Pressure cooker for DIY Co2? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Pressure cooker for DIY Co2?

Hey guys...im about to step into the world of DIY co2 with the soda bottles and one of those Hagen mini-elite filters... I personally am going to go with the bottles, but was wondering if anyone has tackled a way to successfully be able to shut off DIY co2?

Then i got to thinking...what holds pressure....a pressure cooker. And those things even have a nipple that sticks up on the top of them. Has anyone ever rigged one of these thing up with a valve? Im sure it could hold some decent pressure. Anyway, just an idea.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 07:40 PM
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It'd be the same just to unscrew the bottle cap a bit, the only problem with that is it takes time to get enough pressure to work again. Diy CO2 isn't very effective unless you have a good reactor, so why would you want to shut if off anyways, its not going to cause any harm leaving it go... "turning it off" won't make it last longer either, guess I'm just lost as to why you'd want to go through the hassle of turning it on/off?



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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Well, if I didnt want the system on at nite, but wanted to save the co2 being produced by the DIY mixture I could just close it...and then just turn it back on in the morning.

Or to adjust how much co2 comes out.

I dont know...im a newb. I figured id try to find some way to squeeze 25 cents more use out of a $1 co2 recipe.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 08:26 PM
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I have read about someone who set up a series of 5 gal plastic gasoline jugs. A solenoid would seal the jugs and they would swell with co2 pressure overnight and he would be able to use it the next day.

But by the time you do that, you would be better off getting a cheap pressurized system.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 09:23 PM
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Well, a couple of things:

It's unsafe. Creating a DIY pressure vessel is ALWAYS a bad idea. While a pressure cooker isn't exactly a DIY pressure vessel, modifying it for DIY CO2 is defintiely, well, DIY.

Part of what makes it unsafe is also what makes it cost prohibitive. You would need some kind of regulating device so that you could uniformly discharge the built up co2. A regulator, needle valve, or something. You would then need to connect it to your pressure vessel, and that connection would have to be a pressure connection.

Most pressure cookers are rated for 15 psig, so you'll need everything upstream of the pressure vessel to hold 15 psig, and to be safe you'll want to test to 30 psig.

If you follow where I'm headed, you'll see the thing would end up being nearly as expensive as a pressurized setup that IS safe.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 09:42 PM
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First of all there is no way of turning of DIY co2 production, once the yeast start going they dont stop until all the sugar is "processed".

Having said that if you want to try to stop the flow of co2 at night and "catch" it somewhere....try a balloon (or a condom if you really want to get extreme DIY, they might hold more). This might be a more affordable way than destroying a pressure cooker.

You would still need some way of limiting the flow from the balloon so that you dont just get one great burst when you release the pressure.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 10:02 PM
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I was thinking about making a DIY CO2 vessel out of large diameter schedule 80 PVC pipe and fittings to tell you the truth they are expensive and to add a compressor regulator was also expensive I scrapped the idea and bought parts to build my own pressurized system. Schedule 80 pipe can hold a lot of pressure but the price to do it and the worry if something went wrong changed my mind. If I could have got the parts for just about nothing I would not have minded testing it out though. Like starting a mixture and leaving the vessel somewhere it would not harm anything around it then let it sit for over a month.


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 04:06 AM
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I think we might be looking at this wrong. If I am thinking correctly, using the same guidelines as brewing....It takes longer to make a lager because the fermentation temp is much lower than when producing ales.

Lower Temperature = Slower Moving Yeast = Less Pressure Build Up
Higher Temperature = Faster Moving Yeast = More Pressure Build Up

This causes me to believe that in order to control yeast production, simply cool the bottle reactor at night in a mini fridge or similar device when the lights go out and then remove the bottle in the morning about an hour before the lights come on. It seems like a lot of work and its not very automatic, but it might work for you all who insisit on slowing your reactions at night.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 04:29 AM
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I just have my hagen mini elite plugged into a timer, that shuts off when my lights go out. Large bubbles will still rise to the surface out of the filter over night but wont stay in the water long enough to have any effect.
You are concerned that your wasting co2 from the soda bottle reactors when your hagen is turned off? Dont be, your not wasting that much money :]
Your reactors should last 2-3 weeks or more depending on your mixture. Just make up a new batch when the bubble count slows down too much for your tanks liking.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 05:44 AM
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That's exactly how mine's setup. A bubble stone sets next to the impeller on my fluval 1plus internal (used as a co2 diffuser) which is plugged into a timer. This timer goes off with the lights and turns on 1 hour before them. I also use a regular Irstone afer nightfall to create a disturbance to further eleminating any co2 interference. It is then turned back off during light periods to allow full absorbtion. Takes a lot of timers but works like a charm so far.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 08:45 PM
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Looks like it's back to the drawing board! Here in Missouri we are blessed with some really hard water. I'm getting KH readings of about 8.5 - 9. After a morning shift at work, my tank went from a ph of 7.4ish to 6.4 in about from when the lights went on to about 6 hours later. That seems pretty drastic! Something along the lines of 10ppm to over 40ppm! I'm thinking of cycling the difuser but leavin the oxygen airstone on 24 7. Think this might help? Let me know of any other ideas if u have any. Thanks in advance
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