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View Full Version : what do u recommend diy co2 or the ones u can buy at stores????



Aquatic_beaner
11-14-2012, 04:44 PM
I have a 46 planted my plants have been growing slowly but ive seen with co2 they grow quicker but I dont knw if I should try the diy co2 or just purchase a systems any feedback will help

Demonfish
11-14-2012, 05:04 PM
More details, what plants? What light? have you tried flourish excel or other "carbon supplement"? You need to balance light, CO2 and ferts. Adding one w/o the others or with the wrong plants won't help.

Co2 systems are pretty expensive so trying DIY to see if it would help is a common step before spending the money. You might also look for used stuff on this board. People do try it out and then decide not to bother or upgrade to newer stuff.

Larry Bugg
11-14-2012, 06:26 PM
IMO, diy is not a viable option on anything larger than 29 gallons. In order for Co2 to be effective you need to have a consistent flow of Co2 and you just won't get that using diy on a tank this size. I also wouldn't suggest using Excel. It is just not cost effective in a a tank this size when you get in this size tank range I would only go with a Co2 tank and regulator.

That said my question would be why do you want to go with Co2. From what you posted you aren't experiencing any issues. All you stated was that the growth was slow. As long as you plants are looking good then I wouldn't worry about the growth rate unless you look forward to the weekly maintenance of trimming. I have to admit I enjoyed the trimming process when I kept high light Co2 tanks, lol. As Elaine pointed out it is all about balance between light, nutrients and Co2. Increase on and you have to increase them all. If you don't have a proper balance then your tank will become a algae farm.

butterflykissesdcw
11-14-2012, 09:38 PM
What are your dimensions on your tank and lights your using? If your thinking of doing co2 I would start with a DIY co2 system. One big reason is if you don't like the turnout you save yourself from buying and expensive system. Another reason is a better understanding of co2. With co2 you have to add quite a few plants to start with that way you can control your algae. Correct lighting plays a big factor to keep a good balance as well. We have used excel and have liked the product. You'd be surprised with a 50% weekly wc how much it contributes to the growth of your plants in your tank. Just tap water itself has a lot of minerals but not enough that you have to add certain supplements within time that excel provides.

Aquatic_beaner
11-14-2012, 09:50 PM
Thanks fo advice ill up load some pics on my tank I was really thinking getting co2 system but I didnt knw which was better watching a lot of youtube vids on diy co2 but ur right bugman as long as they are growing. im adding a fertilizer callrd I think leaf zone but really want my tank to look a little more natural like a forest lol

Aquatic_beaner
11-14-2012, 09:54 PM
How do I upload pics ???? Using phone?

Demonfish
11-14-2012, 10:23 PM
2 ways. add album in the gallery, then add pics to the album or upload to a photo site and link

wdw4233
11-15-2012, 08:51 AM
I have a 60 gallon tank with a 2-ltr pop bottle supplying CO2 through an air stone. About every two weeks I replace the mixture of 2 cups of sugar, water and half a pack of yeast. It may not be the preferred method but it certainly made a difference with my plants. Too bad I can't distill the mixture after two weeks because I would have a little homemade rum.

Pierre
11-16-2012, 08:18 AM
I posted a while back some pic with and without DYI CO2 in my 120gal. I was surprised how much of a difference a 2 litter bottle made even on a 120. I think you will have better results in the bubble diffusion by using a Hagen mini submersible filter. If you are interested, I have some brand new ones. I also started to use Greg Sage fert. and I've been happy with the results. Basically, without C02 my dwarf week would not grow well even by using reg. dry fert. With the Greg Sage fert, the dwarf weed is accelerating its propagation. I'd be happy to answer your questions if you have any.

