DYI CO2 helpful for me? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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DYI CO2 helpful for me?

I have a 125 gallon tank that is moderately planted. They have been suffering as I have only been adding Flourish for the last year. I have (3) T5 lights totaling 150 watts. So basically 1.2 watts per gallon, no CO2 injection.

I am thinking of adopting the ESI method as it seems like it might be what suits me best as a newbie. I am also on my way to go get SMS at a local store here in about 10 minutes to replace my worthless gravel.

So I know my tank is too big to really be running DYI CO2. Would it hurt though? Would it help? Seems like it would make sense to say even just a little CO2 would help as opposed ot non. I could be off on that though, I have no clue. Just looking for help.

Bought and read Greg Watson's EBook here today. It was helpful. I have so much to learn. I do not suppose one of you are secretly my next door neighbor and could come over here and show me how to really do things?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennis4you View Post
So I know my tank is too big to really be running DYI CO2. Would it hurt though? Would it help? Seems like it would make sense to say even just a little CO2 would help as opposed ot non. I could be off on that though, I have no clue. Just looking for help.
Fluctuating CO2 can be as bad as not injecting any co2 - plants are slower to respond to co2 availability changes than algae - so, algae wins. If you can keep your level stable via DIY co2, then it will certainly help. If. You'll want to run 2 containers, switching one out weekly or biweekly so that one is always outputting strongly while the other is running out - this keeps levels lower.

Again, price the quantity of sugar and yeast you'll need, not to mention time, over a year or two. Then look at what pressurized costs. It's not for no reason that most people use pressurized co2 that want to add co2 to their aquariums.

You may want to just go total low-tech (no co2 supplementation) and limit your lighting period since you are on a budget. Or do what you gotta do to get $150-$200.

Maybe one thread for the questions, as what you are asking is all inter-related.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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If I could find a complete CO2 injection package for $180 or less I would jump on it. I could throw down the $250 if I had to, but I want to avoid it if at all possible.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 06:56 PM
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$180? It's very expensive to buy a complete system, but you can get the various few parts yourself and do it for $180 or less - No problem.

Regulator w/Solenoid and Needle Valve: $100 shipped (using $5 off coupon).
10# Steel CO2 tank: Varies, but around $40 locally (call fire extinguisher shops).
Rex-style CO2 reactor: $20-25 (or use a powerhead + sponge...about the same price, ask me how if interested).
Silicone Tubing: $5
Check valve from an LFS: $2
DIY bubble counter with a pop bottle: Free
That's under $180.

If you had $250, you'd want to get some co2 resistant tubing (like this), a brass check valve, and maybe a nicer needle valve and bubble counter or an aluminum instead of a steel tank (I paid $65 for my 10# aluminum tank).
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