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Tank is 125 gallon
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Fluval FX6 canister


I am looking into a few systems but what stands out to me is the GLA GRO Co2 system with a 10lb tank.


This is a $345 system but what stands out to me is it includes everything I need except the pH controller and I guess also an injection method.


1. I'd like to know if its really worth spending the extra money on a very nice set up like this or would I be better off trying to part this out. Would you recommend another complete package?


2. Secondly I am concerned due to the larger tank size it is more difficult to achieve optimal Co2 levels. With this being said I am up to suggestions as far as the injection method goes. I'm pretty sure inline diffuser would be the way to go, but as to which specific product I'm unsure of. I have heard mixed reviews with most diffuser products (either issues with cracking inline/outline ports, cheap plastic parts, and or the system clogging all together).


Thanks in advance experienced enthusiast.
 

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So, I'm in the same boat after much reading here I have ordered and received most for my 135. Basically I chose CO2 art reg w SMC needle and Swiss solenoid upgrades, 10 lb tank local weld shop, Sera Flore 1000 which will be in tank powered by Cobalt 1200 powerhead, fluval 88 bubble counter, and Milwaukee pH controller. Like I said, not installed yet but should be pretty solid. Cerges reactor back up plan if not enough but Sere 1000 rated at 600 liters up. Also easy to upgrade reactor flow if needed but the 1200 is already 100 gph over min and at reactor level so no head drop off

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I think reactor, in tank, solves all your concern, no leak possible. It's actually quite small, as is the pump

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1. GLA has good-quality products, period. There's not another retailer that I can say that about. And because of shipping and retail costs, you wouldn't save much if you purchased the same components individually. You could save a significant amount if you utilized Evilbay and possibly made some equal-quality substitutions, but you'd have to be confident in your ability to put something like that together, and/or be okay with screwing up once or several times and having to fix it. There also wouldn't be much of a warranty or customer support. Up to you. I've done it enough times that I could spend half as much for a higher-quality system, but that learning experience cost me a lot of money and a lot of time. Like, seriously, I get embarrassed when I even consider counting how much money I've put into this hobby, primarily involving CO2.

2. I'd suggest either a sump or one large - or, even better, two - reactor(s). A diffuser, inline or not, just isn't going to cut it.

One other thing - if you're new to CO2, high light will give you problems, and you'll spend the next several months trying to fix them. Medium light is a whole lot safer, and you can always increase it later. There's just not much margin of error when you go high. But, again, up to you. You'll learn a whole lot either way.

Lastly, I'd suggest a 20lb cylinder for that size tank. You can buy a standard steel industrial cylinder which will be easy to switch out whenever you need a refill. Or you can buy an aluminum cylinder, which looks a lot prettier, but is more difficult to refill because you can't just swap it out. Many CO2 shops don't do refills - only swaps - and costs vary wildly. So do your homework regarding local CO2 shops before deciding.
 

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If you need a big CO2 reactor, THIS will do it. I've had one and they are great. I didn't hang it on the tank like the one in the pic though. That's pretty ugly. I'm sure other places sell them too. This was the first link I came to.
 

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The only thing I would say right now, since I have no experience with pressurized CO2 but have been researching it, is that GLA has an excellent reputation for good equipment. They're currently my leading choice.
 

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2. Secondly I am concerned due to the larger tank size it is more difficult to achieve optimal Co2 levels. With this being said I am up to suggestions as far as the injection method goes. I'm pretty sure inline diffuser would be the way to go, but as to which specific product I'm unsure of. I have heard mixed reviews with most diffuser products (either issues with cracking inline/outline ports, cheap plastic parts, and or the system clogging all together).
Thanks in advance experienced enthusiast.
You could go any of those ways with a 125G. In reality all you really need is a $15-$25 ceramic diffuser in the tank. Inlines are good, but if it's inline there' always a risk of a small problem becoming a larger problem.
 

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Dwarf Fish Lover
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Whhhhhat? A single FX6 for that whole 125gallons of water?

I say get a second filter and hook up a whatever inline reactor on each of the filters. That GLA Gro is good, other than what you have mentioned, also tell them to build a splitter with the system so you can use one co2 system to feed both of the reactors I was talking about.
 

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The filter is factory rated at only 563gph. After counting for media clot, inline reactor, tall and dense stem plants, dead spot crated by hardscape...
You just proved my point. If the tank will have dense stem plants there is no reason to have a crazy flow amount. Most of the filtration is in the tank. This is not a fish only tank with large waste producers. All you need is some flow with good growing plants.

The Eheim Classic 600 runs at only 264 gph (less than half the Fluval fx6) and they rate it up to 160 gallons.

And Eheim markets to planted tanks.
 

