Follow up: To compensate for the additional oxygen needs and prevent pH dropping too low, an air stone has been effective in balancing the amount of CO2 in equilibrium in the tank water from the DIY CO2. Otherwise, keeping the pH from dropping too low was hard to achieve because the DIY setup doesn't regulate injection like high pressure canister sources. J Sullivan. -----Original Message----- From: Jason Sullivan [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Saturday, October 14, 2000 6:01 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: RE: CO2 (& Algae) If you like to tinker with your tanks, a DIY setup can be an excellent "free Saturday" type project. Observations: - The additional plant growth can be quite dramatic if this is the "missing" factor in the tank setup. Be prepared to prune. This is also the best measure of effectiveness (lots of O2 production and growth are good signs that its working). - My tank is 26" deep and plants neither grew nor died for two years. After adding more powerful lights, some plants grew slightly better. After adding the DIY, the plant growth exploded and I am constantly pressed to maintain adequate nutrients (iron, potassium, etc). - The pruning can be well worth it for maintaining good water conditions. In my tank, I have virtually no measurable ammonia, nitrite, or nitrates. Meanwhile, I feed rather heavily (not necessarily recommended but I can't stand scrawny fish). This has also served to REALLY control hair algae which was hugely problematic in my tank earlier. - How to setup the reactor will be the biggest decision. I found direct injection (even with a diffuser) inadequate. Using an inverted jar as a reactor was a chore for many reasons. Ultimately, injection into the riser of a Magnum 350 (running an undergravel filter in reverse flow) works the best so far. Two cautions: (1) Monitor pH changes as you setup the DIY CO2 injection. Depending upon water buffering & hardness, the addition of CO2 can radically lower pH. Nighttime can also drop pH as the plants stop utilizing the injected CO2 leaving more concentration to impact pH. (2) Monitor O2 at night. If successful in dramatically increasing plant growth, O2 demand will be much higher at night as both the fish and new plants consume O2. Good luck. J Sullivan ======================= Jason Sullivan Wayne, NJ 07470 email@example.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is the apistogramma mailing list, firstname.lastname@example.org. For instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe or get help, email email@example.com. Search http://altavista.digital.com for "Apistogramma Mailing List Archives"!