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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 for 2.5g Help?

2.5g tank dimensions:
Length: 11"
Width: 5"
Height: 11"

Light:
Finnex Stingray 12" long

Substrate: Caribsea about 2.5 inches

Dosing: flourish Comprehensive: once a week
Exel: 3 times a week

Flora:
Dwarf Hairgrass but want to add some more.

Fauna: Unsure. Betta or shrimp?

So honestly, this is my first tank where I'm trying to make it very nice, I have some seiryu stone. The dwarf Hairgrass is doing okay, but there are some green but also brownish. I was hoping to get some diy co2 In it, it's a very small tank and I'm not familiar at all with how co2 works.

I was wondering a few questions.
1) How much water, yeast, sugar etc. will I need to add
2) How often?
3) Could you guys go over on how it works exactly?
4) when I have co2 will I need to dose Exel and flourish the same amount?

Thank you all. It will be a great help.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-05-2015, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Julie7778 View Post
I was hoping to get some diy co2 In it, it's a very small tank and I'm not familiar at all with how co2 works.

I was wondering a few questions.
1) How much water, yeast, sugar etc. will I need to add
2) How often?
3) Could you guys go over on how it works exactly?
4) when I have co2 will I need to dose Exel and flourish the same amount?

Thank you all. It will be a great help.
I described my setup here:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8365113-post11.html

The large the bottle the more it will produce and the longer it will last. You can adjust this somewhat by the amount of yeast you put in.

For a tank this small you might get away with fairly small bottle, but I think I'd try a 2 liter soda bottle. I'd use the same size for the hookah.

I'd try a cup of sugar and a half teaspoon of yeast. Experiment when you change out a depleted solution to find out what combination works best for you.

You will have to change it out every 7 to 14 days.

Yeast consumes sugar and produces alcohol. The by-product is CO2. You could be making beer, or mead (with honey), but you would want to be using brewer's yeast (more expensive) instead of baker's yeast. Brewer's yeast will last longer because alcohol poisoning is what kills a baker's yeast solution.

The temp of the yeast solution is important. At 70F my gallon bottle hardly puts out any CO2. At a 85F it puts out enough for a 30g heavily planted tank. Since winter is coming on I decided to go for a pressurised CO2 system rather than figuring out how to heat the yeast bottle. I'm sure there are a number of ways to work out a heating system, but I've had enough of playing with yeast.

You shouldn't need to use Excel to manage algae when you have sufficient CO2. Your plants will still need nutrients. I've read that dwarf hair grass likes nutrients in the substrate so you might want to try Flourish tabs.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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I described my setup here:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8365113-post11.html

The large the bottle the more it will produce and the longer it will last. You can adjust this somewhat by the amount of yeast you put in.

For a tank this small you might get away with fairly small bottle, but I think I'd try a 2 liter soda bottle. I'd use the same size for the hookah.

I'd try a cup of sugar and a half teaspoon of yeast. Experiment when you change out a depleted solution to find out what combination works best for you.

You will have to change it out every 7 to 14 days.

Yeast consumes sugar and produces alcohol. The by-product is CO2. You could be making beer, or mead (with honey), but you would want to be using brewer's yeast (more expensive) instead of baker's yeast. Brewer's yeast will last longer because alcohol poisoning is what kills a baker's yeast solution.

The temp of the yeast solution is important. At 70F my gallon bottle hardly puts out any CO2. At a 85F it puts out enough for a 30g heavily planted tank. Since winter is coming on I decided to go for a pressurised CO2 system rather than figuring out how to heat the yeast bottle. I'm sure there are a number of ways to work out a heating system, but I've had enough of playing with yeast.

You shouldn't need to use Excel to manage algae when you have sufficient CO2. Your plants will still need nutrients. I've read that dwarf hair grass likes nutrients in the substrate so you might want to try Flourish tabs.
Thanks for that response. So let me get this correct, in the first bottle, put a cup of sugar and teaspoon of yeast. How much water should I put? What goes in the next bottle exactly..? The tank will be about 78F .