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Dwarf Fish Lover
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You just proved my point. If the tank will have dense stem plants there is no reason to have a crazy flow amount. Most of the filtration is in the tank. This is not a fish only tank with large waste producers. All you need is some flow with good growing plants.



The Eheim Classic 600 runs at only 264 gph (less than half the Fluval fx6) and they rate it up to 160 gallons.



And Eheim markets to planted tanks.


And how many people do you see putting a single Eheim 2217 on a tank bigger than a 65G with no other supporting water movement?
 

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And how many people do you see putting a single Eheim 2217 on a tank bigger than a 65G with no other supporting water movement?
I'll do you one better, here is my 72G with a single Eheim 2215 no other water movement and a just a simple ceramic disc for co2. I only make comments based on 1st hand knowledge. I have others as well.

 

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I vote for GLA too. I'm using three cheap @#&%! brand Chinese made (not that China is bad) regulators one of which failed me. The one that failed emptied a 5 lb tank of CO2 in a month. I'm just going to throw it away. GLA is the way to go if you can afford new equipment. Look into their brass splitters so you can locate several diffusers in your tank or DIY a Grigg's CO2 reactor.
 

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I'll do you one better, here is my 72G with a single Eheim 2215 no other water movement and a just a simple ceramic disc for co2. I only make comments based on 1st hand knowledge. I have others as well.

If it is not much trouble for you. I would love to see few more other examples with more co2 and nutrient demanding plants.

My thought is, although I agree with you that in planted tanks, we do not need to fully rely on filters to grow beneficial bacteria, but we do need the water movement to blow co2 and nutrients around the whole tank. Your tank in the picture does look good. But I am interested to see if your theory would still work if you swap those Bobitis, Fern, and moss out for something more demanding. If you have created a dutch scape with this setup, I would also really interested to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you for all of the responses.

Unfortunately I limited to a 10lb tank due to the height underneath the stand. Do you know if you can find a 20lb short tank? I've looked around some online with no success.

I would like to avoid the sump as an option. However what has me intrigued is the Cerges Reactor built with a water filter housing. I could have one up to twenty inches tall. I've found some with 1" fittings which would be perfect for the fluval FX6 hosing.

I feel this would basically be like a mega inline diffuser. If anyone has tried this set up with a FX6 I'd love to know.

As of now I will definitely be going with the GLA system as being in the states I'm concerned with the Co2 Art and having issues finding fittings for the metric based system.

I plan on sticking to the one filter, and if I find I have circulation issues wouldn't it be a more economical to add a power head to maintain proper water movement($50 vs. at least $200)? I've had another FX6 on a 120g in the past and was able to maintain pristine water conditions with little effort.
 

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If it is not much trouble for you. I would love to see few more other examples with more co2 and nutrient demanding plants.

My thought is, although I agree with you that in planted tanks, we do not need to fully rely on filters to grow beneficial bacteria, but we do need the water movement to blow co2 and nutrients around the whole tank. Your tank in the picture does look good. But I am interested to see if your theory would still work if you swap those Bobitis, Fern, and moss out for something more demanding. If you have created a dutch scape with this setup, I would also really interested to see.
Had a feeling you were going to ask that :wink2: after being in the hobby for a while I moved away from traditional stems because of the maintenance. Just so you know the tank pictured above has a full background of blyxa Japonica.

Anyway here's an older setup in the same tank. Not a great scape, but it will prove the point I think.

 

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If you are worried about the amount of CO2 not being enough then use 3-5 diffusers by splitting the CO2 line. As long as you have 40-45 PSI then you should be able to push CO2 to each of those lines.

I have a single 20lb tank split into 5 ways. I have 3 diffusers in a 29 gallon tall and 2 in a 20 gallon long. Never had any issue with CO2.

If you want to go with the reactor route then you might need to inject 3-4 hours before the lights turn on. At the end of the day it is about finding the limit that your fish can tolerate then usually dialing it down a bit from that amount.
 

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Whhhhhat? A single FX6 for that whole 125gallons of water?

I say get a second filter and hook up a whatever inline reactor on each of the filters. That GLA Gro is good, other than what you have mentioned, also tell them to build a splitter with the system so you can use one co2 system to feed both of the reactors I was talking about.
This is when you buy a powerhead for like $30 instead of another FX6 for $300. Sure another FX6 would be a plus but it is not worth buying another enormous canister just for more flow. FX6 are huge and contain enough media IMO to support a decently stocked 125.

I say just get the cheapest GLA and build your own PVC Rex Griggs style reactor. GLA will prettymuch guaranteed 'just work' which is really all you need and the DIY reactor is cheap and effective if you build it right. Can't go wrong with that combo... I use an old school GLA from many years ago that I got secondhand and it is rock solid. Made my own reactor out of 2" PVC and it has served me very well.
 
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