A yeast CO2 system that can be turned off at night - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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A yeast CO2 system that can be turned off at night

This is a less confusing repeat of the question I asked in the equipment section ...'Free DIY CO2 regulator'. Sorry it wasn't meant to be click bait, people only read the FREE bit I think and I didn't get any replies apart from "where the free regulator"

I always thought it was impossible (or perhaps just reckless) to turn a yeast CO2 system off at night because they can explode, but I woke up to gasping fish a few weeks ago and I suspect the CO2 level has risen too high by morning so leaving them on 24/7 is dangerous as well.
I have seen a post on another forum where a guy has proposed a DIY pressure regulator that stores the excess CO2 and so it can be turned off and it also solves the problem of uneven CO2 production rates.
It seems like a good idea but I would like to know if anyone here has ever seen a system like it or better still tried it ..... its very nearly free
Please can you have a look at :
Pressure Regulating A DIY CO2 System | Think Fish Tropical Aquarium Forum
and let me know what you think.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 07:14 AM
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I carbonate beverages using 6 2 liter bottles. One holds the yeast sugar mix and 5 are for holding excess CO2. To turn off the system use a surgical tubing clamp or two. Not sure it will fit airline tubing? I been thinking of adapting this for use in the aquarium. But with a cheapish Hoke 3132M2B needle valve I got, may be able to adapt after the tubing clamps. So I could leave the needle valve set at a particular level and turn on off with the tubing clamps. But I would suspect there would be a burst of CO2 when first turned on if the needle valve is not so good.

May not work well but there is an idea for those of us with low funds. Not planning to do this but I have the stuff if I get the time. My CO2 is really low considering my PH and temperature and struggle growing plants but I really like my fish and dont want them stressed. So I have some reservations. And Excel ends up killing some of my plants and sometimes fish no matter how little I use. Thats my 2 cents.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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So it sound like you use the buffer tank solution that is shown as the partial solution.
http://www.thinkfish.co.uk/forums/in...ach=3360;image
You just have more volume than the calculated example.
I still really like the look of the regulated version, I see he added a follow up how-to post showing a bit of the build. If anything the regulated version looks easier than the buffer tank because the pressure seals don't have to be so strong.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 08:04 AM
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Why not just add an airstone on a timer to counter the CO2 at night? CO2 an O2 are not mutually exclusive...

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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I already have an air stone running during the day and I set the CO2 to give the levels I need. Now of course if I switched the air pump at night it would be worse but the plants will still stop absorbing CO2 a night, do I need to add another air pump? The pressurised guys stop the CO2 at night and it only the explosion risk that normally stops a Yeast system doing the same. The regulator seems to do this so will probably give it a go, it doesn't look like more than 30 minutes of work if I shut it down manually at night.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 08:45 AM
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I got mine kind of balanced to where it does not hit extremes, the airstone runs lightly all day (inside a breeding net) and I never switch off the CO2.

In your system, the airstone will cycle CO2 rich water to the surface where it will try to find equilibrium with the atmosphere (off gas), so the CO2 would be reduced and oxygen would be increased (when it is low).


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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Nordic, I accept your points 100% but that was the reason for the post, I'm trying to improve on it. I wondered if the regulator in the other forum was a solution Did you have a look at the link in the first post, the first two pages discuss the problem and then 3 and 4 give a solution?
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-08-2016, 04:43 PM
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I did, honestly, my experience is that every connector is another potential leak. I keep it nice and simple.
Scale up the gas supply bottle till it meets your needs, set and forget (every interaction is an opportunity for error).
You generally don't need (want) too much surface agitation in the light period. Your plants will be oversaturating your water with O2, to a higher level than without CO2.
It is only during the dark period that you need increased gas exchange with the atmosphere.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Yes you are right about the connections and leaks. I used a cheap plastic throttle valve for a while until I realised it was leaking as much CO2 as the tank was getting Doh! I once thought about trying to measure if the system was pressure tight by doing a pressure drop test (with a small volume of gas its possible to measure truly tiny leaks) but then I remembered I had a life.
Well I tried the regulator and it seems to work, it was a bit more than a half hour work because I didn't want to loose my CO2 pressures so I faffed around clamping pipes and venting air from bottles before reconnecting it. It only added one extra connection to the two generator plus buffer tank system I had. This is because the buffer is still there, just with an additional tube in the cap and it uses a continuous run of tube all the way from inside the buffer to inside the header tank. Cool.
The header tank is on a high shelf hidden in a large vase and now contains about 3cm of water and the reactor has a steady stream of bubbles. Initially I put it on top of the tank but the CO2 went into the header tank rather than the reactor so I raised 60cm and the increased head of water started the reactor flow back up. When I clamped the tube going to the tank I could measure the water level rise over a few hours. Opening the clamp the bubbles just started up again after about 10 minutes, I guess some water had entered the reactor and had to be purged.
In principle I would say the theory works and its got potential, I will have a look for a valve to automate it and see how it performs linked to the lights.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 08:22 PM
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Sometimes at the beginning it is possible to set up a siphon with the tube and backfill your yeast bottles... don't ask how I know.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Yeast sucks doesn't it
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beamer View Post
I always thought it was impossible (or perhaps just reckless) to turn a yeast CO2 system off at night because they can explode, but I woke up to gasping fish a few weeks ago and I suspect the CO2 level has risen too high by morning so leaving them on 24/7 is dangerous as well.
Switch to a DIY Citric Acid/Baking Soda System. I personally run it 24/7 but with the way the setup is, you can easily shut it off and it will be in equilibrium between the 2 bottles and pressure will not continue to rise. You could hook it up to a timer and have it turn on when your lights turn on as well if you want to go that route but it will be more expensive for sure with the solenoid.

How to set it up

Check out the pictures of my setup here:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/20...ml#post9204585
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 12:32 AM
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This is what I'm running and you can turn it off at night, the excess CO2 fills the last bottle in line to be pumped into the tank when you turn it on the next morning.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCSLABS View Post
This is what I'm running and you can turn it off at night, the excess CO2 fills the last bottle in line to be pumped into the tank when you turn it on the next morning.
Yes but what if you're away on vacation? You're going to either risk having the bottle explode or starve your plants.

In the citric acid/baking soda setup, once the CO2 is generated, it creates an equilibrium of pressure with both bottles which then stops any new CO2 generation. Basically, no citric acid/water solution will flow from Bottle A to Bottle B at that point in time and won't create more CO2. When CO2 is used (via going out the diffuser), more citric acid solution will automatically go into Bottle B to create more CO2 thus creating the equilibrium again. It always wants to create that equilibrium between the 2 bottles. When there is equilibrium, it is stable and no pressure will increase. However, I will say that it isn't perfect in that respect as I have seen the pressure increase slightly on the pressure gauge above what I set it to but it is not that much higher and all within tolerance of the 2L bottle.

It really is an ingenious setup that works well. For me, it's just about getting it to last longer which I think I can with additional bottles and using T connectors to tap them in together.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-10-2016, 01:08 AM
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Not a worry, there is a pressure release valve on the liquid/water separator. Vacation, I'll have to employ some electrical switches.
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