DIY CO2 or time to upgrade? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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DIY CO2 or time to upgrade?

Hi all,

It has been a while since I last posted here. But last time I did you wonderful people helped change my aquarium based life!! I used to have terrible plant growth and algae issues - this was mainly due to poor understanding on my part. But following guidance from here I built DIY CO2 reactors and also started using liquid plant food on EI dosing. I accompany this with weekly water changes of approximately 35-40%. Everything was fantastic for about a year... Until now.

I replace light tubes annually and recently stuck new T5s into my Rio 125L. By this time I was also running 3 2L CO2 bottle reactors into my tank (takes some effort to keep these going and I rarely get my drop checker to the level I require). Since putting the new tubes in I have noticed serious algae growth across the tank on plant leaves. This varies from green/black spot algae which can cover the majority of the leaf surface to thin fine green hair algae and now thick short tufts of black hairy beard algae!

My wonderful creation is going backwards! I assume this is possibly due to new lighting levels or low levels of carbon. I replace the three reactors on a scale of 10-14 days so a new one goes in every 3/4 days or so. However I think the system is less efficient than it was due to old tubing/gaps around the tubing into the bottles etc. Nutrient levels for the plants should be fine due to my liquid feeding a couple of times a week. Lighting used to be on for 8 hours and I have cut this in an attempt to curb the algae but I see no visible effect.

What are your opinions on this? Carbon related? Or something else? I guess my second question (regardless of algae) is should I consider upgrading to another form of carbon injection? What systems might suit my 125l tank?

As always I look forward to hearing from you and thanks in advance for any help you may offer! Cheers
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 02:50 AM
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You have lost the balance in your aquarium. You need to find a healthy balance between light, co2, and ferts.

This is what I would do...

1) Continue to EI does
2) Reduce your light intensity slightly by raising your light fixture
3) Upgrade to Pressurized Co2

Your new light are probably the main problem, but if your co2 is unstable that is a problem also.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice.

I agree my balance is gone. Trouble is, as it is a Juwel Rio 125 with tubes in the hood of the tank I can not raise them. Would reducing lighting time period help? Is intensity more important? I made the mistake of replacing both tubes at once rather than one then the other so I went from poor light quality to extreme!!

In terms of pressurised CO2, what would you suggest as a suitable system? I am not overly techy so building my own may end in tears!! Are there systems out there that would do the job for me?
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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I firmly believe that CO2 is the issue here. I am simply not getting enough into the water and running three 2L bottles is unstable at best.

I have been reading the information on pressurised CO2 and think this is the way to go. Should I look to build my own or buy a complete kit? The kits seem pricey and I am sure I could save money building my own but don't want to muck it up! I have never done anything like this before.

The kits I am finding are either too small for my 125L and will not turn off at night so will cost me in the long run. This one below seemed ok but 60 for CO2 seems a lot for refills.

Or should I buy all the bits required at once and then source CO2 canisters. Sodastream supply 60L canisters for their drinks makers and sell refill gas at under 10 for 60L. Could I use such a canister within an aquarium CO2 setup?
This set on ebay seems to have everything I would need? Is this the case?

Does anyone have any experience of 'kits' or have most here built their own systems? If i was to build my own what would I need to watch out for?

Thanks guys, while I wait for some ideas I actually need to go and recharge a couple of my 2L bottles!!

Last edited by traffield; 12-05-2012 at 10:38 AM. Reason: More info found
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