Cheers,

Pierre

byork
11-16-2012, 08:33 AM
I have a DIY CO2 system on my 55 gallon. There are definite up sides of CO2 injection. I get rapid lush growth with most species that I have tried (Some of the faster growing species can sometimes get stemy). I also use 2 liter bottles (I got a huge kick out of the word "pop" :smile:) as generators (I typically have 3 sometimes I use a 1 liter depending on the output I am getting/needing). I rotate the bottles on a 2 to 3 week frequency, one at a time. I have a ISTA Max reactor which was $10 from Fosters. It works really well and is cheaper than you could build one unless you have the stuff already laying around. Which leads to the down fall of DIY since weekly trims are necessary you have to be very careful when removing plants. As the system has come to a balance the CO2 is used by the plants as it is injected. So when you have a large trim you have no way of reducing the amount of CO2 that you are injecting without completely removing a bottle or adding a valve. Which both have their downfalls. It is dangerous to the fish and hte plats to have high CO2 levels (eg. pH crashes, suffication, high kH). When removing a bottle, well first off it smells up the place, and since mine are on a rotation determining which bottle to remove can be trial and error. With a valve you risk building to much pressure and busting a bottle and making a HUGE sticky smelly mess. So getting to my point I am only using the DIY method because building the system that I want is costing me $190. I already had a spare cylinder so that reduced the price a little. Buying what I want already put together and ready to go would be about $300 (without the cylinder), which would be a deal. I am currently waiting for my last shippment from Swagelok which will complete the system!! I can't wait.

The DIY formula I use....
~1 tsp bakers yeast
~1.5 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup whey protien
2 cups sugar
couple drops dechlorinater (sp?)
This lasts formula lasts awhile about 5 weeeks on average. It works better if you can start it anerobic from the beginning.

When my parts get here from Swagelok you can have my DIY bottles if you want to give it a try. They should be here before Thanksgiving.

Brooke

kwseiders
11-16-2012, 01:05 PM
I started with a DIY system to dose cO2. Quite frankly, it was just too much work. The DIY bottles have to be changed, some don't produce as well as others, and in the winter, it is cooler in the room with the fish, and it was difficult to get a steady reaction. I believe I did DIY for about a month, and once I saw the amazing growth of all the plants, it was a no brainer to get the cO2 cylinder. To distribute the cO2, I just let the cO2 bubble into the filters hanging on the back of the tank. I don't worry when I trim all the plants that the cO2 will be too high. I don't turn off the cO2 at night when the lights are out. I just set it and forget it (remember the DIY was too much work, this is like no work at all, except when I have to refill the cO2 cylinders every 3 or 4 months). I use a 20 lb cylinder, to dose 6 different tanks. I can't use a solenoid, as I wouldn't know in which tank to put it. This method seems to be working for me. I got the cylinder, a manifold with 6 outlets and bubble counters, and use regular air hose to get from the manifold to the tanks. It cost about $200, but I dose 6 tanks at once, and the plants grow with great gusto. If I had to do it again, I would definitely do it the same way.

byork
11-16-2012, 03:25 PM
It's definitely the initial start up cost that made me go DIY but once I get the system up and going my costs will go down. Plus I am hoping Santa will bring me a controller for Christmas. I have been hinting.

kwseiders
11-16-2012, 05:04 PM
I am hoping Santa will bring me a controller for Christmas.

Have you been good all year???

byork
11-16-2012, 06:38 PM
I try to be good but....

Tropical-Fish-Forums
11-17-2012, 12:30 PM
I tried DIY CO2 with little results, im sure it was operator error :) Ive never been that great with live plants. :(

planted_one
01-14-2013, 07:41 AM
I think that once you adopt to using pressurized CO2, however that might be, you will never turn back.
You will however need to make some adjustments along the way.

MaximusPrime
07-05-2013, 03:34 PM
I spent enough time, energy and money trying to avoid buying a CO2 tank and reg to afford two of them. Do yourself a favor and pick up a cheap reg on ebay, and then go down to Airgas, by GA tech and pick up a 5 lb tank. All told, it will cost you about $100, and you'll never look back.

Amazon Lover
08-05-2013, 01:30 AM
I'm reviving this thread. It is so full of good info and discussions. My question now is what is a good, reliable regulator to buy? Do all come with solenoids? What do you exactly need the solenoid for, do you turn the system on/off with the solenoid?

Amazon Lover
08-05-2013, 01:34 AM
I should have mentioned that I'm redoing my 55gal. Display tank and are in the market for a CO2 injection system. If any one has one for sale please let me know. I don't need anything fancy but reliability is important. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Igster
08-05-2013, 06:20 AM
I have a couple of Victor CO2 regulators (5, actually) and a Harris CO2 regulator...see my post in the For Sale/Wanted section.

