DIY CO2 Question
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:52 PM   #1
VAtanks
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DIY CO2 Question


With all the DIY CO2 generators being made and advice, how come Coral and an acidic solution isnt used to generate CO2? Would this be possible say in a glass jar Like a few quart mason jars?
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:28 PM   #2
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Seems expensive, potentially hazardous and rather pointless given how cheap and effective sugar water and yeast is
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:17 PM   #3
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Ill admit not everyone lives near the ocean, but coral isn't that costly and a single piece would last a while, plus carbonic acid isn't super expensive carbonic acid is just seltzer water. I think a liter of it is like .89$. My idea was crush coral bag dropped into a jar with carbonated water poured ontop of it.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAtanks View Post
Ill admit not everyone lives near the ocean, but coral isn't that costly and a single piece would last a while, plus carbonic acid isn't super expensive carbonic acid is just seltzer water. I think a liter of it is like .89$. My idea was crush coral bag dropped into a jar with carbonated water poured ontop of it.

That's interesting, but does it produce CO2 the same way yeast does as it consumes sugar, over an extended period of time? I imagine it acting like soda, and just going flat after a few hours (or even minutes) of just sitting out.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Wicket_lfe View Post
That's interesting, but does it produce CO2 the same way yeast does as it consumes sugar, over an extended period of time? I imagine it acting like soda, and just going flat after a few hours (or even minutes) of just sitting out.
I'm thinking the same thing. It'd need to have a constant source to continuously produce CO2 otherwise whatever you get in the soda is all that is viable.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:34 PM   #6
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I was thinking the Carbonated water, (Carbonic acid) would cause a chemical reaction with the Coral (Calcium carbonate), the resulting reaction gives off CO2. Its basically what happens in the ocean between coral reefs and disolved CO2 in the water. Carbon dioxide is disolved in ocean's water reacts with coral gives off CO2 and its released into the atmosphere. Im was thinking it must be a drawn out reaction and my reasoning is their is both CO2 disolved in the ocean and coral still exists in the ocean.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:49 PM   #7
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I was thinking the Carbonated water, (Carbonic acid) would cause a chemical reaction with the Coral (Calcium carbonate), the resulting reaction gives off CO2. Its basically what happens in the ocean between coral reefs and disolved CO2 in the water. Carbon dioxide is disolved in ocean's water reacts with coral gives off CO2 and its released into the atmosphere. Im was thinking it must be a drawn out reaction and my reasoning is their is both CO2 disolved in the ocean and coral still exists in the ocean.
Nice reasoning, but the acidity of carbonated water would kill the coral I'd imagine (hence why our fossil fuel consumption is contributing to the dying of coral reefs). Also you'd need to find a way to get CO2 back into the water once the soda goes flat - seems a little counter intuitive and a lot more expensive than yeast and sugar. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:33 AM   #8
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I encourage you to research and try it out.

From general chemistry courses I've taken, there is an equlibrium constant reached and unless you add or substract from the system (Le-Chatliers principle) if will be constant (not generating carbonate/CO2).

The carbonate soup could still be used by plants (increases kH), but the calcium and magnesium ions will limit how much carbonates are used. Light, plant selection and other micronutrients will also be limiting factors
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:41 PM   #9
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This is what i am going with for a setup and I will get some pictures while I assemble it this week end
1 beta bowl with ph stability sand (have about 4 lbs of it left over)
2 quart mason jars
co2 tubing
one jar will be the generator
the other will be like a catch can in case the reaction is more violent than I think it will be. My plan is to catch the co2 in the beta tank and have a drop checker in it to see what kinda mess i create. If i can find two more jars i will do the same set up except i will fill a baloon with the gas to see what kind of volume it produces over say a 24 hour period.

AirstoND
From general chemistry courses I've taken, there is an equlibrium constant reached and unless you add or substract from the system (Le-Chatliers principle) if will be constant (not generating carbonate/CO2).

yeah thats true since the reaction goes both ways eventualy it will become balanced.
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Old 02-07-2013, 01:59 PM   #10
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Goodluck man, I am def curious to see how it works out.

But before you setup everything, why not just drop some coral into carbonic acid and see what happens. It might be short lived and save you the time of setting everything up. Just a preliminary experiment for viability.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:24 PM   #11
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So what better way to find out the answer to this than ask a chemist..and what better chemist to ask than a marine chemist...So I found one at my local community college. I explained what I wanted to do, he said yes it will work but the reaction would be almost immediate and not the gradual slope I was hoping for. He said with out running all the numbers for weight of CaCO3 vs the pH of the Carbonic Acid itself (soda water varies depending on manufactuor) that the reactor would increase exponentially until it reached the balance point. He said it would produce a huge amount of CO2 in little over an hour if the soda water's pH was around 6.5. CO2 released from the reaction would make the solution pH decrease increasing the reaction until it was at equilibrium. He said it would definately kill fish levels of CO2. He did say it was possible to make a generator but using different materials, he suggested limestone and lemon juice in distilled water. making sure the water was at about a 6.9 pH and buffering the crap out of the water so the pH drop would be drasticaly reduced giving a long drawn out stable CO2 release. He said its the same way an auto feeding table works not the jelley ones, but the grayish ones. Plaster of paris with flake food mixed into it, acidic tank water disolves the tablet so the fish can get at the food, the tablet itself reacts with the tank water releases small amounts of CO2. I am still going to experiment this week end with it though, but I ask a professor....Im taking an anylitical chem class thats kinda what prompted this along with I had a reef tank
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:53 PM   #12
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lol, thats an awesome explanation, but is also why ppl just use yeast, sugar, and water. Plus its probably cheaper.
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