Aquarium Forum
 


Menu
  · Tropical Fish Home
· Fish News
· Aquarium Forum
· Calculators
· Free Aquarium Ebook
· Feedback
· Photo gallery
· Plant species
· Tropica Plant DB
Tropical fish species
· By Common name
· By Scientific name
Tropical Marine fish
· By Common name
· By Scientific name

Articles
  · African Cichlids
· Algae Control
· Aquarium Decoration
· Aquarium Resources
· Aquatic Plants
· Barb Fish
· Betta Fish
· Breeding Fish
· Catfish
· Central American Cichlids
· Cichlids
· Clownfish
· Corals
· Corydoras Catfish
· Discus Fish
· Dwarf Cichlids
· Fish Diseases
· Frogs and Turtles
· Goby Fish
· Goldfish
· Gourami
· Invertebrates
· Jellyfish
· Killiefish
· Lake Victoria Cichlids
· Livebearers
· Malawi Cichlids
· Marine Aquariums
· Marine Aquarium Fish
· Other Fish
· Pleco
· Predatory Fish
· Photography
· Pond Fish
· Responsible Fish Keeping
· Rainbow Fish
· Shark Fish
· South American Cichlids
· Tanganyika Cichlids
· Tetra Fish
· Tropical Fish Food

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    NW IL
    Posts
    16,606

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Let the gift giving begin, Merry X-mas ;-) - steeler58   Merry Christmas to you and your family Nat. - Taurus   Merry Xmas to you! - angelcraze2   Champagne for the holidays. Cheers! - mermaidwannabe   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   

    Lightbulb Some info on pressurized CO2


    4 Not allowed!
    CO2 in a planted tank
    Are you curious about CO2, and want some info on how to get into your tank? This is my base guide, based on my research and experience with having CO2 for the past 3 almost 4 years now. By no means am I an expert but I wanted to share what I learned with you guys along with a brief FYI on CO2 and plants, to explain why many go the CO2 route.

    So what is CO2 to a plant, and why would you want to add it to your tank (or not)?
    CO2 is a macronutrient and is basically carbon for your plant. Carbon is essential to all life and for a plant the CO2 is key for photosynthesis to occur:

    6CO2 + 6H2O → C6H12O6 + 6O2

    CO2 is usually the limiting factor in an aquarium as you have an abundance of light and fertilizers (provided by the fish and/or liquid or dry fertilizers you may add). Normally your tank has CO2 levels at 6-8 ppm and this is the dissolved CO2 from the atmosphere. This amount isn’t bad if your aquarium has a low-medium/low light and slow growing plants in it. They don’t photosynthesize at a rate that would need higher doses of CO2.
    However if you have a tank with medium/high-high lighting and some medium to fast growing plants that have the capacity to grow fast in the right conditions, they can really take advantage of additional CO2 that supplementation can provide (20-30 ppm).


    Plant Needs
    Plant need 3 things to thrive in your tank and a lack in one can cause an imbalance that may result in a manifestation of algae in one form or another (sometimes many).
    Light (low-high including low/medium and medium/high)
    CO2 (considered a macronutrient)
    Macro/micro nutrients (Nitrogen, Potassium, Phosphate, Calcium, Magnesium, Sulfur, boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, sodium and zinc.
    Of the above the most limited nutrient is usually CO2. Many of the other macro/micro nutrients are provided by your fish’s wastes and water changes, and are also supplemented with additions of liquid or dry fertilizer on your part.
    As the intensity of light increases, photosynthesis increases and the plants use the macro/micro nutrients available within the tank. Usually there is an abundance of the other macro/micro nutrients, with the exception of CO2; and as the CO2 is used up photosynthesis slows or stops. If you can increase the CO2 to 20-30 ppm then your plants can photosynthesize without it being the limiting factor, and you won’t gas your livestock .



    Ways to Add CO2 to a Tank

    There are three ways you can add CO2 to a tank (actual CO2 - not a liquid alternative like Excel which you can use in tandem with CO2):

    1. DIY fermented CO2- utilizes yeast (bread or wine) to make CO2. This is relatively inexpensive to set up-but you need to make your own setup (or it becomes pricier). You also need to maintain this and regularly make a new yeast batch. Good for smaller tanks; 30 gallons and under. I did this and my DIY bulkheads on the 2L bottles failed resulting in yeasty water oozing in the inside of my stand and making a horrible stinking mess in my living room. It may be inexpensive (vs pressurized) to start but IMO it is pricier in the long run in actual money and time spent monitoring it. Algae loves fluctuating CO2 levels and this system IME was very good at producing fluctuating CO2 levels.

