Low Light - DIY CO2 vs CO2 Tank - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Low Light - DIY CO2 vs CO2 Tank

So I have a 55 gallon low light tank and dose micro and macro ferts. I would like to add CO2 as well.

Knowing that plants in low light need less CO2, would you recommend that I use DIY CO2, or is a CO2 tank needed?

I could scrounge up the money for a CO2 setup, but if I would be fine spending less money with just DIY CO2, I'd be happy with that.

Thanks!


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 08:46 PM
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For a 55 gallon - go for a tank. DIY works okay for small tanks. I'm using it on my 15 gallon & 10 gallon to get some plants established. Once they are established I'll wean them off of the juice.

If you want to do DIY for a long term a tank setup is a lot less work and more reliable results.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 08:52 PM
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I've been running a diy on my 55g for months and have had solid growth. I use 4 two liters and a glass diffuser. Works fine and I get about 2-3 weeks of production per 2 bottles.

You can see my progress here
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...121&highlight=
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 08:58 PM
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The only consideration that comes to my mind is a 55 gal tank is on the larger side to do DIY co2, from what I've been reading. You certainly CAN do DIY, but you'll be prepping new mixtures fairly frequently, which is gonna get old.

I'd look into paintball setup, which you can get into for just over $100 for a new setup if you want, or less if you can find some good used gear. Then you just swap tanks (inexpensive tanks) periodically, like every 3 weeks or more depending on your bpm rate.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 09:01 PM
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I change out 2 bottles every 3 weeks on my diy set up. Between the 4 bottles I use 1 bag of sugar lol, 4 tsp of yeast 4 tsp of baking soda. It's not as frequent as you think.

change out sugar mixture every 2-3 weeks at home, or run to the store to get new co2 every 3 weeks...that made my decision all the easier lol.

If I were going to put a pressurized system on the 55g I would not go pb route, go big or go home on a 55g lol
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the feedback!

Your tank progress looks great Stallion!

I don't know if I'd go the paintball route, if anything I was looking into a 10lb CO2.

Maybe I'll try 2 to 3 2L bottles of DIY for awhile to see how it works/how patient I am with changing the bottles every few weeks. And if it's more hassle than it's worth I can buy a CO2 tank and the gauges and connect it to the diffuser.

This way I don't shell out a few hundred dollars when a DIY would suffice for now.


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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 09:33 PM
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I took me a few tries to get my mixture down, production will also depend on room temp, type of yeast you use and diffusion method. I started with fleischmann's and only got 1 week of production out of it. I switched 2 months ago to red star yeast and get 3 weeks, probably 4 if I wanted out of each bottle. DIY can work, you just need to experiment with your yeast mixture. I used brass parts to keep the co2 loss to a min while it's going into the tank. I spent 30.00 on brass parts at ace and made 2 diy set ups out of it.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-28-2014, 10:03 PM
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Although experiences vary, you really need to be on top of DIY or have a more intricate setup that I did. The problem with CO2 is that unbalanced amounts can potentially wreck your tank by letting algae bloom. It's less likely in a low light tank but certainly not impossible.

On top of that, DIY is a pain. Injected is literally set it and forget it. I did both and I wouldn't go DIY again. Having said that, I'm not sure if I wouldn't have given DIY a chance to begin with if I had to do it all over again because I did learn a lot. On the other hand, it was a 5 gallon, not a 55G.

The only caveat to pressurized CO2 is money and if that's the thing holding you back, I would go DIY but continue to save up for pressurized. I say that because I really think once you go down the DIY path, it's only a matter of time before you'll be injecting pressurized. In fact I don't know anyone personally that remained with DIY for a more than a year - most no more than 6 months.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2014, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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So I'm looking up regulators for a CO2 tank.. would this be considered a dual regulator, or single?



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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2014, 01:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kstawski View Post
So I'm looking up regulators for a CO2 tank.. would this be considered a dual regulator, or single?

I think you mean dual stage regulator. I would guess that's a single stage reg but hard to say for sure.


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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-01-2014, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kman View Post
I think you mean dual stage regulator. I would guess that's a single stage reg but hard to say for sure.
Yea, that's what I meant These suckers are hard to find a good deal on!


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