Largest tank with successful DIY CO2? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-13-2010, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Largest tank with successful DIY CO2?

Would be interesting to hear what you people are able to get away with as far as DIY CO2 goes. I run a 105 g and my DIY CO2 set up produces enough CO2 in the winter when the room temperature gets down to about 20 degrees C (I am in Oz). In the summer I have to run an airstone non-stop in order to keep the CO2 at an acceptable level for the fish. The Ph Kh indicate about 30ppm and so does the total Ph drop (about 1.0). I get the feeling that people make something quite simple very complicated (I have never ever pre-heated the yeast mixture for example) and inefficient. I have no less than nine interconnected 2l bottles and I change one at a time every fourth day (takes me less than 10 minutes). It results in a very steady production of CO2 as long as the airstone is turned up on hot day and turned down (or off on cool winterdays). The yeast I use is called Turbo-yeast and pretty much perfect. It produces a huge amount of CO2 the first day (which is needed in order to quickly get rid of the air at the top of the bottle and replace it with pure CO2) and then continues to produce a modest amount of CO2 for several weeks. Baking yeast is not that good as you don't get that initial blast (instead the air will remain for much longer at the top of the bottle). I use Eheim's diffuser (has to be cleaned once a week and yes that is a drawback with DIY) for the CO2 tubing as it works beautifully with a 2217. It creates a vacum strong enough to virtually eliminate any possible leakage from the bottles but not too strong (cannot deform the plastic bottles). Can't help but smile a tiny bit when I hear about all you guys praising the pressurized alternative for larger tanks when many of you at the same time proudly show the world images of algae hell.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-13-2010, 02:52 PM
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When I used DIY, I could get good production in the summer but not in the winter. My basement gets to cold in the winter. Anyway, I probably spent about the same for sugar per month that I spend in CO2 gas per month now. Of course, that's not counting the initial cost of equipment.

That's pretty good that you get a enough CO2 for a hundred gallon tank. It sounds like you got this method hammered. I sure would like to see a picture of your setup.

I couldn't ever get rid of algae when I used diy co2 but, I really didn't have an understanding of fertilizing and light balance back then either. Now I'm to lazy to not, use pressurized.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-13-2010, 06:04 PM
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I to would love to see your set up. If what you say is true, them you just stopped me from going out and buying an expensive system. I used DIY CO2 currently butam not sure of the levels. When my CO2 is at its top performance I get about 1 bubble per sec. which I think is fast. and it's running on a 20 gallon.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-13-2010, 06:18 PM
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I did a 90 Gal for about 10 years with DIY, PITA.
Gas tank canned CO2 is simply no comparison, do yourself a favor, spend the $.

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Tom Barr




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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Well, it becomes a PITA when you go away on holiday but if it is only for a couple of weeks all you need to do is to cut back on the lighting. Two friends of mine both run pressurized and they think it is fantastic (except for a couple of times when it killed all their fish, caused a massive algae outbreak due to malfunctioning valves etc., etc.). My point is that it is possible to have a DIY system up and running without it being that much of a PITA if you do it right. I don't really need to argue for my case as there is a motherload of people with pressurized systems that do it for me (by them submitting images of their algae infested tanks). Many using a pressurized system seems to be anything but in control of just how much CO2 that goes into their tanks.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 06:15 AM
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I use DIY in my 55g.

I use a 5 gallon water jug. I bought a rubber stopper from a homebrew store and a 3/8" to 1/8" bronze pipe fitting (actually two seperate pieces). Everything just press fits together, no siliconing anywhere.

I use 5 lbs of sugar, champagne yeast, yeast food, and an overdose of baking soda. I did the math and am expecting 6 - 18 months worth of Co2 output from it if I'm optimistic...

Lots of conflicting information, but it is my belief that the reproduction of the yeast is oxygen limited. You get the production rate you want, and then prevent air from getting into the container, and it eventually levels out. I'm on week three, and the rate has increased when I've had to introduce air to change the lines out and stuff, but I'm hoping it'll last longer than the 2-3 weeks that normal 2 liters last...
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-17-2010, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkysko View Post
I use 5 lbs of sugar, champagne yeast, yeast food, and an overdose of baking soda...
Your setup sounds interesting. What is this "yeast food" and where do you get it?


Tony

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