    DIY co2.png

    2. Gaseous injected CO2- this are relatively new (in US) systems for smaller tanks (nano to 30 gallon) and utilize pressurized canisters of CO2 and small systems to inject CO2 as a gas to the aquarium. I am not 100% familiar with this method, but it is similar to pressurized CO2 but on a smaller scale and without a tank of CO2, just little one time use canisters or even aerosol.

    CO2 gasseous.jpg

    3. Pressurized (tank) CO2- this method uses tanks of CO2 (from paintball 16 ounces to 50 pound tanks) with regulators and other instruments for regulation gas flow and injection into the tank. This is the method I will be going into more detail below. Depending on the bells and whistles this can add up to a pricey investment, but the key word is investment. Mom always said you pay for what you get and unfortunately that is true 98% of the time. The pressurized system is what I am going to focus on in this little write up, as it is what I have been using the longest and is the most entailed.



    Pressurized CO2 System
    You will need some basic materials and some are optional but recommended materials for a successful pressurized CO2 system.


    Basic Supplies
    1. CO2 cylinder/tank- holds the CO2 gas, comes in many sizes from ounces (for paintball set ups) and 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 pound tanks. The tanks come with a CGA320 fitting in North America, so if you purchase a system overseas make sure it will fit on your tank. If you choose to go with a paintball tank you have to keep in mind that it does not come with the CGA320 fitting by a pin depression. This means that you either have to get an adapter to fit a standard regulator or a regulator to fit the pin depression on a paintball system. Additionally the paintball tanks are very small and the largest is 24 ounces. It can cost $5-7 to fill these and depending on your tank size you could go through one in a matter of a month. If you have a 10lb tank you can usually fill it under $20 and it will last you 6-8 months so the cost over a year is less, as well as the hassle of constantly running to get your paintball tanks refilled.

    2. Regulator- converts the pressure within your tank of CO2 into a lower pressure. Tank pressure is usually around 860 psi at room temperature (72 fahrenheit). Regulators usually have 2 gages or pressure dials, one that shows the tank’s pressure (the high pressure dial); and the one that shows the pressure that is converted and will be entering the tank (low pressure dial) usually around 5-20 psi depending on the bubble rate you want for your tank. Along with having two gauges a regulator can be single or dual stage. A dual stage holds a constant pressure and reduces the “end of tank dump” because it will hold the tank pressure without affecting the delivery pressure because it has the two step process with its dual system of control valves. It is the safest way to add CO2 to an aquarium that has livestock along with plants. A single stage does the same job as a dual stage, but because it only uses a single valve the pressure cannot be regulated or controlled with the same accuracy as the dual stage. As the pressure within the tank decreases it affects the pressure entering the tank, occasionally resulting in the end of tank dump that has resulted in more than a couple morning of me desperately trying to do a massive water change to reduce the CO2 levels of my tank water as my fish gasp at the surface for air or in one case die in front of me. I am saying this as a cautionary tale and not in any way to dissuade you from CO2.

    Picture3.jpg

    3. CO2 safe airline tubing- special tubing that will not flex/deteriorate under the high pressure of the CO2 setup. Some state that any tubing will work and the rates of diffusion from silicon tubing or vinyl is negligible but I figure if you are going all out for a few more cents/$ the rigidity and lack of permeability is worth it IMO.

    4. Check valve- a one way valve that will prevent water from the tank back flowing into the CO2 system as the pressure changes within the airline tubing as the CO2 is turned on and off.

    5. pH/KH testing kit- to test the CO2 levels in the tank, looking for a value between 20-30 ppm. This is tested by taking the pH of your tank and the KH (carbonate hardness). You then use the two values with the help of a chart like this to check the amount of dissolved CO2 within the tank.



    Optional but Highly Recommended

    6. Solenoid- electronically controlled valve turn on and off the CO2 gas flow through your regulator, allows you to control how long the CO2 will go to your tank electronically and easily with the use of a timer. Using a solenoid also allows you the option of adding a pH controller to to further automize the CO2 delivery to your tank as it will react to the CO2 levels to adjust the flow of CO2 to the tank.

