Easycarbo Short term fix or not?

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by AverageWhiteBloke, 10 Mar 2010.

  1. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

    Messages:
    2,738
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Just wondering if anyone solely uses Easycarbo or similar products as a quick fix to co2 problems or as their long term solution to adding carbon?
    I'm having problems adding co2 mainly due to my tank design being a wet dry filtration and a wasteful co2 diffuser. I'm trying at the moment to modify the filter set up to try and seal it which is very difficult or even considering scrapping it and changing to canister filtration. In the mean time I have bought some easycarbo to prevent co2 related problems and at the small doses recommended I was thinking is there an economical advantage to gas compared to liquid, or are there any problems related to solely using easycarbo?

    Interested in what people here do for their co2.
     
  2. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Hi, I use it everyday, not as main CO2 into the tank, but to ensure that I don't run out of it.

    As my tank has much more plants than fish, I feel that the more CO2 I have the better. Also Easycarbo kills algae, so that is good.

    I do 2ml daily for my 120L tank, early morning.
     
  3. Mr T

    Mr T Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Nr Wroxham, Norfolk
    Hi,

    I've been using AE aqua carbon as the sole source of carbon since setting up my tank. CO2 isn't really practical for me as I'm away quite a lot and dose this via peristaltic pump (see journal entry http://ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=10198 for more details) In my 260l tank I dose 12ml a day. I started at a much lower dose and slowly increased to this over a number of weeks. I have both shrimp and vallis in my tank, which are both supposed to be highly susceptible to the glutaraldehyde in these liquids. Glut is pretty nasty stuff (there was a fairly heated discussion on it on this forum not so long ago) so use it with caution, do a search for it on Google and you'll see what I mean. So far however I have had excellent results from using it and both the shrimp and vallis are doing fine. As to its long term viability, only time will tell. I've only been running my tank for about 2 1/2 months so am far from an authority on long term use!

    Tesco
     
  4. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Thanks Mr T, the thread viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6854 was very informative.

    I have been using EasyCarbo for a while now. Will stop using it, just in case. I got a open top tank, and kids in the house, if any of them developed any respiratory problems I wouldn't be able to forgive myself.

    Will just have to get a larger CO2 bottle, my 120L goes thru the 500gr bottle in less than a month. :)
     
  5. Mr T

    Mr T Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Nr Wroxham, Norfolk
    I don't think that the concentrations used in an aquarium and the volumes used should pose any real health risks (just think of all the junk you inhale walking down a busy road!). But I understand your concerns, and lets face it your kiddies long term health is far more important than any aquarium plant!

    Tesco
     
  6. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    You are right about the junk we breath in walking down the street...

    I have now purchased a JBL 2kg bottle, coupled with the two 500gram bottles I have should be enough CO2 for my 120L tank, while one is being refiled the others will be pumping CO2 into the tank.
     
  7. Mr T

    Mr T Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Nr Wroxham, Norfolk
    Might be worth keeping the easycarbo though (well out of the wee ones reach of course) as it's great for spot dosing algae, should you ever get any!

    Tesco
     
  8. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    Messages:
    2,498
    Location:
    Bromley
    Long term for me.

    I dose 1ml AE aqua carbon a day in a 160l, this is 1/3 starting dosage listed on bottle.

    This works out more economical than pressurised Co2 did for me. Fast growth is not my goal though, if it were I would still be on pressurised.
     
  9. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

    Messages:
    2,738
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Pleased to hear that at least I have the option, like I mentioned my set up an Aqua one AR850 has in my eyes a low maintenance filter system, everything is easily accessible with filters being able to be cleaned and changed in minutes.A winner for me with my work commitments and limited time. It also has 3 lights above which I find rare in a set up in this price range. I have switched off one of the tubes to try and reduce my carbon uptake but its always there should I have some plants with higher lighting demands 8)
    Unfortunately the filter as good as it is at adding o2 is equally as good at reducing co2 :( Now I know people are getting good results solely using easy carb I'm under less pressure to do something about it. By my estimates my 150ltr tank adding 1ml per 50ltr a bottle is going to last 5 1/2 month for £10. I would get nowhere near that with a 600gram co2 bottle of equivalent price.
    I think my next stop is the DIY side of UKAPS and see if anyone there has any ideas how to seal up my wet dry compartments, Tom Barr has already advised me on the use of tape and if he gets good results with wet/dry filters I guess its not over yet for my filter :) I think though in Toms systems he has underneath tank wet/drys which over flow direct from the tank where mine is situated above the tank in the lid making it very difficult to get totally sealed and to prevent the co2 from de-gassing up there I guess nothing BUT totally sealed will make a difference.

    http://www.aquaone.co.uk/documents/850980lowres30px.pdf
    Warning that link is a 600kb PDF.

    I guess for now Easy Carbo to the rescue :) saves me buying a canister and chopping holes out of my lid.
    Finally I'm not sure how EasyCarbo works I take it that its purely a chemical thing? Once added to the aquarium will it be there until it is used or does it cause a reaction in the aquarium making co2 that my filter will still remove?
     
  10. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    I am keeping it alright, it is fab product, just some controversy about it.

    When my Java Fern had some dark green algae on it, I diluted EasyCarbo to 1/2 water and sprayed it directly on the leaves, left it for 5 minutes outside the water and now the fern is looking it's best, no sign of algae.
     