Also, I know I need something to put it into the tank from the tubes correct ? Should I get a diffuser?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argus View Post
I described my setup here:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/8365113-post11.html

The large the bottle the more it will produce and the longer it will last. You can adjust this somewhat by the amount of yeast you put in.

For a tank this small you might get away with fairly small bottle, but I think I'd try a 2 liter soda bottle. I'd use the same size for the hookah.

I'd try a cup of sugar and a half teaspoon of yeast. Experiment when you change out a depleted solution to find out what combination works best for you.

You will have to change it out every 7 to 14 days.

Yeast consumes sugar and produces alcohol. The by-product is CO2. You could be making beer, or mead (with honey), but you would want to be using brewer's yeast (more expensive) instead of baker's yeast. Brewer's yeast will last longer because alcohol poisoning is what kills a baker's yeast solution.

The temp of the yeast solution is important. At 70F my gallon bottle hardly puts out any CO2. At a 85F it puts out enough for a 30g heavily planted tank. Since winter is coming on I decided to go for a pressurised CO2 system rather than figuring out how to heat the yeast bottle. I'm sure there are a number of ways to work out a heating system, but I've had enough of playing with yeast.

You shouldn't need to use Excel to manage algae when you have sufficient CO2. Your plants will still need nutrients. I've read that dwarf hair grass likes nutrients in the substrate so you might want to try Flourish tabs.
Thanks for that response. So let me get this correct, in the first bottle, put a cup of sugar and teaspoon of yeast. How much water should I put? What goes in the next bottle exactly..? The tank will be about 78F .

Also, I know I need something to put it into the tank from the tubes correct ? Should I get a diffuser?
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 01:34 PM
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Aquatic Eden: DIY CO2 Recipe: Duration vs. Intensity

I use champagne yest and I've been getting 3-4 weeks on a bottle. A simple airstone will work. I've read that chopsticks,cigarette filter, and compacted cotton balls in a syringe worktoo. A cceramic diffuser may be a hit miss. My old two bottle setup could never build enough pressure to push through unless i shook the bottles every now and again.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Julie7778 View Post
Thanks for that response. So let me get this correct, in the first bottle, put a cup of sugar and teaspoon of yeast. How much water should I put? What goes in the next bottle exactly..? The tank will be about 78F .

Also, I know I need something to put it into the tank from the tubes correct ? Should I get a diffuser?
Fill the sugar and yeast bottle about 80% full of water (sugar already dissolved). The tube coming out of the first bottle should extend below the cap only about 1/4".

The second bottle should be filled about half to 2/3 with water only. It is a trap incase the yeast bubbles up into tubing. You can also use it to count the bubble rate.

The tube coming into the second bottle (from the yeast bottle) should go to the bottom. The CO2 coming into the second bottle bubbles up through the water. The tube coming out of the second bottle should extend below the cap only about 1/4".

IMO, a http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002DI1W4?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00 is the best way to introduce DIY CO2 into the tank. It extends the time that a CO2 bubble is in contact with the aquarium water. For some reason they take a few days to settle in and work properly. I suspect that either the plastic needs to absorb water, or a film of bacteria (stuff that turns ammonia into nitrates) needs to grow on the surface. Bubbles don't move up the ladder properly when it is first put in. It has something to do with the surface tension on the bubble and its contact with the plastic.

You know it is working well when the bubbles get smaller and almost disappear as they get to the top. It is kind of enjoyable to watch the bubbles travel up the ladder.

Ceramic disk diffusers (often glass) usually require more pressure than DIY CO2 produces.



The tank temp doesn't matter. What matters is the temp of the yeast mixture. The warmer it is the more CO2 it will produce. If you work out a way to warm the first bottle, you can adjust the temp to control the flow rate.

