Too much DIY CO2?
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Old 03-31-2004, 02:25 AM   #1
squirrelproductions
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Using the directions on this page, I constructed a DIY CO2 generator. I finally got all the parts necessary, and I mixed my first batch this morning. In a 20 (start-edit)oz(end-edit) Gatorade container filled almost to top with water, I mixed 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon yeast; I forgot to add the baking soda per the recipe. I used a smaller recipe since I am only dosing an AGA Mini Bow 5. Within the first thirty minutes after mixing, I was getting about 6-10 bubbles per minute.

I hooked up the tubing to the intake of the MiniBow5's HOT Whisper filter. Within a couple of hours, the plants (cabomba and ludwigia) were "pearling"! Nice!

After six hours of CO2 dosing, however, the fish were acting funny. They had the shakes, swimming vertically and even swimming upside down. Not good! Knee-jerk reaction, I disconnected the DIY CO2 (start-edit) from the (end-edit) tank!

About three hours after disconnecting the DIY CO2, the fish seem to be ok; no more erratic swimming as far as I can tell. Are there other symptoms for which I should be on the lookout? The plants are still pearling a bit, though.

I'm guessing that I did not have enough buffer/KH. I tried to get a cupful of crushed coral/aragonite from a LFS to use as buffer, but the LFS wanted to sell me a whole bag instead. I'm going to ask another LFS tomorrow for a "cupful" to place in the Whisper as buffer. Are there other alternatives for use as buffer?

Is this DIY CO2 generator too much for this 5 gallon tank? Thanks.
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Old 03-31-2004, 02:35 AM   #2
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What is your waters PH and Kh and what was the ph when the fish were acting funny.... Hardening the water will control ph swings but wont protect your fish from to much C02....


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Old 03-31-2004, 03:33 AM   #3
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Also you can use epsom salts to raise you GH and baking soda to raise your KH. Adding baking soda also raises your PH but your Co2 would push that down (if you could run it).

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Old 03-31-2004, 04:52 PM   #4
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Ok, first off, did you mean 200mL bottle? Cuz 20mL is only enuf for 4 test kit test-tubes

you need to know your Kh and pH levels before injecting Co2, and then your pH after injecting CO2. This is the only way you'll know what the CO2 levels are.

it entirely possible that you have low pH and Kh, and you pushed the pH low enough into the acidic range that it bothered the fish.

I've screwed up and had CO2 levels of 150ppm...with 30ppm being the absolute max you want to go. The fish didn't seem to care...cuz I have a natural pH of 7.8, so I'd only pushed it down to about 6.4...still ok for the fish I keep.
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Old 03-31-2004, 06:43 PM   #5
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Did you use quick rise yeast? If not try the next recipe with 1/4 the yeast of last time. Just a pinch will work fine.
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Old 04-01-2004, 06:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
Ok, first off, did you mean 200mL bottle? Cuz 20mL is only enuf for 4 test kit test-tubes

you need to know your Kh and pH levels before injecting Co2, and then your pH after injecting CO2. This is the only way you'll know what the CO2 levels are.

it entirely possible that you have low pH and Kh, and you pushed the pH low enough into the acidic range that it bothered the fish.
I actually meant 20 ounces. And I knew that I should have waited for that test kit before I started dosing with CO2 -- even just a DIY! Anyways, I finally got some buffer (crushed coral) and adjusted the various parameters. With 24/7 CO2 dosing, the pH is around 6.9 +/- 0.1 and the KH is 4+. The fish are back to their normal selves.

The plants are still doing a bit of pearling but not as much as before. I'll have to keep a closer eye on the water parms in the future.

Will I see a dramatic change in water parms when the yeast/CO2 dies off? I plan to change out the solution/bottle every 7-10 days.

Thanks for all the input.
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Old 04-03-2004, 07:26 AM   #7
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I'm using DIY CO2 at home - no probs. 2L pop bottle servicing a 77 gallon tank.

My girlfriend bought one of those Hagen CO2 systems and tried, twice, using ordinary yeast (wine yeast iirc). Both times she began losing fish shortly after it started.

No explanation - the solution wasn't leaking into the tank (that she could ever see) and it bubbled properly. But she lost a lot of fish in two separate (33g and 55g) tanks.

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Old 04-03-2004, 02:31 PM   #8
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squirrel, I would wait until all that CO2 has escaped so to test for your normal tank parameters. This might take a few days, but to speed it up, get some surface aggitation going. The erratic fish behavior most likely was from the sudden pH drop.

Now concerning your mixture, some people, including myselft mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon yeast into a 2 liter bottle, not a 20oz., which makes a HUGH difference. Your sugar mixture is at a high concentration and is why its producing too much. I would say decrease the recipy to 1/4 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon yeast. This might also not work either, who knows; theres alot of trial and error that you need to work out. Oh btw, don't add baking soda since that kills yeast.
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