I finally got my own CO2 disposable tank 2 days ago. I’ve been eyeing to buy one ever since I started my planted tank, an aquarium with live plants on top of the livestock like fish, shrimp, etc. December of 2013. CO2 or Carbon Dioxide is essential to aquarium care if you want the plants to grow at a much faster rate. Like most newbies, I started with do-it-yourself (DIY) CO2 generator, but have always looked forward to buying the pressurized CO2 for convenience.
Mine is a 10 gallon tank and the dosage is 1 bubble per second for 8 hours. At this rate, the disposable tank should last around 1 month or so. I turn the tank on whenever I turn on the lights, allowing the plants to synthesize the CO2 in the process we commonly know as photosynthesis. Inside the kit, there’s the diffuser + bubble counter combo.
The diffuser helps the gas dissolve into the water. But a lot of stuff I read on the forums says otherwise and have suggested using a reactor of some sort because diffusers are inefficient for this job. The diffuser, however, creates very fine bubbles which many hobbyists are still skeptical. As a newbie, I’d probably skip thinking about it for now 🙂
The reason why it took me this long to buy CO2 tank is because there are other things that I needed to buy first to kick start this project. For instance, I need a good substrate (soil) and each kilo costs Php 180.00. The plants themselves varies in prices from 10 pesos to 100 per stem. And I recently bought a few Java Ferns and it cost me Php 250.00. For those who don’t use pressurized CO2, options include getting CO2 from the water column as a result of gas exchange on the surface, liquid CO2 or CO2 tabs.
CO2 is also pretty expensive for starters like me. Mine is the disposable version, so I must buy the kit first which costs Php 2,400.00. Use it for a month or so and buy the refill tank later for Php 520.00. As they say, if you’re really serious about planted tank, pressurized CO2 is the way to go.
I can’t end this review without sharing this rather embarrassing experience. When I first installed the “free” tank into the regulator, its entire contents escaped through the blow hole just below the knob (see image below). In my confusion, I threw it away in a basin filled with water and off the gas, emptying the canister in less than 10 minutes. Later, I was told that the hole is there for a purpose and that I should have tightened it more so that the needle inside the regulator will perfectly fit in the punctured hole. Oh well, experience is indeed the best teacher 🙂
The regulator attached to the canister in case you’re interested.