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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to get my plants to grow a better so I set up a simple DIY Co2 setup for 2 of my tanks. I know the DIY setups aren't the best but before I spend a lot of money on a Co2 system I wanted to see if I can tell a difference in my tanks.

My setup is very simple one 2 liter bottle with air tubing going to a air stone. Seems to work pretty good I get 3-4 very tiny bubbles per sec in the tank.

My question is how soon before I start to see a difference in my plants after adding Co2?

My plants are Amazon Swords, Naga grass, Myrio Hippuriudes, and Java Fern mostly. I know java fern grows very slow so might not see any change there but the others should respond well.
 

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A couple questions;
how big is this tank?
what is your method of diffusing the co2 bubble?

in my dirted 55, I noticed the co2 (once I got it "happening" correctly) impact by day 2.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have the 2 bottles going right now. One is on a 20g High and one is on a 20g Long both are very heavy planted and the plants have been growing well for a few months just wanted to give them a jump start.

On diffusing I just allow the bubbles to float to the top no diffuser in the water. With the bubbles being tiny (about 1mm round) they go up pretty slow.

I'm new to the Co2 systems and I saw some places said I didn't need a diffuser so trying it without one for now. I have other tanks with the same type of plants not running Co2 so I can maybe compare the tanks after a week or so. I know it isn't a perfect match but should be close enough to see a difference.
 

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I have the 2 bottles going right now. One is on a 20g High and one is on a 20g Long both are very heavy planted and the plants have been growing well for a few months just wanted to give them a jump start.

On diffusing I just allow the bubbles to float to the top no diffuser in the water. With the bubbles being tiny (about 1mm round) they go up pretty slow.

I'm new to the Co2 systems and I saw some places said I didn't need a diffuser so trying it without one for now. I have other tanks with the same type of plants not running Co2 so I can maybe compare the tanks after a week or so. I know it isn't a perfect match but should be close enough to see a difference.
You need a diffuser. If one small bubble at a time is rising to the tank, then the co2 is not saturating the water at all. One of the best diffusers for DIY co2 is placing the line underneath a powerhead or wave maker. Reason being is that the pressure isn't good enough to push the co2 through a regular diffuser. When the bubbles go through the powerhead propellers, it chops them up into micro bubbles.

Honestly though, I would reccomend investing 100$ in a Paintball 24 oz tank on Amazon and the Aquatek mini regulator. They will be fine for a 20 gally.

Good luck!
 

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I did try the chop stick as a diffuser and I'm pretty happy with the micro bubbles. And I spent some time looking at my tanks and I can see a difference in the plants after 2 weeks. Very glad I gave the DIY Co2 a try.
you should just go with a paintball setup now that you see the difference. you can get most if not every thing off of ebay or amazon. I went with a 24oz tank off of ebay same as the diffuser and regulator aquatek mini!! all super worth it and its cheap in the long run and more reliable
 

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Couple of questions on the paintball setup.

How much does a refill cost?
How often do you have to get it refilled?
How many tanks are you running on one bottle?

you can go any where that refills co2...so a paintball park, dicks sporting goods, a welding/gas supply shop..you can just do a quick google search for your area for these types of shops..

that all depends on how much your pushing out to the tank I have mine on a 29g and mine lasts about a good 5 or so more months..I cant remember specifically...again all matters on your tank how its stocked..

I am running 1 tank on the paintball bottle..since I have only one tank at the moment and not much space for the bigger bottle..if your looking to do multiple then I suggest going with the bigger upgrades of a bottle and regulators...just keep in mind some places will switch out tanks that need to be refilled so if you get a nice shiny one they might want to try to switch it out for a rusty scratched up one..so look and talk to shops before and see

Planted Aquarium CO2 Systems Specialists | CO2Art.co.uk as some good price on stuff and good quality...many people on this forum have bought from them...they also have deals on packages so you get every thing you need besides a bottle and that helps if your stuck and they answer any and all questions pretty fast
 

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1) $3-6 at paintball shops or sporting goods stores (assuming the hydrotest date is current)
2) On a 20g, with a 24oz ...maybe 4-8 weeks, give or take, depending on how much you're using.
3) You'll need a second needle valve and a splitter of some sort if you plan on using it for a second tank, and the time between refills will be halved. But you could use it on as many tanks as you had needle valves and diffusers for.

A slightly more expensive, but maybe better, option would be to buy a standard prebuilt regulator and a paintball adapter, so you could switch to industrial cylinders if you wanted. For two decent-sized tanks, swapping out paintball cylinders every few weeks will get old, very fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the info. I did a search on the 24oz bottle and I I know that won't be big enough. If I go this route I will want to do 9-10 of my tanks so I will need a larger bottle, I don't have plants in all my tanks but I want them for most.
 
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