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I Ran diy for about a year. It still is in my opinion, better than running excel by itself. I used excel and diy during that time. Diy is maintenance intensive, having multiple bottles and making the solution for them and exchanging them when bubble rate goes down. If you can't exchange the bottle and solution before the bubble rate goes down, algae will probably come to visit. It also depends on your lighting. If the lighting is not too intense and you provide sufficient micro and macro nutrients, you could very well benefit. I was fairly successful growing plants with it, after all, I did it for a year. I just got tired of wiping up sticky kitchen counters. : )
 

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I spent the past two years messing with DIY CO2, and honestly it is a gigantic pain. Either go low tech and use no CO2 or go high-tech and invest in pressurized CO2, but I would strongly recommend against getting into DIY CO2. If you do decide to get into adding CO2, you will eventually upgrade to pressurized, so you might as well save yourself a lot of time, trouble, cost, and frustration, and get a pressurized system to begin with.

CO2 is WELL worth it. it makes everything in your tank look exponentially better.
 

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I would agree with demosthenes and either go low-tech, use excel or go pressurized. DIY is just too much work in the long run to keep the co2 consistent. I'm sure many get frustated with DIY and eventually get turned off from the hobby.
 

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Yeah, after I went pressurized, I wanted kick myself for not going pressurized sooner. Mineralized soil tanks have caught on, I personally would have tried it if, I hadn't gone pressurized already. But MTS would have probably exceeded my patience anyway. :icon_wink
 

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I did DIY CO2 for 2 tanks for a couple of years. I didn't mind it. I redid the bottles once a week and that was it. Of course pressurized is better, but I didn't mind. I didn't have a lot of algae issues at all. IMO I'd rather have DIY CO2 and the plants it can grow than not. It's all in what you really want and how badly you want it and what you can afford. :D
 

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Yes

DIY CO2 seams like a lot to comprehend. But is it worth the trouble? I think so. Some problems are very easy to fix and other problems are very much like those with pressurized CO2. Probably the most important lesson you will learn with DIY - waste not, want not.

At first I had yeast growing it's way out to my Hagen ladder. So, I added a small bubble counter. The bubble counter is not filled with a liquid, but is simply left empty to provide an air space. This solution seams to prevent yeast from making it's way into the tank.

The big problem for both pressurized CO2 and DIY is getting consistent levels of enough CO2 dispersed evenly throughout the tank. Diffusers (Hagen ladder) or powerhead/needlewheel concepts (maybe something else like a rector to help the CO2 into solution) present some of the choices you will need to make. For a 5 gallon cube a diffuser is probably all it will need. For larger tanks, (if you want healthy plant growth under mid to high light) a powerhead/ needlewheel and reactor is more helpful at getting CO2 to the plants and they are definitely worth the effort. Once you see DIY CO2 in operation there is even something magical about it and if nothing else learning how to keep one running smoothly is another feather in your cap. Once you settle into a routine it really isn't a lot of trouble. If your interested, I modified a Duetto Multi-Filter as a powerhead / needlewheel and surface skimmer.
 

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DIY CO2 seams like a lot to comprehend. But is it worth the trouble? I think so. Some problems are very easy to fix and other problems are very much like those with pressurized CO2. Probably the most important lesson you will learn with DIY - waste not, want not.

At first I had yeast growing it's way out to my Hagen ladder. So, I added a small bubble counter. The bubble counter is not filled with a liquid, but is simply left empty to provide an air space. The solution seams to prevent yeast from making it's way into the tank.

The big problem for both pressurized CO2 and DIY is getting consistent levels of enough CO2 dispersed evenly throughout the tank. Diffusers (Hagen ladder) or powerhead/needlewheel concepts (maybe something else like a rector to help the CO2 into solution) present some of the choices you will need to make. For a 5 gallon cube a diffuser is probably all it will need. For larger tanks, (if you want healthy plant growth under mid to high light) a powerhead/ needlewheel and reactor is more helpful at getting CO2 to the plants and they are definitely worth the effort. Once you see DIY CO2 in operation there is even something magical about it and if nothing else learning how to keep one running smoothly is another feather in your cap. Once you settle into a routine it really isn't a lot of trouble. If your interested, I modified a Duetto Multi-Filter as a powerhead / needlewheel and surface skimmer.

I would be interested to hear more about your "Duetto Multi-Filter as a powerhead / needlewheel and surface skimmer".
 

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powerhead / surface skimmer

I would be interested to hear more about your "Duetto Multi-Filter as a powerhead / needlewheel and surface skimmer".
In my 20 gallon tank the drop checker has gone blue to green and the pH went from 7.4 to 6.4 over night

I had both the DJ 100 and DJ 50. All the parts are interchangeable for these two filters, so I was able to scavenge parts from both, but everything needed comes with either filter. The DJ 100 has the larger size impeller but the 50 has the smaller size over all. If I were to do this again from scratch I would order the filtration housing for the 50, but the DJ 100 for it's larger impeller to make the needlewheel with. What I do not know is if it can handle the higher bubble counts needed for larger tank sizes but it is very efficient with lower bubble counts of one bps or less.

What ultimately drove me to this is the cost of using excel. Here is the link were I first posted this DIY project.
http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-plant-fertilization/6231-diy-co2-reactor-surface-skimmer.html
When I have more time I will post it on the TPT DIY forum. Most of the equipment I use is from the LFS (bubble counter, bio-reactor) but for those that like DIY projects there are posts out there to make a bio-reactor.
 
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