Disappointed with citric acid + baking soda DIY CO2 kit - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Disappointed with citric acid + baking soda DIY CO2 kit

Bought a DIY CO2 kit off Amazon for $15 which calls for the citric acid + baking soda recipe, which is as follows

Bottle A: 200 grams citric acid, 20oz water
Bottle B: 200 grams baking soda, 6.5oz water

I've played around with the needle valve and the most I've been able to get out of the solution is about 6 days. If I want between 2 to 2.5 bubbles / second, I'll get about 3 days out of it. Citric acid isn't expensive but it's annoying making a new solution every 3 - 4 days.

Any solutions? 😤

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 10:13 PM
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Get a 10# tank, regulator, and diffuser/reactor. Problem solved


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 10:17 PM
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Now you know why so many people go to the expense of pressurized CO2. I started with a DIY yeast system and now have a GLA Pro-2 system with 10 lb. tank.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by York1 View Post
Get a 10# tank, regulator, and diffuser/reactor. Problem solved
I'm in the process lol. I found a local welding supply shop that sells filled 5lb CO2 tanks for $70 and charges $15 for each subsequent exchange. Not bad. I'm just trying to find a good regulator.

Does CO2 Art make good regulators? A guy online is selling this dual stage regulator for $55 + shipping...


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 10:37 PM
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I have never used one but I have only heard good things about them from others. 55 isnt a bad price


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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 10:41 PM
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Looks like their single stage model.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 10:45 PM
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maybe a stupid question, does the CO2 gauge have an international fitting? as in, does it fit on any bottle?
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post
Looks like their single stage model.
So because it's single stage does that mean I am susceptible to end of tank dumps?

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Originally Posted by azazan View Post
maybe a stupid question, does the CO2 gauge have an international fitting? as in, does it fit on any bottle?
It was an American buyer so I would hope he'd choose CGA320 threading. I'll confirm though.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 11:03 PM
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So because it's single stage does that mean I am susceptible to end of tank dumps?
It's possible. Mostly, though, you just need to know what you're getting. CO2Art is an intro-level rig. It might be a bit better than Aquatek/Milwaukee/Azoo/etc., but they haven't been around long enough to know for sure. If you're going to get an intro rig, that's not a bad choice. It's not *good* by any means, but it will probably work for you, until you figure out what you don't like about it. Unfortunately, you're going to spend a couple hundred to upgrade, and there's not much, if anything, you're going to want to keep from it. But that's down the line. For $55, if I didn't know anything about pressurized CO2, I'd do it.

I would make sure it's got a CGA320 nipple/nut on it. Looks like North American plug, but best to be sure. They come from the UK, after all. And I suspect the threads for the nipple are, at best, 1/8" NPT (instead of standard 1/4" NPT), and at worst, BSPT or something else odd, so no matter what, if you had to replace the nipple, it would be complicated.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm. The fact that everyone is telling me I'll "need to upgrade later" is a bit disheartening. I wanted to upgrade from DIY to pressurized because I'm going out to sea pretty soon and wanted my aquarium to be as easy as possible for my wife to take care of lol. I guess my plants just won't have the extra CO2 for a few months... Hopefully nothing really weird happens heh.

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 11:36 PM
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just saw your tank journal, i don't think you really need CO2, doesn't seem like your lighting is strong enough for your plants to really want it in high amounts. they'll be fine witouth
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmeeter View Post
Hmm. The fact that everyone is telling me I'll "need to upgrade later" is a bit disheartening. I wanted to upgrade from DIY to pressurized because I'm going out to sea pretty soon and wanted my aquarium to be as easy as possible for my wife to take care of lol. I guess my plants just won't have the extra CO2 for a few months... Hopefully nothing really weird happens heh.
Based on what Ive read from others experience, they are more of a mid-level product than entry level. There is no reason to assume you'll ever need to upgrade.....assuming there's nothing wrong with it to begin with.


*Edit: It looks like this model, which isnt much more than $55 to begin with. http://www.co2art.co.uk/collections/...magnetic-valve

The working pressure not being adjustable is why it's so cheap. Its set to 3 bar (roughly 40 psi) That's plenty enough for most any diffuser, and one less thing for your wife to have to tinker with.

Having said that, in this case I would opt for a new one and get one of their better models.


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Last edited by burr740; 12-13-2015 at 11:00 AM. Reason: .
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-12-2015, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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just saw your tank journal, i don't think you really need CO2, doesn't seem like your lighting is strong enough for your plants to really want it in high amounts. they'll be fine witouth
My tank is very different nowadays, those are old pictures that I'm adding to show the progress. This is my current tank:



@burr740 can you recommend something better that isn't too much more expensive? I was thinking of going Aquatek but I've heard mixed reviews on those as well. Doesn't seem to be much of a 'mid range'... Either they're pure crap or incredibly expensive lol.

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 10:49 AM
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@burr740 can you recommend something better that isn't too much more expensive? I was thinking of going Aquatek but I've heard mixed reviews on those as well. Doesn't seem to be much of a 'mid range'... Either they're pure crap or incredibly expensive lol.
From looking at your tank, you could probably get by fine without CO2 until you get back home. Nothing in there is super demanding. Maybe buy a bottle of Excel to use in the meantime. That would be the easiest route imo.

I have an Aquatech Premium. It works, but essentially it's a piece of crap. It's liable to come on or go off at random times. Needle valve is junk. The slightest touch makes a huge difference, and it's usually several minutes before you can tell the final result of an adjustment, and you're lucky if it's still the same next day or next week.

I wound up replacing the stock NV with a Fabco. That made a world of difference. But still have to keep an eye on the whole cutting on and off thing. Definitely not something you could leave in the hands of the wife to look after, unless she knows what she's doing. Im hoping to build a nice one myself soon and replace it.

I actually just bought THIS ONE a few days ago to run 2 of my grow out tanks, currently on sale for about 100 bucks. It should hopefully be here next week. So that's what I would do, although I have no personal experience with them yet. Could be a piece of crap for all I know....


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Last edited by burr740; 12-13-2015 at 11:10 AM. Reason: .
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-13-2015, 01:19 PM
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I am no expert by any means in fact I am in the same boat is you trying to upgrade from DIY to pressurized. I have decided to go with CO2 art. Why don't you get one of their more premium regulators. There only another 50 bucks more than the Aquatek. They do seem to be the middle ground between cheap ones like aquatek and more expensive prebuilt ones from gla. The regulator I am getting from Co2art cost around the 140 bucks, shipping is free. Cheapest GLA single stage was 205 plus shipping.
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