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DIY CO2 Guide with Pictures

Discussion in 'Planted Aquariums' started by John N., Feb 10, 2006.

  1. John N.

    John N. AC Members

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    DIY CO2 is a matter of taking Yeast and Sugar, and mixing with water to create a reaction byproduct of CO2. This works extremely well for 1-30 gallon tanks. For tanks larger you must create more bottles, to increase CO2 output, but it can be done. It just requires more effort, and most tend to go over to pressurized because the time and effort, and added cost over time required. But it can be done.

    Equipment:
    Gatorade, Apple Juice, or Oceanspray Bottle
    2 Cups of Sugar
    1/4-1 teaspoon of yeast
    1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (optional)
    Diffusor: Hagen Ladder, sweetwater AS10, or through filter intake

    Recipe:
    2 Cups of Sugar
    1/4-1 teaspoon of yeast (the more yeast the faster the reaction, more CO2 for shorter period of time (2+ weeks)).
    1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (optional)
    [​IMG]

    Making the Canister (Reaction Bottle):
    Take drill bit or hammer with a small nail (smaller than the diameter of tubing).
    Unscrew your cap, hammer the nail in the cap to make a small hole
    Get some Airline tubing and pull it through the small hole with pliers. The small hole will create a seal around the tubing so no need for glue. That's why you want the hole to be small.

    Add the Recipe:
    Add 2 cups Sugar
    Fill the container with water up to 3/4 way.
    Add 1/4-1 teaspoon yeast
    Add 1/4 teaspoon (baking soda)

    Put the cap on and twist it on tight.

    Insert the airline tubing in your intake of your filter, hagen ladder or sweetwater stone AS10 from aquaticeco.com.

    [​IMG]

    Wait a few hours and you got CO2

    Special Notes:
    Diffuser
    For the sweetwater stone: get the sweetwater AS10
    http://www.aquaticeco.com/index.cfm/.../9751/cid/2328
    For the Hagen Ladder: www.drsfostersmith.com

    Bottle
    2L soda bottles are not balanced and will knock over b/c they are not flat bottomed. Juice bottles' caps have never leaked from the threads in my experience. (if they do drink more juice and get yourself another bottle).

    If you are really worried about the bottle knocking over, purchase a small bucket and place it in there, so there's a barrier surrounding it.

    Check Valve Prevention System + Yeast Strainer
    In order to keep the Yeast Muck from being released into your tank, A bubble counter is used to catch the muck. This DIY bubble counter also provides a check valve system to prevent water from back siphoning out of the aquarium.

    Go to Rite Aid or Longs Drugs and pick yourself up a syringe and find a check valve at your fish store.
    [​IMG]
    Take the plunger off, add some glue to the check valve, insert it where the plunger used to be. Fill the syringe halfway with water. The tubing will fit on the end of the check valve, and at the end of the syringe nozzle. Insert this between the diffuser method and your reaction bottle. Congratulations, you've made yourself a bubble counter and a check valve system for your DIY CO2.
    [​IMG]
    (picture from a member on another forum).

    Some plastic check valves occasionally don't work, always check your valve when replacing the DIY CO2 mixture. CO2 will degrade plastic valves over time, so always check.

    For Larger Tanks
    For larger tanks, and those that need to lower the ph more, and need more CO2. Using multiple diffusers placed at each side of the tank (left, right, middle, etc) will increase CO2 dissolution. When using the hagen ladder, you can add a T-valve to connect multiple bottles and the ladder, thereby producing more on the ladder. Placing the diffusers under a current will blow the CO2 around and further increase CO2 dissolution and contact time with the water.


    Is it working?

    You should see bubbles coming out within 4-24 hours. To see if your CO2 is being properly dissolved based on whichever diffusing method you chose, test your Ph before adding CO2, and after adding. You will see a drop. Refer to a PH and KH chart to see what your levels are at in ppm. http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

    This reaction will last at least 2 weeks to 4 weeks. The more yeast added the faster the reaction but shorter duration.


    Be careful, don't knock over the bottle, and enjoy your CO2.

    -John N.
     
    #1 John N., Feb 10, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2006
  2. LiLangeL181

    LiLangeL181 some people do drugs, I do guppys!

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    this guide should definately be made a sticky! thanks!
     
  3. hurricanejedi

    hurricanejedi AC Members

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    Very nice!
     
  4. orthikon

    orthikon AC Members

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    Does the bottle have to be in the same level in the tank?

    If not how low can it go?
     
  5. John N.

    John N. AC Members

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    It can go lower, like underneath the tank. I prefer to keep it level to use less tubing.

    -John N.
     
  6. Pufferpoison

    Pufferpoison Like a dolls eyes

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    Equipment:
    Gatorade, Apple Juice, or Oceanspray Bottle
    2 Cups of Yeast
    1/4-1 teaspoon of yeast
    1/4 teaspoon of baking soda (optional)
    Diffusor: Hagen Ladder, sweetwater AS10, or through filter intake

    -John N.[/QUOTE]


    i think he means 2 cups of sugar, not yeast, but yeah i'm setting it up tonight.
     
  7. msouth468

    msouth468 Fighting for the little guy

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    I might try it to.
     
  8. jmattingly

    jmattingly AC Members

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    This is simple firmentation. The yeast acts on the sugars and converts it to alcohol. A by-product of firmentation is CO2.

    <edit>I would use brewers yeast instead of the bread/baking yeast used in the pictures. It will be able to handle the alcohol production better. </edit>

    You have to be VERY careful using this type of method! Don't fill the bottle too full, and don't use glass!!! You run a very high risk of having a 'hand grenade' in your home if you use glass. If you fill it too full, you will have a yeast shower before too long. That also means don't overdo the yeast! If the reaction gets going too strongly, you will have an explosive reaction on your hands.

    I also don't suggest trying to drink what you produce as an end product. That combination is likely to result in some odd flavors and the wrong kind of alcohol being produced.

    All that yeast that is left over can be recylcled into your next batch of CO2. You will need live, viable yeast still. But the dead yeast can act as food for the live yeast, and will help start the firmentation process. OR... You can use that yeast on house and garden plants. The plants will LOVE it!

    Joe
     
    #8 jmattingly, Mar 6, 2006
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2006
  9. Lucas9919

    Lucas9919 AC Members

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    How does the bubble counter work? I am a little confused since i never heard using a syringe and check valve as bubble counter.
     
  10. Mgamer20o0

    Mgamer20o0 BobsTropicalPlants.com
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    bubble counter is so you can see how much co2 is going into the tank. such as 2 bubbles per sec.
     

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