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CO2.... what to do? What not to do? Fluval? Tropica?


Ariel S
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Hello all! 
I’ve been toying with the idea of adding some CO2 source into one of my 29 gallon tanks. I’ve watched numerous video (aquarium co-op and others) about setting up CO2 systems that have tanks, diffusers, regulators and all that. 

BUT... I don’t really have the space for a CO2 tank and I’m not much of a DIY person. 
 

Are there any smaller systems out there that are good and reliable? I’ve seen so many mixed reviews on the Fluval and Tropica kits they sell in the big box stores and online.  

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5 hours ago, MickS77 said:

Green Leaf Aquariums makes a paintball bottle size regulator system.

I'll vouch for Green Leaf too, I'm very happy with my regulator and love that mine is modular so I could upgrade it from feeding one tank to feeding 3 without buying a whole new regulator.

As for paintball systems... I played with one from a different company for a while and although I had no problems with that regulator I've stopped using it because getting paintball tanks filled was a huge pain for me. I only found one place in my city willing to do paintball tanks and it was very inconsistent and the cashiers never knew how to check out co2 refills (which got me a free refill at least once, though I would have appreciated consistency more than that) and I had to deal with this about once a month. After upgrading to a 5lbs tank and being able actually use the gas supplier in my city for refills now I can't say I'd ever go back to my paintball setup, although it did technically work fine. Your mileage may vary 🤷‍♂️

I haven't tried one of the kits like from fluval but they would probably be very controllable and consistent but they're tiny, you're going to be constantly buying refills and that money will add up fast, if you want to try one as an introduction to co2 though I'd say go for it, but be aware of what you're getting yourself into with whatever option you pick.

Edited by Frost
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I am brand new to the aquatic plant world. I decided that I would like to have mostly low maintenance tanks in the long run, and I am trying to choose plants that don't NEED CO2, but I don't want to ONLY have anubias. 

I still see the value of a boost at the beginning, something I remember my LFS used to do in the late 90s, to get some of them them rooted and rolling along. So my super cheap low tech way to handle it was using diy 2 liter CO2 bottle system and passive diffusion like this Aquarium Co-Op video I saw of the Ocean's Aquarium fish store in San Francisco. Yeah, that means my tanks have a floating plastic container. I tell myself it is temporary. 🙂 I will try to embed or link the video...sorry if this doesn't work.

 

Edited by Brandy
second time was the charm...
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I have been using a 14oz bottle doing passive diffusion just like in the above video. Putting it in  just about every other day, and only when the lights are on and it looks like the plants are doing better, they look stronger to me, more green.  My hubby has a soda stream system outfitted with a larger CO2 tank so I have been using that to fill the bottle up. ( i attach a air line from the end of the rod that comes out of the soda stream and the other end into the bottle that is full of water, inverted in a bowl with water. I am able to cap it while the opening is still in the water and just put it in tank and remove cap) the 14oz bottle is the perfect size for my 16 gal tank and I tuck it away in the back corner.

within 8 hours the bottle is almost empty. i use a square of filter material to help stabilize the bottle, the lid holds it down.
though I do have to check it when I pull it out, one of my danio's thought it was a neat place to swim into.  Crazy little fish, love them!

 

20200718_235936.jpg

Edited by Elquinjena
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One thing I have found with passive CO2 diffusion is that the greater the area of interface between the water and CO2, the higher the rate of diffusion. I have little tanks, so I started with a little bottle--a 50ml conical vial actually. It diffused (I kept refiling it) but I couldn't see a appreciable increase in the dissolved CO2 in the water (using a drop checker) no matter how often I filled it.

Then I switched to a wider mouthed container--a one pint gelato container or a half pint takeout sauce container, and bang, drop checker shifted to green, plants started pearling.

The down side is I have yet to rig a slick way to keep the container neatly in the tank. I have a fishing line bridle holding it into a corner, but some of my tanks don't have tops and keeping it "down" means wedging it partially under a light or something. I need to engineer a better bracket. 

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12 hours ago, Elquinjena said:

I have been using a 14oz bottle doing passive diffusion just like in the above video. Putting it in  just about every other day, and only when the lights are on and it looks like the plants are doing better, they look stronger to me, more green.  My hubby has a soda stream system outfitted with a larger CO2 tank so I have been using that to fill the bottle up. ( i attach a air line from the end of the rod that comes out of the soda stream and the other end into the bottle that is full of water, inverted in a bowl with water. I am able to cap it while the opening is still in the water and just put it in tank and remove cap) the 14oz bottle is the perfect size for my 16 gal tank and I tuck it away in the back corner.

within 8 hours the bottle is almost empty. i use a square of filter material to help stabilize the bottle, the lid holds it down.
though I do have to check it when I pull it out, one of my danio's thought it was a neat place to swim into.  Crazy little fish, love them!

 

20200718_235936.jpg

Is there a video tutorial or anything out there on something like this? I’d like to start playing with period co2 and have a soda stream. I also have more small tanks and no large tanks so this seems like a better system for that? 

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I am absolutely in love with this product. It's pressurized DIY. I refill once a week (using citric acid, baking soda, and water) for my 40G breeder.

https://www.fzaqua.com/aquarium-co2-diy-system-co2-generator-kit-with-soleonid-p2246678.html

They have a warehouse in the U.S. and ships fast too. 

Constantly trimming these plants.

IMG_20200719_124617.jpg

IMG_20200719_124610.jpg

Edited by Mikeg
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