Best CO2 for your buck
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Best CO2 for your buck

This is a discussion on Best CO2 for your buck within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Hi everyone, im new around here. Im looking to plant my 10 gallon, learn how to do it and then move on to bigger ...

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Best CO2 for your buck
Old 02-04-2013, 10:29 PM   #1
 
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Best CO2 for your buck

Hi everyone, im new around here. Im looking to plant my 10 gallon, learn how to do it and then move on to bigger tanks. What would be the best, and cheapest CO2 kit to get? Thanks for any info.

Luke
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Old 02-04-2013, 11:17 PM   #2
 
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I believe some people use CO2 cartridges from paintball guns for small tanks, although I have never used it myself so I can't give any additional information on that route. You can also consider going the DIY route using yeast and sugar, but it takes a little time to get set up and some experimentation to get the best mixture that works for you. If done right, you can use two reactors and swap one out at a time each week to keep the CO2 flow consistent.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MMAfish35 View Post
Hi everyone, im new around here. Im looking to plant my 10 gallon, learn how to do it and then move on to bigger tanks. What would be the best, and cheapest CO2 kit to get? Thanks for any info.

Luke
If you've not done plants before I wonder if you need the complication of trying to add CO2 right away. You may consider setting the plants and seeing if you even need it.

Jeff.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:23 AM   #4
 
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Thanks for the info guys. I have been looking into it a lot more and it seems a lot of people dont't even need co2. A good lighting system and nutrients is all they use. I'll start out with that and see how it goes.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:27 AM   #5
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Take a look at my tank, or many others here, in the aquarium tank tab, you'll see many examples of great planted tanks without CO2. For reference, mine's a little over a month old.

Jeff.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:29 AM   #6
 
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Ok great, I will be sure to do that.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:34 AM   #7
 
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JDM, do you dose ferts? I don't know a lot about non-CO2 tanks since I've pretty much always used it, but I'd imagine if you're not using it then additional nutrients in the water would lead to algae problems. For example, I keep about 20ppm nitrate and 2ppm phosphate in my tank and have never had algae growth, but I'm sure if I turned off my CO2 then my tank would be a disaster. I could be wrong through. Anyway, my point is that whether you choose to use CO2 or not, you'll need to setup and operate your tank accordingly.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:51 AM   #8
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JDM, do you dose ferts? I don't know a lot about non-CO2 tanks since I've pretty much always used it, but I'd imagine if you're not using it then additional nutrients in the water would lead to algae problems. For example, I keep about 20ppm nitrate and 2ppm phosphate in my tank and have never had algae growth, but I'm sure if I turned off my CO2 then my tank would be a disaster. I could be wrong through. Anyway, my point is that whether you choose to use CO2 or not, you'll need to setup and operate your tank accordingly.
Once a week flourish comprehensive... if I remember, 2 root tabs for my valls and swords. 14 hours light (I know, it's just the way the schedule goes at home... we like to see the fish in the evening)

0 nitrates, I'm pretty sure that the plants are sucking up what does appear as I did have some a little while ago. I don't check for phosphates so they are minimal I am sure.

You are correct , additional nutrients without CO2 and more intense light would be a disaster, it has to be balanced based on the method that you are using. If I bumped up my lighting, added CO2 and started dosing other stuff... I wouldn't be able to keep ahead of my stems. As it is I'm cutting them in half every week and often see 1" of growth in a day.

I chalk it up to a steady ammonia load in the water. I saw the plants shoot after adding 9 new fish and ammonia levels hovering at what I call "non-zero" levels... nowhere near 0.25ppm but not quite zero.

Jeff.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:22 AM   #9
 
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Very nice Jeff. Thanks for the detailed response

So MMA, as I said, if you go the non-CO2 route, you'll need to do some reading and ask for advice on the best way to set up the tank to prevent algae outbreaks. This includes but not limited to lighting, substrate, fertilizer (not always used in non-CO2 tanks), and most importantly plants. I'm sure Jeff can help you get started there.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:17 PM   #10
 
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Ok I will be sure to check that out. How bad are these algae breakouts? If I did make a mistake, and it started to grow, would a few hillside loaches and cherry shrimp be able to manage it? Maybe some snails?
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