DIY Co2 ?'s; Video Included, Help Needed Please - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-14-2013, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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Question DIY Co2 ?'s; Video Included, Help Needed Please

Hello everyone!

It has been 24 hours with my first Co2 attempt, and I need advice and comments. I'd appreciate help and input, etc. even if it is negative.

I have 7 years of fishkeeping experience, with 6 years experience of low-level maintenance plants (commonly found plants, lighting and liquid ferts. only).

Tank Size: 29 gallon standard, fully cycled, 7 weeks old

Water Parameters: Normal PH without Co2=7.8. 24 hours later w/Co2=7.4...Ammonia and NitrItes=0...NitrAtes=30...GH=180...KH=180.

Stuff in my tank that may (or not) effect the ph: 1 1/2 quickrete playsand with 1/2 inches landscaping gravel on top, one 4"x2" piece of driftwood, one 7"x3" slate of petrified wood.

Lighting
All-glass Aquarium T8: Full-Spectrum Daylight, 8000 Kelvin daylight color temp, 17w.

Lights of America 24": 17w, additional specs below.
Incandescent Equiv.: 75 watts
Color Temperature: 7800 K Kelvin
Dimensions: 2.5" x 24"
Light Output: 1,093 lumens
Color Temperature: Grow Light
Warranty: 1 year
Replacement Bulb: F17T8/GL
Assembled in USA


Co2: 2L bottle with 1 tsp baking yeast, 2 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1.5 liters dechlorinated water, running into smaller gatorade bottle producing 1 bubble per second, diffuser is an unused non-menthol cigarette butt. I also put a small square of plastic canvas above the bubble stream to catch some of the bubbles and trap them in place for a while. The diffuser is set under the outflow of my HOB filter. Unfortunately, I do not have a Co2 reader at this point.

I have included a video to show what the bubbles are doing, and have a few questions. The link to the video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mbcV...ature=youtu.be

My Questions

1. Is there any room for improvement on diffusing my bubbles in my tank, or is this setup pretty good? I am considering putting another bottle of Co2 on the other side (if needed), or simply placing an air hose that would blow the fine bubble stream more towards the right side of my tank...what does everyone think?

2. I am guessing my lighting isn't enough and if so, how much do I need?

3. Is 12 hours of light a good plan for this type of setup? As yet, I haven't added anything that is above beginner's level except for some Hair Grass that I installed about a week ago.

3. I will run a long air stone at night to balance my piece of mind for my fish while I sleep. I am guessing that I can do this without worry of poisoning my fish, but if I DO set up another Co2 unit (only if needed), would this still be efficient?

4. Does my water seem to be stable enough to handle the Co2? I will still check everyday for a week or so to be sure, but what is everyone's opinions?

5. What fertilizers does everyone suggest?

6. Is there anything else I haven't thought of?

I also plan to add root tabs (DIY Osmocote) to my substrate, and I fertilize with Tetra FloraPride 0-0-3.

I would also like to mention that I am on a budget, so as much as I would LOVE to upgrade my system for Co2, I cannot...I can, however, purchase more ferts.

I want to add some dwarf baby tears, rotala rotundifolia (dying for it to be red), crystalwort, and Fissidens-moss, and some other type of mid-level red plant.

I am trying to get a handle on this new venture, as I will have a custom-made bubblegum machine tank in a few months and want to really make it kick-bootay! (will post that in a different thread in the near future.)






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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 05:50 AM
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IMO: if you add a needle valve for a DIY you may be asking for a big mess to clean up , the pressure will have no place to go in the plastic bottle except pop and make a mess . DIY can run 24/7 with no ill effect to fish and plants , A co2 Rex type reactor works great for this , I ran a DIY set-up with a AM1000 reactor until I got tired of mix a batch every 3 -4 weeks and build my own regulator.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. How about my lighting? I am looking into getting better lighting, but all I can find at Lowes is the GE Plant and Aquarium F15...that was all they really had. I wanted to shoot for at least 7500 k, and use two bulbs, but this is NOT anywhere close. It is at 6500, I THINK. Is the Kelvin range overrated?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 10:11 PM
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Well the dwarf baby tears will need high light, so that most likely just die off.

As for the CO2 I run it non stop, but I also use an air pump running all the time to balance off the gases.

