CO2 vs. Excel? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-21-2006, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Question CO2 vs. Excel?

Hi All,

I've been reading for a while about CO2 and other options...

Can someone put together a comprehensive list of advantages and disadvantages of Excel vs. DIY CO2 vs. Pressurized CO2?

Here's what I'm seeing so far:

Excel:
Pro: Easy to use, not extremely expensive.
Con: May be harmful to some fish, levels will fluctuate in the tank.

DIY CO2:
Pro: Inexpensive, REAL CO2 infusion.
Con: Difficult to maintain steady levels.

Pressurized CO2:
Pro: Steady and reliable CO2 levels, probably best solution for large tanks.
Con: Large initial investment, failures tend to be catastrophic (all fish suffocate).

Is there information I'm missing? I think that for a rookie like myself Excel is the best place to start but I'm interesteed in hearing what the community has to say.

Ian
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-21-2006, 10:09 PM
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Excel is not comparable to CO2. It is just a different source of carbon that plants can use, but in no way is it equivalent to keeping 30 ppm of CO2 in the water.

DIY CO2 is cheap only in that you never spend a lot at one time, but for a big tank you do spend a lot for sugar over a year. It is not easily controllable, so you can easily get too much in a small tank, you can't easily shut it off at night - you can just waste it at night. And, it is very, very labor intensive.

Pressurized CO2 will not "fail" if you install it reasonably correctly. It just keeps on bubbling CO2 into the water day after day after day, at the same rate, and is easily shut off at night and turned on during the day. Once it is set up there is almost no labor involved with it until you need to refill the CO2 bottle, which will usually be after at least three months.

Hoppy
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-21-2006, 11:01 PM
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what size tank do you have? for bigger tanks C02 is a better choice but if you have a smaller tank excel would be an easier choice with similar quality
also whats your plant capacity, the more you have the more you should think about getting c02 over excel!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-21-2006, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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I have a 10gal and a 20Hex, both planted. Right now both are low-light and low-tech but planning to increase the light levels soon.

BTW: mlpzaq52 - What's with the disturbing photo in your sig? Hope that's not a self portrait!
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