As you renew the sugar/yeast mixture you can experiment with the amount of sugar. Adding more sugar will give the yeast more food and extend the life of the mixture up to the point where alcohol poisoning is what ends it. Adding more sugar beyond that point just wastes sugar. So, you could experiment with cutting back or sugar or adding sugar until you find the point where more sugar does not increase the mixtures effective life.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Fill the sugar and yeast bottle about 80% full of water (sugar already dissolved). The tube coming out of the first bottle should extend below the cap only about 1/4".

The second bottle should be filled about half to 2/3 with water only. It is a trap incase the yeast bubbles up into tubing. You can also use it to count the bubble rate.

The tube coming into the second bottle (from the yeast bottle) should go to the bottom. The CO2 coming into the second bottle bubbles up through the water. The tube coming out of the second bottle should extend below the cap only about 1/4".

IMO, a hagen ladder is the best way to introduce DIY CO2 into the tank. It extends the time that a CO2 bubble is in contact with the aquarium water. For some reason they take a few days to settle in and work properly. I suspect that either the plastic needs to absorb water, or a film of bacteria (stuff that turns ammonia into nitrates) needs to grow on the surface. Bubbles don't move up the ladder properly when it is first put in. It has something to do with the surface tension on the bubble and its contact with the plastic.

You know it is working well when the bubbles get smaller and almost disappear as they get to the top. It is kind of enjoyable to watch the bubbles travel up the ladder.

Ceramic disk diffusers (often glass) usually require more pressure than DIY CO2 produces.



The tank temp doesn't matter. What matters is the temp of the yeast mixture. The warmer it is the more CO2 it will produce. If you work out a way to warm the first bottle, you can adjust the temp to control the flow rate.

As you renew the sugar/yeast mixture you can experiment with the amount of sugar. Adding more sugar will give the yeast more food and extend the life of the mixture up to the point where alcohol poisoning is what ends it. Adding more sugar beyond that point just wastes sugar. So, you could experiment with cutting back or sugar or adding sugar until you find the point where more sugar does not increase the mixtures effective life.
That helps a lOt! I was wondering if I could use this airtstone instead of that? Shipping is always so much to Canada

I was thinking this

Top Fin Aquarium Fine Bubble Air Stone | Air Pumps & Air Stones | PetSmart

Read the description of it.

Also would this check valve be okay?
Top Fin Aquarium Check Valve | Air Pumps & Air Stones | PetSmart
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 08:03 PM
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That helps a lOt! I was wondering if I could use this airtstone instead of that? Shipping is always so much to Canada

I was thinking this

Top Fin Aquarium Fine Bubble Air Stone | Air Pumps & Air Stones | PetSmart

Read the description of it.

Also would this check valve be okay?
Top Fin Aquarium Check Valve | Air Pumps & Air Stones | PetSmart
That check valve looks same as http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MJSUIEE?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00. Only the color of the inside piece is different. Read the two reviews. It failed for one of them. These check valves have a high failure rate. So, buying a dozen means you should get some good ones. Also, they can clog up over time so you will replace them every so often. So, get a dozen for less than $0.75 each instead of one for $2.79.

The air stone might work. I have no experience with it. You will know it is working well if the bubbles vanish before reaching the surface.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Argus View Post
IMO, a hagen ladder is the best way to introduce DIY CO2 into the tank. It extends the time that a CO2 bubble is in contact with the aquarium water. For some reason they take a few days to settle in and work properly. I suspect that either the plastic needs to absorb water, or a film of bacteria (stuff that turns ammonia into nitrates) needs to grow on the surface. Bubbles don't move up the ladder properly when it is first put in. It has something to do with the surface tension on the bubble and its contact with the plastic.

You know it is working well when the bubbles get smaller and almost disappear as they get to the top. It is kind of enjoyable to watch the bubbles travel up the ladder.
oh no!! While I can't debate the efficacy of that contraption in diffusing CO2, I can say that those things can turn into a huge eyesore, be algae ridden, and be practically impossible to clean! Then, when they're dirty, the bubbles don't move up properly either! At least I had a pretty tough time with it. You may have better luck, but at least consider some other options.

