DIY CO2 Experiment - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 Experiment

(In my 60g low tech)

I'm using a 4 liter 'Lock & Lock' canister feeding into a bottle bubble counter then running to an Hagen Elite submersible filter (see photos).
The simple recipe is 4 cups sugar, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 pkg. active dry yeast, 4~ liters (a bit less) warm water (100-110F). Mixed well.
The bubble counter indicates 1-2 bubbles per second and the Elite emits a constant stream of micro bubbles making for a very good economical diffuser.
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post #2 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 06:50 PM
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good luck!
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post #3 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-18-2016, 07:12 PM
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This is all doable.
Used sugar and yeast for years myself.
May need to up your dosing or begin dosing, which ever.
Even without a high driving light plant uptake is greatly increased.

Swimming is not that difficult.
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post #4 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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I'm wondering how long the 4L mixture will produce CO2 before needing to be replaced?
Did you use the existing yeast culture with a new sugar/water mix or did you always use new yeast?

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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
This is all doable.
Used sugar and yeast for years myself.
May need to up your dosing or begin dosing, which ever.
Even without a high driving light plant uptake is greatly increased.

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post #5 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
I'm wondering how long the 4L mixture will produce CO2 before needing to be replaced?
Did you use the existing yeast culture with a new sugar/water mix or did you always use new yeast?
You'll want to replace it when it begins to slow down, ideally just before. Dont wait until it slows way down. The idea is to maintain a constant steady rate over the long haul. This is where many people fail with diy.

Using multiple bottles with staggered start/change time makes it a lot easier to jkeep a steady rate. Using 2 bottles and change out one each week for example.

On my 75 I ran four bottles, changed 2 per week. Had pretty good results for a bout 8 months before going pressurized

I used to get two weeks of fairly steady production from a 2 liter bottle. Theoretically the 4 liter should run steady for longer since there's twice as much water to keep the alcohol diluted, assuming there's enough sugar to feed.

Personally I always used fresh yeast each time, but I know people do it the other way with apparently good success too.
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post #6 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 01:36 PM
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I always used new yeast.

Re-reading your post, an entire pack of yeast?
My recipe for 3lt was 2 cups sugar, 1tsp baking soda, 1tsp dry yeast.
This would work for about 3 weeks. I too alternated 2-3lt bottles.
I moved to a 3lt soda bottle with the large 38mm caps, much friendlier.
Also it had more water:alcohol ratio for a longer runtime.

I was not real good about mixing bottles.
Every 4-6 weeks or so, CO2 from 15-40ppm, never zero though.

Just hooked up my pressurized within the last week.
No more bottles to mix.

Swimming is not that difficult.
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post #7 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 02:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
I'm wondering how long the 4L mixture will produce CO2 before needing to be replaced?
Did you use the existing yeast culture with a new sugar/water mix or did you always use new yeast?
I used burr740's method with great success. I used those huge Hawaiian punch 1 gallon jugs, a 2 liter bottle, a small gatorade bottle(bubble counter/gunk remover) and a sun sun powerhead. I have tried your method with putting the hose where the hose hookup should be and found that it was sucking too much c02. I instead put the end of the airline hose into the powerhead intake so that the bubbles were smashed by the impeller. I felt that it was vacuuming out more gas than it could actually produce. Your sealtite container will hold up, but my bottles did not.

With 3 bottles, I would remix 1 container a week basically. 1 gallon jugs using 4 cups of sugar, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp fleischman active yeast and 2 liter bottle using 2 cups of sugar and everything else the same. I made note of which container needs to be changed, also you can tell which ones are less active by the color of the mixture. Anything closer to milky beige is "active" anything closer to lime juice color is less active.
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post #8 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies!

Well I have another 4L container I can put in-line. A pkg of yeast Fleishman's baker yeast may be a bit much, but it can't be much more than 2 tsp or 1 tbls.? Based on the bubble count of 1-2 bps, I think perhaps I could use a bit less, but it seems to be working pretty well (remember it's a 4L container). If I continue doing this I may get some active brewers yeast instead (I see some on Amazon).

