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Old 01-14-2007, 07:40 AM   #1
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Pressurized CO2 vs DIY

I have a 20 gal long with a 96W CF light over it and at the moment i just need some yeast to get some CO2 in there. I'm starting to think that i might aswell do this tank properly and buy a pressurized system, however. Money is fairly tight and that is my only reason for not buying one sooner. So how much better is the pressurized system to a DIY one?
I know accuracy is the main plus point and i dont really like making the mixture so that would also be a plus. Are there any other plus points? How much better is a pressurized system?

One other annoying thing is the time it's taking me to set this tank up!
I'm having to keep checking the ammonia level and adding ammonia to the tank when neccessary. I have the light on for about 8 hours a day with some elodea and cabomba but algae comes back in no time! I done a 50% water change last week and got a lot of the algae out. Another water change is due and i'll try to get all the algae out again but i dont want to have to do it again! I know that with no CO2 algae will flourish but should i just take the plants out and keep the light off until i get a pressurized system?

Help would be appriciated.
TIA

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Old 01-14-2007, 08:05 AM   #2
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Re: Pressurized CO2 vs DIY

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satsumas

One other annoying thing is the time it's taking me to set this tank up!
I'm having to keep checking the ammonia level and adding ammonia to the tank when neccessary. I have the light on for about 8 hours a day with some elodea and cabomba but algae comes back in no time! I done a 50% water change last week and got a lot of the algae out. Another water change is due and i'll try to get all the algae out again but i dont want to have to do it again! I know that with no CO2 algae will flourish but should i just take the plants out and keep the light off until i get a pressurized system?

Help would be appriciated.
TIA
how much light are you running?

how heavlely are you planted?

are you dosing any ferts?

if the above are good, then DIY should be OK for the time being. if you are running Greater then 2.5 wpg then you should be dosing ferts (EI) and be heavily planted IMO if you are running CO2.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:09 AM   #3
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Re: Pressurized CO2 vs DIY

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satsumas
One other annoying thing is the time it's taking me to set this tank up!
I'm having to keep checking the ammonia level and adding ammonia to the tank when neccessary. I have the light on for about 8 hours a day with some elodea and cabomba but algae comes back in no time! I done a 50% water change last week and got a lot of the algae out. Another water change is due and i'll try to get all the algae out again but i dont want to have to do it again!
Why are you adding NH3 to a planted tank?

NH3 + higher light = algae.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:39 AM   #4
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I'm adding ammonia to the tank to keep the bacteria going, i know that i'll get algae and i do have algae. That's why i asked if i should turn the light off until i get some CO2. The tank has no fish in it yet, i'm just setting it up.

I have a 96W CF i'm still unaware of exactly how much wpg i have but it works out at 4.8. Some people say im running half that because of the 50-50 bulb some people say it's 3.12 wpg and others say it's 4.8

I have roughly 10 green cabomba and 20 elodea densa. These are purely to soak up any excess nutrients but they are pretty useless as i have no CO2, so again should i just turn the light off until i get some?

No i'm not dosing any ferts yet.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:00 AM   #5
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Stop dosing ammonia.

At a guess, you're attempting to do a fishless cycle on a planted aquarium? If you are going heavily planted/High Light/Co2 injected, you don't really need to do this. Especially since you already have 1 aquarium- You can seed the 2nd tank with media or gravel/substrate from the first when you buy fish.

You need ferts- You have some serious light over that tank., even with a 50/50 bulb.

Co2 or no Co2, in my experiance algae will grow if you have ammonia.

I think you may want pressurized- You are running a lot of light, and are probably going to want lots of Co2. Pressurized makes it easier to adjust how much you have. But if you don't have the budget to buy pressurized right now, by all means, build a DIY system this afternoon. I see you've already done it once.
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Old 01-14-2007, 10:06 AM   #6
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Right. Thanks for clearing that up!

