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Old 08-28-2012, 03:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Sunny Buffalo
Posts: 41
need help with co2


I have ordered some plants that will be here soon and have decided co2 is the way to go.

I have the basic understanding. It is a 75g with 2x54w t5 ho and 2x20w t8. not a great deal of light but already getting bba. was thinking of try diy co2 system after talking to aquariumplants aquascaper mark. He said you can get effective co2 this way as long as you have a quality reactor that doesn't waste. was thinking of diy rex grigg pvc type.

Will this work with diy co2 hooked inline with a fluval 406. Do you need a rigid co2 line inside the pvc that runs from top where co2 tube is connected to the bottom of pvc? or do you just insert co2 tube into top? where do you put bubble counter/check valve etc. I have heard of people putting a "cup" right above co2 input and then check valve to keep co2 buildup at top of reactor down and skip need to tipping upside to purge gas.

any experience with just buying the cheap ista max mix reactor with chopping blades. is it loud. is it effective. will it leak 75g of water on my floor.

I will be upgrading to pressurized but I am strapped at the moment. am willing to try diy for a couple of months as this rebuild with new light, mts, $160 plant order etc. has flattened my wallet.

I have seen many diy reactor threads, they vary, with internal rigid tube to bottom, and use of bio balls.

thanks for any input.

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Old 08-28-2012, 07:24 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Sunny Buffalo
Posts: 41

I have basically gotten rid of all bba with direct peroxide spot treating, and one dip. one sword has yellowed some but everybody else is ok.

update. I have come up with a large co2 tank a guy had in his basement from when he had a restaurant last year. It's large, 23" x7.5" plus control valve on top but it does just barely fit in stand. so I guess I'm going pressurized.

I know I need a regulator, needle valve, drop counter. I don't know what else as far as fitings, hoses, beyond that. there is a cheap chinese place on ebay.

would this regulator work or do you think it is probable junk and a waste of money:

as far as reactor. I have spoken a lot with mark, aquascaper and aquarium plants. he has been doing this awhile and his opinion is that flow thru systems like rex grigg etc. are inefficient and only something with a pump is worth it. I know he's plugging his products, but he designed this and says the co2 cannot leave until it's dissolved completely:

CarbonDoser EXT5000 (External Reactor 5000)

any thoughts?

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Old 08-29-2012, 08:56 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 216
I wouldn't waste my time with that regulator, but that's my personal opinion. If you do buy a cheap Chinese regulator make sure the threads are the right size, the USA uses different threads than the rest of the world. A lot of people have great luck with Milwaukee Co2 MA957 Regulator. If you're willing to spend a little bit more money check out Green Leaf Aquariums, they're the Cadillac of Co2 regulators. I'd recommend getting a regulator with a solenoid on it so you can put your lights and Co2 on timers, so you don't have to manually turn them on and off every day.
Don't put your Co2 line in the canister, it can cause build up in the canister and can reek havoc with your impeller. For diffusion, look into an inline diffuser and put on the exhaust side of your canister filter, they're many options out there or they're relatively easy to build. Make sure you use Co2 rated tubing, regular air line tubing will leak Co2 and become brittle with time.
For parts, I'll go Co2 tank to diffuser. You need a regulator on your tank, needle valve, check valve, bubble counter, check valve, then a diffuser. Here's a picture, it would be essentially the same except I diffuse differently.

Sorry for the long winded post, I hope I explained it well enough. And if you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask.
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