DIY CO2 Help please:) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2010, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Wink DIY CO2 Help please:)

hello i installed my own diy co2 system, i made it with one 2 litre soda bottle, silicone tubing i have one 2 litre soda pop bottle with a hole in the top, then a peice of tube then the check valve( the thing to stop it entering the water) then the tube goes into a smaller bottle with water in (bubble counter) then from the bubble counter another tube is connected to the glass diffuser to the tank. 3 days i mixed it up and it started to fizz, then nothing. i shook the bottle a tiny bit and still nothing

what i did was, mixed 2 cups of sugar in a cup of hot water(sticky stuff:P) then after that i added a bit of warm (82c water to a cup added 1 teaspoon of yeast to it with some sugar, mixed it up and it started fizzing, smelt like alcohol/sugar puffs/wheat lol so i assume my yeast it ok, then added 2 cups of cold to the bottle then added the yeast mix, nothing happened got up this morning, checked it submerged the unit under water and what do you know, i have a small leak. so i made a 4mm hole and sharpened the tubing and pulled it through with pliers. tested it and no bubbles no leaks so i set up again 4 hours ago and nothing is happening!!! please help me )

love the co2 noob

pol

oh i forgot i added a tablespoon of bicarbinate of soda to the mix
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2010, 02:27 PM
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There's got to be a pretty good amount of pressure to force gas through a diffuser. Certain (larger) diffusers may not work with DIY setups, but smaller diffusers generally should.

The first time I used a DIY CO2 system, I had it going through a powerhead. Then I switched to a diffuser (same yeast mixture, so I didn't restart the process, just stuck the tube onto a diffuser). After 4 or 5 hours, nothing. No bubbles. Went to bed. When I got up 8 hours later, it was working fine.

If it doesn't work in the next several hours, I'd suggest putting a sealant on either side of the soda cap where the tube goes through. Also, make sure all the fittings are snug, and use a soapy water mix to check for leaks.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2010, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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ok thanks so much for that quick reply would you suggest switching to a normal airstone? i have a ton of those lying round. yeh i waited over 9 hours last night and nothing when i woke this morning the tube going into the holes in the bottle is super tight i mean the tubing in that area is almost half the size it should be maybe im getting the mix wrong
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2010, 04:52 PM
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The check valve when I had a system up and running would not get enough pressure to open. Run the first hose into a second bottle, fill it half way with water. And then have a tube coming out of the second bottle (make sure the end is above water line) and have that running in to the tank. The second bottle acts as a bubble counter, and helps catch any crud that might end up in your tank clogging your diffuser. If you have about $40-50 laying around, go check the DIY part of the forum for the paintball canister CO2 system. My little 9oz tank costs me about $1.80 to have filled and should last me several months before a recharge is needed again. Over time it should save money vs. two cups of sugar and yeast every few weeks.


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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2010, 07:44 PM
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You can try an airstone, but everything I've read suggests they'll clog up and be useless within a week or two. Still, you can buy them in a pack of 3 or 5 for just a few bucks, so it might be worth it. When my setup was functioning using a diffuser, if I were to squeeze the bottle, it would feel something like an unopened full soda bottle (still factory sealed, with soda in it), but not quite as pressurized as if I'd shaken it up vigorously.

At this point, if I got the time right, you've had the unit going for around 10 hours. I would think it'd be going by now. Does the soda bottle feel pressurized? And have you put liquid soap around any joins to check for leaks?
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-05-2010, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Talking

hi thanks so much for the replies, i dont really want a cylinder lieing round the house i have children and im a little bit scared of it taking off and hitting one of them lol, ihave had tanks for over 15 years and this is the first time i looked into co2, little wary to say the least,

but it seems to be working just fine now yay! i noticed a little stream of bubbles coming from the defuser, i have the bubble checker(second bottle ) which it has to pass through before entering the tank, glass defuser seems to be working but its only a tiny stream of bubbles, hardly any but its bubbeling, im getting under one bubble per second from the second bottle so maybe it just needs longer to start shooting more out i'd day its something like 1 bubble per 3 secs maybe longer, hope it improves

oh and yes it feels like a brand new bottle of pop

all looks promising
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 11:54 AM
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I am using this and i think is the best from what I have tried http://freshwater-aquarium-passion.b...injection.html


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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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ok after a few days of trying this out, im seriously not happy, i make one it works then after that nothing so i remake the mix again nothing, make it again, nothing, leaving each for some hours i cant seem to get it to work again. every mix i make i get nothing from it, brand new opened yeast dated 2012. using the same sugar bottle and everything, and its not working, feel like crying, seems i cant perfect the recipe. or am doing something wrong!

PLEASE HELP ME ))
ty in advance
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 07:57 PM
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Try stripping the system down to the basics first. When I put together my system I added everything at once which made it difficult to test to see if each part worked independently.

