DIY or Purchased CO? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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DIY or Purchased CO?

I have use DIY CO2 on a 75 gallon aquarium in the past with great success. But have been thinking about purchasing the equipment, i.e. a system and bottle for my next setup.
I know it will be more expensive than the DIY CO2, but was wondering if there are any advantages to going either way other than cost?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 04:23 PM
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I found diy is nit really cheaper when you start adding up cost of sugar.. just higher start up cost. I would stay away from paint ball unless you use a regulator.

the paint ball tank set up uses a on/off valve that lets all 800+ lbs of pressure to the needle valve. This pressure is relitive to the temp so as the temp goes up and down so will your bubble count. The paintball also have a burst disk that will pop if the temp gets too high.

A regular co2 set up will cost about the same as a good paintball any way.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 04:28 PM
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IMO diy CO2 isn't worth it. It wears off too quickly according to my CO2 dropchecker
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpddink View Post
I would stay away from paint ball unless you use a regulator.
I was going to purchase refillable Aluminum Co2 Cylinders from aquariumplants.com and a Semi-Automatic CO2 System from FosterandSmithaquatics.com.
There is a couple of outlets in my area that will fill the Co2 Cylinders. I haven't checked on the refill price yet but several guys I know buy CO2 from them for kegging Home Brew, They said around $15 to fill a 20# bottle. I'm looking at 2.5# or 5# bottle for my tank.
Some day money willing I have plans to do a 210 gallon tank with a fully automatic CO2 system.
Thanks for the information to both of you that responded.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 04:51 PM
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Put me on the list of Used-To-Be-DIY..

Compressed gas is:
cheaper (see sugar cost comment)
also cheaper if you pretend to bill yourself to the time keeping DIY running.

more consistent
barring any clunky regulators, you're going to see the same Bubbles/Second rate for a long, long time - when I was DIY, I was pretty 'meh' about whether or not this matters. After a month or so of being on compressed gas, it felt nice, when troubleshooting, to be able to rule my fluctuating CO2 levels as a possible cause for whatever issue I was trying to solve. In retrospect, I didnt' realize at the time how much it short-circuited my problem solving.

smaller:
Well, for me it is. I went from a 2-liter outside the tank and a reactor inside to a paintball tank direct-feeding into one of my filters (magnum 350, impeller on the bottom keeps fears of airlock at bay!).

higher-pressure:
another "i didnt expect this to matter" point. The reason I had the reactor in the tank was that plumbing it inline meant the yeast culture had to 'beat' the inline pressure. It was certainly capable, but the bubble rate was erratic, and made it very fiddly to keep a good count running.

all kinds of glitzy gee-gaws:
now i can oogle glassware in a new way. I wonder if that's a /real/ ruby in that ADG check valve...


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 09:22 PM
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esworp - Do you have a regulator on the paintball tank or an on/off valve?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpddink View Post
esworp - Do you have a regulator on the paintball tank or an on/off valve?
at first I just used an on/off valve... but it was a little too fiddly - too sensitive. Want it? :]

Now i use a regulator originally intended for beer brewing (LOADS cheaper than the ones sold for aquarium hobbyists or welders) with an adaptor the goes from paintball tank to standard co2 fitting. I have a pic... it's off to the far left. I eventually added a cheapo needle valve to even out the flowrate.



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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 10:00 PM
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Agree the on/off valve is just junk!
+1 on the beer store reg. much cheaper and the same things the big time reg makers use for half the cost!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpddink View Post
Agree the on/off valve is just junk!
+1 on the beer store reg. much cheaper and the same things the big time reg makers use for half the cost!

I now predict some board veteran (read: curmudgeon) coming by to warn us that you get what you pay for and to watch out for cheap chinese crap.

Both of which are totally true.

My beer regulator is cheap crap /and/ is made in the usa. Go usa. Bridging the cheap crap gap.

the real bummer was that the co2 on/off valve was marketed as being capable of being a complete metering solution. Once I retired it I put it on the vise and took some adjustable wrenches to it; whoever built it used almost no pipe dope and torqued the fittings into oblivion - the threads were bashed hard. Meh.


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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 10:21 PM
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I used to use DIY on my 75 and was running up to 6 bottles, 4 into filter and one to a ladder difuser, and one under a small koralia, this was to keep from having to refill all every week as if I did 2 every week I got about as nice of co2 as I do with my expensive setup

I personally do not agree with the cost being cheaper unless you are looking at a coupla years down the road, although I went with a semi expenisve setup, it was probably around what most people pay for a quality regular co2 setup, everything is from aquarium plants.com I should have bought their deal with complete setup minus bottle and saved some money, but I was not sure I needed all of it, that is why hindsight is 20-20

here is a pic of my setup now, the only thing I would change is I would have gone with the cheaper and much higher flow rena filstar xp4 instead of this 330gph eheim at almost twice the price, as the reactor needs alot of flow to preform properly, although it works well, I think that would have been perfect..
this is on a 75...

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-16-2011, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kineticcomfort View Post

Kewl reactor. Pool strainer?


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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 01:10 AM
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aquariumplants.com its their own reactor and works well, however I would recomend at least 400gph filter prefferably 500+ as it needs good flow to disolve alot of co2, the eheim I have on it only flows 330, and ehiems have low flow anyway in my experience, the reason being is the bubbles are not pushed down far enough to the red scrubber lookin thing on the inside to get alot of water moving directly over them...

the just roll around in the current, the water comes in through the lid where the co2 tries to float up too and is then pushed back down into the water, the red scrubber is there to make sure no bubbles go past it as the output is the bottom of the PVC you see sticking in the middle, this ensures all co2 is thoroughly disolved before going into tank, only problem is some co2 is left in the reactor for a couple hours after it is turned off...
it does have an internal pump, the black thing down at the bottom to cause extra current in the reactor, this is something I have not seen on any other reactor

I think if I was doing a super large setup with a crazy canister filter this thing would be super awesome... it still works well now tho, and they sell something to plumb a ph controller right into it so you dont have the extra equipment sticking in the tank.....

http://www.aquariumplants.com/Carbon..._p/ext5000.htm
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 01:55 AM
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as the title of this thread suggests, I hope you're not injecting carbon monoxide into your tank...

-Bill



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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 01:55 PM
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the title of the thread DIY or purchased co2 look like someone wants to either brew or "inject CO2" what do you mean...
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-17-2011, 02:52 PM
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I have seen a lot of people with the brewing co2 regulators but still my preference is buy a used dual stage regulator off [Ebay Link Removed] I've gotten a Victor VTS 252 c regulator for 99 cents and a Victor VTS 250D in mint condition regulator for 35 dollars on [Ebay Link Removed] Both these are far better than the brewing co2 regulators and also much cheaper.


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