DIY co2 - turning it off at pm? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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DIY co2 - turning it off at pm?

how do you turn off a DIY co2 reactor at night? youtube states if u try it will go BOOM?

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 05:30 PM
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how do you turn off a DIY co2 reactor at night? youtube states if u try it will go BOOM?
I would just loosen the cap so no co2 was going into the tank, it gets old after a while....another reason I went pressurized.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 05:34 PM
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I plumbed an air pump into my co2 line that comes on at night and dissipates the co2 into the room.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 05:51 PM
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how do you turn off a DIY co2 reactor at night? youtube states if u try it will go BOOM?
If you physically shut off the flow (pinch or valve off the line), it will explode. The yeast/sugar reaction takes no time off and will pressurize the 2 liter until something gives.

As the others stated, you could loosen the cap (thereby wasting the Co2), or you could add an air stone to the tank (thereby bleeding off the Co2). Either is acceptable.

I was worried about this as well when I started up mine, but I did some experimentation and found that neither was needed for my tank. Now, every tank is different...I don't want you gassing your fish on my advice. I'm in a 29 gallon tall, heavily planted, with 21 fish and a couple shrimp. I'm running one HOB that doesn't really churn the water too hard at the surface. No air stone. I leave my DIY Co2 running 24/7 and all my fish are perfectly healthy.

I even ran two 2 liter setups like this for a few days and still, my fish were still fine. They didn't even hang around the surface. So you might want to just plan a late night and observe your tank one of these evenings and see what happens...if your fish all start hanging out at the top, gasping for air like little wet dogs...you have a problem. If not, set it and forget it.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 06:04 PM
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I'd be willing to bet that if you're running anything less than one 2L bottle per 10g of tank, you don't have to worry about turning the CO2 off. You're simply not producing enough CO2 to harm anything, lights off or no.

DIY CO2 is definitely beneficial to plants. But it's not remotely close to being a substitute for pressurized CO2, even in very small tanks. No worries!
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 06:37 PM
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Switched to pressurized co2 and it's pumping 3x the co2 compare to when I did DIY, I keep it on 24/7
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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thanks all. Didnt want to gas the fish or blow up the house. Cheers for your replies

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 05:06 PM
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kevmo911: DIY can be and is a great substitute for smaller tanks. I've got three tanks that back it up. And pretty much exclusively use DIY on every 2.5gal-5.5gal tank I've got. Anything larger than 10gal, though, and it becomes a hassle, in my opinion and experience.

growingthings: Definitely won't blow up your house. Most 2L bottles used today are rated for at least 90-100psi. At most, you'd just have a disgusting, smelly mess all over your room… and that is NOT fun.

In a couple of my DIY setups, I plumb a cheap plastic knob/valve into my line that I can open up to gas off CO2 if it ever becomes too much. Never had to use it but it works well in testing.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 06:39 PM
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What i did was remove the diffuser and place it in a cup of water overnight.

I used glass diffusers.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 07:13 PM
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Its going to take the path of least resistance. Just put a manual valve or electric solenoid on a line coming straight out of the bottle. Most of the CO2 will vent into the room with a setup like that.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 10:26 PM
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What I plan on doing is putting in a pressure relief valve using a manual boost controller (we use them on turbocharged vehicles).

Simple ball and spring design. As pressure builds up, it pushes the ball and spring down a barrel until finally the pressure pushes the ball past a relief hole. They are fully adjustable from roughly 5-30psi normally, so on a low setting you will bleed off excess pressure but still retain pressure in the system and using a simple electronic solenoid set on a timer you've got a fully automated system out of the DIY.

Speaking of which, if you want to know how much pressure your system is creating, you can put in a small manual air pressure gauge into the mix as well (< $20), once again super cheap on ebay and this will tell you when you're running out of CO2 and help dial in your system.

At least, this is what I plan on doing in the coming months. I can build a diagram if anyone is wondering what in the hell i'm talking about.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 10:37 PM
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That's a lot of rigging to do for a simple DIY system. If it makes you happy to build, go for it, but at some point you may find that the effort (and perhaps cash) you've invested in such a project may have been better spent on building a pressurized rig.

Still, it sounds fun
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-03-2011, 10:51 PM
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if you use an internal powerhead powered reactor to diffuse your diy co2, you can simply put the powerhead on a timer to cut off at night. then the co2 just floats away as it blurps out until the power head kicks back on in the morning.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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hmmmn....see I have a 30g tall tank which even though is moderately stocked has been limping along with just daily doses of Excell and a cheap n cheerful static plastic diffuser attached via an airline to a disposeable spray can of co2. Press it once a day and it disperses into tank over 8 hrs. Totally inefficient as theres no pressure and no bubbles but as cash was a priorty it was better than nothing. Now however some of my plants seem to be turning into skeletons, the fleshy parts of the leaves falling away to leave behind just the vein structure (mainly swords and Hygrophila stricta) I know the BNPs favour these and use them like swinging hammocks lol but I fear CO2 is now the issue esp now im using EI fertz. Im wondering if theres something in between DIY CO2 and pressurized?

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-17-2011, 03:02 AM
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a paintball set up is kind of in-between it's cheaper than a full on pressurized set up, and more effective than yeast. it all depends what you want to put into it. I've run diy on my tanks for years and had great success. I have never seen a reason to go to pressurized for myself. good luck!
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