29g DIY co2 - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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29g DIY co2

I am considering co2 for my 29g aquarium that will be planted and have never added co2 before. I have read a lot that Vallisneria does not do well with liquid carbon supplements such as excel, and don't want to kill it, as it will be one of my main plants.

A pressurized co2 system is way out of my price range, and getting tanks filled around here has turned out to be quite difficult (phoned a few places, was told to call other places, went in a giant circle)

So a DIY co2 system seems to be my option. My theory is, any amount of co2 I can get into my aquarium water is better than none at all.

1. I've read most yeast bottles last about 2 weeks, and if left for a third week weaken daily. Assuming my system follows this, and I leave bottles for 3 weeks at a time, how bad would this be for my aquarium?

2. Is it possible to add too much co2 through the night with a DIY system that uses 2 bottles max, and end up killing all my tetras/corydoras?

3. No fish will be added until my aquarium is cycled and everything is stable. Plants are going in on day one. Am I correct in assuming they can handle any swings in the water that may happen during a cycle and testing out co2?


Water parameters out of tap if they help:

PH - 7.7
GH - 3.36 dgh*
KH - 2.24 dgh*

*took 3 drops for color to change on GH test, 4 drops for color to change on KH test. I believe I calculated the right numbers, but could be wrong.


Thanks in advance for any advice or help
have a good one
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 02:44 AM
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I am running a 2 bottle DIY on my 20 gallon and am at a full 30 PPM. I am using the method described in this thread https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=659290 and it is both simple and efficient. I believe the use of the AquaClear to disperse the gas is the secret to actually producing enough. I used a variety of other reactors, ladders etc. with marginal effect before doing it this way.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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I did read about feeding the co2 into an aquaclear filter, as well as people who have done the same with canister filters. I will have a canister filter on this tank, and read a couple issues with the co2 causing issues with the impeller.

I may try and find a cheap small submersible filter like the one used in that thread. Though they seem by far not as good, which other method (ladders and such) did you find worked the best?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 12:21 PM
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Just remember that your DIY system will run 24/7, so you may need an airstone that runs at night to counteract the excessive co2 production.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-27-2015, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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Would surface agitation work too?

I'm still just considering it co2. I would like to see how my plants do without added co2, I'm just worried about the red ones (red tiger lotus, ludwigia repens red) which is why I'm looking into it.

It'll be a fun balancing act but I am trying to keep my equipment and timers down to a minimum with enough co2 to help the plants but not enough to kill fish overnight. I'm not aiming to get the most co2 possible out of the set up.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 02:47 AM
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From my own experience I have not seen a big increase in co2 concentration after lights out. My ph maintains a steady fro of 1.2 or so and is exactly the same in the morning just before lights on as it was at lights out. I have tons of circulation with a Fluval 206 and an AC 50 on just a 20 gallon tank yet almost no surface agitation at all. Just a gentle swirl at the surface. I think this is key to getting DIY to work as well as the fact that the AC is an excellent diffusor.

The impeller for the AC is not too expensive so I am not worried about itbut I don't think it is a big problem anyway. I have heard cautionary tales but no firsthand stories of an ssue. Good luck, You will probably need 3 bottles for a 29.

Last edited by keymastr; 06-28-2015 at 02:49 AM. Reason: punctuation
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you good to read some first hand experience on the co2 concentration during the night with a DIY system.

I think that's my biggest concern with setting up a co2 system, especially one that can't be turned off.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 04:50 AM
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I am getting ready to try out one of the citric acid and baking soda systems, they have some advantages, you get nearly instant pressure, and you can turn them off at night, and there isn't the smell of the yeast sugar system, it will cost a bit more to set up but I believe the cost will balance out in the end if you buy everything in bulk.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 06:03 AM
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There is no smell unless you have a leak.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 06:14 AM
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How would adding an airline and an airstone in the yeast affect it?


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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-28-2015, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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I like the idea of less smell, may look into that mixture. Although it shouldn't smell set up properly, changing the bottles I hear is quite smelly.


If someone added an airstone inside the bottle with the yeast mixture, I think it would defeat the purpose of having the system as the airstone would push air into the bottle probably at a faster rate than the bottle makes co2, causing the co2 that is diffused into the aquarium to be quite diluted. That's just my guess though...
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 01:13 AM
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The CO2 would still be delivered to the tank. Just with extra atmosphere in it. Which, I think, is the same as nothing.

I figured it would bring more oxygen to the yeast, making them more metabolically active. Oxygen enables more cellular activity, creating more waste CO2, but I think anaerobic respiration is faster. So, I'm still not sure of the effect it would have on yeast. I think it'll eat up the sugar faster, making each generator last shorter, but produce more CO2.

In which case, I'd prefer having more bottles that require less frequent changes, now that I think about it.


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 01:23 AM
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Three two liters on a 29, changing out one per week, should be pretty efficient. I wouldnt worry about an airstone. It's highly doubtful you'll be pumping enough CO2 to stress any but the most sensitive livestock.

And unless you are prepared to just straight-up experiment for a month or two, I certainly wouldnt go trying to add an airstone inside reactor bottles. If you do an airstone at all, just run it in the tank itself, at night when the lights are off, and stop it a couple hours before the lights come on again.


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the replies and answers everyone
I think this will be a project for the future, i'm going to see how my plants do without added co2 and decide from there. Who knows, by then I may be able to afford a pressurized co2 system
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-30-2015, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, was going to start a new thread but that would probably just be annoying: talking pressurized co2 system for a little bit (gotta cover all my bases haha and figure out what I want)

If the plants need it I can try DIY co2, see how the plants reacted and then decide if I wanted to save up for pressurized. But really, of course the plants would respond well, so I thought I should price things out so I can start saving, then if I decide to do it I know what I need to buy and where to get it.

Co2 tank, not the cheapest thing in the world but I finally did find a shop that sells them and refills, so that's a step in the right direction for my information gathering and budget planning days.

Regulator, not as cheap as I thought either. I found this one:

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d/B00EQ1Y...tVL&ref=plSrch

Would this fit a typical 5 pound tank? I assume yes, but don't want an expensive paperweight. Even if this is on the cheaper side.

If I have understood correctly, a needle valve comes next, check valve, airline, and diffuser? Going for basic bare minimum set up..

Sorry to ramble and asking so many questions the help and advice on this forum has been awesome and much appreciated.
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