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Re: [APD] Re: CO2, Amano & DIY

> During 2001 convention Takashi Amano told me to check if my
> fish is breathing really fast early in the morning when he
> found out I was injecting CO2 24/7 (targeting 30ppm).  This
> stuck to my mind because he looked so humorous pretending to
> be fish breathing fast with his eyes rolling.  I found my
> neon tetra breathing extremely fast in the middle of plants
> like he predicted.  So I started using a solenoid valve,
> although I could have used an airstone on a timer.  He told
> me I didn't need any fancy equipment like a solenoid valve
> or a separate reactor, etc. (I wonder what his sales manager
> thought of this), but I happened to have a freebie on hand.
> He also told me to inject CO2 on the "output" side of my
> Eheim filter by punching a tiny hole and sticking my CO2
> line into the green Eheim tubing. (His reason of bypassing
> the filter was to protect delicate tiny rotifer like
> microorganisms that live in the filter environment from the
> acidifying effect of CO.) He said that the compression
> strength of the Eheim tubing material should be able to seal
> around my small drip irrigation connector to which I
> attached my CO2 line.  This worked really well.  After a
> year or so when I twisted the connector (I don't remember
> why I did this), a tiny leak sprung.  I could not get the
> hose to seal back around the connector due to a compression
> set.  I could have tried a different spot on the hose, but
> then I found Tom's reactor, which works very well.
> Incidentally, my tap water contains a high amount of CO2
> (the local utility company lists it to be 50 ppm or higher
> depending on the source wells/treatment facilities in their
> drinking water report.)  Not knowing this, I did a 50% water
> change around 10:00 pm one night.  The next morning (around
> 6:00 am)  I found all my fish floating belly up (luckily not
> dead.)  My cardina japonica were all getting out of the tank
> climbing up a heater line, some lined up single file on the
> ledge, some already hopping on the floor to the delight of
> my kitty.  An emergency water change revived my fish and
> shrimp immediately.  Actually it took me a couple of times
> of this before I started checking on my tap water for an
> extra source of CO2.
> Tomoko

Tomoko, you are lucky to have CO2 in your water, I have to pay for mine !
Actually I began using CO2 after reading a book by Takashi Amano, his ideas
seemed quite sensible and his tank photos are beautiful, though I have not
seen one for real as I live in the UK. He mentioned turning CO2 off at night
in that book for the same reasons you gave.

Inspired by his stories I bought a cheap system that has a plastic "cup"
which is upsidedown in the tank to hold C02 which dissolves easily anyway. I
have no money and was only experimenting. But immediately my plants began to
grow. So I adapted a SodaStream (carbonated drinks maker) so that I could
use the CO2 from that which is cheap, especially as I got the bottle and
dispenser from a second hand charity shop.

When I built a larger 1m x 0.6m x 0.6m tank (approx 3' x 2' x 2' imperial)
I used the same principle and glued an upturned glass into it with CO2 feed
and drain tubes, (on the opposite side to Eheim thermofilter out and in so
the looping current passes by it and mixes in the tank) then I got a CO2
mig-welder bottle & regulator and used that for CO2, I am still on my first
fill of that bottle after nearly 3 years and it cost very little compared to
the professional systems (which are frankly overpriced and you always have
to buy something new for them which I cant afford ;). The only snag has been
the fracture of the CO2 feed tube which wasted some CO2, I think the tube
was effected by the strong lighting I use so I have shielded it now with a
jacket of white plastic plumbers tubing. I think strong light makes some
plastics more rigid and brittle. Would that account for your experience with
the Eheim tubing ?

I used mercury blended lamps with that tank, which are like mercury vapour
only much cheaper even than flourescent as they are self ballasted, in a DIY
reflector, 3 x 160W. My plants grow as long as I remember to fill the glass
with CO2 every morning and the entire lighting and CO2 rig together cost
about £80 ($130US or 15k JPY). My Rummy Nose Tetras are doing fine with
bright red noses, some Emperors even managed to breed in the tank and I have
a large Golden Eye male (nannacara anomala) I bred in support tanks in there
and one Amano shrimp who is 3 years old now and doing fine farming algae and
munching on my Amazon frogbit !

Richard :)

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