CO2 noob - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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CO2 noob

Ok, I'm upgrading my noobie 10g to a 38g heavily planted, high bio-load, 2wpg T-5 community tank.

I want to get into CO2, but as cheap as possible.

So I have some questions.

-Can anybody recommend a specific CO2 system?

-Should I go manuel, semi-auto, or fully auto?

-How many bubbles per second?

-I haven't been able to find any DIY CO2 threads here, but if someone could give me a link it would be great.

-I also want this to lower pH a bit, my pH is around 7.6 now and I'd like to get it below 7.0, is that possible?

Thanks so much everyone!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 11:26 AM
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Lots of questions.

Manual, semi-auto, fully auto are what you're thinking of when you want to go pressurized CO2, which is not as cheap as possible for sure.

With DIY, you can't control the bubble rate effectively, nor can you exactly control how much it lowers your pH.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 11:49 AM
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Try this link (I made the Rex's reactor for less then $20, of course you will still need a tank and regulator which will cost you about $220 off of ebay).

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 04:37 PM
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For DIY, click on the 'articles' link above, top right.

Cheapest possible pressurized rig I would guess goes no lower than $150, and involves some shopping around.

IME, DIY will probably get you to 7.4, 7.2 with good diffusion. You can take it as low as you want with pressurized (as much as the fish can take), but it only represents a high CO2 content in the water. If your intentions are softening the water then you need to address the hardness or TDS, CO2 has no effect on that.

Bubbles per second is only a visual tool. Each persons bubble is a different strength depending on their diffusion efficiency and other factors. There is no set number to follow as rule, it's just a visual guide to help you out while you tweak your needle valve. The real answer to the underlying question: How much CO2? 30ppm. And a drop checker is the tool to tell you that rather than the bubble counter.
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