Can't decide about CO2 - safety? - Equipment - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 01-24-2012, 06:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can't decide about CO2 - safety?

Here is what I'm currently considering:

OPTION 1: DIY CO2 (worked for me in the past)
Concerns: messy, time consuming, no way to turn it off (should I run an airstone at night?)

OPTION 2: Fluval's 88g kit with an adapter to allow for a paintball tank
Concerns: no way to turn it off at night (again, should I run an airstone?)
I haven't heard of too many people using the paintball adapter... so I'm concerned as to how well it would work.

OPTION 3: Matheson 8 series dual stage regulator with Clippard mouse solenoid and AS-1200 needle valve, inline reaction/diffuser (which one??), 5 lb CO2 tank
Concerns: Not sure how to set it up (though I'm sure the seller would help me).
What inline reactor (DIY Grigg Style - though I doubt my skills in making one, or ISTA Mix Max)?
Safety: I just read an article about the danger of CO2 in homes with kids and dogs. I have a 9 month old son and 3 very large and somewhat boisterous dogs (though they are learning to avoid roughhousing inside). Safety is basically my #1 concern.
Setup cost: funds are quite low at the moment.

Here are my tank specs:

Tank Specs:
Size: ~27g flat back hex (1' wide x 3' long x 16" deep)

Lighting: T5 HO Fixture that accommodates two 39w bulbs (6700K) for a total wattage of 78w

Substrate: Playsand, approximately 2cm deep

Temp: 72-73*F

pH: 7.6 (without CO2 injection)

GH: 72

Substrate: playsand (about 2-3cm deep)

Filtration: Eheim Classic 2215

Ferts: Pfertz medium-tech solution + root tabs

CO2: TBD

Fish:
1 pair (m/f) Betta albimarginata
4 Corydoras leucomelas (will add 1-2 more individuals)
4 Corydoras panda (will add 1-2 more individuals)
1 Corydoras habrosus (will add 4-5 more individuals)
5 Puntius oligolepis

Plants:
Lilaeppsis mauritiana
Hygrophila species "Araguaia"
Glossostigma elatinoides
Staurogyne repens "Tropica"
Mayaca fluviatilis
Echinodorus bolivianus
Ludwigia glandulosa
Vallisneria torta
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't decide about CO2 - safety?

Hi nikelodeon,

When I started I went with DIY until I verified I could actually grow aquatic plants. Then I went to pressurized because of the hassle and mess of DIY. A commercial cylinder is definitively the way to go; I refill my tank every 6 months. Watch Craigslist for "CO2" or "Beer" and pick up a tank and regulator for $50 like I did. Then I added a quality needle valve (no bubble counter) and a drop checker and you are pretty much good to go; all you will need is a delivery system. Commercial cylinders have to be hydrostatically tested every 5 years, they are safe.

Last edited by Seattle_Aquarist; 01-24-2012 at 07:00 AM..
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't decide about CO2 - safety?

Thank you for your response!

I have done DIY on this tank in the past and the plants did really well. Perhaps I should just continue with DIY until I have built up some more funds to get a good pressurized system? People have told me my light is way too high for DIY... but I managed it before and should be able to again.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Can't decide about CO2 - safety?

Go with option 3 or similar when you have the funds.

Pressurized CO2 really helps to grow nice plants.

Rex has some easy info on how to set a pressurized system up. http://www.rexgrigg.com/regset.html
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