Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 02-16-2007, 08:10 AM   #21
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
SparKy697's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Northwest Indiana
Posts: 1,495
I have two coralife fixtures sitting right on to p of my glass canopy. They generater a fair amount of heat and actually keep the glass from collecting any condensation. On the down side, I have to remove one of them to open the lid. That is the only drawback I can offer to letting the fixture sit right on the glass.

Other than heat buildup, you should be ok.
__________________

__________________
-Joe
"...but the guy at the LFS said I needed it!"
SparKy697 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2007, 01:54 PM   #22
Sliced Bread
 
neilanh's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 8,482
So it should be safe. I was just worried about the heat being right up against the glass, but it sounds like I'll be okay. Thanks Sparky!

Alright, back to the whole CO2 thing. I've been searching and reading what I can find on putting together a DIY CO2 system, and it all seems pretty simple to do - except for the reactor/diffuser.

What are people here using for their diffuser on the DIY CO2 systems you're running?

I've found the following two things available online to simplify it for me. Personally, I'm leaning towards the bell, as it's smaller and more aesthetically pleasing IMO.
Bubble Counter/ladder
Glass Bell Diffuser

Would either of those work? Or do you recommend something else?

In my searching I keep coming accross this system
CO2 Natural System or others like it
I asked about it before, and was basically told it was a "pretty" DIY setup was all it was. Is that really the case? because for $16, it sure does put it all together and take most of the guess work out of it.
__________________

__________________
~Neilan
In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
neilanh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2007, 02:08 PM   #23
Aquarium Advice FINatic


 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Rockwall, Texas
Posts: 598
For DIY, you can use either a ladder or a bell inside your tank. They both work. The bell, in my opinion, looks the best. You could also build an external, in-line reactor for your canister filter. You COULD have the impeller on your canister filter chop up the bubble as well, but I don't really advise this.

My opinion would be to build an in-line reactor. I think I built mine for less than $20 and got everything at Lowes (they even cut the PVC pipe). If it sounds like something you want to look at, here's a link: http://rexgrigg.com/diy-reactor.htm

The CO2 Natural System is just a pretty DIY setup. You were told right. It just gives you a premixed packet of "stuff" and pretty hardware, if I remember right. I haven't tried it, but looked at it once. If you end up choosing to use a ladder diffuser, I would buy this system, use the packets it comes with, and then mix up your own recipe from there on out. It's not entirely a waste of money in this regard. If you're just going to switch to a different diffuser and whatnot, then don't bother.

Hope that helps!
__________________
75 Gallon High-Tech Planted Community
3.5 WPG using T8's
Fluorite w/sand mix
Rena Filstar XP2
Pressurized CO2 w/SMS122

29 Gallon Goldfish
4" Red/White Ryunkin
4" Orange Fantail
Penguin 100
AquaClear 20
FMJnaX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2007, 02:13 PM   #24
Sliced Bread
 
neilanh's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 8,482
Thanks again FMJ.

For the Inline reactor you recommended, I'm running a HOB AC50 on this tank, so I believe those only work with canister filters. That would be my preference, no stuff cluttering the tank, but since I'm running a HOB I guess it's out. I've been told that i can simply insert the CO2 line into the intake of the AC50, but that doesn't sound like the best method to me.

What I'm leaning towards right now is the 2liter soda bottle method with a bell. Purrbox had a "cap set" left from her DIY days that I picked up that is setup to run on 2 bottles, so all I need at this point is some extra tubing, which is easily acquired. I was just curious about that system a little more since it's so cheap.

I assume for the bell, or even the ladder, that the lower in the tank the better, right? more time to dissolve?
__________________
~Neilan
In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
neilanh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2007, 02:33 PM   #25
Aquarium Advice FINatic


 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Rockwall, Texas
Posts: 598
Oops, sorry about the reactor. I thought I read XP3 somewhere and assumed. I apologize.

Anyway, for the longest time, I ran CO2 into my AC20 on my 29 gal. It made it pretty loud in the room, but never had any mechanical problems. CO2 didn't dissolve as well as it would in a bell or ladder, but it worked.

