Hobbyweld & Aquariums
An article by John Rodden
Underwater plants require carbon dioxide just like plants on land, we spoke to Grant Mason - a passionate aquatics enthusiast about using CO2 in his aquarium
"I have a heavily planted 330 Litre aquarium and I was initially using a combination of CO2 tablets and liquid fertilizer, which if I'm honest were not up to the job. The result being I ended up losing most of my plants. I then purchased a second hand CO2 gas system for £100, since I have been injecting CO2 in this way, my plants have exploded with new growth and you can see the oxygen being given off by my plants"
How it works - CO2 will travel from the cylinder, through a regulator to a solenoid valve (operated by a timer) via a one way valve, into a bubble counter (pictured left). This is then sent to a gas diffuser where the CO2 is then absorbed by the water, providing nutrients to plants in the aquarium which then provide oxygen for the animalia.
"The amount of CO2 you need in your tank is determined by the carbonate hardness of your water and the PH level. Too little is a waste of time but too much can suffocate your fish"
This sounds like tricky work, but Grant has a drop checker which uses a chemical solution that changes colour depending on the amount of CO2 absorbed by the water, making it much easier to manage.
The system Grant purchased came with a 500g CO2 cartridge which currently lasts around 2 weeks.
"Until now, the only place that I have found to refill my cartridges is my local garden centre which charges me £20 for 500g and they need a 10 day notice period"
With a Hobbyweld CO2 cylinder, Grant stands to save a great deal of money and time, our cylinders hold 6000g of gas meaning he will only need to refill once every 24 weeks at an average cost of £30 makes it 8 times cheaper & much more convenient!