Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is often added to aquariums to enhance photosynthesis and prevent algae blooms. CO2 is naturally in water but when there is a lot of light in your aquarium the plants need more CO2 than is naturally in the water. Another reason to add CO2 to your aquarium is to increase the growth rate of the plants. CO2 Cylinders are easy to purchase online and have filled locally. It is important to regulate the amount of CO2 added to the aquariums as too much CO2 will reduce the Oxygen content and kill the fish. It is critical that CO2 is only added at times when there is enough light for the plants to photosynthesise otherwise the CO2 content will rise and reduce the Oxygen content to a level where the fish cannot breathe.
One of the most common choices in CO2 Cylinder is a Paintball CO2 Cylinder, as they are easy to connect to a CO2 regulator and find somewhere to have them filled. Paintball CO2 cylinders come with two valve options, the valve with the on/off control is best for this application. The picture below shows a Paintball CO2 Cylinder connected to a CO2 regulator via a Paintball fill adapter. The CO2 regulator has a solenoid to control the time the CO2 is added to the tank. Most people connect the power supply of the solenoid to a timer plug to control this automatically.
Paintball CO2 Cylinders are available in Australia from Scientific Gas Australia in two sizes, 12Oz and 20Oz. Both sizes are very reasonably priced, when considering which size to select, main considerations are how often you want to refill and where you are going to hide the cylinder. The great thing about these paintball CO2 cylinders is that they are small and black, so pretty easy to hide.
The same paintball CO2 Cylinders are available in New Zealand from Airtanks Limited, with the Gladiatair L12 being the 12Oz CO2 cylinder and the Gladiatair L20 being the 20Oz CO2 cylinder. When choosing which valve to go for, the valve with on off control is best.
Thank you to Alvin for providing photo’s and information on his CO2 Cylinder setup, a picture of his aquarium is shown below.