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IS DIY CO2 enough for 55 gal?

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by stacir, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. stacir

    stacir Junior Poster

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    Hi All,

    I am relatively new the the planted tank scene. I have a 55 gallon planted tank with fish. I am currently running a hot magnum pro with a biowheel and and an Empire/w biowheel filter. My substrate is laterite with gravel, and I do some supplementing with ferilizer tabs.

    I have just added a DIY CO2 unit (Plant Gro system with buble counter) and am now using the EI dosing method. I am running 130 watts of light 6 inches above the tank.

    The DIY CO2 unit is rated up to 20 gallons. I've read on this site than any CO2 is good for increased growth, however is this going to be enough CO2 for my 55 gal or am I just wasting my time? Should I add another DIY unit or will a pressurized CO2 system be a better way to go? Also, will the Empire Bio weel filter cause too much water disturbance for the CO2? It does bubble a little on the surface.

    I currently have a little bit of algae build up, it goes away when I do weekly water changes, but then seems to come back again. I'd love to have a sparkling clean tank with no algae.

    I would like to see some moderate plant growth and don't mind a moderate amount of maintenance.
     
  2. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    IMO, I would forgo the DIY CO2 and go pressurized. Much more stable and lasts longer. I believe there are a few here who use a bio-wheel, it will just take a little more gas to get the desired levels. Some surface disturbance is good for O2 exchange.

    Continue using EI, weekly WC's and concentrate on CO2 levels. Observe plant growth as you go.
     
  3. stacir

    stacir Junior Poster

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    thanks for the reply. In your opinon, what's the most cost effective, simple to set up pressurized system? I would prefer as system that I can purchase, with everything inlcluded ready to be set up.
     
  4. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    Will need someone else to chime in on a retail system that might work for you.

    Might check Rex Grigg's Fertilizers For The Planted Tank | Ferts
    or
    Orlando's http://www.barrreport.com/trades-swaps-sales/3787-co2-equipment-fs-regulators-reactors.html
    for some prebuilt systems.

    My CO2 systems are DIY, 20lbs tanks from welding supply, Victor Medalist regulators, Electric solenoids and needle valves from Aquacave and DIY external reactors/needle wheel power heads.
    Cost per system around $280-$300
    Tank refill is around $17.00(only cost after initial setup):cool:
     
  5. dekstr

    dekstr Junior Poster

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    Hello,

    I have a 55g as well. I have been trying to run DIY CO2 for a few months in the past and IME it is not a good idea. I have around 166 watts of light.


    The CO2 production from the yeast bottles is not very consistent and not enough for good distribution in the tank. If you add more bottles, then it simply becomes impractical as you have to constantly refill bottles every few weeks.

    The result will be fluctuating CO2 levels which really brings out the BBA, not very fun! I had to spend 2 days (5 hours each day) pruning out all the affected parts. Afterwards I stopped adding DIY CO2 and went w/ excel standard dose.

    Just this week I finally went pressurized, so I am eager to see what will happen.

    I would say DIY CO2 is not very cost effective for large tanks and in the long run. A pressurized system will save you more $$$ as well as a lot less work / head-ache. So it is one of the best investments you will make on a planted tank if you decide to have moderate light/moderate.
     
  6. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    I have a 32g with diy and 2wpg and I certainly would not want to go any bigger or higher light and still rely on diy. It works ok for me with this setup but I can see it causing problems with a much bigger tank, unless you are committed to daily maintenance.
     
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