Need CO2 recommendation

jonatheber

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I've got a planted tank that has had algae problems. I have decided to add CO2 and try to have more plants growing to keep the algae at bay. If someone gives me a shopping list for a do it yourself kit, I'll buy that. If going with a kit from a commercial company makes more sense, I'll buy that. I wouldn't mind a setup that had a tank that I could easily refill at a local spot. I am looking for easy, and got horribly confused by all the threads here about in-line and in tank and diffusers etc. My only hope is that the setup be fairly quiet - the tank is in the den next to the sofa....

Some particulars of my setup:

1) 46g bowfront
2) fluval 3.0 light
3) fluval 405 canister filter.

Just tell me what to buy :).
 
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realzalio

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CO2 isn't the solution to algae in low-tech aquariums
how well planted is your tank?
what species of plants do you have?
are you dosing fertilizers?
have you considered that you have your light on too long or you are overdosing fertilizer?
 

Wills

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When you add Co2 you need to balance it with light and fertilisers. The level of fertiliser comes from your substrate and liquid fertilisers that you add every day.

With Co2 it is a very dangerous set up and you have to do it right and with respect otherwise it can be disasterous. Its a pressurised container in your home and you are pumping something into the tank that if uncontroled can kill your fish. This means always go for the absolute best you can afford. I have a Co2 art regulator which is the key bit of kit you need, this attached to your Co2 cylinder (that you can source locally) and gives you a controlled flow of Co2 into your diffuser.

Your diffuser either sits in the tank like an airstone or an inline system adds it directly to the outflow pipe of an external filter. I use a diffuser in my tank as I like to see the bubbles and it feels more controlable that way but an inline is neater so it is upto you which you go for. The basic tropica diffuser is good as it has a bubble counter and non return valve built in which you would need separately otherwise. Most aquarium brands have their own diffuser most do the same thing but you do sometimes get better quality in some brands like ADA and Twinstar.

In short your shopping list is

- Co2 art regulator (get the best you can afford)
- Co2 cylinder (fire extinguisher or welding canister)
- Bubble counter (may come as part of the regulator)
- Drop checker and drop checker fluid (to measure the level of Co2 in the tank - the liquid changes colour, blue and green = good, yellow = bad)
- Co2 specfic airline
- Co2 non return valve

Co2 art is a good brand and a good starting point to put together a shopping list but check out aquascaping shops near you to see what else is available.

When you are putting the Co2 into your tank you can work out how much you need by using the bubble counter and the drop checker. The bubble counter is a tube of tap water that sits between the regulator and the diffuser and you can count the bubbles as they pass through the water - Start off with one bubble per second in the bubble counter and after 2-3 hours see what colour your drop checker is, hopefully it will be turning from blue to green.

Most people like to see a really grass green colour in the drop checker but I like to keep mine a little lower to prioritise the fish over the plants and I still got good results.

Wills
 

Byron

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I agree with others that CO2 is not the answer, and will only set up more to go wrong.

It would help to know more about the "algae problem." Algae is normal in any healthy aquarium, but when it becomes "problem" algae, like black brush, hair, etc, and in a planted tank, that is due to an imbalance of light/nutrients. Plants need 17 nutrients and sufficient light intensity to balance these. A photo of the entire tank will tell us the plant species and numbers, and any data on the light (spectrum especially, and duration) and any plant additives, will also factor in.
 
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jonatheber

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CO2 isn't the solution to algae in low-tech aquariums
how well planted is your tank?
what species of plants do you have?
are you dosing fertilizers?
have you considered that you have your light on too long or you are overdosing fertilizer
Before the algae explosion, I had about 8 plants in the tank. I removed them and am starting over with 10 (now) and plans to buy more once I have a tank that can handle it. The algae problem was hair algae. It got all over the plants, the heater, etc.

I do a 33% water change weekly.

I'm not as aware of the species as I should be. I know I have an amazon sword, a few wisteria and a few hornwort. I attached a picture hoping people more aware than I recognize more of them.

I dose with Thrive all in one, 5 squirts 5x/week.
I have the fluval on at about 60-65% four or so hours a day. I put on a picture of the light settings I use from the Fluval App.

PS Also considering getting a U/V sterlilizer as well.
 

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itiwhetu

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If you plant your tank to 30-50% of it's volume, and do nothing else your algae problem will go away. The oxygen that the plants produce is enough to slow the algae. Algae can not survive in an Oxygen enriched environment.
 

Byron

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Before the algae explosion, I had about 8 plants in the tank. I removed them and am starting over with 10 (now) and plans to buy more once I have a tank that can handle it. The algae problem was hair algae. It got all over the plants, the heater, etc.

I do a 33% water change weekly.

I'm not as aware of the species as I should be. I know I have an amazon sword, a few wisteria and a few hornwort. I attached a picture hoping people more aware than I recognize more of them.

I dose with Thrive all in one, 5 squirts 5x/week.
I have the fluval on at about 60-65% four or so hours a day. I put on a picture of the light settings I use from the Fluval App.

PS Also considering getting a U/V sterlilizer as well.

I checked the ingredients in Thrive All-in-One and it seems basically OK. Nitrogen and phosphate should not be included, but many "comprehensive" fertilizers have them (though at lower levels than here). Both of these can contribute to problem algae. Dose at five times a week is excessive though, and likely part of the problem. Once a week, on the day following the water change, might work better.

We don't know the lighting (I cannot understand the second photo), so let's assume it is OK with respect to intensity and spectrum. Question then is, how long is this light on each 24-hours period? This could be a major factor here.

Some floating plants might help too.
 
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jonatheber

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If you plant your tank to 30-50% of it's volume, and do nothing else your algae problem will go away. The oxygen that the plants produce is enough to slow the algae. Algae can not survive in an Oxygen enriched environment.
Problem is I can't g
I checked the ingredients in Thrive All-in-One and it seems basically OK. Nitrogen and phosphate should not be included, but many "comprehensive" fertilizers have them (though at lower levels than here). Both of these can contribute to problem algae. Dose at five times a week is excessive though, and likely part of the problem. Once a week, on the day following the water change, might work better.

We don't know the lighting (I cannot understand the second photo), so let's assume it is OK with respect to intensity and spectrum. Question then is, how long is this light on each 24-hours period? This could be a major factor here.

Some floating plants might help too.
I dose the fertilizer 2x a week. The package recommends five "squirts" (one for each 10 gallons). I can cut back to once a week.

The lights are on 4 hours a day. There is no direct sunlight from anywhere.
 

Byron

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Problem is I can't g

I dose the fertilizer 2x a week. The package recommends five "squirts" (one for each 10 gallons). I can cut back to once a week.

The lights are on 4 hours a day. There is no direct sunlight from anywhere.

I missed the light time previously, sorry about asking again. But 4 hours is not much...perhaps the intensity is an issue. I really would get some floating plants, but substantial ones like Water Sprite, Frogbit, Water Lettuce; even some stem plants can be left floating.

Earlier it did say 5 squirts 5x/week, but once should be sufficient.

The algae isn't really too bad (I've seen much worse, and had much worse myself) so the floating plants may be all you need.
 

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