newly setup DIY CO2 generator not doing anything
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Old 08-02-2004, 01:16 AM   #1
rage against the machine
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newly setup DIY CO2 generator not doing anything


i brought this question here from another forum in hopes of getting more help. two days ago i made my first CO2 system using the typical materials,2liter bottle,airling tubing,check valve, and a air diffuser. the mix i used was from a site i found. . 2 cups of sugar,1/2 teaspoon of yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. . well i used very warm water and pre-dissolved everything before adding it to the bottle, after that i shook everything up very well. i put the bottle about 2 feet below my tank and set a 80watt bulb a few inches away from the bottle for added heat. since then nothing has happened. . no pressure in the bottle,no bubbles nothing. i used all brand new ingredients for the mix so i know nothing is old. . . i don't understand what went wrong either the hole in the lid of the bottle is very secure with no leaks at all
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Old 08-02-2004, 01:38 AM   #2
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My guess is bad yeast, I have bought it bad right off the shelf ...

I also used another brand one time that did not react well with baking soda added... without the bs added it would work well but when I added baking soda for some reason it would not react... to this day I cant explain that one.
Thats the sole reason I went to pressurized , I wasnt a very good chemist
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Old 08-02-2004, 02:00 AM   #3
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Maybe the water was too hot? Most yeasts I have used say to use water between 100-105 degrees F, which feels more like lukewarm to me. I use a fever thermometer to check the temp, just remember that adding 105 degree water to 2 cups of 70 degree sugar will give a value somewhere in between. I've also heated the mix in a microwave and let it cool to the target temp, but that gets rather tedious.
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Old 08-02-2004, 03:37 AM   #4
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thank you both for your help, i suppose that i'll go make another brew without baking soda and see how that works if that fails then i guess i'll just have to go and buy a different brand of yeast
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Old 08-02-2004, 03:39 AM   #5
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I found that beer yeast and champagne yeast hate baking soda, but bread yeast was fine with baking soda. Brewing yeasts take acidity better, and so the basic conditions of the baking soda must be too much for them.

Also, be sure that there is no water in the line. Sometimes if just a little gas gets started producing, but not at a good rate, the water from the aquarium gets drawn up the airline as the water absorbs the CO2. Once the water is above the rim of the aquarium, it can fill the line if the generator is below the aquarium already. So, don't put the generator under the aquarium until it is going well.

If there is any water in the line, shake it and tap on it and chase it back to the aquarium. Sometimes this is all it takes to remove that back pressure and let the stuff get going into the tank.

But, usually, it is a leak. To test for that, submerge the whole thing under water and be patient, wait 5 minutes before you give up and declare no leaks.
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Old 08-02-2004, 05:02 AM   #6
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okay well about an hour ago i emptied the old mix and made a new brew without baking soda, i guess i'll see how this works out for a few days although i ran out of sugar so i could only use 1 1/2 cups. . lol. how long should i expect to wait until i see bubbles? i've heard that it usually takes a day
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Old 08-02-2004, 01:02 PM   #7
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Default Minutes, not hours or days!

First "proof" the yeast, take a cup of lukewarm water and add 1/4 teaspoon of yeast and a pinch of sugar. Wait for the yeast to all dissolve, it will fall then rise without you even stirring it. Then you will see a tiny bit of foam on the top, just a thin coating start to form around the edges. Now, you know the yeast is good.

If the yeast is good, and the water you used was no hotter than the test water, then the unit must have a leak. So, submerge it in a bucket of water.
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Old 08-02-2004, 06:14 PM   #8
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My yeast is that red star stuff ( ithink).. when I add it I get a reaction within about 1hr... (not co2 its the anerobic reaction--o2 Ithink).. then the next morning I am getting good co2 production usually.. and 24 hrs later it is maxed!!!!

I would think you might have a leak in your lines if you get nothing.. but the newest yeast and do not chill it. I use warmer than normal water (pry above 105F) and get good results.. I use cooler water... (70-90) and get similar results. Don't add the baking soda and don't worry about decholrinating the water either (i never do). I use about 2 cups of sugar... 1/4 tsp of yeast and fill to the top bend in the bottle (for 20 gallon tank)...
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Old 08-03-2004, 07:52 AM   #9
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either you have a leak in your airline or a leak where the airline and the cap of the 2L meet.
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Old 08-05-2004, 04:51 AM   #10
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yeah you were right, leak in connection between cap and airline tubing, well i thought that the hole was tight enough but, i suppose now i'll go out and get some aquarium sealant. . . thank you all i'll be back with updates oh yeah one more thing i bought a car today yay all by myself hehe im 17 by the way. . .
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Old 08-05-2004, 05:00 AM   #11
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Default Try Liquid Nails

I was not pleased with aquarium sealant or hot glue. Liquid Nails worked fine, even on an active leak under pressure, just clean with alcohol first. At Home Depot in the caulk section, use on the outside only, I doubt it is fish-safe.
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