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Old 05-03-2011, 01:52 AM   #1
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DIY CO2 system questions...

Hi,

after seeing many youtube videos on people making their own CO2 reactors, I decided I wanted to make one for my own tank. I have a 55g with low light plants. I had an empty crystal geyser gallon bottle that I put 2 cups of sugar, 1 teaspoon yeast and 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda. I attached a small airstone to the tubing and its bubbling away nicely.

I was told that this one bottle of 'brew' would not be enough for my size tank. I just wanted to make my own till I could afford to buy a real system.

How many bottles should I have for my tank? I just wanted to give my plants a little extra help.

I would love all input and responses
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:03 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by angelgirl66
Hi,

after seeing many youtube videos on people making their own CO2 reactors, I decided I wanted to make one for my own tank. I have a 55g with low light plants. I had an empty crystal geyser gallon bottle that I put 2 cups of sugar, 1 teaspoon yeast and 1 teaspoon bicarb of soda. I attached a small airstone to the tubing and its bubbling away nicely.

I was told that this one bottle of 'brew' would not be enough for my size tank. I just wanted to make my own till I could afford to buy a real system.

How many bottles should I have for my tank? I just wanted to give my plants a little extra help.

I would love all input and responses
What kind of lighting do you have on the 55g? co2 is really only needed for med-high/high light plants. Try liquid ferts if your plants need a little extra.
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Old 05-03-2011, 04:49 PM   #3
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I have an AquaticLife dual lamp T5 HO fixture. One 6000K bulb and one roseate bulb.
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Old 05-04-2011, 10:44 PM   #4
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I always have two in my tank that way the co2 stays constant. I have never seen the advantage of fertilizer it never really made much odds for me. Since I changed my lighting (t8 24" ) my plants seem to be going made. I am not saying fertilizer won't work I think it's needed in low ph water. Also I was told that the carbon in filters takes a lot of the fertilizer out the water anyway.
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:29 AM   #5
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Yes I think I might run 2 bottles into my tank. Since I started with this one bottle a few days ago, my Ludwigia Repens has grown about an inch or so. Its nearly to the top of the tank now lol. The jungle val has come back and its slowly growing also.

I dose twice a week with flourish excel, but is there another fertiliser I should try, or just root tabs would be a good idea?
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:23 AM   #6
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To be honest I think your getting the most out of your plants. An inch in a week is good steady progress. Save your money and stick with co2 and light it's what happens in the wild and safer then shoving chemicals in your tank. Try not to allow many oxygen bubles in the tank but keep the water surface agitated to allow oxygen exchange. Bubbles will make the co2 useless. If you have carbon in your filter it is probaly filtering your liquid fertiliser out anyway so don't bother with that. Save your money and get more plants. Keep an eye on the fish make sure they are not sitting at the top gasping for air. More so in the morning as plants give off co2 at night.
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Old 05-05-2011, 05:45 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by angelgirl66 View Post
Yes I think I might run 2 bottles into my tank. Since I started with this one bottle a few days ago, my Ludwigia Repens has grown about an inch or so. Its nearly to the top of the tank now lol. The jungle val has come back and its slowly growing also.

I dose twice a week with flourish excel, but is there another fertiliser I should try, or just root tabs would be a good idea?
excel is a carbon supplement. As far as ferts go, if you want to keep things simple just get flourish comprehensive. It doesn't have a whole lot of macros in it but it still has some, and is a good starting point.

I've run diy co2, up to 4 bottles at once, and it just wasn't consistent enough for me, ended up having lots of brush algae issues, so I just quit using it. I may try again with lower lighting to see if the algae issue is less magnified, we'll see.

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To be honest I think your getting the most out of your plants. An inch in a week is good steady progress.
I do agree it sounds like good progress, I don't think its the most you could get out of them, though.

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Save your money and stick with co2 and light it's what happens in the wild and safer then shoving chemicals in your tank.
I wouldn't call adding ferts 'shoving chemicals' in the tank. Don't forget that in nature the soil and water is nutrient rich in the areas that these plants thrive in. In an aquarium setting, these nutrients are quickly depleted, and must be compensated for to avoid lack of nutrients being the limiting factor in plant growth.
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Old 05-05-2011, 06:48 AM   #8
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To be honest I think your getting the most out of your plants. An inch in a week is good steady progress. Save your money and stick with co2 and light it's what happens in the wild and safer then shoving chemicals in your tank. Try not to allow many oxygen bubles in the tank but keep the water surface agitated to allow oxygen exchange. Bubbles will make the co2 useless. If you have carbon in your filter it is probaly filtering your liquid fertiliser out anyway so don't bother with that. Save your money and get more plants. Keep an eye on the fish make sure they are not sitting at the top gasping for air. More so in the morning as plants give off co2 at night.
I think you might have confused minerals as chemicals and co2 is actually classified as a chemical. Irregardless, using co2 without the necessary minerals is counterproductive according to some well versed planted tank enthusiast here at AA.

Carbon Dioxide - PubChem Public Chemical Database
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:05 PM   #9
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I bought the Flourish Excel because I knew I wasnt going to have CO2. I will buy the Flourish Comprehensive soon. I can't believe how fast the repens is growing! It's now to the water level lol. I just ordered some plants from Bobs Tropical Plants, so I am so excited to get them in my tank!!
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Old 05-06-2011, 11:08 PM   #10
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DIY CO2 on a 55gal tank would be difficult. It would require several mixture bottles, and a lot of changes to keep the co2 levels elevated to a safe level, and keep it consistent. If CO2 levels are only slightly elevated, and fluctuate a lot, it can cause worse problems than any benefit you might see.
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