I'm ready to go with a DIY set-up. The system was built weeks ago and it's just sitting in it's place, i built it 'in advance' but then the yeast went walk-about!

Ok, i'll do a water change/algae clearout this afternoon and from then on stop adding ammonia. Shall i dose with ferts asap? I don't really see the need as i wont be having these plants in the future, there just nutrient sponges.
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Old 01-14-2007, 11:40 AM   #7
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Shall i dose with ferts asap? I don't really see the need as i wont be having these plants in the future, there just nutrient sponges.
I'm confused are you planning on having any plants in this tank? Or do you mean that you just don't want these plants If you are not going to have plants in this tank, then you have a whole lot more light than you need, and will not need co2 at all. If you are planning on having plants, get them in there and start ferts asap.
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Old 01-14-2007, 12:10 PM   #8
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Yes. I am planning on having plants in this tank, if not then i would've bought a standard 36" bulb.

I'm not however planning to have these plants in my tank when i plant it up.

I will try to order some plants this week and get some CO2 in there aswell.
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Old 01-14-2007, 05:12 PM   #9
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In my opinion Pressurized CO2 beats DIY CO2 hands down. The only real draw back is the initial setup expense, since in the long run even with a small tank the DIY will end up costing more. DIY CO2 is quite doable on that size tank though. The choice is really up to you which way to go.

Since you've got plants in the tank (reguardless of whether or not they're the ones that you plan to have long term) you need to be supplying them with light, CO2, and ferts. Without all of the necessary pieces you're just inviting algae to take over instead.
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Old 01-14-2007, 09:30 PM   #10
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Another vote for pressurized CO2 when you can afford it, but DIY is very feasible and affordable half-step while you save up...

As soon as you have the DIY CO2 and Ferts going, dump the plants you don't want and start growing the stuff you do. There is no reason to waste your CO2, Ferts or lights on those plants if they are not keepers. I can't think of how they might be of any value in getting your tank setup or stabilized.
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:00 PM   #11
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I think i will end up going pressurized, but there's no rush and i can't afford it at the moment anyway so i'll be using DIY for the time being.

I'm going to try and get as much algae off the tank as possible (maybe tommorow) then get ordering some plants, buy some yeast and get some ferts. I'm only sure of one plant at the moment and that's Hemianthus callitrichoides, i have some ideas for others but nothing's concrete yet.

There's bound to be algae spores or tiny little microscopic particles of algae after i've scrubbed the tank so surely algae will just come again?
There's some fairly thick stuff on the eco complete which is a real pain to get off, i can't syphon it because it's too heavy it's stuck to the substrate. What's the best way to get this stuff out? I could just stir up the substrate and then syphon as much as i can. Some of it will get buried but i'm guessing it will die off as there will be no light getting to it?
Also i'll turn the light off until i get some plants i actually want in there.
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Old 01-15-2007, 05:08 PM   #12
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The key to getting rid of algae it to remove as much of it as possible and to get your nutrients in balance. Getting rid of as much algae manually as possible will help speed the process, but getting the nutrients in balance ensures that it goes away and doesn't come back.
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Old 01-15-2007, 07:35 PM   #13
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The plants you have in there now- Are they trimmings from another tank or something?

I guess what I am asking... is their a reason NOT to throw the plants you don't want out, turn off the light, and wait till you have ferts, Co2, and plants all together at the same time (Hopefully the plants showing up last)?

You have high light, no ferts, no co2, and plants you don't want? I'm definately not getting something.
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Old 01-15-2007, 09:35 PM   #14
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You will never rid your tank of algae. It will always be there. The goal is to keep it at bay with balanced ferts, CO2 and plant mass. If the stuff you have on your substrate is in dark or black tufts, it is quite likely BBA (see this site: http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/)... If that is what you have there, you can just push it down into the substrate or remove the rocks it is attached to. On larger rocks or driftwood, you can spot dose Excel. Of course you will need to get a positive ID on it before hand.

HTH
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