New 20g setup (continuing discussion from Photo forum) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2002, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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This discussion is a continuation from Rdracer66's discussion in GDominy's thread in the Photo forum Here

In reference to your question on the difficulty of maintaining a Yeast Reactor - with a 20 gallon tank, even one reactor would be better than none and would only need maintenence every 3-4 weeks. The initial setup is easy and the maintenence is even more simple.

With your KH being around 6 degrees, you'll be hard pressed getting your pH down below 7.0 with just a DIY reactor, even at peak efficiency. So pH swings will likely not be an issue. You measure your pH and KH and read on a table how much dissolved CO2 you have.
I haven't measured mine in months. Once you set up a regimen, you only need check it occasionally to make sure everything remains constant.

I know what it's like to not have time and my CO2 bottles are very easy to maintain. As for hiding them - get a little creative. Maybe cover them with books or some other decorative objects.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2002, 10:59 PM
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I think I have to disagree with your previous statement about light. I have tried keeping my 22 Gallon tank with just 20 watts of light and it was just not enough with dense planting. The plants lived happily, but they did not grow very quickly (not enough to keep up with die-off)

If 40 watts could be achived that would be ideal. With no CO2 and 2 Watts per gallon growth rates of the plants should be able to remain consistent.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2002, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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2 wpg might be a good recommendation for a non CO2 tank, as long as you had a good algae eating crew. Algae will proliferate in 2wpg and if the plants don't grow fast enough to tear down those NO3 levels, the algae could get out of hand.

But I agree - two 20 watt bulbs would be ideal for the 20gal tank.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2002, 07:29 PM
 
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Well GDominy we will find out soon enough, I bought those marathon bulbs from phillps as u suggested there 23w supposedly the same as 90w and the lumens is 1500 each so total 46w and 3000 lumens, I'll get a couple of chinese algae eaters they remain small but keep it very clean, I have one in my 10 that does a great job
I might still do the diy co2 but need to know how to monitor the flow into the tank, I want to keep it cheap as possible !

Kurt
thanks everyone for there info and help !
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2002, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Most DIY CO2 users don't monitor the actual flow into the tank. You put the air outlet in front of a powerhead or a power filter with airlock protection and the CO2 dissipates into the tank. Keep an eye on pH for crashes (unlikely) and if by some rare chance your pH dropped low and CO2 levels exceeded 30ppm then you simply turn off the power head or move the air line away from the power filter and CO2 levels will drop.

Read up on it until you are comfortable with the concept and then try it! I gaurantee you'll see a difference in plant growth! I tried everything without CO2 and couldn't get my plants to grow. Even with 210Watts of light, flourite substrate, good supplements, etc. The missing element was CO2 and now I need to prune my plants at least once a week!

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2002, 08:02 PM
 
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I dont haev a power head, all i have is a penguin 170 I thought i could by just a air stone and place it somewhere not noticable in the tank ?
any good links on a nice easy Diy co2?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2002, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Here's more than you'll ever need to know about it...

http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/co2-narten.html

An airstone would be ok, but you'd lose most of the CO2 when the bubbles reached the surface. You might be able to let the bubbles go through the penguin. A little noisy, but it would work.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2002, 09:20 PM
 
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Thanks for the nice article
do you have any pictures of your setup ?
is your bottle above or below your tank?
I dont belive that i can place it anywhere above the tank
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2002, 09:43 PM
 
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STupid question do you have to have a air pump hooked up to this ?
if so thats more noise than i want to deal with lol, I hate the air pumps my whole basement is buzzing lol
(thats where my main tanks are )
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2002, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Here it is. It's a little cluttered with the gallon of Stress Coat, the Python No Spill N Fill and whatnot, but you can see the two Orange Juice gallon jugs with the line glued to the cap. I put a check valve to prevent the tank from siphoning into the bottle if negative pressure happened to build up in the bottle. You can get check valves at almost any fish store.

They're under the tank and you don't need an air pump. Once the yeast starts feeding on the sugar, they produce CO2 so quickly that it pressurizes the bottle and feeds into the tank. After a day, the reactor will make at least one bubble per second, tapering off to one every 5-10 seconds for a few weeks and then down to nothing, at which time you empty it and refill with sugar water and yeast according to the article.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2002, 10:19 PM
 
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Ok i figured that one out you dont need a air pump, I was wodering if i put one bottle in with a T on it and had 2 air lines with a air stone at each end going and i buried them into the substrate so you couldnt actually see the air lines or the stone, watcha think ? or i coudl put it next to the intake with a rubberband but not sure if that would be good since its going up and then thru the filter moss and tehn back in the tank
any ideas ?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-23-2002, 11:49 PM
 
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so u dont need any kind of air carb on it like u would to control the air going for say a bubble wand ?
It comes out that way automaticaly ?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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You wouldn't want to restrict the air coming out of the yeast reactor for several reasons - the greatest of which is because pressure can build up inside those bottles considerably if there is a blockage. There are several horror stories of CO2 bottles exploding on the krib. It can happen and it stinks BAD. Keep the outlet unrestricted.

Having the air bubbles trapped in the filter is a good thing - they will have a chance to absorb into the water, where the plants can use the CO2. Just don't put the air line TOO close to the filter inlet - or the filter can suck the yeast/sugar/water mix right up into your tank.

I know it all sounds like a bit of a hassle at first, but you get used to it and the reward is well worth it!

The tee fitting to two air wands sounds like a pretty good idea. A side benefit is that if one airstone becomes somewhat clogged, the CO2 will not be restricted and be allowed to flow through the other stone.

You might find that a conventional airstone method will not work very well. You will lose the majority of your CO2 and have very little actually absorbed into the water column. A limewood airstone (such as one used in a marine protein skimmer) will create much finer bubbles that will more easily be absorbed into the water. Or you could build any one of the homemade reactors that can be found on the net. The simplest is an upside down "bell" (could be a cut down plastic cup or anything else you can come up with) - the CO2 gets trapped in the cup and allowed to absorb into the water before it bubbles to the surface.

- Sam P -
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-26-2002, 02:30 PM
 
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Thanks for all the help guys
I'm going to wait another week to see if the new lights and me putting tinfoil in the light strip help out enough or not
if the plants still look weak by the wknd ill build it over the wknd
that one link on the krib really didnt make a lotta sense to me does anyone know of a site with pictures to help understand ?

Kurt
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-27-2002, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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This link is a classic - it's the formula I followed to set my tank up...

http://www.nfis.com/~hartland/aqua/co2.htm

- Sam P -
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