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I hate to break it to you, but yes. Trying to use DIY Co2 on anything over about 40 or 50g will be pretty much pointless. You won't get the Co2 levels you need and/or you'll need to constantly refill the bottles. You should be able to get a full Co2 set up (tank, regulator combo, etc) for less than $200. The 5 lb tanks are a little cheaper, so keep that in mind. I have a 10 lb'er and it lasted for almost 2 yrs in between refills.
 

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I use DIY on my 55. Two 1 Liter bottles started a week apart, and disolve the CO2 under a sponge on a power-head. (2 wpg light)

I would think by upping to 2 liter bottles, you could do just fine, and depending on the temperature in the house, they should last about one month at a time.

Of course, more light means you need more CO2 disolved, so I would not know exactly what you would need for a 4wpg high-light tank, but if you are in the 2wpg or so range, I think you could do it DIY.
 

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I use DIY on my 55. Two 1 Liter bottles started a week apart, and disolve the CO2 under a sponge on a power-head. (2 wpg light)

I would think by upping to 2 liter bottles, you could do just fine, and depending on the temperature in the house, they should last about one month at a time.

Of course, more light means you need more CO2 disolved, so I would not know exactly what you would need for a 4wpg high-light tank, but if you are in the 2wpg or so range, I think you could do it DIY.
That sounds like it wont be enough, I have 2L and 3L combined running on my 7 gallon and its not even enough.
 

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It all depends on the amount you need and how you are disolving it. I get REALLY good disolvation with my bubbles sticking on the sponge under my power head, so I don't need big bottles.
 

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when i was using diy on a 75 gallon, i found that i didn't need alot of bps because of the reactor that i was using. i got a great dissolution rate because of the way it was designed. only small miniscule bubbles ever left the reactor (the ones so small they dont even float to the stop, they just linger in the tank)

the only bad things were it was big, ugly, and changing out the solution every week sucked. (i used two 2 liter bottles and changed one of the bottles a week)

you can go diy, but i assure you that pretty soon you'll suck it up and just go pressurized.
 

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On my thirty gallon i'm using a one gallon container and it seems to be doing well for it. I want to make sure i'm going to keep my interest in planted tanks before i splurge for a pressurized system. i'm using a DIY in tank reactor made out of a small pump and a hydrovac tube. Its doing well, only small micro bubbles make it out of the bottom and float to the surface. last night i had to shut the pump off and let the tube full of Co2 out since it was over half full of accumulated gas. We'll see if it does that to me today.

I dont mind changing the bottles its cheap easy and only stinks somewhat like bad beer (not a beer fan here though).

I was thinking about doing that on a 75 or 120 but i think i'd need two reactors at least and that would be kinda ugly...so then i'd be willing to upgrade :).

Jason
 

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i bet it would be tough to supply a 90 with enough diy co2, but i bet you can do it. ive seen on other forums people in asia with large tanks and diy co2. i guess a co2 tank in asia is harder to get because of the hydro-testing? or maybe more expensive? but for whatever reason, lots of people at aquaticquotient.com use diy co2 with amazing results.

i kept a 30 gallon for a few years with relatively easy plants to keep on a single 2liter bottle and diy co2. the trick is in the reactor.

with diy co2, you cant really use a diffusor, so you have to make a good reactor. i bet with an external inline co2 reactor, and a couple of well rotated 7-up bottles, you can make it work.

but it will undoubtedly be a lot more work.
 

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would this just be a waste of time? should i just suck it up and get pressurized?
I think it would depend on the level of CO2 you are trying to reach, the amount of your time you are willing to invest into it and how stable you want things to be.

If your trying to reach high CO2 levels you'll need multiple larger bottles of DIY requireing more of your time and it may not be all that stable. Output of DIY varies from one bottle to the next and from one day to the next. Pressurized is more consistant and much less maintenance, just refill the bottle every few months when it empties. You'll also need a very effecient reactor to reach high levels.

If you are ok with lower levels of CO2 so that you have a wide window for variations in output and don't mind the maintenance DIY might be the way to go. It does not require as much of an initial investment, although I've heard that you spend more in the long run on sugar and yeast than you do on pressurized bottle refills. That said, it's usually easier for most of us to pay a few bucks each week, than it is to come up with the money all at once to buy the pressurized system.
 

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with diy co2, you cant really use a diffusor,
I use fine bubble ceramic diffusors and fine UFG diffusors with no problems. Of course, they diffuse bubbles right under the sponge on my power head wich further disolves them.
 

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The trick with DIY co2 for a large tank is to keep the flow consistent .
What I used to do was to put the 3 bottles of yeast & sugar mix in a bucket of warm water.
To keep it warm I used a small heater ,and a small powerhead for circulation.
I used to get at least 2 weeks of consistent co2 production,you could stagger filling up/ renewing the bottles so you never run out of co2.
 
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