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Old 01-17-2004, 02:27 AM   #1
Rolo
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I've had zero CO2 from my DIY. You can take assurance that I have more than double checked that everything has been setup right...simply no CO2 is bubbling. This perplexes me because I can smell the alcohol, so the Rxn is happening.

I'm using instant start yeast which I activated before adding to the bottle. I tried both distilled water and regular tap (ph=8.2 KH&GH=20). I later realized the cap connected to tubing as leaky so I replaced it w/ a normal cap. After an hour with a airtight seal, barely any CO2 was produced since the stablization of the pressures was hardly audible. It will only build pressure if shaken. Again though, the alcohol reeks so there is a Rxn!

The only problems I can think is I haven't given the Rxn enough time (20 hours as of now) or the room temp = temp of solution is just too low (62-65F, Minnesota winters). Any solutions?

Secondly, I need to fix the leaky cap. Currently it has a small drilled hole with tubing shoved through it with layers of glue and tape - clearly though it's not enough. I'v heard that you should use those nipple connectors, or bulbkheads some call it and to install on the bottle, not the cap and vise versa. Any more suggestions?

I also had water from the tank siphon back into the bottle, what can prevent this from happening...will this work? http://www.petdiscounters.com/aquari...eck_valve.html

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-17-2004, 02:47 AM   #2
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If you had a leak it may take time for it to build pressure back. If you can smell alcohol the reaction should be working. Restrictions and leaks are the common problems for poor output in DIY. It only takes a pin hole and the system will not produce enough pressure to overcome the water and bubble...I suspect you still may have a leak...

Yes that check valve will work...

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Old 01-17-2004, 05:30 AM   #3
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I knew their was a leak, but thats why I put on a normal cap which hasn't been drilled or altered in any way to see if CO2 was actually being produced. 1 hour should be plenty of time for the pressure to build in ~ 250ml space above the solution, and it didn't so I still think the problem could be that its still coming up to speed or, that the room temp is just too low (I heard 70F was ideal). Can anyone prove me or refute me?
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Old 01-17-2004, 08:06 AM   #4
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can you take a bucket of water and put your bottle in their, then you can see any leaks...

Go for the nipple on the side at the top idea... the nipple in the cap thing only gave me headaches, and actualy I reintroduced leacks with my previous one, everytime I unscrewed it... now i have a simple little nipple, sealed in place with some cold wood glue...
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Old 01-18-2004, 03:35 AM   #5
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I bought some brass nipples, or I think I did. What I did buy is technically called a "hose barb adapter" and looks like this...

http://www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/Product.asp?PG=334

...is this what everyone means by nipple?

Cold wood glue, I have no clue what that is but I'm assuming I could find that at just about any hardwood store. Nordic, why do you use it?

I'm still looking for answers about the proper temperature to the DIY system at. Like I said my house is unusually cold (~62-65F) in the winters and was wondering if this is the reason why its not working well.
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Old 01-18-2004, 08:48 AM   #6
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yeah, its thats right, the cold glue or wood glue, is that thick white glue, fills the leaky spaces easily, is water soluble, so just keep it on the outside of the bottle... as for the nipple, I simply use the little green connectors one uses to connect two pieces of thin airline tubeing...

http://www.plantedtank.net/forum/vie...amp;highlight=

Theoreticaly i suppose the cold would be less good for the yeasting process, but it never realy gets cold here so i don't have experience of that.
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Old 01-19-2004, 12:42 AM   #7
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Hurray! I finally have CO2!

The only problem was impatience/leaky cap. I guess at 65F the mixture needs a good 24-30 hours to start potential. Nordic, I put the nipple on the cap opposed to the bottle and its working excellently...I drilled a hole slightly smaller than the outside diameter of the nipple, put a rubber washer on it, and screwed it on tight. No glue, no headaches.

Currently I get 20 bubbles/min. Is this enough for a 20 gallon? Secondly, that check valve in the first post has a "filter," looks nothing more than cotton fibers, but does anyone know what it is and if it will prevent CO2 from passing.
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Old 01-19-2004, 12:47 AM   #8
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Any way to seperate the alcohol from the CO2?
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Old 01-19-2004, 04:06 AM   #9
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Are you watching pH? Do you know what your target pH is? And what pH is too low?

