Although high levels of carbon dioxide can be dangerous in aquarium, you still need to ensure that levels of CO2 are generous enough to support plant growth and encourage healthy natural processes within your tank. Most aquariums tend to be fairly limited when it comes to C02 levels. If you’re looking to introduce a considerable amount of floating and bedded plants, or aim to grow planets within your aquarium, the current water conditions are likely lacking in carbon dioxide. Thankfully, there are several ways you can increase C02 levels within aquariums without too much effort.
Using Aerosols to Increase C02 Levels
Using aerosols is a quick and easy way of increasing CO2 levels in an aquarium. It is also a very cost-effective method. You will need to get your hands on a pressured carbon dioxide cannister, as well as a connecting hose. A diffuser is another essential component if you’re opting for the aerosol method. Your CO2 tank should have a button on it. Press this and the attached diffuser will fill with carbon dioxide. When exposed to water, the diffuser will ensure carbon dioxide is slowly released into your tank until the tank is depleted.
Although an easy method of increasing C02 levels, aerosols do have some limitations. For starters, it will rarely be as consistent in terms of C02 delivery as ceramic diffusers. You will also need to constantly replace tanks to ensure a ready C02 supply. Additionally, they only really work with smaller aquariums. If you need to improve C02 levels in a much larger tank, the aerosol method is probably not going to be sufficient.
An alternative way to improve C02 levels in your aquarium is to invest in a yeast system. These are another inexpensive way of increasing levels of carbon dioxide and operate and low pressure levels. These systems include yeast sachets that can be combined with sugar and water to produce the desired C02, as well as a canister that allows you to combine all the elements and kick-start the process.
The resultant carbon dioxide itself is delivered to your aquarium via a ladder diffuser. Although fairly easy to use, ladder diffusers and yeast-based C02 systems have similar drawbacks to aerosol systems. The main issue you’ll face here is that they’re limited to use with small and medium aquarium sizes.
If you’re looking to boost C02 levels in a larger tank, you will have to invest in a pressured system. These systems will include a C02 canister that can either be refilled or will need to be swapped out for a new disposable tank when the gas is exhausted. In addition the canister itself, a pressurised C02 system is usually made up of a pressurised bottle, a length of hose, a regulator valve, as well as a diffuser. Although more expensive, these systems allow you to be much more precise when it comes to playing around with C02 levels.
Things to Avoid
You need to be very careful when adjusting C02 levels in an aquarium. Although high levels of C02 will cause aquatic plants no ill effects in the short term, any fish species you have living in your tank can suffer adverse reactions to fluctuations in carbon dioxide levels. Even a small variation can prove fatal to many fish breeds. This is the main reason why you should avoid more basic systems that are harder to control and instead opt for a pressurised setup that allows you to regulate C02 levels with much higher levels of precision.