What is the best mixture
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Old 04-04-2004, 10:17 AM   #1
general1107
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What is the best mixture of c02/yeast/baking soda for a 2 liter bottle?
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Old 04-08-2004, 01:13 AM   #2
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It depends.

It depends on how much you need - which is decided primarily by your tank size. Other lesser factors include how efficient your dissolver is and how much surface tension you have.

Before I recommend you a mixture, please tell us your tank size, the method to dissolve, how much surface tension there is (spray bars, hob filter, airstones...that kind of stuff), and your watts of lighting. I've had a great experience using my aquaclear 150 as a dissolver, just to give you an idea in case you are unsure on the dissolving method.


I've been experimenting alot on this mixture dilemma, and here are my observations that will benefit any mixture:

1) Make the solution as dilute in sugar as possible. This means cutting down on sugar and/or use more water. There is of course too little sugar that will not provided sufficient fuel for the yeast. I like to add 1/2 - 1 cup of sugar to a 2-liter bottle that is filled with water 2 inches from the top. Most mixtures recommend 2 cups. This is too much because alcohol builds to fast, kills the yeast, and leaves lots of unused sugar.

By doing this, we have a longer lasting mixture and even CO2 rate; not a quick burst of CO2 that lasts less than a week.

2) Of course, by having a lower concentration of sugar, the rate of CO2 production decreases as well. To amend this problem the best solution (pun not intended) is to A) add more yeast or B) use more bottles.

3) No baking soda. I have read in a few places that sodium from baking soda kills yeast, and at the same time yeast do not appreciate extra buffering - they like acidic conditions. While this isn't a widespread fact, I have noticed that baking soda has decreased the life and efficiencies of my mixtures, so I don't add it. In case you have very poorly buffered water, maybe baking soda can do more good than bad since having water become too acidic is bad. But if you decided to add some - NO more than a pinch. Adding the common 1/4-1/2 teaspoons sends KH skyrocketing into the 20 degree range, which also is ridiculously high for Na.

4) Temperature has an effect on production rate. Higher temperature = equal faster rate and vice versa. So for more extreme room temperature like 78F and higher or 66F and lower, the mixture would need to be slightly adjusted too correct the rate.

Here are guidelines that can get you started on your quest for the "best mixture." There is no best mixture for everyone, but it largely depends on your own situation. After providing the info I asked for, I could give you a ballpark mixture to start. After that it is just some adjustments that you can do which will make it the best mixture for you.
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Old 04-08-2004, 01:16 AM   #3
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I use 2 cups sugar, 1/2 teaspoon fleischmann's yeast, 6 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Works great. Shake vigorously, I do this at night before bed and hook up the bottle in the morning.
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Old 04-08-2004, 01:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urkevitz
I use 2 cups sugar, 1/2 teaspoon fleischmann's yeast, 6 cups water, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Works great. Shake vigorously, I do this at night before bed and hook up the bottle in the morning.
How long does it last? Bubble rate? What is the KH of the water before baking soda? Is it VERY even in production rate, meaning no spikes or troughs?
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Old 04-08-2004, 01:57 AM   #5
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I don't know the KH of the tap water, but the mixture works without the baking soda. As for bubble rate, if I have a plastic airstone hooked up it will send out small bubbles continuously. right now I have it going into my filter intake, without an airstone, and it sends out a blast of bubbles every few seconds. I am running 2 bottles. I usually replace one every week to 10 days whether it needs to be or not. I would say the rate is pretty steady.
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Old 04-08-2004, 02:58 AM   #6
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Here's what I use:

2L pop bottle.
14.8 oz dry, granulated sugar (that's fl oz - I just used the volume)
fill up to about 85% high with lukewarm tap water
4.4mL yeast (I use a Tetra pH test kit tube with 1mL graduations) - both Fleischmann's non-quick baking yeast and wine yeast have worked great
37mL baking soda (Don't ask.. I really need to convert that to a useful measure)

Combine, tip upside down a few times (I don't shake very vigorously) and hook it up.. Usually starts bubbling within an hour and lasts for weeks.
I'll date my bottle next time, but it's definitely constant after 6 weeks and would probably go longer than 3 months if I left it, though it definitely tapers off towards the end.

Of course, the KH in the water around here is practically zero, nor do I add anything to buffer it in my tanks.
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Old 04-08-2004, 03:13 AM   #7
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I don't see much difference in using large bottles. I used a 350 ml bottle, with half a cup of sugar, and almost a teaspoonful of fresh yeats. It gave one bubble per second during a week. My tap water is hard, by the way.

What I do, and suggest, is adding a few drops of orange scent (or any scent you like). This makes it much less hedious than if without it. It makes the time of changing the mixture less unpleasant, and perhaps a fail-safe if spilled by accident.
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Old 04-08-2004, 04:30 AM   #8
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i have the nutrafin/hagen Co2 system with the bubble ladder and instead of buying their packets, i mix up my own.

1 cup sugar
1 tsp Red Star active dry yeast
1 tsp baking soda
I don't know the exact volume of the container, but it can't be more than 16 oz.

i get roughly a month and a half of Co2, tapering from just over a bubble a second, to about 1 every 3 or 4 seconds before i change it. in the beginning, the bubbles don't completely dissolve before reaching the top of the ladder, but by the end they begin to dissolve before they get to the top. i figure if they're not completely dissolving, it's because there is a saturation of Co2. as the rate tapers off, the begin to dissolve more completely because there are fewer bubbles. when they are dissolving totally before reaching the top, i am assuming it means more Co2 is needed, and i mix up a new batch. anyone know if i am right about this? anyway, my plants grow like MAD, so i must be doing something right. i'm feeling pretty good about my mix, especially since it's lasting 2 weeks longer than the packets that came with the system. before i had the hagen, i used a small gatorade bottle and a wooden air diffuser, but this works much better.

there's my 2 cents, hope it helps!
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Old 04-08-2004, 04:35 AM   #9
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oh yeah, something i forgot - i keep the bottle hanging on the back of the tank. it's very near the lighting, and since it's touching the tank i think it's staying pretty warm. maybe this has some effect? also i think most people add too much yeast initially. if you put less in initially, it gives the yeast population some time to grow, instead of starting off at an already high level. i'm thinking of cutting back on the tsp that i add.
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Old 04-14-2004, 03:44 PM   #10
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Why do people add yeast every time or did I misunderstand that?

I started my co2 up with 1 cup of sugar and the sediment from a home brew beer and a ginger beer. When ever I recharge it I just empty out the bottle but leave the yeast rich sediment in the bottom. I then add more sugar and water and shake, then its ready to go again.
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Old 04-15-2004, 03:28 PM   #11
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i did that for a short period, but after a couple of cycles, mine started to smell REALLY bad when i changed it. is that a problem, or can i just ignore it? also, it seemed to burn out a lot faster when i left the sediment in the bottom. maybe i was leaving too much?
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Old 04-15-2004, 04:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisRB
Why do people add yeast every time or did I misunderstand that?

I started my co2 up with 1 cup of sugar and the sediment from a home brew beer and a ginger beer. When ever I recharge it I just empty out the bottle but leave the yeast rich sediment in the bottom. I then add more sugar and water and shake, then its ready to go again.
That works with brewing yeast...but alot of us just use bread yeast, which doesn't re-activate like a good brewer's yeast. bread yeast doesn't tend to sediment out like brewers yeast IME. you could probably do it, but I like to clean my jugs each time I start a new batch.

And yes, yeast does like a slightly acidic environment, which is why many mead recipes (fermented honey drink) call for a little lemon juice in the must.

(i used to homebrew)
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