My tank setup doesn't have a solenoid - just the tank, regulator, needle valve, diffusor and one of those CO2 indicator bubble thingys that turns green when your levels are OK, blue if there's too little, and yellow if there's too much. I keep the CO2 flowing all the time and have no problem with it building up overnight - I have a small powerhead above the diffusor to maintain a flow across the length of the tank so that it jusn't just rise to the surface in one spot.

The solenoid is for those who want to turn off the CO2 at night (via a timer) or for those who have automated systems that have CO2 concentration detection capability, so that it cuts off the gas if the CO2 levels rise too high.

Mark V.

byork
08-05-2013, 06:52 AM
Victor for me.

Hilde
01-23-2014, 11:03 AM
I have a DIY CO2 system on my 55 gallon. I am only using the DIY method because building the system that I want is costing me $190. I already had a spare cylinder so that reduced the price a little. Buying what I want already put together and ready to go would be about $300 (without the cylinder), which would be a deal. I am currently waiting for my last shippment from Swagelok which will complete the system!! I can't wait.

The DIY formula I use....
~1 tsp bakers yeast
~1.5 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup whey protien
2 cups sugar
couple drops dechlorinater (sp?)
This lasts formula lasts awhile about 5 weeks on average. It works better if you can start it anerobic from the beginning.

I know this is an old thread but I am still interested in it. Got any pics of it? Did you figure out how much it cost per year? How do you start in anerobic? What diffuser did you use? Did it work the same day you set it up?

I remember you telling me that in the long run DIY Co2 cost more than a pressurized system. I would like to at least do DIY CO2 when I go out of town and then dose with Excel. For I always loose my plants when I go out of town

caricell
01-23-2014, 07:32 PM
I have a couple of regulators (with and without solenoids) for sale as well as diffusers. PM me if you're interested. I used to do DIY CO2, but it's a headache having to change it out every 2 weeks and trying to regulate the output.

I personally run 4 CO2 setups (3- 1L bottles and 1- 2L bottle. All have ISTA regulators. The are flawless units and work well.

Larry


I know this is an old thread but I am still interested in it. Got any pics of it? Did you figure out how much it cost per year? How do you start in anerobic? What diffuser did you use? Did it work the same day you set it up?

I remember you telling me that in the long run DIY Co2 cost more than a pressurized system. I would like to at least do DIY CO2 when I go out of town and then dose with Excel. For I always loose my plants when I go out of town

kwseiders
01-23-2014, 07:34 PM
I have had several regulators, all of which ceased working, except the Victor I got. That has been in use for about 3 years now, and I have had no problems with it at all. I don't use a solenoid, because one cO2 tank feeds 6 separate aquariums, and a solenoid wouldn't work (unless I put it on the same circuit as the lights, and just turned the cO2 off to all the aquariums when the lights are off). However, I have not had a problem with keeping the cO2 flowing 24 hours a day, and the solenoid seems like an extra unnecessary expense. In 5 of my tanks, I just put the cO2 into the intake of the HOB filter. It seems like that is working. In my 125 gallon tank, I made a diffuser, and it works really well, it is the first time the little indicator thingie has actually turned green.

Hilde
01-23-2014, 10:49 PM
I have a couple of regulators (with and without solenoids) for sale as well as diffusers. PM me if you're interested. I personally run 4 CO2 setups (3- 1L bottles and 1- 2L bottle. All have ISTA regulators. The are flawless units and work well.
Larry
Is that L for liter or pound.

Shouldn't I 1st get a canister to see if the regulator would fit?

I am wanting to run Co2 system from 20G to 10G or 29G.

caricell
01-24-2014, 07:02 AM
The ones I have are measured in Liters. They are made by ISTA and are smaller than the big 5 lb/20 lb normal CO2 tanks., The fittings on them and the regulators are standard and will fit any bottle.


Is that L for liter or pound.

Shouldn't I 1st get a canister to see if the regulator would fit?

I am wanting to run Co2 system from 20G to 10G or 29G.

byork
01-24-2014, 07:45 AM
Interesting that this thread has come back up. I made had a DIY system on my 55 (or 65). The maintenance is a problem. Changing out the mixture every week is a pain. You need a check valve between each bottle to start aerobic as possible. That way when you add the new bottle the CO2 will not escape the system and hopefully your system will maintain a pressure . Then squeeze the new bottle that you are adding to allow as little air as possible to enter the line. Then is you allow yourself enough tubing freedom (length) you can shake the new bottle which will initiate a stronger reaction immediately and the new bottle will fill with C02. Then very little air will be in the system. This helps the mixture be effective longer.

