PDA

View Full Version : DIY Co2



Kengel
03-21-2010, 4:56 PM
Could it be as simple as mixing ingredients in a 2 liter bottle and running tubing into the tank? I don't know much about this so this so it may seem like a dumb question =/.

RodInCALIFORNIA
03-21-2010, 5:11 PM
might have better luck with this question in the "planted" section.

Jspigs
03-21-2010, 5:12 PM
You need something to diffuse the co2. The pointy end of a chopstick shoved into the tube with a little of the chopstick sticking out of the tube works well.

J double R
03-21-2010, 5:29 PM
This is a pretty basic diagram of a DIY CO2 setup. You can choose to have 1 bottle, or two. The smaller bottle is a "bubble counter" or "separator", that you fill with water above the input line, and out the line to the tank, which stays above the water line. This allows you to monitor true flow outside the tank, and if any yeast mixture leaks through the tubing, it is deposited here, instead of in your tank. In the tank, you can use your choice of diffuser, whether it is a chopstick as mentioned above, a limewood airstone, or a reactor setup. the little nubby part (labeled "3") is a backflow preventer, or checkvalve, which prevents your tank water from siphoning back into the bottle. that is a must.
122654

Kengel
03-21-2010, 6:05 PM
That diagram helps a ton, I think I'll do it this week. Could anybody describe what goes into a yeast mixture?

Thanks for all the replies! :D.

lethalcustoms00
03-21-2010, 6:11 PM
i use regular activated yeast in mine. but i also use jello instead of just sugar too.

Jspigs
03-21-2010, 6:57 PM
That diagram helps a ton, I think I'll do it this week. Could anybody describe what goes into a yeast mixture?

Thanks for all the replies! :D.

Here is a good walkthrough (not mine): http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/diy-aquarium-projects/14453-diy-co2-guide-pictures-recipes.html

Instead of the juice container mentioned in the link I used a two liter bottle and it works great with my chopstick diffuser.

Also I did not make the bubble counter mentioned in the link, I just skipped that part.

dholowiski
03-21-2010, 6:58 PM
These type of setups scare the heck out of me. No matter how much planning you do, there is always the possibility of the bottle getting plugged and exploding (yuck), having all of the water siphon out of your fish tank (squish) or having the high alcohol mixture from the bottle empty into your tank.
It may cost way more, but I got a pressurized CO2 system that runs off of a paintball tank, and I can finally sleep at nights.

J double R
03-21-2010, 7:25 PM
These type of setups scare the heck out of me. No matter how much planning you do, there is always the possibility of the bottle getting plugged and exploding (yuck), having all of the water siphon out of your fish tank (squish) or having the high alcohol mixture from the bottle empty into your tank.
It may cost way more, but I got a pressurized CO2 system that runs off of a paintball tank, and I can finally sleep at nights.

With proper safety interlocks, you won't have any higher risk of water siphoning out of your tank as any other time you're using airline in the tank, nor will you have to worry about the mixture getting in the tank, if you build a proper gas separator.

I'm all about pressurized CO2, but I find DIY CO2 to be fun and somewhat fulfilling.

PAL
03-21-2010, 7:48 PM
I have to disagree, I believe that pressurized pros beat the diy pros. We can discuss these if you would like

PAL
03-21-2010, 8:11 PM
I'm making this post because I feel compelled to share with you my good fortune in re-engineering the diy co2 yeast and sugar method. Maybe re-engineer is too strong a word, however I did modify the method to some measure of success.
Let's get down to brass tacks then, shall we?

First, the method is scalable. This means if you get a certain rate of co2 production out of 2 liters, then, everything else being equal, you will get twice as much out of 4 liters. So I modified a 5 liter plastic jug, which didn't have a secure cap, to fit a 2 liter bottle cap, to which I air-tightly fixed aquarium tubing. Do this any way you deem feasible, but just remember production can be increased to any practical size the situation demands or allows. In my situation, for 100 gallons, 5 liters was sufficient.

