I don't know if anyone else has come across this or not, but changing the type of sugar you use in the Hagen Plant-Gro CO2
Natural System (and I suppose the DIY
yeast systems) can make a difference in how quickly CO2
is generated. The directions say if you use normal granulated white cane sugar you will get enough CO2
generated for a 20 gal
tank and it will run 30 days.
I have one of these CO2
systems in a planted 30 gal
tank and I could never get pearling of oxygen off my plants. I talked with the owner of my LFS
and he said Hagen told him that granulated white sugar in North America uses grains that are too small and it doesn't provide enough surface area for a good reaction. Hagen suggested using dark brown sugar instead. I tried the dark brown sugar and I noticed that the speed of generation of CO2
went up about three times what it had been before. Now I am getting pearling off of my Anachris. My other plants are taking off as well.
The only down side is that I have to refill the canister with sugar more frequently now (about once every 7 to 9 days). I decided to do some further testing using raw cane sugar because it has bigger grains. The CO2
output was roughly twice what I was getting with white granulated sugar and it lasted about 15 days before I had to refill the canister.
I've been using the dark brown sugar for generating CO2
with my 30 gal
tank for several months now and I have been completely satisfied with the results. My Amazon swords have taken off like crazy and my Telenthera is shooting to the top of the tank. The tank has a 96W CF
lamp and I fertilize it with Flourish Tabs, Flourish and Flourish Iron. I'll post some pics when I get a chance.