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Hi all,

I am researching into adding a CO2 system for my tank 72" x 24" x 30" 225 gal (nominal 180 to 200 gal tank). I have learned the definite advantages of such a system in a planted tank. I take it the bigger the CO2 cylinder the better (20lbs or better). Currently, I add 90 ml of Seachem Flourish Excel as a source of carbon on weekly water change, and 20 ml every other day. I also add Discus trace as I change water with r/o water.

I am running three eheim filters. Two filters are thermal units, and one filter has a surface extractor and a UV sterilizer attached to it. All three outlet (spraybars) are set below the water surface and aimed at an angle so not to agitate the surface. Can the diffuser be hooked up to the spray bar/s to deliver the dissolved CO2 more effectively or would it have the reverse affect? Also would the surface extractor remove more of the CO2? (I just don't like the surface film [protein??] buildup.

How much does it cost to fill a 5lb, 10 lb, or 20 lb cylinder?

What system do you suggest?

Thanks in advance!
 

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I'm no expert (dont have co2 pressurized at home here) but i would say hooking it to the output would be good, look into how to hook it up to your filter itself. I dont think the surface skimmer will be a huge issue as it doesnt really adjitate the surface much. And i think the surface film is protein btw
 

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I have hooked CO2 up to output of canister filter before. The pain was finding hose fittings to hook up the air tube without water leaks. Hooking up to shower pipe is probably easier.

The price of filling 5lb or 10lb is the same. At my local welding supply store, it is $10 to $15 to fill. Bigger is more cost effective, but note the extra space you need, the extra precaution needed for it to not fall over, and the extra weight which makes moving and transporting harder.
 

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I have hooked CO2 up to output of canister filter before. The pain was finding hose fittings to hook up the air tube without water leaks. Hooking up to shower pipe is probably easier.
Hah. That's what I was on here searching for: how to find fittings that will work??? I'm trying to run my CO2 into the filter return thingie. Seems like Fluval uses odd size tubing. Makes me crazy, cuz I wanted to hook it up right now!:(
 

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I have a 180g aquarium with a 20lb CO2 cylinder setup. The best method of dissolving and distributing CO2 in an aquarium this size is debatable, but I don't think you'll get what you're looking for by adding it to a single canister filter return.

In my tank, to reach desired levels the CO2 runs at a steady stream of bubbles. I use an 18" long 3" diameter DIY reactor made from PVC. In a simple canister filter return there isn't time to allow for proper dissolution of the gas. BTW, most people would run the CO2 into the inlet of the canister, not the outlet, unless you're adding it to a reactor.

I'd recommend either a series of diffusers or a reactor of some sort. If you have lowish light levels, a relatively low CO2 level might be good enough. In that case, it really wouldn't matter how you do it. Anything else though will require a well thought-out system.

Where I live a 20lb cylinder refill is around $25.
 

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You may want to consider the use of a needle wheel pump with this large of tank.
You can benefit more ways than one.

1) Very fine mist of co2
2) Added flow from the extra pump that can be plumbed easily into an existing set of lines from another filter.
3)You wont have to worry about losing flow by adding something in-line versus a loss of flow from added component's.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Very good suggestions. Bryce, you mention you have a similar size tank with a cylinder, then you mention a DIY system. Did you switch or you have another tank setup? Also you said most people tap into the inlet vs. the outlet, is that to get the CO2 more time to dissolve in the water prior to injecting into the tank?
 

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By DIY, I meant that the reactor is a DIY reactor, not that I use yeast fermentation. I have two aquairums with CO2, both with pressurized systems. I messed around with yeast CO2 long enough to know that I lacked the time & energy to keep it going.

If you bubble the CO2 into the inlet, the pump impeller helps to break the gas into small bubbles. It also has more contact time. This method works better for smaller tanks. Feeding a filter as much CO2 as I use would probably result in vapor lock.

Honestly, for a tank that size my strong preference is for a reactor. They add almost zero resistance to the system and they're highly effecient.

I don't have any experience with the needle wheel pump that Orlando is recommending. They're more commonly used on reef systems but from what I can see, it should also work well.
 

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I have a 135 gallon tank and I use a 500gph mag-drive pump and an Aqua-Medic 1000 inline reactor for diffusing the CO2. I am in Canada and a refill of my 10lb tank also costs about $15. You would only need to add the Aqua-Medic 1000 to the output of one of your filter canisters and you would be good to go.
 

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Here is a couple of pictures. Excuse the mess it is a work in progress. :D
The tank and regulator are on the left and the yellow tube runs to the reactor on the right.


This one shows the pump behind the tank.
 

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So you have Filter ---> Reactor ---> Pump. Curious why not install the pump prior to the reactor?

You may want to consider the use of a needle wheel pump with this large of tank.
You can benefit more ways than one.

1) Very fine mist of co2
2) Added flow from the extra pump that can be plumbed easily into an existing set of lines from another filter.
3)You wont have to worry about losing flow by adding something in-line versus a loss of flow from added component's.
I agree with this completely. After making my own reactor and installing inline, noticed a dramatic loss of flow from the filter. And the reactor didn't work as everyone praises they do. It just collected a large amount of Co2 at the top.
A needle wheel pump on this size of tank would work without any problems
 

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The Canister filter is not in the CO2 loop. The route is; Left end of tank ---> pump ---> reactor ---> Right end of tank.
 

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But could one run a pump inline to increase flow of filter output? That would allow anyone to declutter tank from powerheads
 

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Hah. That's what I was on here searching for: how to find fittings that will work??? I'm trying to run my CO2 into the filter return thingie. Seems like Fluval uses odd size tubing. Makes me crazy, cuz I wanted to hook it up right now!:(
Why don't you just use a CO2 reactor on the outflow? That is what I do.

The secret to using your Fluval is to know that standard 5/8" Id pond hose connects to the filter just as well as the corrugated stuff it comes with.
 

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I'm taking Orlando's advice and just placed an order for a mag 5 needle wheel pump, which comes with the fittings you need to connect it to your CO2 system. I'm going to put it on its own loop since my 200g is already plumbed with bulkheads all over (former reef tank...)

I purchased a brand new aquamedic CO2 reactor 1000, which I'll probably put up for sale soon if you're interested in trying it out...

But after getting off the phone with green leaf aquariums, I was convinced that the needlewheel would be much more efficient that the reactor in such a large tank.
 

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You will not be disappointed in your decision.
Glad to hear it! After making so many changes and mistakes along the way in my 5 years of saltwater, I'm trying to plan for everything before I fill up my soon-to-be planted tank, and do it right the first time...
 
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