Now, I'm an amateur brewer and winemaker, so I know a thing or two about yeast. First thing you need to know is that there are different kinds of yeast. Winemaking yeast, which you'll either need to order online or visit a brewer's shop, is essential here because it produces CO2 more vigorously, let me rephrase, MUCH more vigorously, than breadmaking yeast. It also finishes more cleanly, so when it slows down you know it's almost dead, it won't weaken slowly over a week like bread yeast will in the alcohol it produces. Not least important is winemaking yeast's ability to live longer in higher alcohol concentrations. This is an overwhelming advantage. It means you burn almost all your sugar, so your CO2 consumption can be measured in sugar consumption! Remember, 180 grams sugar can theoretically produces 88 grams CO2. I'd safely bet you can get nearly 80. A pound of sugar can yield 200 grams of CO2 over three weeks. I'm using 2.5 pounds. You'll need a teaspoon of yeast, it multiplies quickly.
Next thing about yeast: They can't live on sugar alone. Not well enough to produce CO2 with maximum efficiency, anyway. You'll need yeast nutrient. I've used my own concoction, in which I heat-killed bread yeast in pure lemon juice, (more like pasteurizing, less like cooking) for about 15 minutes, with resulted in a creamy slurry. I froze this into ice cubes to complete the lysing process. 2 ice cubes per 5 liter, yum. Next time I'm going to try fish food, seriously. All you need is protein, vitamin c, and potassium and phosphates. Yeast need it to grow and reproduce and metabolize strongly. Fish food might be the ticket, considering I'm not going to drink the stuff. 2 tablespoons ought to do it, mixed thoroughly in solution..
2.5 pounds of sugar, already mentioned that. Fill to below the neck with lukewarm water, give some room for foaming.
Put your rig into a stable bowl or basin of water, with water up to 2 or 3 inches up the side of the jug. put a small 50 watt aquarium heater into the water where you can fit it. If you can't fit it, you need a bigger bowl or basin. Keep it around 30 degrees centigrade, or about 85 F. Wine yeast takes some time to get started , so you may have to wait 12 hours or longer to see any action. You can add more wine yeast and speed things up some, but only if you're desperate. It seems a waste otherwise. During this time, you can check your setup for air-tightness, because it won't be producing much CO2 at this time. You know when it's started., and you'll see crazy bubble counts starting soon after, during the next day.
I feed mine into an auxilliary output on a filter powerhead, which does a great job in atomizing the CO2. I get a healthy spritz every 1 to 3 seconds, saturating the tank in a CO2 mist. I can expect this rate for 15 to 20 days, after which I'll need to change my solution. In all honesty, I haven't checked my KH, but my pH was 7.2 before dosing and now it's 6.5. That's with an out-gassing overhead biofilter. If that's not 20 ppm, it's in the neighborhood. Bubble count is off the charts, at least 80 bpm. They come out in clusters so it's difficult to be completely accurate.

You may want to turn off the heater when the lights are off to prevent overgassing. If you wish to slow down or cut off the CO2 supply, do not do it with a valve, as the pressure could cause a rupture or an explosion, hardly dangerous but messy and counterproductive in any case.
Brewer's yeast,by its strictest definition, is beer making yeast. I strongly suggest wine making yeast. Yes, it's different. There's even different strains of winemaking yeast, for your different kinds of wine, believe it or not. If you have a choice, get whatever has the highest alcohol tolerance, such as a sherry or cabernet variety. No, I'm not pulling your leg. The longer your yeast can live in a high alcohol concentration (more than 15% is the target), the more of your sugar will be converted to CO2. Just don't try drinking it if you use fish food as yeast nutrient http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/images/smilies/razz.gif

I haven't tried fish food as yeast nutrient yet, but I'll give it a go on my next batch. A complicating factor could be the presence of a preservative or a fungicidal agent in the fish food which would kill the yeast. Trial and error will determine.

