minibow 5 diy co2 - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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minibow 5 diy co2

So it's getting cold out and I have decided to do some work to my old minibow. It has had 2 crypts, a sword, and somthing else in it for over a year. I changed the bulb to a 6500k cfl. It has a really big snail (from Lake erie) and 5 red eye tetras in it. The big snail eats up all of the small ones that came on my plants, but doesn't touch the plants.

So today, I went and got a hob filter (whisper pf10)so I could cut out the factory one. It made a shady spot. Now I believe I need some co2. (So says youtube)

Now comes what I am unsure of. My plan was to use 20oz pop bottles with an air stone as a difuser.

Will this setup end up being too much for such a small tank with only 4 plants in it?

Also, how long should I leave the lights on for? I have been leaving it on for 12 hrs a day and a friend told me that's why I have to pull algae out every weekend.

Will I have to start using fertiliser, or will the snail/fish poop be enough. It seems like a lot of fish for 5 gallons.

Any thoughts on how to improve this tank are apreciated.

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 07:22 PM
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Swords and crypts are heavy root feeders. Before thinking about co2, I would start with giving them all some root tabs and see how it goes. Then cut your photo period down to 8 or so hours and take it from there.

CO2 helps any tank. The main challenge with DIY is maintaining consistency. Up and down fluctuations will trigger algae for sure. Small tanks like yours present a unique challenge because it's usually not possible to use more than one reactor bottle w/o gassing your fish. It is tough to keep a steady level with only one bottle, unless you are very diligent.

Personally I wouldnt bother with co2 for the time being. Get your plants some root tabs and see how it goes for a couple of months.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I already bought the yeast and made a batch, so I'm going to see how that goes. As far as algae goes, it can't get much worse then it is now. In that picture, I had just cleaned out all of the algae. Some weeks it grows so thick, the fish have to swim around the mass. I think sometimes the kids feed the fish while I'm at work.

I will try to find some root tabs. The fish store with all that stuff is clear across town. I used fluorite for substrate. I hate to dig it up because it makes such a mess when you disturb it, but if that's whats gotta be done...

I'm putting together parts for a real co2 system. Have a converted o2 regulator from a torch setup and another lower pressure regulator that I can hook up to that. An old 20cu ft tank that needs certified. Everything leads to somthing bigger. If I can achieve some success here, I have authorisat ion from the wife for a bigger tank up to 36" long. Just gotta find a whole used setup at a decent price.

One step at a time. I will change the light timer to come on later in the day.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-25-2014, 08:36 PM
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Osmocote plus works great for root tabs. just be sure to use the actual "plus." Wal-mart has it in my area. The most common way to make them is to fill blank 00 gel caps up. Another good simple method is ice cubes. Put maybe 25-30 balls each using a standard ice cube tray, and fill the sections half way up with water. Freeze, then presto, instant root tabs.


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-26-2014, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Couldn't find any osmocote at the home improvement stores close to home. But it's a bad time of year to be shopping for gardening suplies. I will just hit up the fish store tomorrow and get what they have. Maby leave my wallet at home and only take 20 bucks, so we don't have to eat potatoes and Ramen noodles till next payday.

Any of the name brand root tabs are probably good enough, right? Or should I look for somthing in particular?
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