    7. Needle valve- to finely control the amount of CO2 entering the system, attached to the regulator. It further decreases the pressure of the CO2 from the regulator through the use of a small needle that is adjusted to change the flow of CO2 which results in more/less bubbles. This is very important in controlling the amount of CO2 entering your tank. If you don’t have a quality needle valve then you will suffer with fluctuating CO2 levels that can be harmful to your tank by opening the door to algae-or to your livestock by gassing them.

    8. Bubble Counter- a way to physically see the CO2 entering the tank and count how much is entering depending on the rate of flow. This is a compartment or space filled with a fluid and separate from the Co2 tubing. It is usually filled with water but some use glycerin or mineral oil because the bubble pass through it slower and the liquid doesn’t evaporate like water does. Optimal rates can be 1-2 bubbles per second (bps) or higher depending on your desired CO2 levels. Bubble counters come in many shapes and can be attached right off the regulator, inside the tank by the diffuser, or along the CO2 tubing.

    Picture4.jpg
    5.5g- Shrimp tank
    Tub Tanks
    5g Opa Ulae salty tank
    Fish room-*pending*


    TUB tanks:
    5.5 Shrimp Tanks
    Goldfish Tank
    Fish Room
    Salty Shrimp


    DebinWhitmore

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Auburn, Georgia
    Posts
    5,577

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Let the gift giving begin, Merry X-mas ;-) - steeler58   Happy Holidays to you!  Miss you at the forum. - Boundava   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   Happy Birthday. - gadget228   Happy Birthday ;-) - steeler58   
    Adoptee - Bone Cancer - Child Exploitation and Abuse - Hope and Support - Peace - Retinoblastoma - Right to Life - Student Sexual Assault - Silbar   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - Silbar   Emphysema - Lung Cancer - Lung Disease - Multiple Sclerosis - Silbar   

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    This is a fantastic reference for everyone interested in CO2 but have NO clues/knowledge (like me). I'm so glad you went to all the trouble to put this info together for us. I tried to "rep" you but it said to spread the love around.
    So I will give you PROPS instead
    Sil's 2nd Time Around 75G...Journal
    Sil's 75G...Journal
    Sil's 20L...Journal
    Sil's 10G...Journal

    RIP Deb, we miss you.

    Real courage is moving forward when the outcome is uncertain~~Fortune Cookie

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    NW IL
    Posts
    16,606

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Let the gift giving begin, Merry X-mas ;-) - steeler58   Merry Christmas to you and your family Nat. - Taurus   Merry Xmas to you! - angelcraze2   Champagne for the holidays. Cheers! - mermaidwannabe   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    9. Diffuser- this is a way to diffuse the gaseous CO2 dissolved into the liquid tank. The theory is that the finer you can get the gas the faster it can dissolve into the water and not gas off (essentially throwing your CO2 away).
    There are many different types of diffusers and all vary in their ability to diffuse CO2 and some are better at higher pressures than others.

    Bell diffuser- basically an inverted bell and theory is that it holds a bubble of CO2 and slowly is dissolved into the tank.

    diffusionbell.gif

    Into the filter diffuser- the CO2 tubing is inserted directly into the filter intake so that the CO2 is dispersed/broken down by the impeller. It can also be inserted into a powerhead or current maker to dissolve and distribute the CO2 gas.

    Picture5.jpg

    Ladder diffusers- just as it sounds, the CO2 travels up a ladder where it is slowly dissolved into the water as it travels from bottom to the top. These are better for lower pressure/DIY systems

    ladder diffuser.jpg

    Ceramic diffuser- utilizes a fine ceramic disc that is inserted in either a glass, metal or plastic holder which diffuses the gaseous CO2 into a multitude of tiny bubbles that are easily dissolved into the tank and absorbed by the plants cutting down on the gas off. This can include built in bubble counters or even mini-ladders.

