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Old 10-24-2007, 01:44 AM   #1
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DIY Options for CO2 - Equipment?

Are there any posts or websites explaining the direct step by step method to create a simple co2 system? I've setup a 20L with 3wpg and been using SeaChem Flourish, and SeaChem Excel but I was curious on giving co2 a shot. If it turns out well, I'd like to dump some money into a co2 pressurized system for my 55gal. BUT I'd like to see how well everything turns out. I have other plans for my 55gal at the moment.

Right now I've just got two simple 10gal Whisper Powerfilters for filtration. I was thinking of picking up a powerhead or something as I have searched on this board for DIY CO2, and have just kept seeing them mentioned. This and probably 20-50$ worth of supplies is really all I want to dump at the moment. And I really have no idea what supplies are needed, besides a couple of 2 litre pop bottles..

Any input?
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:11 AM   #2
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Here is a comprehensive article that explains all the steps of a DIY system, such as how to construct your bottles and reactors, and different types of yeast available.

http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html
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Old 10-24-2007, 12:13 PM   #3
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An t-iasg has given you a link to the site that most of us used when setting up our first DIY CO2 setup. Do keep in mind that the article is a few years old and therefore the recommended target for CO2 levels is lower than what most of us recommend. To achieve 30ppm of CO2 in a 55 gallon aquarium you'd be looking at about six 2-Liter bottles or three 1-Gallon bottles. Getting good relatively steady levels of CO2 in a 55 gallon with DIY CO2 while possible is usually an absolute pain. With that size tank I'd say that you're better off sticking with your current setup or making the leap to pressurized.

If you do decide to give DIY a try, then you could always use your filter to diffuse the CO2. Just feed the CO2 line into the filter intake and let the impeller chop up the bubbles. This does tend to be noisier and will shorten the life of some of your filter parts, but is a very inexpensive and fairly efficient means of diffusion.
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Old 10-24-2007, 02:24 PM   #4
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Actually I am planning on trying the DIY option on my 20L. And if it turns out decent, I will dump some cash for a pressurized for the 55gal.
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:58 PM   #5
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In that case, two 2-Liter bottles should be about perfect for the 20 gallon. It's also a much more manageable size for DIY CO2.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:44 PM   #6
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Any test kits I need to pick up? And what levels to keep an eye on for co2? I've got a phosphate kit thats it. Besides my general API Freshwater kit.
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Old 10-24-2007, 11:41 PM   #7
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For CO2 you just need KH and pH, and then you can use a chart to figure out the actual CO2 level. You'll want to aim for about 30ppm.
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Old 10-26-2007, 06:24 PM   #8
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Well I setup two bottles this afternoon using a recipe I found in a archived thread. I have two 10gal power filters hanging on opposite sides on the tank, and put each bottle with tubing in a filter as close to the impeller as possible. I can hear it chopping the bubble up.. so I hope its working correctly?

I guess I wait a day or week and then test for KH and pH and see what I got? How long does it generally take to get a reading?
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Old 10-27-2007, 12:28 AM   #9
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You should be able to get a feel for the levels after a few hours, though it will probably be a few days before production peaks.
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