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RE: This CO2 business

> From: Fredrik Agetoft <fredrik at agetoft_com>
> Subject: Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V4 #951
> Im new to this mailing list since Im just now setting up my first tank
> after a 15 year long hiatus. Since my last time around a lot of things has
> happened to this hobby. To say the least.

Definitely. I had a similar hiatus and found lots of differences -for starters,
glass aquaria have become wonderfully cheap.

> This CO2 business for one thing. Adding CO2 to a tank was, as far as I
> know, more or less unheard of back then, and now everybody seems to do it.

Well, not everybody, just a certain category of plant nuts.

> Having caught up with things - reading Amano and other litterature - Im
> curious to try it. But Im reluctant to buy a $400 machine straight away.
> And equally reluctant toward the DIY reactor method (the horror stories at
> The Krib kinda scared me).

A good system should cost you more like $200 including the CO2 cylinder.

> So. Does anyone here have any experience of adding carbonated water by the
> bottle to the tank?
> My idea would be to set up an inexpensive home soda-maker and carbonate tap
> water in bottles
> and then pouring it in - say one half litre bottle twice a week.

If you want to "dip your feet in" like this, there are a couple of better ways:
Bioplast makes a "CO2 System" that uses alka-seltzer-like tablets to add CO2.

Second, go to a bicycle shop and buy a $20 gadget for inflating tires using
CO2, or the near-identical gadget sold at office supply stores for dusting
equipment. They both use tiny CO2 cylinders like a BB gun uses. Invert a
water-filled jar inside the tank and fill the jar with CO2 once a day.

> Would a set-up like that work?
> Would it do any good (as compared to the other methods, that is)?
> Would it be harmful to the fish (ie. will there be a dangerous CO2 spike if
> I add relatively large amounts like this from time to time).

I'm not sure just how much CO2 you'd be adding with soda water, but it would be
sudden. Both of the methods I mentioned above use a bell device to store and
gradually dissolve the CO2 so they're safer.

Both also don't work half as well as a real CO2 cylinder. I have setups on two
tanks that cost about $150 each, and work for about 6 months between $15
refills. Can't beat that.

> I read about Amano at least having tried pouring Perrier straight into the
> tank,
> but Im not sure that makes it a good idea.

Especially not with a twist of lemon. :)

michael moncur   mgm at starlingtech_com   http://www.starlingtech.com/
"Misery no longer loves company.  Nowadays it insists on it."
                -- Russell Baker