I call it an experiment because my plants (low tech) were growing well with minimal ferts. Then two things happened. I bought some Val off ebay that seemed like a good deal, but now I'm convinced introduced BBA. Bad enough that I pulled all of the Val out and trashed it and have since been dosing some Excel, plucking and using some peroxide.
Also, my tank was well established for years before I planted. The plants grew great for several months with modest fertilizer, then it's like they stopped growing. Oh they look okay, just not growing anything like they were. So I've upped the dosing and now added some DIY CO2 to see if I can make the plants happier (again)!

I have the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 and run in 24/7 mode and since the plants responded well for months, I'm staying in 24/7 mode and going at it from the fert/co2 direction. Dipping a toe in the DIY Co2 water (was than a pun?) is so inexpensive, it seemed like I almost had to.

Now because the co2 is running 24/7 (not sure what would happen if I put the elite on a timer), I'm running an air bubble bar during the night to ensure there is ample O2 in the tank at night. This may be somewhat counter productive, but I sure don't want to gas my fish.
Although I get a pretty steady stream of micro bubbles from the elite, after seeing a Youtube, I'm thinking of putting a sponge (fluval pre-filter) over the outlet to see if there might be an even better infusion into the water (the bubble although tiny seem to rise to the surface quickly). Then again, perhaps I'm over thinking it.

Thoughts appreciated.
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post #9 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 03:16 PM
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I got a nice dual stage regulator off eBay last month, free CO2 from a friend's pub and am never looking back! :-D
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post #10 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 03:31 PM
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In all honesty, I too just went pressurized Just like Maryland Guppy. I found that after a long run with the DIY, it wasn't cost effective for me. I ended up going the paintball tank and a really cheaply made regulator that I run 24/7 at what appears to be 2bubbles per second. I don't even use an airstone at night. I monitor my fish every morning and every evening to make sure they aren't gasping for air.

I found it tedious remixing every other container every week to keep the c02 consistent. If you don't mind all that, then by all means, more power to you!
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post #11 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 03:32 PM
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Not sure how those hagen filters are made, but "pre-diffusing" the co2 using a piece of a chopstick, or a cotton ball stuffed tightly into the line helps alot. The impleller works against small bubbles instead of big ones, better diffusion, and it's quieter.

Here's when I was using a powerhead along with diy co2, in the end of the line is a piece of regular cotton ball.





Thread I did on a couple of my DIY set ups, may offer you some additional food for thought.

DIY CO2 for 75 gallon (and others) Build Thread / Performance Reports
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post #12 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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This is interesting! - I placed the fluval pre-filter over the Elite outlet and there were few if any bubbles rising. I pulled the sponge back off and bubbles were there as before.
Not sure how to interpret. Is the gas better infused...or not at all?
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post #13 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbeysDad View Post
This is interesting! - I placed the fluval pre-filter over the Elite outlet and there were few if any bubbles rising. I pulled the sponge back off and bubbles were there as before.
Not sure how to interpret. Is the gas better infused...or not at all?
Hmm I'm not sure. I think it would just get trapped in the foam, accumulate and dissipate upwards. But then again, if the foam keeps the c02 bubbles in there for longer then it might be working.
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post #14 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Update: After a time I began seeing like a mist of super tiny micro bubbles rise above the fluval sponge so I believe the sponge is working to even further diffuse the co2!

But now here's a catch 22... By adding CO2, it follows that an increase in ferts is called for. So will any subsequent plant growth be because of the CO2 or the increase in ferts? <rhetorical unless the plants jump out of the tank - lol>

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Originally Posted by Econde View Post
Hmm I'm not sure. I think it would just get trapped in the foam, accumulate and dissipate upwards. But then again, if the foam keeps the c02 bubbles in there for longer then it might be working.

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post #15 of 85 (permalink) Old 12-19-2016, 06:50 PM
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Measure pH to see if it is performing well.

Swimming is not that difficult.
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