DIY CO2 - Advice - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-04-2006, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 - Advice

Ok so I am looking at setting up DIY CO2. I have had normal fish tanks for a while now (5 years) and have decided now to go planted.
I am going to DIY CO2 to start off with as I don't have the funds to go with pressurized.
I am sure about the recipe . . and how to set - up a simple bottle but I am a bit hazy on how the CO2 is dispersed through the tank. I am just about to buy a 2026 so in terms of dispersion of CO2 how could I use that. I have seen Rex Reactor but my space is a little limited seeings as my tank is not on a cabinet but on a stone mantlepiece with no holes in it or anything. Everything is tucked down the side in a "gap".
What would be the best way for me to get CO2 evenly throughout my tank without losing it too easily (surface agitation etc . . )
Oh it is a 29 gallon.
Also what do you do at night. Obviously you can't clamp it because of the bottle exploding, do you leave it running?
How can I control the numbers of bubble per sec or min and how can I tell how many bubbles per min or sec there are?
Probably been asked this a million times but I would appreciate any acvice
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-04-2006, 04:49 PM
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The "best way" to inject CO2 depends on who you ask. Fortunately there are several effective ways, so you do have choices. You could stick the CO2 tube in the filter inlet and let it act as the reactor, or you could get a cheap limewood "air stone" and let the CO2 bubble out of that, to be dispersed by the filter output - the CO2 mist idea. Or the Hagen ladder in the tank. You can control the bubble rate to some extent, if your room is cool, by putting the bottle in a water bath and adding a heater - the warmer the bottle, the higher the bubble rate. You can make a bubble counter easy, just use the search function to find ideas for that. If you use the heated water bath you can "turn off" the CO2 at night by connecting the heater to the light timer.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-11-2006, 01:27 PM
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Putting a bad idea to a good use.

I've been running a DIY setup for a few years now. Until recently, I just ran the supply tube into the suction line of a power filter. However, I recently added more light (3watts /gallon), and the old system could not keep up. I switched from a power filter to a 2013 cannister. It came with a spray bar. You will hear many people talk about how bad a spray bar is for a plantedd tank, and they are right When installed according to directions, it churns up the surface of the water, causing te CO2 to disipate rapidly. Kinda like shaking a soda. Instead, I ran the outlet of pressure tube to the bottom of the tank. I then mounted the spray bar with the wholes facing down along the back wall of the tank right there at the bottom. Next I drilled a hole for the co2 supply line in the silicone tubing just before it enters the spray bar. Now the pressurize water stream blasts the CO2 bubble to smitherenes, and shoots the mini bubble toward the bottom of the tank. No those little bubbles have to reverse direction before they can rise to the top. Most of them never make it. They are completely absorbed before they reach the top. The current from the spray bar does not disturb the surface of the tank at all and the water movement below the surface improved the ability of the plants to take in nutrients. My CO2 now hovers in the 40ppm range.

Also, I have never had a problem with to much CO2 from a DIY bottle system. Of course my old system was so inefficient that it was not a problem. On the other hand, with 1.5 watts per gallon, of light, I didn't need such an efficient system.

Good luck. My advice is to try to keep this simple and beef up your system only if you see it is necessary. Of course that strategy fits my personality, it is just as likely to drive another guy crazy. There is something to be said for designing it right the first time.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-16-2006, 10:27 AM
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Just to chime in if you dont mind kiran, do you guys have to shake or swirl your bottles up every once in a while? My bubble count seems to go to hell if I dont on a regular basis. It just goes crazy for like a minute though and I hate doing it.
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