Adding CO2 to a planted aquarium...
I have a planted freshwater aquarium, and I'd like to add CO2. I know nothing about how this works, I just know it's one more thing to buy... How do I add it, and what will I need? How much will it cost? Any suggestions and advice are appreciated!
Well DIY CO2 will cost you about $8 to start and about $3 a month in sugar and yeast. Pressurized will cost about $400-800 to start and about $1-2 a month to maintain for the same tank size as the DIY costs.
DIY can be unreliable and hard to control but it does work. A lot more effort needs to be taken to keep the mixtures producing. The hardest part is maintaining 30ppm or higher and not have it fluctuate below that.
Pressurized, once you have it set up, is a lot more stabvle, a lot easier to maintain and will make life much easier but as you see, it is a lot more expensive.
For DIY, you will need at least 2 liters of bottle space for every 20 gallons. A simple mixture of yeast, wine yeast seems to be the prefered and works best form those who I know of that use it, and suger is all you need.
Let us know which way you want to go for now and we can get you pointed in the right direction as to what you need to get and how to get it up and running.
CO2 Fizz Factory
I too have a planted freshwater aquarium that I want to add CO2 to. I saw some DIY things but they seemed way too complicated. Then, I stumbled upon the Jungle Plant Care CO2 factory. I researched it and it looks really simple to set up and use. You can find pictures for it on google images. I saw it at Petco for around $30 but Petsmart has it for only $15. I tried to pick it up in stores, but it can only be found at Petsmart.com. Today I ordered it and hope to get it in about a week.
There are other options like FishAddict99 stated. They are however less reliable than DIY and often wind up costing a lot more to keep them running and to keep levels high enough to prevent algae. Again, there are ways to make them work if you have the time and patience.
As for DIY CO2, it is pretty easy. All it takes is the bottles, some airline tubing, some yeast and sugar, a couple check valves and some silicone or plumbers pipe tape to make sure it is all sealed air tight. The hard part is keeping the jugs at a steady temperature so they produce enough to keep the levels high enough. If I had DIY right now I owuld have to have another tnak set up to maintain the bottles as my house is terribly under insulated and the front room gets down to 68F in the winter. In the summer it works great, almost too well but winter I get terrible algae blooms and the CO2 seems to make things worse.
I will see if there is a diagram in the DIY section, if not, I will draw one up to show the easiest way to do it.
If you do decide to get the Jungle plant care CO2 factory, the diffusor is fairly good but putting the exit near the intake of your HOB filter or the intake of a Canister filter will help to make sure all the CO2 is dissolved and you get the best levels possible with such units.
i never paid 400-800 for my co2 set ups......
100-200 for mine....
not all planted tanks need co2. how much light do you have? what plants?
(1) Do I need more light than the 15 watts for the 16 gallons I get from standard hood? I've heard that I do, even though with the high substrate in the tank I probably have more like 12-13 gallons of water. I've been able to find a 36 watt CF retrofit kit that promises to do the trick. I hear that this is unnecessary for these plants. Doing a retro will be very expensive ($75 minimum) and will supposedly greatly increase algae too.
(2) Do I really need a CO2 injector with a tank this small? It's difficult enough to cram all this into my apartment and also take time for yet another think to cram into the tank. I don't care for massive plant growth, just very gradual and more maintenance. Right now I have a small air pump with a stone just above the gravel that runs at night. I'm not sure is worth much of anything but figured it might help from what I read.
It seems you know a lot more about these kinds of plants than I or many others do and I have received conflicting advice. Thanks so much for sharing.
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