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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I recently setup a new tank, and I was debating setting up a DIY CO2 yeast reactor. I was wondering if this is worth doing and what exactly the benefits would be. From what I can tell, CO2 reactors primarily accelerate growth. I know they are not necessary, but they are great for some tanks.

The design I am considering is just a simple 2 liter plastic bottle with a tube fed into my filter intake. Does this design work for anyone else?

Any comments and advice would be great. Below are the specs for my tank. Thanks.

-Chad



Size: 29 gallon
Lighting: 65 watts
Ferts: Seachem line (not started yet)
Filtration: Penguin 350
Temp: ~80
Plants:
1 - Red rubin
1 - Ruffled Sword
5 - Subulata
1 - Hornwort
2 - Crypt petchii
1 - Anubias congensis
2 - Aquarium Lily
2 - Crypt spiralis
1 - Java Moss
1 - Wisteria
1 - Crispus
2 - Rotala
Fish:
8 - Rasporras
1 - betta
1 - bn pleco
2 - loaches
2 - blue rams (soon)
... more possibly
 

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Most of your plants don't need CO2, but depending on the species of Rotala, CO2 would be a plus. The swords will also benefit from it.

And putting the CO2 tube in the intake of your power filter won't work. The power filter's output comes in contact with the surface, so any CO2 dissolved will be outgassed (because of the surface exchange, CO2 for O2).
 

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1) Penguin would be counterproductive, I'd get a canister.
2) 3 or 4 2L bottles would be better.
2) Your crypts would also benefit. w/ >2WPG, you're in teh realm where CO2 would be beneficial but not so much light that your tank demands it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses. I read that some people use the impeller of their hob filter a diffuser for CO2. Is there any truth to this actually working? The concept seems similar to using DIY powerhead rigs to accomplish the same thing.

So, verdicts? If you were me, would you even bother with injecting CO2?

Thanks!


-Chad
 

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The HOB Filter in general is a bad idea for co2, it stirs up the surface of the water which is precisely the best way there is to remove co2 from the tank, this is the reason you will find so many canister filter snobs (jk :rolleyes:) on this forum - the canister type filter can be adjusted to have high flow without disturbing the water surface at all.

The posts you read about using filter impeller as a diffuser were most likely referring to a canister or internal filter like the one in the link Tex Gal posted.

And although c02 may not be a necessity, with the amount of lighting you have I would think not dosing it would definitely leave you open for more difficulties with algae.
 

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The HOB Filter in general is a bad idea for co2, it stirs up the surface of the water which is precisely the best way there is to remove co2 from the tank, this is the reason you will find so many canister filter snobs (jk :rolleyes:) on this forum - the canister type filter can be adjusted to have high flow without disturbing the water surface at all.

The posts you read about using filter impeller as a diffuser were most likely referring to a canister or internal filter like the one in the link Tex Gal posted.

And although c02 may not be a necessity, with the amount of lighting you have I would think not dosing it would definitely leave you open for more difficulties with algae.
This person gets 30ppm running into his HOB
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, if I am using HOB filters and possibly powerheads which lead to a decent amount of surface agitation, CO2 injections is futile? So, even if I try these internal filter or powerhead diffuser ideas, I may lose all of the CO2 I add. I may experiment a bit with this and see what happens. That may be the best way to figure things out.

Then, am I hearing that CO2 injections in my case will primarily provide as additional algae control which would certainly be a plus. Any other thoughts would be great. Thanks.

-Chad
 

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When someone tells you they get 20-30 ppm of CO2 in their water, you should immediately doubt that. We have no economical method for measuring ppm of CO2 in water that accurately. About the best we can do is to have a reasonable certainty that we have 20 to 40 ppm, when using a drop checker. The KH/pH method just doesn't work.
 

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I don't doubt that there are people who are able to maintain co2 levels with hob filters, I did myself for quite a while, but after changing to a HOT magnum (which I suppose technically still hangs on the tank but operates like a canister) In the same tank I am able to maintain the same co2 levels as before with less than half of the co2 bubbles per second. IMO that is a fairly solid case for the inefficiency of the hob style filter in regards to co2 diffusion - the point I was trying to make with this post.

I am just trying to help someone out who based on their questions is extremely new to planted tanks by giving them the best advice I can based on my own personal experiences.

And back to the topic cichlid chad, powerheads won't add to surface agitation as long as they aren't too near the surface or pointed at it. The agitation I was commenting about comes from the water pouring back into the tank from the HOB, take a look for yourself, If the water surface is glassy and smooth it will retain more co2, if it is ripply or especially splashing where it flows out of the HOB then that is where you'd be losing the CO2.

Just trying to help a newbie have the most problem-free experience they can.
Have fun.
 

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Just trying to help a newbie have the most problem-free experience they can.
Have fun.
I can appreciate this. Your points are certainly valid. I just wanted to point out that the lack of a diffuser/reactor doesn't necessarily preclude the obtainment of useful CO2 levels in a planted aquarium.
 

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I use a HOB and an powerhead in my Wall aquarium and I keep a good CO2 level, I am sure this is not as efficient as my Canister filter in my other aquarium, but It has worked fine for me, I am using the Drop checker as my reference (As hoppy said it is the "more accurate" way to know) Two things, I keep water level really high (touching up the ramp in the HOB) this is really important, and flow I keep it medium thru it.

I have the HOB in one side of the aquarium (Within the wall) my reactor in down below the HBO in the same side and in opposite position I use the Powerhead below the surface in order to have a crossflow of the water, aside the powerhead is my drop checker in opposite side to the reactor. having the powerhead improved by a lot the CO2 distribution in the water which is also important, I noticed this by having "sooner" green readings of CO2 in my drop checher.

Smooth Surface water agitation looks nice to me, buy unfortunately it acts againts CO2 concentration :cry:, so avoid it.
 

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I am using DIY CO2 with a HOB filter and the comment about running the water level high is correct. I was unable to get the colour of my drop checker to change until I brought the water level up until the surface agitation was almost gone. Since DIY CO2 doesn't stop at night I added an air pump on a timer to disturb the water after the lights shut off so my fish aren't gasping for Oxygen when the plants start growing.

Matt
 

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okay, from what I've read from your post, It sounds to me that your opinion of CO2 is, as if CO2 isn't neccessary. Being 34 year old and quite a ways from high-school, I still remember my science teacher telling me that CO2 is kind of important towards plant life. but I could be wrong. Are you seriously asking this question? You should know better. anyway from what you describe, the DIY setup of CO2 would be adequate.
 
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