CO2 questions - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 08:14 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 questions

I am new with the CO2 stuff and would like your advise on the right setup for a 60 gallon tank. The tank will have about 216W of lighting bringing the WPG shy of 4wpg.

I am looking for an automated system but am confused about the reactors and diffusers and such. So all help are welcomed.

Also, does anyone know of CO2 source for refill or exchange in the Puget Sound Area?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 08:19 PM
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I assume you'll have a canister filter.

I recommend a reactor for your tank that's plumbed in-line with your canister filter. Water is pumped through the reactor and CO2 is injected directly into the reactor. Water turbulence helps dissolve the CO2 bubbles. A diffuser is basically a ceramic disc that breaks up the CO2 bubbles into smaller bubbles (much like an airstone) so they can dissolve quickly in water. For a 60 gallon tank, I doubt a diffuser will be efficient enough.

As far as automated systems go, I'd go with a 10# (or the biggest size that will fit) tank, regulator, solenoid, a good needle valve, and a check valve.

I have always run my CO2 systems without a pH controller and don't feel a need to...but this is my personal opinion. I have a timer that controls the solenoid and turns it off at night and turns the CO2 flow back on in the morning.

There's a wide range of regulators out there, from "economy" types to more expensive types. I've always used the "cheaper" ones, but they've always worked well for me. The only thing I would do is buy a better needle valve (which fine tunes the flow of CO2) if you end up going with an economy model since they come with poor needle valves.

You can find economy models on eBay going for $72-75 shipped to $140, $150 all the way up to $190, $200+ models from other sources. Yes, the components are better, but again, I've used the economy models (at least half a dozen setups) without problems in the past.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 08:24 PM
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That's a lot of light. I went from just under 2wpg to about the same of 4 and things quickly got out of control. Not only were some plants growing so fast as to become ugly and cumbersome in no time but I was having to trim 2x a week to stay on top of it. Not so fun. But also I started getting GDA and GSA in a big way. Cut back one of my 54W bulbs (from 4) and now I still get good plant growth but about 30-40% slower than before and my algae issues have subsided in a big way. Sure you need that much light?

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfish View Post
I assume you'll have a canister filter.

I recommend a reactor for your tank that's plumbed in-line with your canister filter. Water is pumped through the reactor and CO2 is injected directly into the reactor. Water turbulence helps dissolve the CO2 bubbles.

I have always run my CO2 systems without a pH controller and don't feel a need to...but this is my personal opinion. I have a timer that controls the solenoid and turns it off at night and turns the CO2 flow back on in the morning.
I did exactly this. Got my equip from Rex, including dry ferts and built his DIY reactor which is plumbed inline to my XP3. Picked up the calaqua drop checker just to keep an eye on CO2 levels. I wanted to make sure i was getting enough in my 72g bow just by glancing. Green is good


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback guys.

Epic,

So a reactor it is. Which brand/brands would you recommend for the whole setup?

Rich,

i can always remove one bulb after the plants have taken root and grown to desired size/length.

Azhar
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azhar View Post
Thanks for the feedback guys.

Epic,

So a reactor it is. Which brand/brands would you recommend for the whole setup?

Rich,

i can always remove one bulb after the plants have taken root and grown to desired size/length.

Azhar
Well, what's your budget on the system?

And depending on your fixture, removing one bulb may not let the other bulbs fire. If you have two switches, you can turn on one set and keep the other off, but you can't remove bulbs as far as I know.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 09:27 PM
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Here's the AM Co2 Reactor 1000 http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...fm?pcatid=9918

That should be a good choice for your tank size and filter. If you want something a little more streamlined and classy, check out this:http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/co...user-17mm.html
Inline glass diffusor which mixes tiny co2 bubbles with your outake from your filter and dispurses them throught your tank through the spraybar/return. I think either choice, reactor or inline diffuser would be just fine on your size tank depending on what type of filter you have.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 09:28 PM
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Azhar, As for lighting im in a simalir situation as you are. Im setting my 55 up as planted and I have a 216 watt light with (4) 54 watt t5 bulbs. This is a lot of light, hopefully your light has two seperate switches. I think a good practice would be too run 2 bulbs for like 4 hrs, then run all 4 bulbs to create a high noon effect for a few hours, then back off to just 2 lights for the remainder of your light schedule. Get 2 timers and you can automate this and I think this will really help. This is my plan anyway once I get my 55 going soon.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Guys,

I have two switches, so I can control the lighting. I'll do it similar to what Stagger has suggested. Now, the lights come with two actinics and two 10k t5s. What is the benefit of the actinics?

As for budget, I am not sure. I want to do it right without cutting corners.

Azhar
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 09:46 PM
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There are no benefits of actinics.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-24-2008, 10:10 PM
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My Lights came with 2 10K, and 2 Actinics also, but I purchased 4 6700K bulbs to swap out.

The 10K bulbs would be ok, but the actincs wont do anything for the plants. U may want to put in 2 6700K bulbs to replace those actinics.

10K and Actinics are commonly used in Salt water reefs
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 01:04 AM
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10k bulbs work great, and offer crisp white light. 6700's can be "yellow". I mix the two.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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What about the schedule for running co2? How long do you run it? Will it be the same as the lighting schedule?
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azhar View Post
Epic,So a reactor it is. Which brand/brands would you recommend for the whole setup?Azhar
Epic mentioned inline with a cannister filter. Are you using a cannister. If you are, here is what you need to build it. I have the parts arriving today to build my 3rd one. They work great and are actually easy to build. The link shows using clear PVC which is what I used, I like to see the bubbles and action, but you can use the solid white pvc if you want to. Depending on what brand cannister you have you may have to get a different size barb. I have Rena's and it uses a 5/8 barb so I had to get a 1/2 by 5/8 barb.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...2-reactor.html

With the exception of the clear PVC you can find most of the parts at a Home Depot or Ace Hardware. If you have no experience with PVC (I didn't) show the the diagram and they can help you out.

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 09-25-2008, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Bugman,

Yes I am planning to use a canister filter but have not decided which as yet. I am looking at your reactor design and might consider it. What canister would you recommend for a 60G setup?
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