Typically, lower is better for diffusing, but I don't really think there's any sort of standard. I've seen them placed in all sorts of places. I think hiding them from view is usually more of a priority than depth.

It sounds like you've got the CO2 thing figured out nicely. Just remember your check valve(s), only use as much tubing as needed (extra tubing reduces pressure/flow/something), and keep it fresh so that you don't have CO2/pH fluctuations.
__________________
75 Gallon High-Tech Planted Community
3.5 WPG using T8's
Fluorite w/sand mix
Rena Filstar XP2
Pressurized CO2 w/SMS122

29 Gallon Goldfish
4" Red/White Ryunkin
4" Orange Fantail
Penguin 100
AquaClear 20
FMJnaX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2007, 02:48 PM   #26
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
newfound77951's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: St Petersburg FL
Posts: 2,114
Sounds like you're on your way, and planning things out very nicely. I wanted to add a few thoughts.

You can put the fixtures right on the glass, but leave a little space between the shield on the fixture and the glass. The T5 setup I just got for my SW tank came with legs and also with those little plastic sticky nubs that you can put on the bottom of coasters, etc so that they don't scratch. That leaves a little bit of a gap for air flow.

As far as watts/gallon, don't forget that smaller tanks need more light than bigger tanks. A 20 high, at your original setup of 33 watts would probably have been just barely low light. I'm about to set up a 10g with 30 watts and grow crypts and java fern, and other low light plants. I'm still going to put CO2 on the tank as it helps so much in keeping the algae controlled so I'm glad to see you're going this route also.

Silent cycles are awesome....with seeded media and heavy planting you won't see any spikes at all, I'm guessing.

As for trimming, if you don't want "high maintenance" plants, try some non-stem plants like crypts, java fern, anubias, mosses, Sagittaria or dwarf sword plants. They grow more slowly and since they don't have tall stems they aren't constantly in need of a haircut as stem plants like Ludwigia and Rotala are. I've been slowly adding more and more plants like this to my 55 as the stem-plant maintenance was driving me nuts, too.

Good luck and post pics!
__________________
newfound77951 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2007, 03:59 PM   #27
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
SparKy697's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Northwest Indiana
Posts: 1,495
If I remember right, Lonewolfblue uses one of the limewood air stones under a small power head in the tank to diffuse the co2. The airstone breaks it up pretty good and the power head really tears the bubbles apart and sends them all over the tank. The basic idea is to get the co2 in contact with the water as long as you can.
__________________
-Joe
"...but the guy at the LFS said I needed it!"
SparKy697 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2007, 04:44 PM   #28
Sliced Bread
 
neilanh's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 8,482
Newfound, thats a good idea about the little rubber feet - Thank you!

Sparky, I was/am looking at the powerhead option, especially because the more I think about it the less I'm convinced I'll have enough current through the tank with only the HOB, so that's a good idea too. I did, however, find a bell on ebay for $10 shipped, so I went ahead and ordered it, but I could always put the PH right above that too if I end up needing to go that route.

As I recall it, lack of flow can cause algae outbreak, right?
__________________
~Neilan
In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
neilanh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2007, 04:51 PM   #29
Aquarium Advice FINatic


 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Rockwall, Texas
Posts: 598
Correct: Stagnant water can attract algae.

Up until recently, the most commonly used form of diffusion has been to let the gas slowly diffuse into the water (IE the bell or ladder method). There are now speculations that finely chopped gas bubbles blown all over the aquarium (IE letting a HOB or powerhead chop and blow them) is better. I think the premise behind the theory is that it lets the CO2 get to all areas of the tank, particularly to the plants themselves, instead of being concentrated into one spot. You may be able to do a search on that though. Tom Barr comes to mind.

Like I said, I used to chop bubbles and my plants always seemed fine. Now that I diffuse completely in a reactor, my CO2 levels are higher, but not much (32ppm compared to 27ppm when chopping). To each his own I guess.
__________________
75 Gallon High-Tech Planted Community
3.5 WPG using T8's
Fluorite w/sand mix
Rena Filstar XP2
Pressurized CO2 w/SMS122

29 Gallon Goldfish
4" Red/White Ryunkin
4" Orange Fantail
Penguin 100
AquaClear 20
FMJnaX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2007, 06:21 PM   #30
Sliced Bread
 
neilanh's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 8,482
Alright then, I guess I'll start looking into small PH.