You didn't mention what kind of filter you have. There's plenty alternatives to introducing CO2 in, sometimes people feed an airstone into a diy reactor, intake of a filter, or something that will chop up those bubbles to keep them in contact with water longer. That's what the above ladder aims to do too. The fine airstone alone that you show may work, but the concern is that will probably just let the CO2 come out in too large bubbles and they'll go to the surface fast and just offgas. One of the other tricks I've seen is the chopstick diffuser on DIY CO2 because it pushes out smaller bubbles, but even then, people usually feed it into some sort of filter impeller or reactor as well.

Here's a DIY reactor:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20...r-venturi.html
Some detailed build instructions:
http://www.aquaticquotient.com/forum...ctor-w-venturi
These can ALSO get to be an eyesore.

Which is why people have come up with a direct feed into a HOB filter if you have something similar:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20...ml#post7535034
Further down, he has an example that feeds into the intake tube.

-------------

In addition to the CO2, you'll probably need to consider your fertilizer next. Flourish comprehensive does not have macro fertilizers. I'm not sure how bright that finnex light is, but if you start driving your plants harder, they'll outgrow the food and CO2 that you're providing, and you'll bring on the algae storms.

For future reading, if you haven't already:
Darkblade's Primer to Planted Tanks

Last edited by ipkiss; 10-06-2015 at 08:59 PM. Reason: added future considerations
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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The air stone might work. I have no experience with it. You will know it is working well if the bubbles vanish before reaching the surface.
Is there a solution if it doesn't?
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 09:54 PM
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Is there a solution if it doesn't?
The ladder, try to get the bubbles to stay in the water for as long as possible, it gives it more time to dissolve
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-06-2015, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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In addition to the CO2, you'll probably need to consider your fertilizer next. Flourish comprehensive does not have macro fertilizers. I'm not sure how bright that finnex light is, but if you start driving your plants harder, they'll outgrow the food and CO2 that you're providing, and you'll bring on the algae storms.

For future reading, if you haven't already:
Darkblade's Primer to Planted Tanks
So would I be able to add the tube/or airtstone into the filter? Would that help the co2 to vanish before it reaches the top?

The finnex light is about 4 Watts. So it would be Low light. Correct? I have Exel and the comprehensive. How much would I need to dose with the co2?

I'm really hoping this would work. My dwarf Hairgrass would probably do amazing with it.

Thank you for all the links. Very informative.

I know this i stupid, but I've been leaving the lights on for long periods of time. I'm not sure why, I just didn't think of turning them off during the tank cycling. Today I looked inside and saw that small little hairs are on the rocks and dwarf Hairgrass and a bit yellowish on the rocks as well. Once I add co2 will this stop? Anything I can do as of now

Last edited by Darkblade48; 10-07-2015 at 01:31 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-07-2015, 02:18 PM
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Hi Julie7778,

I took a look at your journal and figure if you want to keep that clean look, it seems like you could probably try the chopstick diffuser into the filter as a reactor method. That way, the CO2 will go into the filter and the filter's impeller will be responsible for mixing it into the water.

LED lights shouldn't be quantified by the watts per gallon measurement. Maybe Darkblade needs to update it a little to include LED information. I wish Finnex's site had a little more information on the PAR ratings. Here's some information on using PAR instead of watts. It's probably way more than you wish to know. For now, just know that the concepts of low/medium/high applies but the measurement unit has changed. Nonetheless, it is being sold as a lower light fixture, so sure, we can accept it as lower light. Despite that, I hesitate to just categorize it as low light and arbitrarily tell you to not add or add fertilizers. Same with CO2. Only through slow experimentation, you can figure out what works or what doesn't in your tank. The rest of us can only sort of suggest things to do when you're faced with a problem. The important thing is to not zone in on one specific problem so much as to ignore the tank as a whole.

