Category Archives: CO2 system

CO2 In A Planted Aquarium

Knowing whether or not to use CO2 in a tank is a choice that many hobbyists go through. And the short answer to this is simple, it really depends how much time you want to spend on maintaining your tank. There is no doubt that in order to grow some plants successfully, you will need CO2. At the same time, there are many plants that do very well with limited or no CO2 input.

There are three types of CO2 available on the market – Pressurised, Fermented & Liquid.
Pressurised is the most stable type available to hobbyists, where gas is stored in a pressurised bottle. This is attached to a regulator which in turn has a bubble counter and diffuser attached to CO2 tubing. By using a pressurised system you are giving yourself ‘gas on tap’ so this means you have total control over CO2 input. This is very important because  CO2 (when used properly) creates stability in a tank. Systems  such as the D-D Complete CO2 set costs £127.99. You may also wish to consider a disposable bottle system (where the bottles are literally disposed of when they are empty) or a refillable bottle system (only suitable when you can actually get bottles refilled easily). Either way don’t be frightened of CO2 – it’s very easy and safe to use contrary to scare stories.

Fermented systems are a great introduction for hobbyists who are looking to try out CO2 for the very first time and costs from £25 and up. They provide a cheap set up specifically geared towards hobbyists looking for a cost effective solution for their planted aquarium.
The set up for all fermented systems (or DIY as it is sometimes known) is almost the same. Each brand of system uses a combination of yeast and sugar provided in sachets they are mixed together and then placed within a container which allows fermentation to occur and CO2 to be produced (see image above). CO2 tubing is attached to the container which has a diffuser attached to the end. This sits in the aquarium and the gas is forced out of the fermenting chamber and is diffused into the tank. We recommend this type of set up, but it does require cleaning (due to the fermentation process) and CO2 levels can drop off, and are changeable according to the room temperature (this effects the fermentation rate).
The last option which is the most simple is a liquid form of carbon. Available by manufacturers such as Seachem, Easy Life and the AE Design label, it offers a product that provides a liquid carbon source (roughly 25% strength of pressurised CO2). The liquid carbon is packaged in a bottle and dosage is very simple but must be done daily. Another major advantage is that it works as an algaecide – it is well known for ridding many types of algae in the aquarium such as hair algae.

It is quite common for liquid carbon to be used in conjunction with DIY CO2 or pressurised CO2 systems, almost like a complimentary product.  Either way when you are growing plants, it is important to have at least one source of carbon in your aquarium so at a bare minimum use a liquid carbon.

The Smallest CO2 Set In The World

Yep you’ve read that correctly and we are indeed stocking the smallest CO2 set for planted aquariums in the world. You just won’t believe the size of them.

CO2 is such an important element in planted aquarium we cannot stress this enough.  When plants are submerged for their first time, they go from a relatively high CO2 environment to one in which it is almost non existent. This causes great problems for aquatic plants as they are adjusting to life underwater and they need carbon to survive and grow successfully. When you don’t provide them with what they need, plant growth stops and algae tends to arrive soon after.

The Colombo Flora-Grow CO2 Nano 50 Set is a great start into pressurised CO2 systems. This affordable system can be set up in minutes and is suitable for aquariums from 5L to 50L – no other set is small enough to deal with those sort of sizes. The set contains a regulator, bottle holder that can clip on the side of your aquarium, CO2 tubing and diffuser.

The bottles are 16g each and are available as a pack of 3 and can be found here.

For all other CO2 accessories visit the site by clicking CO2 equipment.

TMC CO2 sets for smaller aquariums

TMC have brought out some really great CO2 sets that are just perfect for smaller aquariums up to 100L or so. For about 15 months TMC have successfully been introducing planted aquarium goods which is a great move for them and a true reflection of where the planted aquarium market is in 2010.

The TMC AquaGro CO2 sets (Hobby & Expert) are small and are a great introduction into pressurised CO2. Both types of sets are easy to set up and the main difference between Hobby and Expert is that Hobby uses plastic bubble counter, diffuser and non return valve – in Expert the equipment is glass.

At Aqua Essentials we lean towards planted aquarium goods as that is what we specialise in but we also have a passion for marine products. If you’re looking for other CO2, click here.

TMC Aqua Gro CO2 System

We’re delighted to announce the arrival of the TMC Aqua Gro CO2 system. Designed for a wide range of skills from beginners to experienced. The set comes complete with everything you need to get you going into the world of pressurised CO2.

Replacement bottles are also available at £6.99 each.

See here for more details http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.php?main_page=advanced_search_result&search_in_description=1&keyword=tmc+aqua+gro&x=0&y=0