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Janice 08-14-2003 06:42 PM

This is my first post. I've been very inspired by this site! I used to make wine, so I made a diy co2 unit quickly and easily using standard inexpensive wine making supplies: a one gallon glass wine jug which already comes with a rubber cork with a hole in it for tubing and some tubing. The wine making tubing is slightly wider in diameter than the standard tubing that is sold with airstones at the LFS, but that tubing slides perfectly into the wine tubing and the wine tubing is tight in the rubber cork so I haven't had any problems with air leaks. I think that the glass bottles look cool in a backwoods bootlegger/mad scientist/eccentric Victorian parlor kinda it elimates the need to hide the bottles and with the tight seals you don't need to worry about silicone.

I also have some 5 and 6 gallon glass carboys that I'm not using to make wine and was wondering if anyone had any ideas or thoughts about whether I could use these to make planted aquariums. These jugs are made of heavy, clear glass. The largest part of the jug is 10" in diameter and 15" high. After 15 inches the upper part of the jug slopes gently inward and upward for about 9 inches ending in an opening that is about 1 1/3 inches in diameter. These jugs also come with airtight rubber corks and tubes which could be used to input CO2 or O2.

Any ideas?

Work In Progress 08-14-2003 06:47 PM

Your thoughts are pretty interesting!
The only thing I could possibly contribute is, I have heard bad things can sometimes happen when you use DIY in a glass bottle.

GulfCoastAquarian 08-14-2003 06:49 PM

As long as you don't plug those cork stoppers too tight, they should just pop off in the event of pressure blockage. The risk with using glass is that the bottles could explode and blow shards of glass everywhere. As long as you don't use a screw-on cap and stick with cork stoppers, you should be covered.

Janice 08-14-2003 07:34 PM

The rubber corks are airtight, but they will pop out if the fermentation gets out of control or there's a blockage. The jugs are made of heavy glass and the whole set up is designed for the purpose of fermentation.

The only difference between the DIY Co2 set up and the set up to make wine is the addition of fruit in the recipe. When you make wine, you put a little gadget called an airlock into the hole in the cork. It looks like a test tube with water in it. This allows Co2 to escape but keeps everything else out. The water in the fish tank would replace the airlock...

Do you think it would affect the fish negatively if I added fruit juice to the yeast and sugar? I like the idea of making small batches of specialty wines while adding CO2 to my tanks.

anonapersona 08-14-2003 07:39 PM

It would be interesting to see how the rate compares to the mixes we use. I would still want to use a bubble counter of some sort so I could easily see how much gas was going intothe tank. I've read of people OD'ing the tank with that volume mix if the aquarium is not large. OTOH, the fermentation process might be much slower than the sugar mix we use.

I would think that all the regular cautions are warranted, watch your pH and KH and know what the maximum CO2 is for your tank and what the pH is at that point.

digger 08-14-2003 07:41 PM

I would advise you add a bubble counter between your carboy and your tank. This should catch anything that gets out of your carboy and prevent it from entering your tank. Occasionally people without the bubble counter will see a cloudy yeast discharge in their tanks.

GulfCoastAquarian 08-14-2003 07:47 PM

What does an airlock look like? I agree with Ann, a bubble counter not only lets you measure the CO2 delivery rate, but it also helps absorb some of the yeast byproducts and deliver cleaner CO2 gas to the tank. When I put a bubble counter in line with my Yeast-generated CO2, it helped eliminate the sludge buildup I'd see on the airstone in the tank.

digger 08-14-2003 10:29 PM

An airlock is a glass tube about 3/8" in diameter, formed like a paperclip.
It can hold water, like a trap in plumbing. The gas can escape, but spores and bacteria are stopped by the water in the trap.

Janice 08-15-2003 10:52 AM

Great airlock description, Digger. Doesn't it seem like an airlock could somehow be revamped and used in the DIY CO2 process?

I'm still relatively new to this. I have a neighbor who's had a gorgeous 125g planted tank for about 7 years, and I've always been fascinated by it. So I decided to start with a 3 gallon Eclipse which I've had for about 3 months now. I made a lot of mistakes before I found this first set of plants died because the plant light in the Eclipse tank could not support their needs...and I did have a bad yeast back up overflow that filled the tank and killed my two neons. It was only in there for about 45 minutes before I noticed and I drained and refilled the tank immediately. My Oto survived this ordeal and now I find myself very attached to him.

At this point, my plants are doing very well and I have to unhook the CO2 tube at night or the tank gets too much.

I did also try adding Yeast Nutrient to my last CO2 recipe and found my zebra danio lying on the ground gasping. I quickly drained some water out, added some new and he's been fine ever since.

GulfCoastAquarian 08-15-2003 01:12 PM

Seems like an airlock could be a very beneficial addition to a Yeast-generator CO2 system! That's why I asked. How much do they generally cost?

anonapersona 08-15-2003 01:58 PM

Sounds like there's not enough volume of water in an airlock to effectively scrub the CO2 of whatever gunks up an airstone.

digger 08-15-2003 02:28 PM

Yeah, i think it's only about 15 ml in there.

Janice 08-16-2003 01:07 PM

Airlocks cost about .75 each. The rubber cork w/hole (its referred to as a Universal Bung in my wine catalog) that comes with it is also about .75.

Since the top of an airlock is capped, it might be possible to use two airlocks, remove the caps, silicone the tops together, and then the other two ends could be pushed into the tubing. Maybe I'll go down into the basement today and try. I'll let you know if it works.

Also, be aware that there are two types of airlocks...the squiggly test-tubish paper clip one that Digger described so well, and a new fangled version which doesn't have any bends in it...its like a tube with an inverted cup inside it.

I'm not very good at describing these things...I'll try and find a photo if I can.

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