DIY Co2 Failure, why?
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:05 PM   #1
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DIY Co2 Failure, why?


OK, so I was running three two liter bottles on my tank and everything was working fine. I decided since I have a total water volume of around 110 gallons, I would up the quantity.

So, to do this, I got a 5 gallon bucket and bought a Gamma lid (supposedly airtight, but not really). I multiplied the recipe I used for the 2 liters by 10, drilled holes for tubing and set it in motion... I started getting a bubble every minute or so. Thinking it was a larger volume to pressurize I waited over night to see how it was going. Nothing, no bubbles at all.

I then taped up all the seams of the lid with ducktape and waited again.. still nothing.

I could smell yeast inside the cabinet so I figured it was leaking still, I hooked up the output to an air pump and checked the bucket. I found one spot leaking under the ring of the gamma lid. I then siliconed the ring heavily. Reattached the top with tubes and waited. Nothing still. I changed the mixture, just to get a fresh start and put it back together, duck taped for extra assurance and still got nothing.

I just pulled the lid again and obviously the mixture is working as I can hear it fizz and when mixed it goes crazy. I tried hooking up a air pump again but no leaks, the bucket starts to pressurize and expand no visible (liquid leaking) and no air that I can hear or feel.

So, I'm running out of ideas. Do i need to go about this another way when using a larger vessel such as a bucket? I figured it wouldn't matter as long as it's air tight.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:27 PM   #2
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DIY co2 wasn't meant for bigger tanks, with that said you can try 1 gallon milk jugs & see if that works.
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Old 08-26-2013, 01:01 AM   #3
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If the bucket is getting pressure and your not getting any bubbles there HAS to be a blockage somewhere I would put a bubble counter in between the bucket and the tank to see where the leak is

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Old 08-26-2013, 02:36 AM   #4
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Soapy water and a spray bottle. Spray around the rim of the bucket, fitting, any connections.
If you can see the lid bulge, you are getting some pressure build up. Lean on the lid to add a little extra pressure to see if you can hear the leak.

How did you attach the hose to the lid? You can get a bulkhead fitting that will seal tightly with a gasket and will give you an attachment point for the airline.

The extra surface area will produce more CO2, but it will still take a while to build pressure if you have a large headspace.
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxUnRaTeDxxRkOxx View Post
DIY co2 wasn't meant for bigger tanks, with that said you can try 1 gallon milk jugs & see if that works.
Yeah, I know and I have a pressurized system on hand, I just need to re-certify my tank and set it up. This is just a cheap way test to see if I get benefit from co2 injection since my tank is a weird setup, it's a combined system of two tanks and a sump connected via overflows. The total water volume is large, but I only want the co2 in one tank which acts as a refugium as well as home for my african clawed frogs.. it's full of fast growing plants and floaters. If I see a real impact, I'll set up the pressurized system, if not, I'm going to use it on a tank I'm planning on setting up in a few weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcg177 View Post
If the bucket is getting pressure and your not getting any bubbles there HAS to be a blockage somewhere I would put a bubble counter in between the bucket and the tank to see where the leak is


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I have a bubble counter between the bucket and tank. That's what I've been checking for activity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Beer View Post
Soapy water and a spray bottle. Spray around the rim of the bucket, fitting, any connections.
If you can see the lid bulge, you are getting some pressure build up. Lean on the lid to add a little extra pressure to see if you can hear the leak.

How did you attach the hose to the lid? You can get a bulkhead fitting that will seal tightly with a gasket and will give you an attachment point for the airline.

The extra surface area will produce more CO2, but it will still take a while to build pressure if you have a large headspace.
I drilled holes for the airlines, I have 4 in the lid which then attach to a smaller bottle and then to the bubble counter. I didn't do anything with the tubing when using 2 liters but since i had leaking trouble I siliconed all the airline connections.

I'll try the soapy water and see if I get anything.


Thanks for the tips everyone, I'll update when I try some stuff out.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:29 AM   #6
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Tried some soapy water, after the bucket pressurized to a certain extent I saw a leak where it was leaking before. I cleaned out the silicone and re-applied. I'll put the lid back on tomorrow and see if it'll hold.
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Old 08-29-2013, 10:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beer View Post
Soapy water and a spray bottle. Spray around the rim of the bucket, fitting, any connections.
If you can see the lid bulge, you are getting some pressure build up. Lean on the lid to add a little extra pressure to see if you can hear the leak.

How did you attach the hose to the lid? You can get a bulkhead fitting that will seal tightly with a gasket and will give you an attachment point for the airline.

The extra surface area will produce more CO2, but it will still take a while to build pressure if you have a large headspace.
+1 this is what i would do
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Old 08-30-2013, 03:53 PM   #8
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I decided to take off the seal for the lid and move it to another bucket.. The bucket I used is shaped different around the handle than most buckets and that's where all the leaks were occuring.. and i just couldn't get it to seal properly.


Of course, getting it off the bucket is a diy project in itself..
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:13 PM   #9
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It might be cheaper if you buy a pressurized CO2 tank.

I made a canister tank with the gamma lid. It's not 100% tight under pressure.
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Old 08-30-2013, 04:27 PM   #10
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I have a pressurized tank, regulator, etc.. I literally just need to get it certified and filled. I just wanted to try and see if a good amount of co2 would benefit my tank with all the overflows and such.
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:18 PM   #11
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I swap out CO2 tanks with a local gas co. I don't own the tank.
It's pretty cheap like $25 a swap and if the certified date is over due, it's and extra $20 for the hydro test.
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Old 08-30-2013, 10:50 PM   #12
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Yeah, I decided to get the pressurized system up today, got my co2 at a local homebrew place, he gave me a trade and sent my tank for certification. So, it's up and running like a champ now.. I think I'm going to have to play with the diffusion as I'm using just a regular ceramic diffuser.. I'm thinking running it through a powerhead might be more effective.

Thanks for all the tips guys, when I set up my next tank I'll play around with this bucket thing again but it's been too much a pain for now.
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