DIY co2.... its not working!!!! PLEASE help. - The Planted Tank Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Canada
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DIY co2.... its not working!!!! PLEASE help.

hey all,

so i built myself a DIY co2 system. and its not working!

this is the 2nd batch i made, as the first batch i made with instant quick yeast, 42 hours later, it wouldnt work, i could see in my bottle the yeist was working as i would see tons of bubbles, but it wouldnt make it to my bubble counter....


my setup supplies goes as follows.

1.5 litre bottle (glass wine bottle) solution bottle
mason jar (Bubble counter)
check valve
-

solution recipe

2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp yiest
1/2 tsp baking soda

anyways, i took the end that goes into the aquarium, popped the diffuser off and blew into the airline tube to see if maybe any leaks, and none! i silliconed all my holes on the bottles inside and out, in my bubble counter the bubble forms on the end of the tube but then gets sucked back into the tube... its like its not generating enough pressure.... its now been 30 hours+ with this second batch.

any suggestions? im thinking maybe its the bottle im using for the solution? the problem MUST be there somewhere as the pressure doesnt even build up enough to make it to the bubble counter...


any help is appreciated, i will follow whatever you guys say, i will post pics of my system if needed.

Last edited by CanuckGame; 03-11-2013 at 03:41 AM. Reason: forgot to add something
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 03:50 AM
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Firstly, give it a good 48 hours to make sure it's not working. It sometimes takes close to that due to a few variables.

Secondly, make sure the check valve is facing the correct direction.

Thirdly, if nothing after 48 hours, remove the diffuser and let it go for awhile. See if there's a steady (slow) stream of bubbles coming out of the end of the tubing.

It's possible the diffuser isn't suitable for DIY CO2. And, if you try this again, one benefit of using a plastic bottle is that you can give it a gentle squeeze to see if there's a good amount of pressure built up.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 04:29 AM
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I would triple check for leaks. There have been many people that have sworn they sealed it perfectly, only to find out it was a leak in the end.

You are not using hot water to dissolve the sugar and yeast, I hope?

Anthony

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
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I will triple check right now.

And I followed the yeast instructions by activating it in 100 degree water, waiting for the foam to double in size, etc

The leak MUST be in the 1.5 litre glass wine bottle, IF there is a leak, cause the air bubble doesn't even make it out of the airline tube into the bubble counter, ill check what you asked me tho!
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckGame View Post
I will triple check right now.

And I followed the yeast instructions by activating it in 100 degree water, waiting for the foam to double in size, etc
Just to be clear... 100 degree what? C or F?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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100 degrees f.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 05:22 PM
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A glass bottle for a DIY CO2 system can be dangerous. If the outlet is plugged for some reason you could cause the bottle to fail - explode! That wouldn't be pleasant. The plastic bottles may not be as strong as he glass ones, but they also don't generate shrapnel when they fail. It doesn't matter that it isn't likely that the bottle will fail, the consequences of a failure are too great with the glass bottle.

Hoppy
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-11-2013, 05:50 PM
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I would have to agree that you need to check for leaks. If you can take your system to the sink, put it all under water. That was the only way I could find my leak.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 12:28 AM
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I agree with Hoppy that a glass bottle could be dangerous.

How are you capping the wine bottle and guaranteeing that there isn't a leak? Plastic bottles (like juice bottles or 2 liter bottles) have rubber seals in their caps that help prevent leaks.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-15-2013, 01:04 AM
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By far the easiest and least expensive method to check for leaks is exactly like a pipe fitter does it.

Put 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water in a container. Add two or three drops of any soap, dish detergent, or shampoo.

(Don't worry about the soap it is not being used anywhere near your tank. The system is closed and if there is any leak the pressure is going outward, not into your system.)

Take you entire CO2 setup over to the sink. You should have an active, working CO2 system with bubbles. Using a small paint brush, 'paint' the soap solution everywhere you have any type of join. Paint all around the caps of your bottles, where the hose comes thru your caps, every joint every fitting.

Even the smallest leak will be seen very quickly with bubbles forming.

I have gone through three check valves now due to the same problem. I start the system and have good bubbles showing but nothing reaching down to the bottom of my 24" tank.

The small plastic check valves all had leaks.

Once you have found your leak stop. Turn on the tap and rinse the outside of your entire system.


Now that I have found and fixed my leaks I have a good bubble trail coming out of my Bubble stone. In fact, I lucked out and this DIY is so good that I am getting 100% absorption of the CO2 produced. The bubbles are completely dissolved before reaching the surface.
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