considerations surrounding CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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considerations surrounding CO2

i'm gearing myself up to add CO2 to my tank.

I'm looking for some advise about things to be aware of so that i don't end up with a tank full of algae or dead fish.

I am thinking of getting the Hagen CO2 reactor for up to 20 gallons w/ the hagen CO2 ladder.

i'm wondering if you have to use thier activator/stabalizer tablets or if i might be able to use one of the DIY yeast mixtures to save $

I'm also wondering if you recomend this system or if you think there would be a better one for my particular tank.

Tank Stats
-------------------
Size of Tank (Gallons / Litres): 20 gallon long
Running for how long: 3 months

Water Params
-------------------
Temp: 78 F
pH: 7.2
Ammonia (ppm): 0
NitrIte (ppm): 0
NitrAte (ppm): 5
KH (degrees): ?
GH (degrees): ?
Ferts you are using (what and how often): flourish root tabs 2 weeks ago the first time, this morning i added some trace elements
CO2 (Type & Level): none

Lighting (Wattage & type of bulbs): 36 watts t-5
-------------------

Fish In Tank: 1 pair juvinile sword tails, 6 neon tetras, 5 aneus corys, 1 rubberlip pleco, 9 amano shrimp,
-------------------

Plants In Tank:red lugwigia
wisteria
wedtii crypt
rotala rotundifolia
some kind of cryptocoryne
dwarf sagittaria
moneywort
mystery plant(suspected peace lily )

i bought an aquarium pharmisuticals GH/KH test last night and don't know exactly how to interpret my results but the GH took 9 drops to turn colors (1drop=17.9) the KH was suposed to turn yellow ont he 4th drop it turned chamagne color and by 7 drops it was much brighter (1 drop=17.9)

does this mean i have 161 degrees of GH?

THANK YOU for even reading this far! i hope you have some pointers for me!
-Kyle

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 07:06 PM
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Just like everyone else is going to say is that you should go with a regulator and a 5 to 10lb co2 tank. As far as the tablets go you can use your own mix in it.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 07:23 PM
 
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OK so i have the hagen co2 system....it works well imo, i have a 20 gallon with a 65 watt 6700 coralife lighting. Ever since i have put the co2 on i have had no problem, the plants are growing at a amazing rate and i have no algaet....one word of advice is to find a different mixture of yeast becuase the packets that come with the hagen are usually expired and dont work well....i use the recomended sugar with 1/4 teaspoon yeast and 1 teaspoon baking soda and just add water and you are good to go....the mixture should last you a month or so, i got the mixture from my lfs and it last her a month so it should I havent had any problem with to much co2 the fish look healthy as ever....but make sure when you turn on the lights in the morning to check if the fish are struggling for air if so try to get the water agitated more during the night so there is more oxygen in the water for the fish. hope this helps

There are many more systems you could get, pressureized is another option but imo yeast injection is cheaper and easyer for that size tank...
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 08:10 PM
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set it up on a day where u can constantily watch it and see if the fish are gasping watch it for about 2 hours after the lights go out ( higher levels of co2 in the night) and if they are run an air stone at night if they arent dont run one personally i dont run one on my tank but its a what works for you kind of thing but always keep an eye out for gasping fish if they are gasping run an airstone. i use a diy bottle but the hagen one will work i agree with little boy blue find out what recipe works for you try a couple different types of sugar and yeast you will find one that works well sooner or later. good luck !
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 09:06 PM
 
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I used that system

I used this in 33 gal with 100 watt of a mix of 2 11,000K T6 (3/4 of inch)
and 2 Plant spectrum T6.

The system work good, you have to change the mix sugar/yeast/water
every 10 to 14 days to keep a good co2 production.

You can go to a homemade beer and wine store to obtain very cheap yeast.
Personally I used a champagne yeast (resist more to high alcohol content and low pH), CO2 production was as good as Hagen pricey stuff.