You need to know the pH at which you have too much CO2. It can be dangerous to start this late when you won't be awake to see if fish are in distress. Depending on your water, 20 bpm might be a lot.
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Old 01-19-2004, 04:14 PM   #10
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Oh, I will definately not have any problems with pH...my KH is 22. In fact it is so high I'm diluting it with distilled water to about 5-7 which still is plenty of buffering.

Really, 20 bpm is alot? I didn't think so...I was able to get 40 bpm when I put the whole yeast/sugar/water bottle in a bucket of warm water.
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Old 01-19-2004, 04:36 PM   #11
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Rolo you have to look at chucks table, are you sure youre kH is 22, can't say I thought the scale went that far... May I suggest the tetra kH kit.

Anyway at a kH of 6 you will be putting in the optimal amount of CO2 when your pH is between 7.0 and 7.2

Here is the link to the table http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm
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10 Gal 3 variatus platies, 4 black sailfin mollies- 5 Gal guppy birth tank with dividers
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40 Gal Pond with 10 female guppies, 1 male tons of fry.

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Old 01-19-2004, 05:02 PM   #12
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I already know about optimal CO2, KH/pH charts and have Chucks Calculator...how did we get on this topic, I never asked for help about this.

I was wondering if there is some kind of CO2 alcohol gas seperator and if that check valve with filter will hurt my CO2. The filter looks nothing more than cotton fibers, but you never know.

And yes, KH goes up to 22 and far beyond! MY GH is the same, 22...I have liquid rock. I'm using the AP KH/GH test kit, it is reliable but is tetra better?
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo737
Currently I get 20 bubbles/min. Is this enough for a 20 gallon?
As for seperating alcohol... not to my knowledge, allthough you may want to give champagne yeast a shot, as it handles the highest alcohol content.
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:34 PM   #14
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20bpm isn't very much. I know my pressurized setup is about 60bpm and that gives great CO2 levels.
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolo737
I already know about optimal CO2, KH/pH charts and have Chucks Calculator...how did we get on this topic, I never asked for help about this.

I was wondering if there is some kind of CO2 alcohol gas seperator and if that check valve with filter will hurt my CO2. The filter looks nothing more than cotton fibers, but you never know.

And yes, KH goes up to 22 and far beyond! MY GH is the same, 22...I have liquid rock. I'm using the AP KH/GH test kit, it is reliable but is tetra better?
Sorry to have taken it off track, I just like to caution folks about knowing the limits. Glad to know you are up to speed on that.

If you make a bubble counter that is filled with water, it ought to strip out any alcohol -- though I have tasted mine and never noticed any alcohol, just a lot of fizz. It will also stripout the entrained yeast that I suspect as the culprit in the snot that forms on airstones and the end of tubing. The bubble counter/scrubber is a great thing to add, it can save fish if it allows you time to catch a foam up before it hits the tank, but it is another source of leaks, so observe carefully for awhile.

I was never lucky with those check valves, the only time I ever really counted on one it failed and I got nasty water on the carpet. I suspect the CO2 and water makes a carbonic acid that is hard on the plastic. The CO2 proof ones are so expensive, I am careful to leave the generator on top of the aquarium until it is producing enough gas with some pressure behind it to be sure no siphoning can occur.

Re tests; I understand from other posters that most GH and KH tests are fine, including both AP and Tetra.

With that high a KH, you may need more bubbles than that, indeed. With a KH of 9 I don't use much more than that in my 59 gallon tank (actually 28 bpm) to hit my 20 ppm target for CO2. With your water cut to a KH of 6, you could be on target, what does Chuck's CO2 calculator tell you?

With DIY CO2, all you can do is to know your target pH for proper CO2 levels and then add volume (more bottles or bigger bottles) or efficency (better diffusion, contact time, or reactors) until you reach that target without going into dangerous territory at the start when rates are at the highest. Great fun if you like to tinker.
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