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I've had a 75 gallon tank with mineralized river-run capped with sand substrate, two Kessil a160we LEDs, but i'm having trouble reaching high enough levels of co2, even to prevent higher lighting levels of algae. I use a 20lb canister with a simple timed solenoid regulator and I've been using a single large ISTA turbo reactor inline with the outflow of a canister filter. I've tinkered with the filter gph to see if it was an efficiency issue w the reactor but for some reason it never seems to be enough. Would it help to set up a separate system with an external pump or are there other reactors I can replace the ISTA with. I do small doses of liquid fertilizer once or twice a week but other than that I leave it up to the fish waste. Any advice is appreciated

Lucas
 

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The problem can be easily solved by starting injection of C02 2-4 hours before the lights turn on. Even if the issue lies with the reactor, the amount of C02 being injected should be high enough to allow it to accumulate in the water column by starting injection way earlier before the lights turn on. If you are correct that the C02 is not enough then you should have no issues with the fish. I would start to 2 hours then increase the start time of the injection by 20-30 mins prior to lights turning on until you hit 3 or 4 hours. Best done when you can watch the fish for signs of too much C02.

And no this is not wasteful because (1) you are ensuring that C02 concentrations are higher before the lights turn on and (2) 20 lb refill/exchange is cheap. The amount of money required to fill a C02 tank is nothing compared to the number of hours wasted time fighting algae and growing plants.
 

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I use a sera flore 500 on my 75, which is very similar to the Ista.

The 500 is a bit undersized but it does the job. I just crank the CO2, do get a bit of mist coming out but I dont worry about it.

CO2 kicks on/off 1 hour before the lights. By lights on PH has dropped ~1.1, couple more hours it's down ~1.4

If your tank is anything like mine, sounds like you just need to increase the CO2. Do it slowly and watch the livestock, and like Portalmaster said, may be a good idea to start it sooner.
 

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I played with different reactors on my first 75 and finally went DIY. But DIY is built into my brain?
If you are DIY organized, I might suggest switching to a Grigg's style reactor to get the higher levels without bubbles or waste.
 

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Have myself tried several different methods of injecting CO2 in both a 110G and a 30G
Tried the following
In-tank atomizer (several brands, cheap and expensive as F***)
Inline atomizer (two different, think one was a greenleaf one)
JBL in-tank spiral thingy
Sera 500 Reaktor
Sera 1000 Reaktor
AquaMedic 1000 reactor

Both atomizer units just clouds the tank with small bubbles so from an aesthetic standpoint I consider them all totally useless.The CO2 desolve rate was mediocre at best for the 110G.

JBLs spiral thingy works but is ugly and wastes a lot of CO2, reasonable dissolve rate in my 110G.

Sera 500 and 1000 reactors cut the flow from my Eheim 1200 by 1/3, the SERA 500 did not manage to keep the CO2 in the bottle but just ejected it all. Same for the 1000 one but not to the same degree. The 500 works decently in my 30G but dissolve rate still is pretty poor and ejects bubbles even though the canister filter effect is rather low on that one. The Sera ones was pretty noisy in my opinion as well. The fans was poorly molded and vibrated when spinning around the shaft (on both units).

Only had some kind of success with the Aquamedic reactor. Still ejects some bubbles in my 110G but not that bad. Cuts flow somewhat as well but not as bad as the Sera ones for some reason?
TBH its a friggin pain finding a good CO2 setup :p
This unit looks like most the DIY builds and it's function is really simple.
 

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Believe it should be mentioned that the amount of CO2 needed for a particular tank ,can be directly tied to amount of light energy being directed at the plant's.
Many are those who reduce the light energy, and thereby reduce the demand for CO2 making thing's a bit easier from both plant and hobbyist perspective and often times ,,fishes perspective.
Is hard thing sometimes to move folk's off their high $$ uber lighting, but is one of the easier aspect's to control.
I can induce algae right along with slightly accelerated plant growth in my NON CO2 tank's simply by increasing the light energy.
Can eliminate the algae and growth of plant's slow's a bit by decreasing the light energy.
 
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