The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm seriously considering getting pressurized CO2 since I've started to get some BBA. I guess my DIY system just isn't cutting it. Before I invest in anything though, I have a couple of questions. Just for general information, I have a 30 gallon tank, currently with 2 wpg (which I will probably add to when I get pressurized). I've been dosing EI, but less frequently than the recommended dose since I don't have high light.

I've been using an AquaClear filter (one for up to 70 gallons), which is what my LFS recommended to me when I first set up the tank. I really like the filter, but I'm concerned with CO2 loss. Would I just be wasting the CO2 if I didn't get a canister filter instead, or are there other options? Or, is the AquaClear okay? I think I remember reading that it was all right if the water level was high, but I'm not sure if that's true.

If I need to get a canister filter, what do you think of the H.O.T. Magnum? Locally, I can get a Magnum, Fluval, or Marineland canister filter (I realize the Magnum is a Marineland product, but this one is different). I'm trying not to spend all my CO2 money on filtration instead if I can help it.

As for CO2 equipment, does anyone have any input on the Foster & Smith semi-automatic CO2 package? If I already have a power center with a timer (the Coralife one), do I still need the timer that comes with it? What about the bubble counter? I heard that the Azoo regulators didn't really need bubble counters. These are probably stupid questions, but I really don't know much about CO2 systems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,245 Posts
I'll let others answer the pressurized questions, as I am a pressurized n00b. As for the filtration, you'll find that your DIY might be enough for a 30 gallon if you want with a canister filter to reduce surface disturbance. But then, if you are planning to go pressurized anyway, you might as well go that route.

What I found with a Penguin 100B filter and the Hagen system was that it outgassed a lot of my CO2 output. I switched to a Fluval 204 and I had to use an airpump at night to outgas the CO2 because the buildup was too high. Then my plant growth took off and I went pressurized. So it could be a vicious cycle. So if you plan on pressurized, you might as well go for it. FWIW, this is on a 20 gallon with 65 W of PC lighting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
I agree, you may find that if you switch to a canister filter (like an XP2) that your DIY plus a little Excel will be just fine. You lose ***A LOT*** of CO2 if you use a HOB-type filter.

That said, I think you'll be much happier if you go pressurized. It should cost you a total of ~$150 - about $75 dollars for the regulator, about $70 for a 5lb can of CO2 and a couple bucks for a check valve after the bubble counter. I got a new all-in-one JBJ regulator (dual-guage, plus needle valve, solenoid and bubble counter) on eBay for $72, which has worked really well for me. Rex has better ones, I think they're only a few bucks extra. Since my needle valve isn't the best, I have my CO2 on 24/7 - just make sure there's a little bit of surface turbulence and then it's set it and forget it.

Also, if you have the extra money, or Santa is coming early, think about switching to a canister filter. While you notice better cleaning and less CO2 loss, the big thing is that circulation will be so much better. Just something to think about.

Christine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
I don't really have anything to add but I'd just like to echo what the last 2 said. I have my pressurized CO2 on my 125gal Discus tank and it runs through a reactor on the return line of my Eheim 2215. The other filter on that tank is an Eheim 2026 so I don't have a ton of surface movement and I get 100% absorbtion of the CO2 using that reactor. Personally I wouldn't even bother with pressurized if I didn't have my canister filters, I'd be wasting too much of my CO2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Agreed- first things first...Get a canister. The smallest eheim classic should be fine for you. I used to run it (2213 I think) on my 55 gallon - it was slightly underpowered for a 55, but should be fine for a 30.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,062 Posts
i had the same issue on my 29g. i have a diy co2 setup and i was using a penguin 330 with a bio wheel. i tried with and with out the bio wheel and could never get my levels over 10-15ppm. when i recieved my rena xp1 and hooked it up, overnight my levels went to where they needed to be about 35ppm. i let the co2 bubbles go into the intake tube and dissolve in the cannister, all that comes out of the outflow is water and a few small micro bubbles.

B
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input, everyone. I guess I'll go with a canister filter first, then save up some more for the pressurized if the DIY still isn't cutting it. One more question though: Is it okay to bubble the CO2 into the intake of any canister filter, or is this not safe for certain brands? I'm currently using a Hagen bubble ladder to dispense the CO2.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
for the first few fauna free days in my tank i bubbled the Co2 into the intake of my fluval 204 and it seemed to go well but then my puppy walked into the side of the filter and i got a massive amount of bubbles rushing out of there. My guess is that the filter sponges were filling up with Co2 and just holding there until the disturbance rattled them loose. I never had any problem with cavitation of the impeller or anything but i dont want to risk my filter. I ended up with going with DIY hydrovac reactor. Its not the presttiest thing in my tank by any means but its boosted my plant growth noticeably.

jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,790 Posts
As for CO2 equipment, does anyone have any input on the Foster & Smith semi-automatic CO2 package? If I already have a power center with a timer (the Coralife one), do I still need the timer that comes with it? What about the bubble counter? I heard that the Azoo regulators didn't really need bubble counters. These are probably stupid questions, but I really don't know much about CO2 systems.
I have the Drs Foster and Smith semiauto system and it has worked flawlessly for me over the past three months. I'd highly recommed it. Of course the price has increased since I bought mine but I still think it's a pretty good deal.

IMO you will need the bubble counter.

No you won't need the timer but the timer that comes with it is TOP NOTCH and would be good to have around for future projects or as a backup.

Regards,

Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
For smaller sized tanks though I think it's ok to use a HOB....I'm running two HOB on two of my pressurized tanks, granted they're only 10 and 15 gallons, I can easily boost my CO2 up to 40+ ppm.

Just make sure you raise the water level in your tank to nearly the height of the filter outflow to decrease surface agitation and it'll work fine.

As soon as my water level starts to drop though and there's a distance between the filter outflow and water surface, I have trouble maintaining 30ppm. Just as long as you keep the water level high you should be fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,245 Posts
For smaller sized tanks though I think it's ok to use a HOB....I'm running two HOB on two of my pressurized tanks, granted they're only 10 and 15 gallons, I can easily boost my CO2 up to 40+ ppm.QUOTE]

HOB's are fine if it doesn't have a biowheel. You'll never get it up there with a biowheel. Maybe with pressurized you can, but I sure wasn't able to when DIY. If you want to use a HOB, get an Aquaclear and raise the water level in the tank as high as possible and keep it there.

I use Excel only in my 10 gallon and use a Peguin 100 with a biowheel, no problem. No CO2, no worries about degassing.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top