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Author Topic: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?  (Read 1852 times)
Max B.
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DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« on: December 30, 2010, 02:55:12 PM »

As of result of reading intensively different info on aqua forums about plants and ways to maintain planted fish tanks I have been brought to a conclusion that for a successful panted tank one needs a CO2 system. And because these systems cost a certain amount of dollars many times I've noticed people using DIY CO2 systems (bottles, yeast, sugar and dispenser). I just wonder if anyone here on the forum has used or is using a DIY CO2? Could you share your experience with this? Thank you before hand...
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Nossie
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2010, 05:26:49 AM »

I personally wouldn't bother, co2 is naturally created in the water through various processes. In other words, you may rather want to get some different light bulbs that specifically support plant growth, or you'd try some different plant nutrition Smiley
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Max B.
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2010, 10:17:17 AM »

Ok, i see. As i'm struggling with my plants i was thinking of different solutions to improve the water conditions for the plants. I'm currently adding only flourish excel as a liquid co2. I'm doing small water changes on a weekly basis trying to preserve some nitrates for the plants. Still there is a lot of room to improve the wate for the plants. What other types of nutrition would be beneficial to the plants?
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Mindemae
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2010, 01:00:34 PM »

I have never used a CO2 system for my plants, I have only used the liquid plant food once a week after water changes.
My plants are flourishing.  I think when plants take root finally, they will start to flourish.  Some people use plant tabs to stimulate root growth but I never have.  I think with a smaller aquarium it is much harder to grow healthy plants since the water chemistry changes so easily.  A bigger tank is a more stable environment for both plants and fish.  I have had the best success with growing plants in my 30 gallon.  My smaller ones have a hard time getting the plants to stay healthy. Smiley
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Max B.
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2010, 01:47:09 PM »

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I have never used a CO2 system for my plants, I have only used the liquid plant food once a week after water changes.
My plants are flourishing.  I think when plants take root finally, they will start to flourish.  Some people use plant tabs to stimulate root growth but I never have.  I think with a smaller aquarium it is much harder to grow healthy plants since the water chemistry changes so easily.  A bigger tank is a more stable environment for both plants and fish.  I have had the best success with growing plants in my 30 gallon.  My smaller ones have a hard time getting the plants to stay healthy. Smiley

Another reason to go bigger with the fish tank...
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Abbiesaurus
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2010, 06:38:00 PM »

Co2 is great but isn't necessary - unless your tank has high lighting. It will definitely increase the growth and overall appearance of your plants but needless to say most plants will do just fine without it.
You bought Seachem flourish excel yeah? Well that is not co2 but it has very similar effects as dosing Co2 does - so that should work just fine in your size tank.
I have never tried DIY Co2 system but am also really interested to give one a try!
Have a look on this website: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
It has a lot of great info about nutrients, Co2 and lighting.
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Nossie
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2011, 05:43:56 AM »

In our 100L (~26 gal), the Java fern is growing like a thick forest in the back, and we have to take one or two plants out once in a while to make space for the fish to swim Wink (Which I then take and put into my 317L (~83 gal))
So not THAT much bigger tank is required Smiley And it of course depends on the plants! But you had both Java fern and Anubias, right? Which should both be really hardy...
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Max B.
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2011, 03:40:17 PM »

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Co2 is great but isn't necessary - unless your tank has high lighting. It will definitely increase the growth and overall appearance of your plants but needless to say most plants will do just fine without it.
You bought Seachem flourish excel yeah? Well that is not co2 but it has very similar effects as dosing Co2 does - so that should work just fine in your size tank.
I have never tried DIY Co2 system but am also really interested to give one a try!
Have a look on this website: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
It has a lot of great info about nutrients, Co2 and lighting.


Thank you for your insight. Actually you are right. As I started to add excel the plants seemed really to enjoy it as many rhizomes have appeared. Still I tried to fight my bba problem with excel and it does not seem really able to cope with it. BBA just fades and does not disappear. But I will have to carry on as people were dosing it for more than 2 weeks to see something. Many times on the forums I read about keeping CO2 at 30ppm in the tank to fight the bba. That is why I have asked about the CO2 system.

