Welcome to my blog where I will show you how you can break into the world of High Tech Planted Tank without breaking your bank.
The world of High Tech Planted Tank has always been dominated by high entry cost. When I first started, I did a quick calculation of my estimated start up cost for a 60cm tank based on the information I can find online.
And that quickly ballooned into the thousands of dollars. The most expensive piece of investment wasn’t even the tank itself! I soon came to find out that in order to have your tank look like one of those beautiful planted tank you saw online, you will need to plunge your wallet into one of those expensive pressurised CO2 set up.
There was the empty CO2 tank which started from $80. A “respectable” dual stage regulator which will bleed off your wallet a cool $180. A solenoid controller which will cost another $30 minimum.
That’s an additional of almost $300 to your basic tank setup. And I have not mentioned about cost of fertilisers! Lily pipes! Diffusers, atomizers, reactors, and lightings!
Here, you will be able to find out how to buy things at a more affordable prices, or alternatives, sometimes at a fraction of the full retail price. Most recommendation I listed here were online stores and will ship to almost any part of the world.
So What’s With DIY CO2?
First, as I write this, it is the year 2019. Most articles or forum posts were eons ago.
Second, those who posted comments on forums or written articles about DIY CO2 have no idea how much DIY CO2 has evolved today, or had no hands on experience with modern day’s DIY CO2.
Majority of the information you will find on the internet today is about using yeast or Bottle A+B kind of setup. These kind of setup were extremely unreliable and produced unusable pressure or have inconsistent pressure. I, myself have also written about DIY CO2 generation with Bottle A+B setup. All these were history when the High Pressure DIY system was introduced.
New Kid On The Block
A few years ago when online shopping was slowly becoming popular and cross border shipping was also getting cheaper and common, I came across a shinny canister on TaoBao (a Chinese Amazon equivalent) while searching for CO2 accessories.
This discovery forever changed the world of DIY CO2 for High Tech Planted Tank, in that the pressure it could generate was unheard of in the past and the capacity it can hold was also unparalleled.
First of all, it can produce A LOT of pressure. When newly reacted, the pressure within the tank is at about 20kg/cm2, or about 284 PSI, 19 Bar. No other DIY setup will be able to give you this. The pressure within the tank will drop gradually as you use up the CO2. But it can give you enough pressure to drive an atomizer for at least 3-4 weeks for a 14 gallon aquarium.
Next, the consistency of CO2 delivery is consistent since it all the CO2 will be generated within the first couple of hours.
Third, a single reaction (200g citric acid mixed with 200g baking soda in 300ml of water) is able to give you enough CO2 for minimal 3 weeks running at 1bps 8 hours a day.
And finally, the ingredients required are daily products you can purchase at your local supermarket. You can even stock them up in large quantity in your basement of storage room because they are extremely useful for daily life (wife safe!).