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Hello everyone,
I am looking to set up a co2 system for my 29 gallon planted tank. I am familiar with how co2 works and such but am looking for recommendations on equipment. What is efficient, cost effective, durable, etc.


Also, I have lots of hair algae and am thinkingthe cause of this could be low co2. Any ideas?
 

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Hello everyone,
I am looking to set up a co2 system for my 29 gallon planted tank. I am familiar with how co2 works and such but am looking for recommendations on equipment. What is efficient, cost effective, durable, etc.


Also, I have lots of hair algae and am thinkingthe cause of this could be low co2. Any ideas?
For the actual co2 tank, I would figure out where you can get it filled first before buying anything. Some places only do swaps not refills. Meaning you walk in with a shiny new co2 tank and they take it and swap it for one already filled, only this one is old, dented with peeling paint etc. Other places are willing to refill your tank so having a nice shiny new one is a nice aesthetic choice. So, ya, find out where you are going to get it filled and find out if they swap or refill and if they sell tanks there.

For the regulator you basically have 3 options. 1) you can buy an off the shelf unit. Cheapest decent quality is co2art. 2) You can build your own regulator by buying a used 2 stage regulator from e b a y and then screwing on some parts you either by individually, or in a post body kit (either from here or from diyco2regulator.com), this is your cheapest overall option. 3) You can buy a regulator that someone has already cleaned up and added the post body kit to here on the for sale forums. This is your easiest good quality option.

I would avoid the super duper cheap regulators on amazon.

Regarding how to actually inject co2, you have a few options, either inline, reactor, or through a diffuser. I prefer a reactor because its handled out of sight and has most efficient dissolution of the co2. But, this means you probably are going to build it yourself. Its SUPER easy to do, but it still intimidates some people who have never glued together bits of pvc before.
 

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Google both "Cerges Reactor Design" and "Rex Griggs Reactor Design", and figure out which design suits you and your budget best. You didn't mention it, but both inline CO2 and a CO2 reactor require a sump or canister filter. If you're using an HOB filter, then you'll need to use a diffuser.
 

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Yup, I’m using a fluval 207 canister. I’m not sure if there is an inline diffuser that fits on this
Easily done, just buy something like the Co2 Art Inline diffuser. All you need to do is get rid of the ribbed hosing that comes with the 207 and go with PVC tubing (16/22mm) from Lowes or Home Depot.

1025963
<= Installed on my tank with the same setup.

Reactors are just a tube of sorts with CO2 being pumped in one side. The goal is to dissolve as much Co2 in the water before returning back to the tank so it is not wasted. I remember back in the day (when I had a sump) I DIY'd a gravel tube of sorts with a powerhead to chop up the Co2 in to micro bubbles. I then added some medium in the tube so the bubbles would get trapped so it would maximize the contact time.
 

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Yup, I’m using a fluval 207 canister. I’m not sure if there is an inline diffuser that fits on this
You could get by with a Sera Flora 500 reactor. If you have ribbed tubes you will need Fluval A20016 adaptors for the 5/8" connection. That reactor is not the greatest but it does the job. If you have the time or $ build your own or get a better one. I do not recommend the inline diffusers...they are pain to clean and I find the C02 lasts longer operating at lower pressure using a reactor. Places that recharge fire extinguishers will usually refill your original tank. I'm using a setup from GLA that I like for the tank and regulator.

Looks great. How exactly does a reactor work? What are the benefits to using one
It dissolves the Co2 more efficiently before it enters the tank. Diffusers often give you a bunch of little bubbles in the tank. They tend clog up over time which require pulling things apart to clean them while a reactor is generally maintenance free. You also have to run them around 25 or 30 psi while a reactor can operate at half of that. Even with 1/4" Co2 tubing you tend to go through more Co2 in a shorter period of time.
 

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Looks great. How exactly does a reactor work? What are the benefits to using one
Thank you! Its pretty simple concept really, water enters through the top from the canister filter or pump, once in it goes down and either continues through the ball valve or takes a turn and goes into the clear tube. This latter is the actual reactor. CO2 is injected into the clear tube and the force of the water breaks up the bubbles first into micro bubbles and then dissolves it in the water. The tube is clear so I can see this process happening but it will also get gunky over time just like any clear tubing. By opening or partially closing the ball valve (the bypass) I can control how much of the flow goes through the reactor to dial it in so my water flow is slow enough that not all the bubbles are immediately forced out of the reactor chamber.

I much prefer reactors to diffusers because it keeps equipment out of the tank, has no maintenance, and is more efficient with use of co2.
 
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