Beginner at DIY CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Beginner at DIY CO2

Hi everyone,


You all are probably going to hate me, because I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I have beginner CO2 questions. I would love a beautiful planted tank, but the whole CO2 thing sounds extremely complicated.

First off, my tank is a 27 gallon cube. I'm undecided about substrate, but I hear pool filter sand works well. No stores near me carry pool filter sand.

Next, in terms of lighting I'm looking at the Finnex Ray2 LED. I've got an AC50 for filtration.

Last is the confusing part, the CO2. I've been looking up designs and it seems quite complicated. I can't even seem to find the correct check valve.

Anyone have any thoughts on any of the above? Thanks!
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 10:08 PM
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As far as CO2 goes, take a look at this video! This is the diy system I'm going to do, I'm just waiting on the parts from Amazon to come

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1JzvfHO31Ug

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00LIU...bL&ref=plSrch#
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 10:26 PM
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Sand offers no nutrients to the plants at all dirt capped with sand much better option or just buy a plant substrate , next to you plan on a diy co2 set up or are you going pressurized ? Diy will work in a 27g but you do get alot of fluctuation which in turn can cause algea prob's you have some thinking to do on choices then narrow it down and someone here can deff help you out for sure
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 10:36 PM
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Something you might want to consider before buying the equipment is which plants you want to grow, what your layout is going to look like, what fish you want, and what then are the requirements for these plants & critters. Also research where you are going to get the plants from as the local store might not carry everything you see in pictures on this site. Planning goes a long way on these tanks.

My 2 cents - Eco Complete substrate has been the best I've used. Use it right out of the bag. If you want CO2, you will eventually be buying pressurized anyway. DIY will get old for you quickly. Check Green Leaf Aquariums or similar and do the purchase one time. Research the PAR of the lights you want and what that will mean for the size and particularly depth of your tank. Are you going to be high light, med light, or low light setup with the plants you want? You could be looking at a different light depending on what you want to plant.
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarraa View Post
As far as CO2 goes, take a look at this video! This is the diy system I'm going to do, I'm just waiting on the parts from Amazon to come

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1JzvfHO31Ug

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00LIU...bL&ref=plSrch#
I like that! Is that all I'd need, besides the bottles and mixtures themselves?
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-03-2015, 10:47 PM
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Yup that's it! Just anything he mentioned in the video, the bubble counter, diffuser...I like that it uses the citric acid so it doesn't smell like the yeast method does
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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarraa View Post
Yup that's it! Just anything he mentioned in the video, the bubble counter, diffuser...I like that it uses the citric acid so it doesn't smell like the yeast method does

I just bought the setup from ebay, now to find the other parts that are needed...
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 02:00 AM
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Thought maybe my experience will help.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=815241
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 05:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baumer1781 View Post
Something you might want to consider before buying the equipment is which plants you want to grow, what your layout is going to look like, what fish you want, and what then are the requirements for these plants & critters. Also research where you are going to get the plants from as the local store might not carry everything you see in pictures on this site. Planning goes a long way on these tanks.

My 2 cents - Eco Complete substrate has been the best I've used. Use it right out of the bag. If you want CO2, you will eventually be buying pressurized anyway. DIY will get old for you quickly. Check Green Leaf Aquariums or similar and do the purchase one time. Research the PAR of the lights you want and what that will mean for the size and particularly depth of your tank. Are you going to be high light, med light, or low light setup with the plants you want? You could be looking at a different light depending on what you want to plant.
Thank you! I usually do use Eco Complete on my tanks, so I will use it again this time.

As for plants, I know I want dwarf hairgrass and some types of moss. I just bought some tree looking driftwood off ebay that would look killer covered in moss to look like a real tree. That's the look I'd love to shoot for, outdoors, but underwater. There are so many mosses I don't know where to begin though. I'm open to any plants though really.
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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 06:32 PM
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I did a diy co2 set up with the correct parts for about 6 months. My honest opinion, diy co2 is not worth it, if you want a really nice looking planted tank. Between the amount of sugar you will need to purchase, having to swap bottles out every week to two weeks, dealing with leaks and fluctuations that happen, you will spend more time trying to fight off the algae. The upfront cost of a pressurized co2 system can be a bit pricey, but it's totally worth it after you get it set up. If you have any home brew type stores in your area, they tend to be a lot cheaper on the co2 tank price. I know reviews are mixed, but the aquatek regulators are not terrible for the price. You could get into a pressurized co2 system for under 150.00 if you shop right. If you were going more on the low to med light I would say the diy would work, but your plants will probably demand more co2 than you will be able to get out of a diy system.


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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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I mean I'd go with the pressurized if it wasn't so darn scary sounding, lol. The fact that it's under pressure and you have to find somewhere to refill the tank sound scary/challenging to me.
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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-04-2015, 09:33 PM
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I have 2 home brew stores that will do a swap for me

a fire and safety place that will refill the bottle.

It sounds scary but it really isn't. It might seem like there are a bunch of moving parts. Really you if you start off with a complete regulator out of the box, it's just connect the bottle, run your line, place the diffuser and plug in or add a timer. If you have questions there are many people on here that will be glad to help.
I was in your boat a year ago, looking back I had nothing to be scared about. I'm currently building my shopping list to build my own.


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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Italionstallion888 View Post
I have 2 home brew stores that will do a swap for me

a fire and safety place that will refill the bottle.

It sounds scary but it really isn't. It might seem like there are a bunch of moving parts. Really you if you start off with a complete regulator out of the box, it's just connect the bottle, run your line, place the diffuser and plug in or add a timer. If you have questions there are many people on here that will be glad to help.
I was in your boat a year ago, looking back I had nothing to be scared about. I'm currently building my shopping list to build my own.
Do you have a link to a good reputable regulator? I don't even know where to begin, this all is kinda confusing.
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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-05-2015, 11:26 PM
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I just set this up for my 20g long


Aquatek mini on a 24oz bottle. As easy as easy gets. Fill the bottle, tephlon tape the threads. This tape can be found at your local ace hardware in the plumber section. Small white and blue ring. 1.99 at most.

Screw the regulator onto the bottle, when you hear it pop you the gauges will "turn on" hand tighten to snug. remove the nut on the needle valve, stick your hose through the nut and onto the nipple. tighten nut down.

Run your line, add a bubble counter or a check valve. Connect your diffuser and place at the bottom of the tank. Adjust needle valve to your specifications.

Regulator
Co2 hose
Bottle
121.00 shipped amazon prime. Add a diffuser (I had one) for another 7-12.00

They make adaptors if you want to add the mini to a normal co2 tank. which I might do down the road. 130.00 upfront cost vs making new a yeast bottle every week and less stability.


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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-06-2015, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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