PS: the other stuff Hagen is probably some calcium to keep the pH to plunge too low and kill the bacteria, maybe some experimentation with this and the kind of yeast can yield better co2 production

For me the Champagne yeast alone with the sugar did the trick.

It always depend of what kind of setup you want to achieved, Iím sure that you can have a very nice planted aquarium with only that setup

I recently switch to pressurized for more constant delivery and keep the hagen as backup when I will refill my CO2 cylinder.

Iím putting together a complete pressurized co2 system that will be in sale in Canada (maybe US) in 2 or 3 week.
That new little CIe will sale other specialized products like Miro reflectors,
and a complete line of first grade Hydroponique plants nutrient with a complete manual for Planted Aquaria.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 09:29 PM
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My advice would be to keep it simple and get a good regulator and small pressurized CO2 bottle. These systems have become very affordable (IMO) and there's just a lot less fuss and muss noy having to mix up things, add tablets, etc. The established reference points for "bubbles per second" and the like make it easier to dial in your dosage early on also. Just my 2 cents. Any means of adding CO2 to the aquarium in a consistent a nd reliable manner will work in the end, and they all lead to better plants growth and more opportunity to keep more species long term.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 10:04 PM
 
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glouglou how will calcium keep the ph from going to low
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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calcium is a basic substance that is very good at raising Ph

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 10:29 PM
 
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Sorry : CALCIUM CARBONATE (CACO3)

Well I should precise CACO3 or Calcium Carbonate the component that make the KH.

The more Calcium Carbonate, higher the ph, and harder to bring that water to lower PH.

Low KH tank have to be monitor for the dreadfull PH crash.

I keep mine at 20ppm to 30ppm

Calcium Carbonate act as a buffer for PH

But you probably know all that!

By the way another little thing about Carbonate harness : (KH), is yet another factor that effects the concentration of CO2. Hard water, with a high KH can hold more CO2 than soft water.

Good CO2 experience
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2006, 10:32 PM
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Kyle, using the Hagen system is a good start for providing CO2. For a 20 gal tank, the amount of CO2 produced by the little bottle might be too little... I'd suggest to use a 2l soda bottle or similar instead.

All you need to do is watch the pH... it will tell you whether it is too much or doesn't work at all.

Sugar and yeast are inexpensive... use it until you get a good handle on CO2 issues, then you can decide if high pressure CO2 is the way to go.

Here is a good article about the basics of DIY CO2: http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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I posted a similar question about CO2 on Aquaria Central and then i decided i'd get better info here as you all know more about planted tanks (wow i put 2 and 2 together )

however, a couple of thier responses have left me wondering- i've been told i need more light-what do you think?

i'm not after a tank that looks like a glass of Sprite. It just seems like i have more light than my plants are able to use right now so i want to give them the ability to photosynthisize a little more. I want a slightly faster growth rate but i'm not after needing to prune every other day.

thanks for all your help- it means alot!

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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another question i have read in a few places that there a recipe for DIY that contains jello and is more stable- but i can't find the recipe itself do any of you know such a recipe?

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-02-2006, 11:07 PM
 
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its the Carbonate that keeps the ph from crashing not the calcium speaking of yeast is the beer yeast alot cheaper then bread yeast ???
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-03-2006, 03:41 AM
 
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ive been using the hagen co2 for a while now . the stabalizer packet is baking soda it keeps the the ph from dropping to much in the mixture prolonging the output. i doubt you will have to worry to much about the fish gasping with this system i use it on a 12 gallon tank and never had that problem. I actually set the canister next to my light ballest and it keeps it warm during the day to put out more co2 and when the timer shuts off the light the ballest cools and so does the container so it dont put out as much co2 at night. it works well for me but im going to get another and put a T inline and connect the two and stagger the canisters so when i fill or change them i dont have a drop in co2 as it takes a while for it to start producing depending on the temp . I also could use more production i think the canisters are to small but i think they look nicer than a 2L bottle . They are also thick this helps them resist temp flucuations if your house is drafty or temp changes also they are not clear yeast does better in darkness.
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