other side of the tank and move the out closer to directly behind the out of the Fluval FX4 for the ultimate co2 flow. Other than that everything works awesome. I really like the DiCi mini regulator/solenoid. I tested it and no leaks at all. I could fine tune it down to 1 bubble every 20 seconds if needed. As soon as I got everything installed I tuned it to 3bps and everything seems great. The plants were pearling and the fish were acting normal. One thing that is not here yet is the Drop checker. That will be here Monday. But I feel that how I have it set is good to go due to the reactions of the plants and fish. My DH dropped from 7.2 to 6.4. Is this a good doable range? Right now I have it to shut off an hour before lights out and turn on an hour before lights on. Will see how it all goes. The reactor I am running is a Sera Flore Active CO2 Reactor 500. I am really amazed at this reactor I get zero bubbles by the time it hits the water in the tank. And the filter is very silent even with the co2 running through the new 206. I ditched all of the media even the sponges so its pretty much just a pump in a canister to disperse the co2. Overall I am very happy with the setup. Let me know your thoughts.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so I finally got it competed. I ended up just buying 5/8 clear tubing so I could move the fluval 206 out where I wanted directly behind the FX4 out for good flow. And now was able to mount the reactor where I wanted. Very impressed with the setup and how it ended up. Let me know what you think.

Bump: Not sure why the pics are rotated even though they are actually straight. You get the idea though.

Bump: See how in the out of the last picture there is no bubbles? Wonderful
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