Any ideas on what size?
__________________
~Neilan
In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
neilanh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2007, 06:24 PM   #31
Aquarium Advice FINatic


 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Rockwall, Texas
Posts: 598
Any powerhead will work. Been a loooonnnnggggg time since I've even looked at them, so I'm not sure of the sizes. You just need something to chop and blow bubble around your tank. I'd say 200GPH is more than enough, but you will want to search around to be sure.
__________________
75 Gallon High-Tech Planted Community
3.5 WPG using T8's
Fluorite w/sand mix
Rena Filstar XP2
Pressurized CO2 w/SMS122

29 Gallon Goldfish
4" Red/White Ryunkin
4" Orange Fantail
Penguin 100
AquaClear 20
FMJnaX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2007, 06:25 PM   #32
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
newfound77951's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: St Petersburg FL
Posts: 2,114
I have the Red Sea Turbo CO2 kit, it comes with a 1L bottle, tubing and a small powerhead with a venturi adaptor that the CO2 line feeds into. Works great for me. The powerhead is pretty small, I think it's 100 gph or so and it does just fine on my 55, although I have added another bottle of yeast.
__________________
newfound77951 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2007, 06:31 PM   #33
Sliced Bread
 
neilanh's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 8,482
I definately don't think I want 200gph of flow in this small tank. I was thinking in the 50-80 range.. lol
__________________
~Neilan
In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
neilanh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2007, 10:06 PM   #34
Aquarium Advice Apprentice
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 11
I recently set up a 29G planted tank with DIY CO2, and went through a lot of these same questions. After unsuccessfully trying a bell, and not wanting to go through the effort of building a DIY reactor, I settled on the powerhead diffusion method from this thread.

(I'm also rather new to the boards, so I'm not sure that linking stuff worked. Here's the URL: http://www.aquariumadvice.com/viewto...+hob+injection.)

I'm am really happy with this method. I've found it to be really effective, and setup is super easy.

First, get your powerhead. I'm using an Aquaclear 20, and the packaging says it pushes 127 GPH. On the powerhead intake, use a sharp knife to cut off one of the bars. (I used a Swiss Army Knife, but any sharp knife would probably do. Exacto, utility knife, whatever.) Position your powerhead in your tank. Run the airline tubing from your CO2 bottle directly into the newly-enlarged hole in your powerhead intake. Just stick the tubing in there; it should fit pretty tight. Finally, turn on your powerhead, and point the flow-director down, so the bubbles shoot toward the bottom of the tank.

That's it!

I'm running a pair of DIY CO2 bottles (juice bottles, 1.7ish liters) on a 29G. Both use the same powerhead. The pH/KH charts tell me that I'm getting around 28 PPM C02. My plants are growing great, and I have no algae to speak of. The best part: the whole setup took less than a half hour, and cost around $30.

I'd recommend this method to anybody. There are two minor problems with this method... and they are so minor that I almost don't want to mention them. First, the powerhead will push around any stem plants growing in its flow, and they won't grow straight upward. Second, the powerhead does release bubbles into the water. If those bubbles are going to bug you, you might want to look into another method.

Good luck, and if you have any questions about my setup, let me know.
__________________
DrizzleWizzle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2007, 12:00 AM   #35
Sliced Bread
 
neilanh's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 8,482
Thanks Drizzle! Like I said, I did order that bell, but the more I hear and read about this PH thing the more I'm leaning towards it now. LOL - if I keep changing my mind I'm gonna spend enough on this DIY that I could've gone pressurized!
__________________
~Neilan
In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
neilanh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2007, 10:02 AM   #36
Aquarium Advice FINatic


 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Rockwall, Texas
Posts: 598
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilanh
LOL - if I keep changing my mind I'm gonna spend enough on this DIY that I could've gone pressurized!
You got it right there! I found that I had easily spent more on the DIY solution over the course of the year and a few months of using DIY than I did if I just bought an entry level pressurized setup.
__________________
75 Gallon High-Tech Planted Community
3.5 WPG using T8's
Fluorite w/sand mix
Rena Filstar XP2
Pressurized CO2 w/SMS122

29 Gallon Goldfish
4" Red/White Ryunkin
4" Orange Fantail
Penguin 100
AquaClear 20
FMJnaX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2007, 02:09 PM   #37
Sliced Bread
 
neilanh's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 8,482
Alright, I'm hoping my lights come in today or early next week. I got the eco-complete ordered and a new glass top. I think that encompasses all of the hardware I need, except I'm still debating on the powerhead.

