Lets Talk co2, what do I need, and where do I go from here? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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Lets Talk co2, what do I need, and where do I go from here?

Soooooo. I'm ready to add co2 after upgrading my filter and lights. I bought 2 Hagen Plant Grow Natural Systems on clearance and would like to use those, minus their diffuser. I don't think I can hook up the tubing to my filter since I switched to the canister, correct me if I'm wrong. I did read some links some of you have given me before. But would love some personal experience an how to.

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Pristella tetras, cardinal tetra, amano shirmp, bamboo shrimp, nerite snails, assassin snails and red cherry shrimp.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 05:15 AM
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 05:19 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry, I should be more direct. I bought the Hagen Plant Grow Natural Systems, so that will be used instead of the coke bottle. I have tubing. But what else do I need? How should I get the co2 into the tank (diffuser etc.)? Do I need to hook up the 2 canisters to the same tube some how? Should I add a 3rd bottle and have the 2 canisters run into that, and then from that into the tank? Do I need a bubble counter? I guess what I need is a step by step guide based on the plants I have, and the size tank I have, and the lights I have.

46 Bow Front Planted
Eheim 2217 & 2236, 2-39wt T5 bulbs (10,000), 72-75*
Pristella tetras, cardinal tetra, amano shirmp, bamboo shrimp, nerite snails, assassin snails and red cherry shrimp.

My tank:
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 04:04 PM
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With DIY CO2, you are limited to your diffuser choices. You can always use a powerhead modified with a pinwheel, or you could even use a glass diffuser with a ceramic disc. Not all of them work with DIY CO2, so I would carefully take a look at the product description (and/or e-mail the seller) to verify this.

If you have 2 DIY CO2 bottles, you can hook them up to a single line using a T connector. A third bottle (a separator) is always a good idea, to prevent any of the DIY CO2 mixture from flowing into the aquarium. It can also double as a bubble counter.

For your current aquarium setup, you have a lot of light, so if you are set on using DIY CO2, I would use at the minimum, three bottles, and then have spare bottles staggered so that you can swap out any bottles that are declining in CO2 production. This way, you can maintain a stable CO2 level as well.

Anthony


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 12:45 AM
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With a large tank like yours your biggest problem is getting enough CO2 into the water column. I would definitely suggest 3 separate CO2 bottles on a 3 week cycle, so you essentially are changing one out every week. This ensures a steady flow of CO2 into your tank. Like Darkblade suggested, have them all connect to one input line using T-connectors.

The next step is to get it into your tank efficiently. If you just run it through a powerhead you won't get nearly enough diffusion into the water column. You could try running it directly into your cannister filter inlet but this has varying degrees of success. I would suggest having either an inline reactor like the Rexx or Cerges reactors (if you search the DIY threads you should be able to find the threads explaining how to build one) or you could do an intank reactor.

This link is your friend, it has everything you possibly could want to know on DIY CO2, it also explains the in tank reactor.

I tried the intank reactor and it worked ok I just didn't like all the extra equipment. I built the inline Rexx reactor and it made a HUGE difference, so I would certainly suggest this method.


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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedTankLover View Post
Sorry, I should be more direct. I bought the Hagen Plant Grow Natural Systems, so that will be used instead of the coke bottle. I have tubing. But what else do I need? How should I get the co2 into the tank (diffuser etc.)? Do I need to hook up the 2 canisters to the same tube some how? Should I add a 3rd bottle and have the 2 canisters run into that, and then from that into the tank? Do I need a bubble counter? I guess what I need is a step by step guide based on the plants I have, and the size tank I have, and the lights I have.

I think you may want to build your own DIY system. I think those bottles may be to small and to few to produce enough for a 46 Bowfront. You Tharsis and I all have the same tanks. I use 3 two liter bottles with an inline reactor similar to what Tharsis has done and it is just enough to get to 30ish ppm, (yellow-green) drop checker.

Inline reactor goes on the canisters filter “exhaust”. I have run the Co2 directly into the filter intake at one time and this did work well but the bubbles disturb the debris in the filter and you end up with a tank constantly filled with tiny dirt particals.



Three bottle system. If you do deside to make your own the link that was posted will help you greatly. Just make sure that when making the hole in the top of the 2 liter plastic bottle that it is smaller then the tubing, this will creat a very tight fit and silicone will not be unnessesary, making replacing the tube much easier. Co2 will harden the tubing and it will need periodic replacment.

Or you could solder brake caliper bleeder valves into the lids of large 2 liter glass pickle jars like I have done. The hose fits very tightly over the bleeder valne nipple and replacing hose is VERY easy.





You could also rig up a valve system similar to this, so you can remove a bottle and not interrupt flow.



Good luck,

Shawn
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