I was a little concerned with adding to your stress with all the extra reading. I apologize if it did. So just relax a bit, put the light on a timer (or some other regular shorter period), and take a leisurely read through Darkblade's Primer first. Everything else you read on here (assuming its the right information) will somewhat fall into extensions of what you learn from the primer. If you find all this stuff overwhelming, you could spend a little more time in the low-tech tank forums and maybe you'll find some inspiration from the many people that manage to grow all sorts of nice stuff with much less -- as in, no CO2, no extra fertilizers.. that sort of thing.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-08-2015, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Julie7778,

I took a look at your journal and figure if you want to keep that clean look, it seems like you could probably try the chopstick diffuser into the filter as a reactor method. That way, the CO2 will go into the filter and the filter's impeller will be responsible for mixing it into the water.

LED lights shouldn't be quantified by the watts per gallon measurement. Maybe Darkblade needs to update it a little to include LED information. I wish Finnex's site had a little more information on the PAR ratings. Here's some information on using PAR instead of watts. It's probably way more than you wish to know. For now, just know that the concepts of low/medium/high applies but the measurement unit has changed. Nonetheless, it is being sold as a lower light fixture, so sure, we can accept it as lower light. Despite that, I hesitate to just categorize it as low light and arbitrarily tell you to not add or add fertilizers. Same with CO2. Only through slow experimentation, you can figure out what works or what doesn't in your tank. The rest of us can only sort of suggest things to do when you're faced with a problem. The important thing is to not zone in on one specific problem so much as to ignore the tank as a whole.

I was a little concerned with adding to your stress with all the extra reading. I apologize if it did. So just relax a bit, put the light on a timer (or some other regular shorter period), and take a leisurely read through Darkblade's Primer first. Everything else you read on here (assuming its the right information) will somewhat fall into extensions of what you learn from the primer. If you find all this stuff overwhelming, you could spend a little more time in the low-tech tank forums and maybe you'll find some inspiration from the many people that manage to grow all sorts of nice stuff with much less -- as in, no CO2, no extra fertilizers.. that sort of thing.
Let me get this right? What exactly is the chopstick method? Where you put a small piece of chopstick in the end of the airline and into the filter?

I'll be setting up the CO2 today, I really want to try it as I've gotten all the materials needed. Just need to find some bottles

Thank you for your concern. Everything is a bit chaotic with all this... Do you think the hair will go away once I add CO2? The tanks cycling but I think it's hit that spike. Nitrite is 5ppm...
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less light.. more CO2, can't go wrong -- at least I hope I don't think you have any fish in there to worry about yet right? I don't think you can generate enough CO2 to gas your fish yet, but you do have a pretty small tank. Make sure you have a nice ripple going on the surface to keep a good exchange of O2 and CO2 happening.


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-09-2015, 03:25 AM
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It's my understanding that with CO2 injection you want to increase your lighting so that the plants will use more of the available carbon in the process of photosynthesis. This may vary from plant to plant as some prefer moderate or lower light levels than the norm.

Personally, I skipped the DIY CO2 experience for paintball CO2. It was extremely easy to hook up and a full 20 oz bottle will last for months. I have it setup on a 2.5 gallon like yourself.. although many people will discourage the use of CO2 injection on a tank that small due to problems keeping the water chemistry in check. Smaller tanks are more sensitive to changes and your pH may fluctuate among other things. There is a correlation between pH, KH and CO2 levels. It's still a work in progress for me.

If this is your very first tank I would suggest the same route. Learn about water chemistry with CO2 injection while using a bioavailable carbon product like Flourish Excel or API CO2 Booster. Such products are cheap and easy to use for a small tank like a 2.5 gallon. When you're ready, if it's what you want to do, buy a paintball CO2 setup for more precise regulation and less maintenance. Also, I would advise against the use of airstones as a diffuser, but if you insist on that route use a limewood airstone for very fine bubbles. I feed my CO2 directly into my filter's impeller to break the bubbles apart.

-mootay
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