DIY CO2 w/BROWN Sugar. Oiy! :) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-20-2010, 05:05 AM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 w/BROWN Sugar. Oiy! :)

So, I am pretty new to live aquatic plant keeping. I am working with a DIY system. I have a 2 liter soda bottle filled with water and sugar and have an air stone hooked up to my impeller. It is creating these tiny bubbles all around the tank. I have five tanks total but I only have two tanks with the DIY CO2 system. Here is the thing;

I ran out of white granulated sugar so I opted for brown sugar. I read of someone doing this before so I thought I would give it a shot. Whoah! What a major difference and a big improvement. I have been running it for a day and within eight hours nearly ALL of my plants are pearling. Even my crypts are pearling. I have never had pearling before. I swear my hornwort grew 1.5 inches just tonight alone (from 3pm until midnight)! It is pretty cool to see the pearling affect. I can see dramatic growth in just one day. At this rate I will be out of control very soon. Not that I am complaining.

I only have experience with white granulated sugar. The only drawback I can see at this time is that the brown sugar is a tad more expensive. Here is my recipe:

I filled the 2 liter bottle just a tad over half way with warm fresh aquarium water from my water change. The water itself is roughly 86 degrees. Then I mashed about 1 cup of brown sugar with some aquarium water (just enough to get sugar and water to mix like a thick stew) in a large bowl (to get all the lumps smoothed out and to mix it up well). Then I poured the mixture into the 2 liter bottle with a funnel. Lastly I put 1 TSP of brewer's yeast and I connected it all. I think I will try to use some baking soda next time as I read that this helps to stabilize the pH. Is that right? I know I did hear of this.

Just thought I would share.
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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-20-2010, 05:43 AM
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Isn't brown sugar just white sugar with molasses? If so, just mix white sugar, molasses, and then your mix
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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-20-2010, 04:28 PM
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Do you know how much more CO2 the brown sugar is producing than the white sugar?

I've read about people mixing both types when setting up their DIY CO2, but have never known why.
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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-20-2010, 05:08 PM
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::watching::
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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-20-2010, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beedee View Post
::watching::

Watching what?

I thought brown sugar was unbleached white sugar but if it is made with molasses then that makes sense. This is because I talked to a guy on youtube.com that talked about using molasses in his mix to make the mixture last longer.
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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-20-2010, 08:51 PM
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I've read that cane sugar (which is brown in color) will produce more CO2 than white sugar, though I'm not sure if they meant more CO2 at one time, or just that it would increase the life of the DIY unit before a resupply.

Unconfirmed and untested (by me), but just a thought.
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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guppygolucky View Post
Isn't brown sugar just white sugar with molasses? If so, just mix white sugar, molasses, and then your mix
According to wikipedia.com (after my brief research) it appears you are correct. I will create this in the future for myself using molasses, white sugar and aquarium water.
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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 12:50 AM
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Coolness sauce on navy beans! I'm gonna try this! Thank you for not having granulated sugar on stock!

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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 02:01 AM
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I've found molasses doesn't make it last longer but it helps start the co2 faster and the co2 is more consistant. The bubbles come out like clock work. Sometimes if i dont add molasses, the co2 can be more sporadic.

86 is kind of high for tank water, especially a panted tank. Is this a discuss tank? Whats the point of using tank water? I use warm water from the tap.
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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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Whats the point of using tank water? I use warm water from the tap.
Depending on where you live your tap water may be heavily chlorinated which is not good for fish. It is not good for the yeast cells either, I imagine. I never use tap water for my terrestrial home plants either. I save aquarium water in buckets from my water changes and they love it. It is so much better than tap water.

You could even just let tap water sit overnight and more than likely the chlorine will evaporate. But usually I do a water change and use the freshly siphoned water to create a new mixture for DIY CO2.

The water gets that warm because I have my tanks stacked vertically on a shelf that I made. It is simply from the heat rising. The tank on top gets pretty hot. I am thinking of getting some sort of cooling system or fan to help blow the rising heat away from the tanks. The tank on the floor (I have five tanks stacked vertically) is 80 degrees. The tank on top can reach 90! But I keep the lid open and it cools down to 84-86.
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post #11 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 05:56 AM
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How long does the brown sugar mixture last? My DIY CO2 is very sporadic so i would love more consistancy in my tanks. What size tank do you use 1 2L in? How many do you think for a 35G tank?

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post #12 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-22-2010, 08:21 AM
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i may give the brown sugar a try in another week or two when my first batch expires.
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post #13 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 02:16 AM
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I'm going to give this recipe a shot tomorrow on my 1st diy co2 system. I have read conflicting things on bakeing soda, but i think i'm going to add just a pinch. According to info i read it does stabilize the ph, but the co2 wont last as long.

So much to learn!
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post #14 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 02:48 AM
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I have tried the brown sugar method in the past, and I agree that it does produce more CO2 (I have a drop checker) and lasts longer than white granulated sugar.
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post #15 of 60 (permalink) Old 10-23-2010, 11:47 PM
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Brown Sugar Mix is running and im getting a steady flow of co2. It looks like aprox. 3 bubbles per second.

So much to learn!
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