Found this on APC

Slappy*McFish
03-21-2010, 8:11 PM
What exactly are you disagreeing about, PAL?

dholowiski
03-21-2010, 8:27 PM
With proper safety interlocks, you won't have any higher risk of water siphoning out of your tank as any other time you're using airline in the tank, nor will you have to worry about the mixture getting in the tank, if you build a proper gas separator.

I'm all about pressurized CO2, but I find DIY CO2 to be fun and somewhat fulfilling.

Yes, I agree, and I ran DIY CO2 for quite a while on my tank. It is very satisfying because it only costs a few dollars to do (and building this is good for the soul). My personal construction skills just weren't up to the task of building a safe DIY setup. I personally was happy to spend the extra $ for peace of mind, but I have no doubt that many of the people here are capable of building something far safer (for far less money) than my setup.

PAL
03-21-2010, 9:36 PM
Slappy, I'm really just disagreeing on many things. DIY, although it may be satisfactory to some, really isn't. I ran it for about a year on my 29 and couldn't imagine doing it on a tank any larger than that. Every two weeks, whip up a new solution and watch the bubbles form. Swayying co2 levels, no realy easy way to diffuse it and eventually just being a pain. Going to pressurized easily in a year made up for anything (maybe $10 because if you think about it, it is about $3 per change, 26+ changes which is $78+ plus supplies plus time) Going pressurized allowed me to "plug it in and forget it".

XanAvaloni
03-21-2010, 10:06 PM
I've heard talk about running the CO2 output line into a filter somehow rather than using a diffuser. Does this work on a regular ol' HOB like an AC30? Where do you run the line in to, through one of the vents in the top?

oh, and for the chopstick trick? I think that would have to be an old-fashioned bamboo chopstick, or for that matter any piece of bamboo of proper diameter. Some of the newer chopsticks I see are solid plastic, which I suspect would not work for this application. Check the freebies given away by your local Chinese restaurant. :)

Jspigs
03-22-2010, 5:15 PM
I have heard that running co2 into the intake of your filter can damage the impeller over time.

jpappy789
03-22-2010, 5:24 PM
These type of setups scare the heck out of me. No matter how much planning you do, there is always the possibility of the bottle getting plugged and exploding (yuck), having all of the water siphon out of your fish tank (squish) or having the high alcohol mixture from the bottle empty into your tank.
It may cost way more, but I got a pressurized CO2 system that runs off of a paintball tank, and I can finally sleep at nights.

Had that happen to me, but I was careless. I just had to bottles feeding into one line that ran into my Rena intake.

Kengel
03-22-2010, 5:30 PM
So I'm trying to clear up my confusion. I made this on paint in about 4 minutes, so don't poke too much fun at my artwork.

http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/7721/co2.png

X will be either a bell diffuser or the filter intake (Could I just run it into the top of my filter?-Emperor 280)

Lancaster84
03-24-2010, 11:11 PM
http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx230/Lancaster84/925e2a43.jpg
http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx230/Lancaster84/523d9098.jpg
http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx230/Lancaster84/1df91a08.jpg

standardbyker63
03-27-2010, 11:49 AM
Another option for diffusing the CO2 in a cost efficient way is to buy a small power head. I purchased one online from ebay for less than $15. I drilled a small hole in the intake of the power head and inserted the CO2 line into hole. The power head chews up the incoming gas bubbles and disperses it as a fine mist of micro bubbles throughout the tank. This is probably one of the best options if you don't want to make a DIY reactor. Not only does it do a good job of creating small bubbles that will break down easier, but it will also help to distribute the CO2 throughout the tank. The picture I linked below is my tank. On the back glass in the middle you can see my powerhead with the CO2 line feeding into the intake of the powerhead.

http://i819.photobucket.com/albums/zz119/standardbyker63/Fish%20Tank/DSC_05395.jpg

Good luck!