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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First I would like to say Hi to everyone. Been browsing the forum and decided to join. I just started a 20 gallon planted tank with my first attempt at DIY co2 injection. I'm not a noob to fish keeping as we have a 1,500 gal fish room, mostly big amazon predators/omnivores though. But I have a few reassurance questions to make sure I'm taking the right steps for planted tanks.

The Tank

20 gallon
2 bags eco-complete (black)
small hang on whisper style filter
filled tank with water from our 380 gallon setup
nova extreme SLR T-5 light setup (1x24w 10,000k and 1x24w 6,700k bulbs)
10 hours of light
1 10-12" amazon sword (amazonicus)
decent sized piece of driftwood
some anacharis strands from our outside pond
2 baby blue diamond discus.....would be culled, so i said might as well help cycle the tank a bit.
80 F degree water
ph 6.3
nitrite 0
ammonia 0-.25
gh/kh and nitrate test kits are being shipped
currently have dosed flourish, flourish excel and flourish trace elements.

Now here is my co2 setup, feel free to tell me if this is done right/wrong. I used a 2 liter bottle for the reactor, then about 8" from the cap put my check valve. From there I removed the sponge filter element in a hagan elite mini and drilled a hole in the filter casing and applied an airstone inside of it. Placed the leftover sponge filtering element onto the water blowout nozzle of the filter to further "seperate" the co2 bubbles.

NOW THE CONCERNS. I used 2 cups sugar and 1/2 teaspoon yeast. Added warm water about 4 inches from top, shook the mixture and capped it. About how long does it take for it to start producing? Will the co2 be to much for the small amount of plants I have at the moment and choke my fish out? Should I setup an air pump with an airstone to run at night on my timer? Also how do I go about regulating how much co2 flows through? I dont want it to just blast through heavily. I have some air control valves but am affraid the pressure will build up in the 2 liter and go KABOOM!!

Also what kind of plants would you all recommend for a nooby amazon based planted tank? I figure I have about 2.5 watts per gallon. I would like some kind of carpeting plant something like hair grass or chain swords, any specie recomendations (or anybody selling)? I have a common amazon sword in the back and would also like a bushy type plant in the background to help hide the heater and hagan mini filter. Anacharis is doing it for now.

Sorry for the huge first post lol. Just like to make sure I'm doing things properly. Seems like a lot of knowledge is here.

Thanks a ton!!:fish:
 

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It can take up to 2-3 days for CO2 to be produced, depending on temperature. I usually have it start within a day or so. There should not be too much CO2 produced from a single 2L bottle, but you could setup an air pump with an airstone to run at night (on a timer).

One of the major disadvantages of DIY CO2 is that there is really no way to regulate how much CO2 flows through.

The WPG guideline is not as useful as it once was, as there are many more varieties of bulbs today. As the WPG guideline was based on T12 bulbs, applying it to your case (with T5 bulbs) would be inappropriate. 2.5 WPG of T12 lighting is very different from 2.5 WPG of T5 lighting. As such, you will need to have stable CO2 levels as well as a regular fertilization regime (i.e. both macro and micronutrients).

With your lighting, however, you should be able to grow any kind of carpeting plant (i.e. HC, Dwarf Hairgrass, Glosso, etc). I recommend you check out the Swap and Shop section of these forums for the best deals.

Your Amazon Sword will likely outgrow your 10g very, very quickly.
 

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For me, the fermentation reaction should be going pretty good after a few hours. I don't think you'll have to worry about regulating it unless you get some massive output.

Echinodorus tenellus, or narrow leaf chain sword, should grow quite well for you. There's quite a bit of information here that helped me set up my tank, just got to spend enough time digging around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the fast responses. Darkblade48 its a 20 gallon tank, but regardless the sword will out grow it. I just put one in to see if i could maintain it a bit, if not I will move it.

As for the co2, I guess I will just wait for it to work, its been about an hour and half and not much going on. No biggie just didn't know what to expect. I will check out that echinodorus tenellus jman, thanks for the specie name.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yea I think its working, I squeezed the bottle and there was some resistance and nice little cloud of tiny bubbles burst out of the hagan mini. Was cool to see lol. Makes me want to go buy plants!! With how slow it is taking to pressurize I'm not to worried about the co2 flow as I was earlier. I just thought it would take off and bubble like crazy. Glad to see its a somewhat slow process. Thanks again.
 
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