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Adding carbonated water instead of using CO2?


Hobbit
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I’ve searched the interwebs but haven’t found anything about how to do this—just a rumor that some successful aquascapers do.

I know it’s more accurate to get a CO2 tank and a regulator and do all the things, but that’s a lot of money (for me) up front, takes up more space, and seems to have a lot more ways it could fail catastrophically. And we already have a Soda Stream that I can experiment with.

Does anyone have an idea of how much or how little would be okay to start with? I’m mostly hoping it will help me control an algae outbreak. I don’t have to use it forever. If I get addicted to it I’ll throw in the towel and buy a system. 😄 

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George Farmer mentioned doing this. Maybe on one of his things. 
Please take care as seltzer water is what we use for Reverse Respiration and so far kills all living organisms we have encountered quickly. @dasaltemelosguy recently encountered Perrier as being higher ph so may be less harmful or easier to use. I’m not certain what is in Perrier though. 
 

 

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I took samples from 4 different greenwater cultures and added half the volume of each sample in club water to each. For two of the cultures the club soda killed off all the zooplankton that had contaminated them and the concentration of greenwater went up by 300 and 500% over 2 days. In another that was not contaminated, the greenwater went up 120% over 2 days. The last which was contaminated by filamentous algae died over the next week.

Greenwater arent exactly plants but close enough maybe? 

 

 

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On 7/24/2022 at 12:22 PM, Hobbit said:

I’ve searched the interwebs but haven’t found anything about how to do this—just a rumor that some successful aquascapers do.

I know it’s more accurate to get a CO2 tank and a regulator and do all the things, but that’s a lot of money (for me) up front, takes up more space, and seems to have a lot more ways it could fail catastrophically. And we already have a Soda Stream that I can experiment with.

Does anyone have an idea of how much or how little would be okay to start with? I’m mostly hoping it will help me control an algae outbreak. I don’t have to use it forever. If I get addicted to it I’ll throw in the towel and buy a system. 😄 

$20 very simple good for beginners to see if they want to spend a $100 to start with a co2 canister system image.jpg.e687db2731122f43e43d6a106208e1ad.jpgYosoo DIY Aquarium Planted Tank CO2 System kit pro Tube Valve Guage Bottle D201 https://a.co/d/12QbjyI

Edited by Brandon p
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On 7/28/2022 at 6:17 AM, Chick-In-Of-TheSea said:

Careful.  I've heard some horror stories of folks that have added carbonated water to the tank, and all the fish died.

@Chick-In-Of-TheSea  you're right. If people try it, please make sure to monitor the pH.

That's the real issue with adding seltzer. Not so much the added CO2 but that it can cause an instant and drastic pH shift towards acidity (Bottled seltzer has a pH of only 3).

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There’s a 1992 essay where Takashi Amano talks about his fist attempts at adding co2 to a tank in the late 1970s. He was at a bar and saw the ingredients on a bottle of club soda. On his way home he bought 5 bottles and poured then in a very large tank. It worked! Soon he had empty bottles all over the room and the era of high tech planted aquariums was born. 

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When it comes to CO2, the question always come down to "Do you want a plant centric tank or a fish centric tank?" CO2 is great for plants, not so good for fish. If fish are your focus, use plants that don't need CO2. And there are a lot of them. If you're more of an aquatic gardener who doesn't care as much about fish but wants to grow every plant possible, dump in CO2 in whatever form you find most readily available. (And there are a lot of forms available including dry ice.) At some point, given the direction the world is going, the use of CO2 in aquariums (and nearly every other commercial use of which there are many) will be banned. Those who believe "The world is on fire!" and that CO2 is the cause will not stop until they've stopped all use of it. They're targeting cow and pig "emissions" as a problem, so they wouldn't approve of people just dumping CO2 into a fish tank to make pretty plants. If you invest a lot of money in a CO2 system, getting CO2 in the near future could be nearly impossible. There will likely be licenses, and permits required to use CO2. Some are already talking about banning carbonated soda, so banning the use of CO2 in aquariums and "nonessential" uses is likely coming in the future unless things change.

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Well I’m about to be away for a week so I won’t try anything yet, but I’m definitely going to try some stuff when I get back! I’m not looking to get into CO2 long term (famous last words)—this is more of an algae defense measure, so once the algae’s down I’ll ease off on the CO2. Easy Carbon and hydrogen peroxide haven’t been enough, unfortunately.

I really appreciate everyone’s help!

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If you're looking for an inexpensive and temporary solution take a look at the Ista passive Co2 diffuser. It's $13 at an online retailer right now. Last year I saw it in use at the Co-op retail store display tank. It looks interesting and the price is right! 

Edited by Patrick_G
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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been trying a very inexpensive DIY system from Fzone - I think I paid under $100 for it, and a solenoid to allow me to run a timer was under $25. This system uses citric acid and baking soda. If you add ice instead of water, the co2 retention as you seal the bottle is excellent. At a 1 drip/sec, it ran over a month for me. I crunched the numbers before buying and this was a lot easier and less $$ than buying soda water or generating with a soda stream.

I just did a very heavy planting on a 75 and setup this system to run it, at least to get established. I used on my 55 the first month me everything did well with that boost.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I second the Fzone, ZRDR, or similar brand DIY systems. They simply work and mixing and setting up one takes literally minutes plus the time for the reaction to build up the gas (several hours, best do be done after lights are off, so CO2 can build up until next day). For larger tanks or longer run time, there is a 4 liter system available. What one wants to invest in is a better diffuser that works with the lower pressure in these systems. I found the Aquario/FZone Neo Co2 diffuser to be a great one.

Another way of enriching the water with Co2 I found to be the SERA CO2 tabs, especially as a back up and temporary solution, not long term. They can get the drop checker green and plants respond.

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On 8/18/2022 at 10:07 AM, Hobbit said:

@Cawafuoshi thanks!! I’ll have to look into those.

To get it green, I had to up the dosing though. Again, as a backup or temporary solution it works, or in low tech where you want to give easy plants a boost it could also be used long term when dosing according to instructions.

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