    Picture6.jpg

    Inline diffuser- it is a ceramic atomizer that is placed within a plastic housing and is attached to the tubing of your canister filter. Atomizers result in the finest breakdown of CO2 gas and by placing it in the filter tubing it helps contain and dissolve the gas prior to entry to the tank.

    inline diffuser.jpg
    5.5g- Shrimp tank
    Tub Tanks
    5g Opa Ulae salty tank
    Fish room-*pending*


    TUB tanks:
    5.5 Shrimp Tanks
    Goldfish Tank
    Fish Room
    Salty Shrimp


    DebinWhitmore

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    NW IL
    Posts
    16,606

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Let the gift giving begin, Merry X-mas ;-) - steeler58   Merry Christmas to you and your family Nat. - Taurus   Merry Xmas to you! - angelcraze2   Champagne for the holidays. Cheers! - mermaidwannabe   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    In-tank Atomizer- almost like across between the inline atomizer and in tank air stone, but so much finer. It produces a very fine mist of bubbles that help the CO2 to dissolve prior to it reaching the surface and gassing off.

    atomizer wand diffuser.jpg

    10. CO2 drop checker- device, either glass or plastic, that uses an air space and an indicator solution that changes colors depending on the concentration of CO2 within the water which is expelled within the air space inside the drop checker. It starts out blue and within a period of time-usually half an hour, it changes color depending on the amount of CO2 present. The solution is a combination of bromothymol blue and solution set KH; the combination of the two will indicate CO2 levels. Green tells you you have optimal CO2 levels in the tank-yellow that you have too much, blue = too little. Indicator solutions can be confusing (at least it was to me) because some say to mix with aquarium water. You use the indicator solution straight from the bottle and directly into the drop checker. No mixing is involved and will affect your readings
    IME, and I have had plastic and upgraded to glass, don’t waste your money and get a glass one first. The plastic ones have O-rings that fail after a couple months and glass is one piece and is surprisingly easy to clean.

    Picture7.jpg

    11. Timer- setting your solenoid on a timer ensures a regular flow of CO2 to the tank. Essentially you want the CO2 to start prior to the photoperiod so that there is enough in the water for the plants to utilize when the lights go on. Also you want the CO2 to stop a short period prior to the lights going off so that the plants utilize the CO2 in the tank and it doesn’t just sit in the tank in excess. Recommendations vary from half an hour to 2 hours prior to lights going on and off. I have never gone 2 hours, but I set the CO2 for an hour prior to lights on and half an hour to lights off in my 75 gallon tank. This of course means you should have a timer set for your lights to work in tandem with the CO2 schedule.


    Optional

    12. pH controller- an electrical controller that will automatically adjust the flow of CO2 based on the levels within your tank. Very neat but also pricey and if you set the regulator (with a solenoid and needle valve) correctly it’s not needed, IMO.


    So this is the system I have set up on my tank. I have a 5 pound and 2.5 pound tank with a dual valve regulator that I purchased with an electric solenoid and needle valve. I also have a bubble counter directly off my regulator, and an atomic in-tank diffuser. Majority is courtesy of CO2 Art from UK.




    Along with the drop checker there is a way to check the CO2 levels within your tank using pH and KH-however KH within water that is not RO re-mineralized (i.e tap, well or purified) will have other buffers (other than carbonates) that can throw off the CO2 reading, so is not always accurate.

    Attachment 49898 ph_kh_co2.gif


    Some excellent sites I utilized for research when I was starting out (there are a lot of sites out there, some specific to DIY-which I didn't include):

    http://www.aquariumadvice.com/beginn...-planted-tank/
    http://www.liveaquaria.com/PIC/article.cfm?aid=100
    http://www.barrreport.com/forum/barr...ressurized-co2



    Hope this helps anyone interested in learning/trying a pressurized system. You can buy the unit all in one (gages/regulator, needle valve, solenoid) or you can put it together yourself.

    By no means is the the end all guide, and I am not an expert-but sharing the info and experiences I have had in the world of CO2 and planted tanks.

    Thank you guys.
    Last edited by Boundava; 12-13-2016 at 07:26 PM.
    5.5g- Shrimp tank
    Tub Tanks
    5g Opa Ulae salty tank
    Fish room-*pending*


    TUB tanks:
    5.5 Shrimp Tanks
    Goldfish Tank
    Fish Room
    Salty Shrimp


    DebinWhitmore

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Quebec, CA
    Posts
    6,792

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Congrats on your proven pair! - RiversGirl   Let the gift giving begin, Merry X-mas ;-) - steeler58   Merry Christmas! - discusluv   Happy Holiday to you! - Boundava   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Good job Boundava! I bet you're not done yet! I also wanted to 'rep' you, but I gotta spread the love around too!