Also if you want red plants I recommend you look into getting some iron to dose.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeeperNtheClouds View Post
Thanks for the info. How about my lighting? I am looking into getting better lighting, but all I can find at Lowes is the GE Plant and Aquarium F15...that was all they really had. I wanted to shoot for at least 7500 k, and use two bulbs, but this is NOT anywhere close. It is at 6500, I THINK. Is the Kelvin range overrated?
You should look into a T5 or LED lighting fixture to get better light, and the plants need at least 5,000 kelvins to survive I believe, but thrive in 6,500k or slightly more.

So in short no the kelvin rating is not overrated.

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-16-2013 at 08:50 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-15-2013, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeeperNtheClouds View Post
Thanks for the info. How about my lighting? I am looking into getting better lighting, but all I can find at Lowes is the GE Plant and Aquarium F15...that was all they really had. I wanted to shoot for at least 7500 k, and use two bulbs, but this is NOT anywhere close. It is at 6500, I THINK. Is the Kelvin range overrated?

Kelvin rating is about the color of light, not a brightness measure. Plants can use a wide range of light temperatures, anywhere from 5000K to 10000K should okay.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo028 View Post
Well the dwarf baby tears will need high light, so that most likely just die off.

As for the CO2 I run it non stop, but I also use an air pump running all the time to balance off the gases.

Also if you want red plants I recommend you look into getting some iron to dose.
Thanks so much for that info. What options do I have for this? Can I get something at Lowe's, or do I have to get something from a LFS?

I am guessing that what I have is considered medium or low light?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo028 View Post
You should look into a T5 or LED lighting fixture to get better light, and the plants need at least 5,000 kelvins to survive I believe, but thrive in 6,500k or slightly more.

So in short no the kelvin rating is not overrated.
I will look into a T5, but can I replace the ballast for that size or do I need to go with a different hood, etc.? Sorry to ask so many questions but I just don't know what I am doing when it comes to DIY lighting...I am surely going to take the plunge, though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lornek8 View Post
Kelvin rating is about the color of light, not a brightness measure. Plants can use a wide range of light temperatures, anywhere from 5000K to 10000K should okay.
Wow, I didn't see anything that was anywhere close to 10000K! Where do you find that type of lighting?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 08:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeeperNtheClouds View Post
Thanks so much for that info. What options do I have for this? Can I get something at Lowe's, or do I have to get something from a LFS?

I am guessing that what I have is considered medium or low light?



I will look into a T5, but can I replace the ballast for that size or do I need to go with a different hood, etc.? Sorry to ask so many questions but I just don't know what I am doing when it comes to DIY lighting...I am surely going to take the plunge, though!



Wow, I didn't see anything that was anywhere close to 10000K! Where do you find that type of lighting?


Yes, you have low/medium light.

T5 from t8 will require you to switch the entire fixture as the diameter of the bulbs is different as well as the pins. HD has t5ho do tires.

10000k bulbs are probably only available as a pet bulb. Remember, Kelvin is more about color than anything. A plant will do about the same in 6500k light as it will in 10000k, just it will look different. 10k bulbs are too blue for many people and can tend to washout the colors of the plant. Having a bulb with higher Kelvin doesn't make it a better bulb than one with a lower Kelvin if they ate both in the usable range for plants.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for clearing that up...I do appreciate that! The only fixtures I have seen online are in the 200-300 dollar range...I wouldn't be able to do that unless it is much cheaper than that. I will look into DIY possibilities if I can find any...does anyone know of any?
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-16-2013, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeeperNtheClouds View Post
Thanks for clearing that up...I do appreciate that! The only fixtures I have seen online are in the 200-300 dollar range...I wouldn't be able to do that unless it is much cheaper than that. I will look into DIY possibilities if I can find any...does anyone know of any?

As I said above, home depot has t5ho fixtures. 2bulb and 4 bulb and I think maybe more as well. The also have multiple tube t8 fixtures. The t8 might be already wired, the t5ho might need to be wired with a plug.

Plenty of 2 bulb t5ho fixtures for under or around $100.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-19-2013, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I will look into Lowe's this weekend. Would anyone have any thoughts on my Co2 setup?

I will say that my plants are starting to grow even without ferts. No algae as of yet, but faster and fuller growth for everything.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-20-2013, 05:09 PM
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I would suggest running 2 2L bottles. You will get a fluctuation in Co2 running one bottle. I run 2 bottles on my 20 gallon and change 1 bottle every other week. The most 1 bottle goes is 2 weeks. I also have my Co2 being diffused through an Elite mini filter and it chops it up into very fine bubbles. I wouldn't worry about running an airstone at night your not producing enough Co2 to gas your livestock.

Last edited by TonyK; 09-20-2013 at 05:11 PM. Reason: Added something to post
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