To sum up my equipment, here's what I got already or enroute:
20gallon high tank
AC50 HOB (although I have feelers on a used XP1 I'm hoping for)
Stealth 100W heater
Versa-top twin tube glass top
Satellite 1x65W PC fixture (with moonlight, of course!)
DIY CO2 parts (Thanks Purrbox!) with a glass diffuser (maybe powerhead in the future if XP1 falls through)
2 bags Eco-Complete
test kits (usual stuff plus kH, gH, and Phosphate)
scissors, forceps, etc

Items left to acquire:
Ferts (prob gonna go the greg watson route)
Hardscape

Did I miss anything? (besides, plants, snails and fish, obviously )
__________________
~Neilan
In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
neilanh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2007, 03:24 PM   #38
Aquarium Advice FINatic


 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Rockwall, Texas
Posts: 598
I think you've got it all. Here's just a couple thoughts regarding ferts. I'm not sure how far you've thought into them, so I apologize if it's already been addressed.

Greg Watson ferts are the best, IMHO. I picked up the "usual order" (which is 1 lb KNO3 for Nitrates, 2 lb K2SO4 for Potassium, 1 lb KH2PO4 for Phosphates, and 1 lb CSM + B for trace) for $31 grand total. A supply like that on a 20 gal tank should last you a long time.

As for dosing the ferts, I use Tom Barr's EI method currently, and it works well. Rex Grigg (http://www.rexgrigg.com has a nice walkthru on the ferts as well. Chuck Gadd's Dosing Calculator (Google for it) is also a must, at least until you get comfortable with the routine.
__________________
75 Gallon High-Tech Planted Community
3.5 WPG using T8's
Fluorite w/sand mix
Rena Filstar XP2
Pressurized CO2 w/SMS122

29 Gallon Goldfish
4" Red/White Ryunkin
4" Orange Fantail
Penguin 100
AquaClear 20
FMJnaX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2007, 08:06 PM   #39
Sliced Bread
 
neilanh's Avatar


 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 8,482
Yup, planning on greg watson, but I wasn't aware that I needed the K2SO4, the others I had figured out. So thanks for pointing that out! I haven't yet gotten into dosing routines and the EI method, but it's next on my list.

My lights did come today, and although the glass top isn't here yet, I had to give them a test run. Of course, it came with a bulb I don't want to use (10000k/460nm), but I figured that would happen.





Not too shabby for $35!!!
__________________
~Neilan
In the DC Metro Area? Check out GWAPA and WAMAS
neilanh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2007, 09:08 AM   #40
Aquarium Advice FINatic


 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Rockwall, Texas
Posts: 598
Not shabby at all! Looks good!!!!
__________________

__________________
75 Gallon High-Tech Planted Community
3.5 WPG using T8's
Fluorite w/sand mix
Rena Filstar XP2
Pressurized CO2 w/SMS122

29 Gallon Goldfish
4" Red/White Ryunkin
4" Orange Fantail
Penguin 100
AquaClear 20
FMJnaX is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
20 gallon, pics, setup

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
56 Gallon High Tech Freshwater (Entire Setup) jcarlilesiu Archive 3 01-12-2010 02:22 PM
20gallon starting up TGB Freshwater & Brackish - Getting Started 3 12-21-2006 09:15 PM
Algae clean up crew for 20gallon high exactionfigure Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 13 09-18-2006 06:09 PM
BN pleco for a 20gallon high not a chance? 7Enigma Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 10 09-15-2006 07:00 AM
FS: 20 high setup in Georgia neilster1 Archive 0 12-10-2005 12:19 AM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:19 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.