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[APD] Re: CO2 Questions

In the end, I'm trying to combine the two and develop the "Lazy Ass Barr Method". This means I don't want to be mixing sugar and yeast, poking holes in balloons or stuff like that. I'd much rather put the money down and buy the right equipment.

His method is already pretty simply. It's essence is pretty much that once you find out what your tank needs, you can just dose that and be close enough that things will work out well. Water changes make up any differences.

Since the "Lazy Ass" way never included larnin' 'bout nuttin' complicated I'm struggling to make sure I properly understand how this C02 stuff works.

There is a *lot* of info on this at the Krib at http://www.thekrib.com Read the "plant tech" section.

At <http://www.aquabotanic.com/abstore/en-us/dept_3.html>http://www.aquabotanic.com/abstore/en-us/dept_3.html they list a product called, "Complete C02 system w pH controller". If I understand things correctly, all I need is this system and a CO2 cylinder, and perhaps some airline to run the CO2 from the regulator to the tank. Am I missing anything?
At this point I'm very open to any other recommendations on how to put a good C02 system together. The budget is less important than my time.

You'll also need a fill of CO2 for the cylinder. Easiest thing to do is just go to a gas supplier (like AGA, for example, there are lots of others too), and get a 5-20 pound CO2 tank with deposit. It won't be a pretty tank, but it will be cheap and all the DOT required testing will be the responsibility of the gas supplier you get the tank from.

Based on this system, what would be the recommended bubble count into a 20 gallon tank, and how many hours is the suggested CO2/Light period.
Also, does anyone know any convenient ways to dose food accurately? Fish food is likely to be the input that has the most potential for variance. I would like to limit that as much as possible.

Lighting is usually on for 12-14 hours daily. I use about 12-13 myself -- it's not super critical that it be 12.375 hours or anything like that. Using CO2 doesn't really affect the photo period, it just requires you use brighter lights to get the most benefit. Again, there is a *lot* of info on this at the Krib.

"Bubble count" into a 20 gallon tank really doesn't mean much. What you need to do is put in enough CO2 to get the right water chemistry. There is a chart for this, also available from the Krib. You'll need to monitor pH and a few other parameters and use the table to determine the right amount of CO2 for your tank. The bubble count just gives you an easy way to see that your system is working and get a *rough* idea of what rate you're putting in CO2.

I've never "dosed" fish food -- I just feed what they'll eat in period of several minutes or so. Probably better than trying to "dose" the food that way anyway, since the fish don't always eat the same amounts. I suppose if you really want to be consistent with feeding, you could measure out portions of fish food with a good balance (you need to be accurate and consistent down to tenths of a gram at least -- fish food doesn't weigh much), then use an electronic "vacation feeder" type of device to dispense the premeasured food portions.

***************************** Waveform Technology UNIX Systems Administrator

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