In a nutshell please? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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In a nutshell please?

Hey I was wondering if someone can just give me a very basic explanation of CO2 and what diy consists of? I so don't get it, can you add CO2 without a pressurized system? If it's not too complicated I may give it a try
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 01:29 AM
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There is the high tech version of CO2 in the Pressurizd world and then there is DIY. the Do It Yourself Method is actually real simple.Here is what you would need:

~2L bottle(Soda or Juice Bottle)
~Silicone
~Silicone Airline Tubing
~Check Valve
~Airstone
~Suction Cup(Optional)
~Drill(Optional)

You put a hole smaller then the tubing in the top of the soda cap. I suggest siliconing on the inside of the cap aroud the tubing so it doesnt leak. Let it dry for a few hours before adding mixture to the bottle. Measure the distance from the tank and where the CO2 Unit will be. Cut the tubing about the halfway point and apply the Check Valve. Make sure the Arrow is pointing towards the tank. On the other side of the tubing-that is going into the tank- slide the tubing through the suction cup(or let it hang out in your tank)Then add your airstone. The mixture should include the following:

~Warm Water
~Sugar
~Bakers Yeast
~Baking Soda

I cannot remeber the ammount of each but the search function can help you out there. If I left anything out Im sure someeone will let you know.

Here is an article that can better serve you than my sleepy rambling lol.

DIY Yeast CO2


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 01:38 AM
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Here you go. My version of CO2 101.

As you probably know, CO2 is needed by plants for photosynthesis. In the water, the plants are unable to get CO2 from anything except possibly bacteria and the livestock breathing in the water. This, unfortunately, usually isn't enough and requires that CO2 be injected either through DIY or pressurized means.

A pressurized system can been done using a CO2 cylinder, CO2 regulator, needle valve and CO2 tubing. With this, you have the most basic CO2 pressurized system, but it is completely manual.

Most opt for a semi-automatic version, which includes a solenoid. A solenoid attaches to the regulator and acts as a springloaded valve that opens and closes when it is on or off. This allows for the CO2 to be set on a timer usually in sync with your lights to aid in photosynthesis.

For the more adventurous (and wealthy), an automatic system will further include a ph controller, which will turn on and off the solenoid depending upon the pH readings of the water.

Now with a DIY system, all you need is a decent sized bottle. Most common are 2L bottles or large juice bottles (I use apple juice). The bottle is filled with a yeast recipe consisting of warm water, yeast and sugar. The yeast will eat the sugar and create CO2. The bottle should be sealed leaving only an opening for CO2 tubing. Voila, you've got homemade CO2. This method is very cheap, but create inconsistent CO2 and requires that the recipe be remixed about every 2 weeks.

The last thing you would need to worry about is how the CO2 is diffused. There are several methods. I think the most popular are reactor, bubble ladder, powerhead and diffuser. Each of these will work and its really a matter of preference, size of your tank and method of CO2.

I hope this helps! Heck, by the time I finished writing this, there will probably be 10 posts... we'll see.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 01:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks both of you! I think I understand it better still not sure thats the way I want to go

Danke beide! Darunter verstehe ich es besser nun. Ich bin nicht sicher das ist auf diese Weise ich will gehen
(I need to practice my German excuse me lol seeing as I'm now neglecting my other hobbies)
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 01:53 AM
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There is also the Excel route that can be used for a carbon source.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 01:55 AM
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Yes, Flourish Excel is also a route however it could get very costly for large tanks and I would suggest it generally only be used for tanks 10G or smaller. In addition, Flourish Excel is admittedly (by Seachem) only about 70% as effective as injected CO2.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 02:02 AM Thread Starter
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Tell me more please

Sag mal mehr bitte
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 02:03 AM
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Um. Please ask something specific. There's just too much to tell without knowing what you don't understand or desire knowing.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry I don't know anything about it to even know what to ask? Can I just dump some Excel into my tank and have CO2?

I don't know where to start to put that in German...
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 02:51 AM
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Oh. Flourish Excel is a product made by Seachem. It is one of a long line of products made for planted tanks. Excel is a particular product made for supplementing plants with carbon, (which is what they use from the CO2). As I said, it is only about 70% as effective as injected CO2. It comes in a liquid form in bottles that vary in size and of course in price.

That being said, it should only be used for smaller size tanks. With your 20 gallon, you could probably get away with using strictly excel, but it would honestly be cheaper if you went with a DIY method. There are clear instructions on the bottle that tell you how to dose your tank.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, so if I get you right, all I do is follow the directions for dosing, and put it in my water and I have instant CO2?
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 09:16 PM
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Pretty much. If you go the excel route you will have "instant CO2" in a bottle. Although, like i said, it is only about 70% as effective as real CO2 injected into the water. But it will work and your plants will do better with it than with no source of carbon at all.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 10:28 PM
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technically, not instant CO2 but instant source of organic carbon.

Remember even you inject real CO2 in the tank. Plant only use the organic carbon to make sugar.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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So can I consider my tank to have CO2 injections then? Then I will go the flourish excel route
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-15-2008, 10:55 PM
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just using flourish excel can get costly, and not all plants will like it.

the decision what form of co2 (DIY, pressurized, or excel) to put into your tank depends a lot on what the rest of your setup consists of, and what you want to grow.

what lighting equipment are you using? how large is your tank? etc...
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