  11. Mr T

    Mr T Member

    Messages:
    56
    Location:
    Nr Wroxham, Norfolk
    I remember reading somewhere (buggered if I can find it now, typical! :mad: ) that its broken down by the plants into a useable form of carbon. Over the space of 24 hours it breaks down anyway (exposure to light?) so it does not accumulate in the tank. Anyone please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong!

    Tesco
     
  12. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    Once added to the aquarium the liquid carbons have a half life of about 6 hours. This means that after 6 hours there is 50% the active ingredient left, after 12 hours there is 25%, etc. They also decompose in the bottle so you shouldn't keep them for long periods of time.

    Coming back to the use of liquid carbons I would never use them or recommend anyone else using them. Even at the concentrations that are in the bottle they can cause serious health problems. Short term use isn't generally the problem but it's the small daily exposure over a period of time that can cause problems. Some people may never have an a reaction but some people do have serious reactions to these chemicals which has been shown by the many reports that were linked to in this thread - http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=6854 - that was mentioned earlier.

    For those of you that think it is harmless and are quite happy to breathe in the fumes and pour it over your fingers then good luck to you. I've worked in the chemical industry for a good chunk of my life and seen first hand how becoming senstized to chemicals has really affected peoples lifes in a bad way.

    It's up to you if you wish to gamble with your health.
    James
     
  13. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,301
    Location:
    London
    James is there a safe alternative other than dosing actual CO2?
     
  14. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    Not that I'm aware of. CO2 is so much better than Excel, etc anyway.

    James
     
  15. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,301
    Location:
    London
    Thanks James, since I started heavy dosing my tank again with EC I have noticed a few things.

    - The blisters in my fingers have returned, was having an issue with this sometime ago, then it went quiet, then started with the EC and that came back just never even thought they could be related.
    - Being an asthma sufferer in the past, I have noticed some breathing problems, again never thought it could be related, but been reading up on it and its a little scary, I know what I will be doing with the two bottles of EC I have when I get home.

    Could be all a coincidence but I will book a doctor appointment and mention I have been exposed to this stuff and see what the doctor says. Been having some spells of dizziness also which the doctor have been puzzle about since all test we have done don't show any irregularities.

    Time to go low tech on the tanks I think...
     
  16. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent
    Doesn't sound too good Paulo. If you don't mind I'd be interested in hearing what your doctors says about it.

    I noticed that in the link provided in this discussion - Is this guy bonkers?! - Tom Barr says this about gluteraldehyde/Excel, Easy Carbo etc.
    James
     
  17. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Better not to use the product I think.

    I have about a litre at home and will sell it on ebay, just to get rid of it, it is still brand new and closed.

    CO2 is safe to use on a tank and there are no side effects, they even use it for beverages.

    Obviously we breath in all sorts of stuff on the streets, but there is not need to bring the nasty stuff in the home, right? :)
     
  18. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

    Messages:
    2,738
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Hmm interesting stuff even the most experienced people are still unsure, I have read through the debate and digested as much as possible. Seems to me the biggest problem here is the red tape around it and the different licensing laws of chemicals. I had the same problem with Mr Squiggles my daughters toy Hamster :D After reports of certain toxins http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8398586.stm the one she got for Xmas had to be put into isolation because different governing bodies couldn't seem to make their mind up a bit like what were experiencing here.

    Again I'm probably going to go with caution on this one until a definitive answer comes out, I have 500ml of the EC one bottle of which is still sealed. The one I have opened I will carry on using until I get my co2 system sorted or should I say filter. Looks like I'm looking for a canister filter :) I have latex gloves at work so will use these when dosing.

    Sometimes though I'm a bit dubious about H&S legislation, I know in my industry a lot of it is diabolical and they seem to put everything as an hazard until they know more about it. In all fairness I don't suppose they have the resources to test every chemical that comes on the market. I have been to shows where people have been juggling with chain saws and doing somersaults bouncing on a plank but I can't work 2 feet off the ground on a step ladder :wideyed: Go figure.

    Anyway I digress :) so I guess the answer to my question is that EC IS a short term fix but not because of the products
    capabilities but due to the possible dangers of long term exposure to chemicals that may/may not be in there because of the manufacturers keeping silent about its product and the HS ppl not being sure of its effects or at what doses.

    Back to the drawing board :) Ah well I prefer pressurised co2 anyway, at least with the DC you actually know what's going on in the tank. I'm a bit obsessive :crazy: so putting chemicals in the tank without knowing what it was or what it was doing wasn't sitting well, I just thought I'd found a wonder solution for my co2 requirements.
     
  19. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Yep, I think that the issue is that there is a lack of information of what the product does, and the belief that long term exposure is harmful.

    I believe that this was a good thread, and a lot was learnt from it, at least I did. :)
     
  20. AverageWhiteBloke

    AverageWhiteBloke Member

    Messages:
    2,738
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Me too I'm going to start putting my dose in before the lights come on instead of before I leave for work in the morning.

    The health side of it has been very important as there has been no mention of this either from the retailer or on the bottle, you would have thought there would have been a disclaimer or warning label at some point. Seems odd that a chemical as dangerous as this which I think were pretty sure is in there does not come with some warning.
     

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