    I was thinking about starting with co2 in my 120g and I'm almost clueless about it! I will definitely come here for reference! Thank you!
    Last edited by angelcraze2; 12-13-2016 at 08:35 PM.
    GiVe Me sHrEd TiLL i'M dEaD
    -Kat

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Tampa,FL
    Posts
    5,414

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Merry Christmas! - Boundava   Happy Christmas! - Slaphppy7   Happy V Day! - WhistlingBadger   Happy Birthday. - gadget228   Happy Holidays to you! - Boundava   
    Mourning - Anti-Gang - Melanoma - Slaphppy7   Bone Marrow Donation - Childhood Depression - Depression - Environment - Eye Injury Prevention - Glaucoma - Kidney Cancer - Kidney Disease - Kidney Transplantation - Leukemia - Lyme Disease - Mental Retardation - Missing Children - Organ Donation - T - AmazonJoe   World Trade Center Victims and Heroes - Fireworks Safety - AmazonJoe   

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Auburn, Georgia
    Posts
    5,577

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Let the gift giving begin, Merry X-mas ;-) - steeler58   Happy Holidays to you!  Miss you at the forum. - Boundava   Merry Christmas! - Slaphppy7   Happy Birthday. - gadget228   Happy Birthday ;-) - steeler58   
    Adoptee - Bone Cancer - Child Exploitation and Abuse - Hope and Support - Peace - Retinoblastoma - Right to Life - Student Sexual Assault - Silbar   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - Silbar   Emphysema - Lung Cancer - Lung Disease - Multiple Sclerosis - Silbar   

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    That is a great suggestion! Very sticky worthy, indeed! Mod, any chance you can do that?
    Sil's 2nd Time Around 75G...Journal
    Sil's 75G...Journal
    Sil's 20L...Journal
    Sil's 10G...Journal

    RIP Deb, we miss you.

    Real courage is moving forward when the outcome is uncertain~~Fortune Cookie

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Southeast Texas
    Posts
    51,517

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Here's to good games tomorrow ;-) - steeler58   Thanks for the rep ;-) - steeler58   My fish say Thank You - KoryKat   Thanks for the Rep ;-) - steeler58   Enjoy your weekend my friend - Taurus   
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - steeler58   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - steeler58   Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - aquariumlover10   Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - gronlaura   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - SeaLady   

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Nice comprehensive thread, but should belong in the Technical section of the forum, since much of the information given relies on equipment and "hands-on" involvement, IMO.

    Sources cited in post #4, are there any more to note, Boundava?
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Southeast Texas
    Posts
    51,517

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Here's to good games tomorrow ;-) - steeler58   Thanks for the rep ;-) - steeler58   My fish say Thank You - KoryKat   Thanks for the Rep ;-) - steeler58   Enjoy your weekend my friend - Taurus   
    Troop and Military Support - Amber Alert - Bladder Cancer - Endometriosis - Equality - Liver Cancer - Liver Disease - Missing Children - POW/MIA - Spina Bifida - Suicide - steeler58   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - steeler58   Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - aquariumlover10   Cancer - Epilepsy - Foster Care - Gynecological Cancer - Rett Syndrome - gronlaura   Breast Cancer - Birth Parents - SeaLady   

    Default


    2 Not allowed!
    Moved to the Technical section, and stickied.

    Congrats Boundava, and thanks for the very well presented information.
    10 Gallon Beginner Tank... Journal
    40 Gallon Breeder: ... Journal
    29 Gallon: ... Journal

    “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went” - Will Rogers

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Tampa,FL
    Posts
    5,414

    Awards Showcase

    Latest gifts & ribbons:

    Merry Christmas! - Boundava   Happy Christmas! - Slaphppy7   Happy V Day! - WhistlingBadger   Happy Birthday. - gadget228   Happy Holidays to you! - Boundava   
    Mourning - Anti-Gang - Melanoma - Slaphppy7   Bone Marrow Donation - Childhood Depression - Depression - Environment - Eye Injury Prevention - Glaucoma - Kidney Cancer - Kidney Disease - Kidney Transplantation - Leukemia - Lyme Disease - Mental Retardation - Missing Children - Organ Donation - T - AmazonJoe   World Trade Center Victims and Heroes - Fireworks Safety - AmazonJoe   

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •