The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings,

This is my first post but I do read a lot. Apologizes if this has been covered before. I tried searching but didn't find anything that pertained to this specialized cost comparison that was current. I also hope it's in the right sub-forum. Thank you in advance :wink2:

My question is do you find DIY CO2 worth it (cost wise) versus that of Flourish Excel?

Here is my experience and my cost numbers:

I'm running a BioCube 14 rimless, a Planted+ 20", a DIY CO2 system that consists of the soda bottle Citric Acid setup, a bubble counter, and a diffuser that has been both in the filter and mostly in the tank under the power head output. I use a small 100 gph 12 VDC water pump throttled with 9 VDC for the filter, gravel substrate taken from my creek. Ferts are GLA PPS-Pro daily per the normal schedule. Plants are dwarf hairgrass, a java fern, bittercress (which isn't aquatic but it grows well enough submerged true to her weed nature), and various pieces of moss which I find growing in my spring that do okay submerged too. After looking at my list perhaps this tank is better low-tech, but I like the higher light on it, that said my question isn't about my setup or its outcome, but rather how much each outcome would cost if done to their full extent.

I've been running DIY CO2 with soda bottles and the cheap kit from many online sources. Sometimes the solution runs 15-18 days and sometimes it runs only seven. I think it depends on if it over pressures via an accidental fast flow or if I'm spot on and never over flow it, in this later case it gets the 15 days, but I'm usually not that good, so let's say I get an average of 10 days per Citric Acid / Baking Soda mixture (200mg of each in a 1:3, 1:1 ratio respectively).

Right now I can find Citric Acid for 5lbs at $18, that's roughly 10-11 uses per package, or easily $1.80/use. I can find Baking Soda for 4lbs at $2.24, that's $0.25 use. Together that's right over $2.00 / use of DIY CO2 Citric Acid, which ends up being $73 a year.

If I dose Fourish Excel it's much cheaper. Let's say I do a water change every five days, which is a lot, and probably won't happen, but it's a good "worse case use" scenario. I'm thinking I have about 10 gallons of real water in the BioCube, so I dose to that. The days that have water changes get 5mL and the days that don't get 1mL. Right now I can find Excel 2L for $32.50 which ends up being $0.016 a mL). On the 73 days a year I do a water change the cost would be $5.88 in total [ (5mL)($0.0161)(73days) ], on the other 292 other regular days it would be $4.70 in total [ ($0.0161)(292days) ], for a grand total of $10.58.

So I'm looking at $10.58 for Excel versus that of $73 DIY CO2. Not to mention I usually make the CO2 at night when everyone is sleeping and somehow it ends up waking them up as I shake everything around, yeah, I know. Dosing Excel along with the GLA PPS-Pro system would be easy and only take me a minute every morning, which I use to make sure everything is okay with the aquarium anyhow.

Any thoughts?

I think I'll be switching to Excel for now. I don't like the look of the DIY soda bottles and the valves feel sloppy. I only have small tanks and while I do have everything but a needle valve and a solenoid (plus maybe the pH measurement system) for a pressurized CO2 system (was once big into homebrew) I just don't feel like it's worth it in space, extra cost, and time for such a small seemingly needless tank.

Thanks again, I hope this made sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,374 Posts
Excel isn't the same as co2. Its better than nothing but not equal.
Pressurized co2 would be cheaper than diy after the initial investment. 20Lbs last me almost a year and cost 25 dollars Also less hassle
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If cost is a concern, you should consider metricide 14, same stuff as excel.
Great advice, found some info on it, Excel = 1.4% Glut whilst the Met 14 is 3.4%, also very cheap related to Excel, it's crazy, on el'bay it's something like $22 for a gallon, that's almost a year an a half at 5mL/10Gal.

I'll probably be going this route as I run out of 500ml of Excel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,419 Posts
I don't know why it says it on the bottle, but you really shouldn't add extra excel after a water change. At best it's a waste and at worst it could kill sensitive species. Just use the everyday dose.

The reason people use DIY CO2 is because it works better for plant growth. Not to mention some plants are killed by it. Excel is good for algae control, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Great advice, found some info on it, Excel = 1.4% Glut whilst the Met 14 is 3.4%, also very cheap related to Excel, it's crazy, on el'bay it's something like $22 for a gallon, that's almost a year an a half at 5mL/10Gal.

I'll probably be going this route as I run out of 500ml of Excel.
I wasn't aware of that... right after I ordered a liter of Excel. In a couple months I'll be switching to Met 14.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top