I just did a ruff estimate of the annual costs I will post the pixs in the next post. They are chicken scratch. Hope you can read them. If you are really interested in doing this I can draw you a picture of the set up but you would be better off going pressurized. Especially if you plan on using this only when you are out of town. Coming home to melted plants and dead fish is not pleasant. Pressurized can be used all the time at a very low cost. It is only the initial investment that is high. I have had a 20 # cylinder of CO2 last a year on a 150 gallon system that has A LOT of gas exchange (meaning I am losing CO2 fast).

With DIY I just used a power head and a apple sauce jar as a diffuser. The reaction with the CO2 mixture happens immediately. If you add all 4 bottles at once you will have a huge output initially. You should add one every week for 4 weeks, assuming you have a 50ish gallon tank.

byork
01-24-2014, 07:51 AM
266326642665

**disclaimer**
This is only an estimate.

Don't dare correct my spelling! I can't spell and I know it!!! Lol The calculations may be off too and you may not value your time at $25/hr. Nevertheless, you could have several pressured systems for half of this cost!

kwseiders
01-25-2014, 07:19 AM
Byork, that is a very good estimate. Just reading the list made me remember why I got the pressurized system. And I was running only one bottle! Plus, there was nowhere to put the bottle near the tank, it was always in the way of something. I originally did DIY because I was not sure if addition of cO2 would even work, and didn't want to spend $ for something that would not work. But by the end of the first bottle, I could see a difference, and by the end of making and using the 3rd bottle of DIY, I knew it would be less time consuming and more consistent to get the pressurized system. I've been using the pressurized system for 7 years, and do not regret a minute of it. Plus, my plants look happy!

Hilde
01-25-2014, 08:09 AM
With DIY I just used a power head and a apple sauce jar as a diffuser. The reaction with the CO2 mixture happens immediately. If you add all 4 bottles at once you will have a huge output initially. You should add one every week for 4 weeks, assuming you have a 50ish gallon tank.
I have a feeling once I start injecting Co2 I won't want to stop. I think I can do the DIY Co2 system cheaper for my setup is less than $100.

I thought you just put the tube from the bottle into the powerhead. Unclear as to where the jar would come into play.

Ken did your plants grow faster with the pressurized system than the DIY system?

Hilde
01-25-2014, 08:34 AM
I spent enough time, energy and money trying to avoid buying a CO2 tank and reg to afford two of them. Do yourself a favor and pick up a cheap reg on ebay, and then go down to Airgas, by GA tech and pick up a 5 lb tank. All told, it will cost you about $100, and you'll never look back.
I went through a similar situation with my lights. Thus I will tread slowly. I got glass soda water bottles and yeast. Think I will see if I can get some whey cheap from Swanson Vitamins. I will go to Airgas and see what they have too.

Hilde
01-25-2014, 08:42 AM
I have a couple of regulators (with and without solenoids) for sale as well as diffusers. PM me if you're interested. I used to do DIY CO2, but it's a headache having to change it out every 2 weeks and trying to regulate the output.

I personally run 4 CO2 setups (3- 1L bottles and 1- 2L bottle. All have ISTA regulators. The are flawless units and work well.
Larry
I am undecided which way to go now. Got most of the items for DIY system. Thus going to set it up and see how long it last. Once I find out how long it last I can figure out what it will cost me yearly. Then I'll compare cost of DIY to pressurized.

How long do the 1L and 2L bottles last? How much does it cost to refill each bottle. Seems smaller 1s would be cheaper but then may mean more refills.

