Can You Tell Me If I Did My CO2 Right? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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Can You Tell Me If I Did My CO2 Right?

I am not super high tech at all. I saw on a video on youtube that a person basically inserted the tube from a DIY bottle containing water, yeast and sugar right into their filter intake.

I did this and now that the mixture is producing CO2 I can see very tiny bubbles that are floating throughout the water. They are so tiny, they are smaller than the size of a pinhead. They are also floating sideways and sort of hovering in the tank. Is this the effect that I want to create or should the impeller churn away at the bubbles coming from my DIY kit to the point that I cannot even see them?

Looking forward to input,
thanks.
Adrien
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 02:39 AM
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No thats normal, its a misting of bubbles. If you dont mind them then it will work perfectly. But if you begin to tire of seing them then you would have to upgrade to a canister filter and attach a co2 reactor to the outflow of the filter. The reactor basically churns the bubbles so small that you shouldn't notice them.

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Thanks,
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 03:13 AM
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possible issues with the setup:

adding co2 in gas form directly through the intake could cause noise, and extra vibration could decrease the life of the impeller.

not having an extra bottle between the reactor and the tank means that the yeast mixture could conceivably end up in your tank.

not having a check valve means you could get tank backflow into the reactor if the reactor were below tank level and you had negative pressure for some reason.

not having any sort of bubble counter means you have nothing to easily compare to when you change the co2 rate in the future.

yes, it works, but there are a few easy tweaks you can make to eliminate some potential problems. there are a bunch of threads on this in the DIY section. but congratulations on a successful project
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I do see the bubbles and I do not mind them for now. I may work my way toward real CO2 in tank form.

For now, I tried hooking up the tube into the intake. I could tell when a big bubble went into the impeller. I heard a "swishing" sound and then a bunch of tiny bubbles came spraying out. So this is what I did, a little creativity on my part.

If you are familiar with Tom's Dive Clean I-85 filters you might recall that it is a submersible filter. The entire intake is a plastic body that detaches from the impeller. I drilled a hole in the bottom right in the center. I then weaved the air hose through. Once threaded through I attached an air stone so that it will be housed inside the plastic body of the intake. So now the air stone is releasing smaller bubbles instead of big ones into the impeller. There is no longer any noise and the spray of bubbles is constant. I used a drill and the appropriate drill bit to drill the hole, it took me two minutes from start to finish. And since the bubbles are much smaller there is no noise.

Last question PLEASE:

So if I am using a 2 liter bottle and the DIY mixture only fills the bottle halfway do I still need to worry about the yeast mixture going into the tank? Just seems like it would have to froth up quite a bit to extend itself roughly five inches above the waterline (inside the 2 liter bottle) to reach the tubing and enter the tank.

Thanks,
Adrien
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 04:16 AM
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what if your bottle gets knocked over? then it doesn't have to go very far.. a diy bubble counter/ gas separator takes may 1 minute to make and prevents several possible mishaps.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 05:22 AM
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or if you put it on the ground while moving it around. or if you shook it up and mixture splashed into the tube.

my setup, with 8 feet of tubing, a check valve, two bottles, and the silicone, cost less than 10 bucks. i'm still experimenting with the best diffusion method. i tried a very cheap plastic/ceramic diffuser from ebay, but it's either clogged or requires more pressure than i'm comfortable providing using plastic bottles and silicone. i'm still working on that. currently i have the tubing stuck into a very cheap powerhead (that i wasn't using) at the bottom of the tank, and it seems to be working reasonably well. it's a work in progress. point is, be creative and don't spend much money doing it
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremyblevins View Post
what if your bottle gets knocked over? then it doesn't have to go very far.. a diy bubble counter/ gas separator takes may 1 minute to make and prevents several possible mishaps.
I will have to look into a DIY bubble counter. As it stands right now the 2 liter bottle cannot be knocked over. I used enough tubing from the 2 liter bottle to go into the filter so that the 2 liter bottle can stand next to the tank. In a way it is acting as a support from tipping over. It could not tip over unless the hose were cut off. The only draw back is that I have to twist the "bottle" instead of the cap when I will do refills (because the tubing is so short). But I do not mind this.

And I appreciate you pointing this out to me, Jeremy. I simply wanted to understand the possibilities.

Thanks!
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 06:58 AM
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well that's what the forums are for. haha i don't have much experience with aquariums but i've learned plenty and i have 4 2 liter fruit jugs powering my 55 gallon aquarium going into a 4 way gang valve through a check valve then a bubble counter then another check vavle then my hagen ladder.
here's a pic ignore the 1 liter bottles i had to ditch them for 2 liter because i wasn't getting enough

but right now i'm piecing together a paintball co2 setup because the diy co2 is just too inconsistent for me i don't have the time to keep up with it. but hopefully you'll have better luck then i did.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! That is some setup.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-15-2010, 05:50 PM
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one downfall of having the co2 go directly into your filter intake that is fairly often overlooked in almost all the DIY setups that are similar (that I have seen) are the detrimental effects of constant cavitation on the impeller. basicly using that method the chances increase overtime of your filter breaking down. the cavitation can put undue strain on the impeller blades and shaft housings causing additional wear plaus the effect of co2 on plastic and the rubber bushings at the ends of the impeller shafts. if you dont mind a shorter overall filter life then your fine.

"[Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect." -original author unknown-

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-16-2010, 05:05 AM
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Check out the thread on DIY Paintball systems. There is a lot of great info on setup and parts needed.

sent from my phone, because I can't get the internet out in the boonies.
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