BTW thank you very much for the site it's very interesting. You saved me from searching for some reading tonight! :-) KARMA
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 03:48:51 PM by Max B. » Logged
Max B.
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2011, 03:43:17 PM »

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In our 100L (~26 gal), the Java fern is growing like a thick forest in the back, and we have to take one or two plants out once in a while to make space for the fish to swim Wink (Which I then take and put into my 317L (~83 gal))
So not THAT much bigger tank is required Smiley And it of course depends on the plants! But you had both Java fern and Anubias, right? Which should both be really hardy...

Thank you. I just wonder maybe I have smaller number of plants in my tank than it should be... I have a small Anubias (just one plant) and 2 big bushes of Java Fern and some smaller starters. I plan to add some more anubias and may be a couple more java ferns.
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Nossie
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2011, 06:22:40 PM »

Do you have anything to test the CO2 level with? Just out of curiosity Wink
The more plants, the more nitrates are needed as nutrition, so that would hardly be the case. But you should of course add as many plants as you personally find attractive! I'm trying to fill my tank with as much plants as I can get Wink It's really beautiful with a lush forest in your tank! Cheesy
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Max B.
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2011, 09:29:59 AM »

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Do you have anything to test the CO2 level with? Just out of curiosity Wink
The more plants, the more nitrates are needed as nutrition, so that would hardly be the case. But you should of course add as many plants as you personally find attractive! I'm trying to fill my tank with as much plants as I can get Wink It's really beautiful with a lush forest in your tank! Cheesy

Actually no, I don't. I have just the basic ph, Am, NO3 & NO4 test kit. I know that I'll have to add some more types of tests to my kit.
And yes, I do find planted tanks more attractive to the eye. May be for now I'll discard JFs and switch to only anubias nana as they seem to be more resistant to beginners errors... :-)
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Abbiesaurus
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2011, 09:56:29 AM »

I just found a really good website about algae: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
It contains a lot of helpful info Smiley
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Max B.
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2011, 01:52:19 PM »

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I just found a really good website about algae: (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)
It contains a lot of helpful info Smiley


Thanks for the link, i'll have a look at it later today. Maybe i'll find some info on bba.

[updated] I checked the link and it turns out that most of info provided there repeats from the article I have included in my other thread. Did not check it thoroughly though.

But I have found a table with summary on ways to treat algae - (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.) See the first table. It might be useful.

BTW I wonder if the threads here on forum could be "sticked" to the top?
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 04:58:19 PM by Max B. » Logged
Nossie
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2011, 02:05:08 PM »

When keeping goldies, you don't really need any other tests Wink But of course you should buy those you feel that you need! Cheesy
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Max B.
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2011, 04:15:32 PM »

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When keeping goldies, you don't really need any other tests Wink But of course you should buy those you feel that you need! Cheesy

Yes, it has been enough until I decided to do plants in my tank Cheesy and it turns out that i need to check as CO2 + some other stuff...
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Abbiesaurus
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2011, 11:15:03 PM »

Yup I saw the photo you posted , my link goes into a little more detail - although it does provide the same basic information Cheesy

So pretty much I think that if algae is a big problem for you then you should keep dosing flourish excel and see how that goes. If it doesn't do anything for the algae then maybe you should try a DIY co2 system or try buying a cheap one second hand or something?

If your plants are not growing too well I would try buying some different types of fertilizers, and in conjunction keep using flourish excel.


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Max B.
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2011, 01:37:40 PM »

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Yup I saw the photo you posted , my link goes into a little more detail - although it does provide the same basic information Cheesy


Smiley I meant his (Link is not visible to guests. Please register to view.)

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So pretty much I think that if algae is a big problem for you then you should keep dosing flourish excel and see how that goes. If it doesn't do anything for the algae then maybe you should try a DIY co2 system or try buying a cheap one second hand or something?

If your plants are not growing too well I would try buying some different types of fertilizers, and in conjunction keep using flourish excel.


Yes, I need to add some fertilizers and maybe I'll try a CO2 DIY reactor.
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Abbiesaurus
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2011, 08:04:57 PM »

Oh right yep I saw that one too.
Yeah let us know how the DIY CO2 goes. I think I might end up trying one too as it only costs a few $$ to setup.
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Max B.
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2011, 08:44:25 PM »

I'll start assembling one in the nearest future - will share my experience.
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Abbiesaurus
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Re: DIY CO2 System... is it worth?
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2011, 09:10:24 PM »

Good luck. Looking forward to hearing about the results.
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