Why do people still use DIY CO2? Am I missing something? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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Why do people still use DIY CO2? Am I missing something?

You can buy a regulator, diffuser and tank for pretty cheap nowadays. Is there a reason why people still use DIY CO2? I have never done DIY before but it looks like a giant mess constantly trying to mix various concoctions. Is there something that I am not aware of when it comes to DIY? I purchased my first regulator/bottle in 2005 back in college when I just got into planted tanks....I can't believe that 7 years later people are still using DIY.

I am not bashing even though it does sound like it a bit. But I am genuinely curious if there are any benefits to DIY....
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 03:13 AM
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DIY is a good way to "stick your toe into the pool"... just to see if a planted aquarium is something you're interested in. If this is just a passing interest, the only thing you're out is a couple bucks for a 2L bottle, sugar, some fittings, and a packet of bakers yeast.

It's also dramatically more difficult to gas the aquarium to death with DIY. It can be done, but very unlikely.

But yes, DIY is a huge PITA and I only ran that setup for a couple months. For me, I found that pouring off about 50% of the liquid, once a week and replacing it with fresh water & sugar would keep things humming along. I quickly moved onto a 20-pounder and a re-purposed welding reg.

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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 03:14 AM
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What's cheaper than a 2 liter bottle, yeast and sugar?

I started with DIY CO2, then came to pressurized. DIY was a great eye opener.

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1. Watt [ wot ]: noun -- the SI unit of power, equivalent to one joule per second and equal to the power in a circuit in which a current of one ampere flows across a potential difference of one volt.
2. Per [ pur; unstressed per ]: preposition -- for each; for every.
3. Gallon [ gal-uhn ]: noun -- a common unit of capacity in English-speaking countries, equal to four quarts.
What does this have to do with growing plants?
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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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It seems that DIY is a waste of time since even if you try it out, you're making the process so difficult that it might discourage you from getting a pressurized system.

It's like my grandfather use to say every single day: "If you're going to do it, do it right the first time".

But like you two are saying, I guess it doesn't get any cheaper than DIY.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 03:23 AM
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Well, if you're on a $0 budget like me, then DIY is for you. I really need to raise enough money to buy a good system though.

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 03:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hedge_fund View Post
It seems that DIY is a waste of time since even if you try it out, you're making the process so difficult that it might discourage you from getting a pressurized system.

It's like my grandfather use to say every single day: "If you're going to do it, do it right the first time".

But like you two are saying, I guess it doesn't get any cheaper than DIY.
Not everyone knows what "right" is the first time around. And yeah, it may be more complicated, but that allows you to appreciate the simplicity of the pressurized system that much more.

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1. Watt [ wot ]: noun -- the SI unit of power, equivalent to one joule per second and equal to the power in a circuit in which a current of one ampere flows across a potential difference of one volt.
2. Per [ pur; unstressed per ]: preposition -- for each; for every.
3. Gallon [ gal-uhn ]: noun -- a common unit of capacity in English-speaking countries, equal to four quarts.
What does this have to do with growing plants?
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 03:27 AM
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It's not cheap when you compare it to $5 bucks total for DIY CO2, although I do agree it's a lot of work...
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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 03:38 AM
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I tried out DIY to see if CO2 really made a difference. I was sold right away, been so long I don't actually remember what was so wonderful, probably seeing pearling but maybe green fuzz algae stopped growing all over the plants and wood even with DIY.

For an experiment it isn't that hard. A sturdy easily sealed bottle, some air tubing and a drill, some yeast and sugar is all you need.


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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 04:12 AM
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For one of my tanks, DIY is the only way due to placement of the tank. I dont want a 5-10# bottle next to the area the tank is in, whereas a diy setup is hidden behind the tank. I know i could get a smaller pressurrized tank but then it wouldnt be cost effective and id be filling the tank up every 2 weeks ......which is what i do with my DIY.
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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 04:33 AM
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I cant afford 4 co2 setups for my tanks. Much rather spend my money on shrimp and other stuff. If I could get a decent set up for around $50 I would like to try it but it wont work because of so many small tanks far apart from each other.


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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 04:52 AM
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I've never tried DIY CO2 before just because it looks like more pain with little-to-no gain. I suppose it's better than nothing, but pressurized CO2 is definitely the way to go if you can afford it.
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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 04:54 AM
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I started out with DIY because I was somewhat scared of pressurized CO2. It was completely foreign to anything I had been exposed to before. Even when I finally did get my first pressurized system, I remember being afraid to connect it. I sat here on this very forum with others holding my hand as I was afraid it would blow up or something. Needless to say, I've overcome my fears since then.

I agree there is no comparison between DIY and pressurized CO2; however, DIY has its place. It allows people to gain experience with CO2 in a planted tank before making the investment of a pressurized system. And for some of us, it's just a more comfortable way to get started. Sugar, yeast, and soda bottles didn't scare me. Big cylinders with liquid gas contained under pressure, welding shops, and regulators did. But the results I got with the DIY CO2 was so wonderful that it encouraged me to move passed my fears and learn how to do a pressurized system. I'm very glad I did even if I went about it the long way.

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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 05:18 AM
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I used to use pressurized, but I'm going back to DIY because it is extremely difficult for me to get a CO2 tank filled in Chicago. I only have a 7.5 gal now, so I can get by with DIY.
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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slavecorps View Post
I used to use pressurized, but I'm going back to DIY because it is extremely difficult for me to get a CO2 tank filled in Chicago. I only have a 7.5 gal now, so I can get by with DIY.
In Chicago?? Really?? I would think fire extinguisher service companies, fountain drink service companies, and welding centers should be just about everywhere...
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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 08-06-2012, 06:03 AM
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They are, but I use public transportation to get around and they are not keen on passengers getting on the bus or train with large cylinders of compressed gas. A lot of those shops want you to have a business license to get tanks filled as well. You can't get paintball CO2 tanks filled in the city either because it is illegal to posses a paintball gun in Chicago so there are no sporting goods stores equipped to fill the tanks.
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