Igster
01-25-2014, 08:59 AM
When i first dabbled with CO2 I got one of those NutraFin systems with the clip-on cannister, yeast and sugar packet, and ladder diffusor. I used it in a 20 tall tank in my back porch fish room in Puerto Rico, and had mostly some swords and vals. I had no way to measure what the concentration was, but it did well enough to get noticeable growth in all the plants. I had to replenish the mix about every month. Now here in Hotlanta I use a 20lb cylinder w/ regulator and ceramic diffusor in a 55 planted, with a 4-bulb T5 HO fixture on top(2 actinics and 2 6700K bulbs), on for 8-10 hrs a day. I use a KPh standard that I made up in my lab at work, with some methylene blue, in one of those CO2 indicator bulbs stuck to the side of the tank to tell me what the relative concentration is - if it's blue, there's not enough...if yellow, then too much...if green, then it's OK. The cylinder lasts me almost a full year, and i get it filled at Beverage Control for about 25$. I have a monster sword filling up one third of the tank, an anubias, java ferns, java moss, subwassertang, hygros, hornwort, water sprite, and ludwigia all going nuts in the tank.

Hilde
01-25-2014, 09:29 AM
Now here in Hotlanta I use a 20lb cylinder w/ regulator and ceramic diffusor in a 55 planted, with a 4-bulb T5 HO fixture on top(2 actinics and 2 6700K bulbs), on for 8-10 hrs a day. I use a KPh standard that I made up in my lab at work, with some methylene blue, in one of those CO2 indicator bulbs stuck to the side of the tank to tell me what the relative concentration is - if it's blue, there's not enough...if yellow, then too much...if green, then it's OK. The cylinder lasts me almost a full year, and i get it filled at Beverage Control for about 25$.
Thanks for the info. How do regulate the concentration? Where did you get your tank?

Goal is to inject Co2 into 20G and 29G.

Hilde
01-27-2014, 06:35 PM
With DIY I just used a power head and a apple sauce jar as a diffuser. The reaction with the CO2 mixture happens immediately. If you add all 4 bottles at once you will have a huge output initially. You should add one every week for 4 weeks,
I would like to see a pic of tank with the DIY Co2

byork
01-28-2014, 08:14 PM
Right now I am stuck on the gulf coast of ms. When I get home I will post pix. Co2 definitely helps! It's just a matter of $ and time.

Hilde
01-29-2014, 02:13 PM
Great! I want to try the DIY Co2 for at least a few months. For just got back from vacation and I don't paid while on vacation.

The light on the tank with medium maintenance plants didn't work while I was gone. Thus the plants could use a shot of Co2 injected. May get something going before I see your pics. Just snowed in with a cold.

nguyenhonam89
01-29-2015, 04:28 AM
I suggest you dose daily supplement instead. Glut instead of excel to save costs. I tried diy co2 for a year with 55 gallon, ray II led. I used two bottle with check valves on each connecting to the bubble counter bottle. Since one bottle suppose to last 4 weeks but decreasing gradually over time. It reaches it's peak at the 2nd week then start losing. So i chose to change one bottle every one week at maintenance. It turned out very nice at some point, i got the glossostigma carpeted. But once you start losing your routines and the system starts leaking, you risk everything you contribute to all that time. The fluctuation in co2 is very dangerous. i started with seeing BBA then gloss self uprooting and end up feeling depressed. So i would suggest you to dose daily glut and keep the light less period or raise it if you see algae. Keep it low tech like that till you can afford a co2 regulator ( two stage ones).

Best regard,


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

caricell
01-29-2015, 07:08 AM
PLEASE BE AWARE THAT YOU ARE RESPONDING POSTS THAT ARE A YEAR OLD.

Please watch for dates of posts before responding.




I suggest you dose daily supplement instead. Glut instead of excel to save costs. I tried diy co2 for a year with 55 gallon, ray II led. I used two bottle with check valves on each connecting to the bubble counter bottle. Since one bottle suppose to last 4 weeks but decreasing gradually over time. It reaches it's peak at the 2nd week then start losing. So i chose to change one bottle every one week at maintenance. It turned out very nice at some point, i got the glossostigma carpeted. But once you start losing your routines and the system starts leaking, you risk everything you contribute to all that time. The fluctuation in co2 is very dangerous. i started with seeing BBA then gloss self uprooting and end up feeling depressed. So i would suggest you to dose daily glut and keep the light less period or raise it if you see algae. Keep it low tech like that till you can afford a co2 regulator ( two stage ones).

Best regard,


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Mog Carns
01-29-2015, 12:15 PM
Tapatalk has a bad habit of raising the dead. When I looked at it on my phone, the "Currently on..." topics were like 2 weeks old.

Decided it was easier to just view as a webpage, no matter how much the phone screamed at me to use Tapatalk.