First prep the bottle. Drill the bottle cap, insert the tube, seal around the tube on both sides of the cap (aquarium sealer works best for me, I tried using a hot glue gun but it separates too easily), and let it set for 12 hours.

Then, let 2 cups of sugar dissolve in one cup of dechlorinated water. Pour that mixture into the bottle and then add one cup of dechlorinated cold water. Let that mixture cool down, put it in the fridge to speed up the process. Then mix 1 cup of luke warm (lower than your body temperature) dechlorinated water and 1/2 tsp of yeast. Pour that mixture into the bottle once the sugar water mixture has cooled down. Screw on the cap with the tube and let the other end of the tube sit in a bowl of water over night. The next morning you should have co2 bubbles coming out. If not, check to make sure the mixture smells like alcohol, and then check for leaks around the cap and tubing.

If you can get this accomplished, then move on to adding a check valve, bubble counter, diffuser, etc.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2010, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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thats great thanks for the r eply ill certainly give all this a try, i mean i woke up this morning and the diffuser is releasing a tiny steam of bubbles only one stream, but continuous bubbles so i must be doing something right.

the hard thing is i try something and it works then a few weeks later its hard to remember everything i did the previous weeks step by step exactly so it fails lol. ill give it a try anyway and break it down bit by bit and see how it goes

thanks again

(edit) im even thinking although this system works well for some people, im not sure about it, i just cut the tubing and pull it through with pliers and the ending is rather tight, i have checked for leaks and i dont have any after the last one, im thinking i wanna try and make it but with a plastic tube, hard pen or something else to push the piping onto the bottle with instead of just putting the tube through, but im wrecking my brains trying to think, would probably just be easier going out and buying a plant system but i wanna master this first really. im now im just rabbiting on lol thanks again for the reply
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-10-2010, 06:47 PM
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man, it shouldnt be that hard, lol.

mine was up and running withing a few hours of setting it all up.

ingredients
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- 3/4 full of water two-liter bottle

materials
- one 2 liter bottle
- one 16oz gatorade bottle
- airline
- check valve
- airstone for diffusion

process:
- mixed up the yeast in a separate cup of water, let sit fo 15 minutes
- added two cups of sugar to the 3/4 full two-liter bottle
- after 15 minutes, added yeast to the two-liter bottle
- gently shook/swooshed the bottle to activate it
- used superglue on the outside of the bottle cap/airline connections to seal

here are some pix and more details on my set up...

reactor: 2L bottle 3/4 filled with warm water, 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast. it has one tube going from just underneath the cap, into the bubble counter, make sure that tube goes a couple inches past the water in the bubble counter

bubble counter: smaller gatorade bottle, filled 3/4 full with water. this has two tubes in it, one from the reactor, and then the outgoing line that goes into the tank. the outgoing lined should be positioned about 3/4" beneath the cap, this allows the gas to exit and flow up through the check valve and then into the tank. to diffuse it, im using an airstone, i do have an eBay diffuser on the way though.

diffuser: the airstone is placed at the end of the airline and rests just beneath the intake. the gas is released and is sucked into the intake, the bubbles are very small. hopefully my ebay glass diffuser comes this week.
***the pic shows my ebay glass/ceramic diffuser. the airstone did work good though.

what you cant see in this pic is the "check-valve" that is being used. it is placed on the outgoing (left side) line, it is used to prevent syphoning of water from the tank into the reactor. a bubble counter isn't exactly necessary, but its highly recommended to prevent the gunk/residue that can build up (from the yeast and sugar) flowing into your tank.


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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-11-2010, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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thanks i appreaciate the post and info, very informative, but if you read my previous posts about it, you may notice that im not struggeling with the setup lol, the thing works but after making 3 more mixtures im getting basically crap bubbles before it lasted 1-2 weeks now it lasts days, so thanks but i was on about it not bubbling, not the system, the last post i was just thinking of ways to make the setup a little better.

sorry i just read over your post again lol, but yeh thanks alot, ill certainly give your way a try later, but i have done similar before and nothing happens :s
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-11-2010, 01:31 AM
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I have no idea. Other than sealing every join with silicone (which doesn't work great on plastic or acrylic, but every bit helps), or even superglue. Maybe there's a pinhole leak in the tubing. Other than suggesting you let it go on its own for 24 hours before so much as squeezing the bottle, I'm out of ideas
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-11-2010, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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im gonna try remaking it all from scratch hopefully this will sort it, i litrally threw it together in ten mins lol, so im gonna redo it soon, its actully working now, small stream of bubbles, maybe im expecting too much out of diy co2, either that or im doing something wrong with the mix, cause i know the setup works fine , but im still gonna take my time to create it again and seal it up

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-11-2010, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beedee View Post
man, it shouldnt be that hard, lol.

mine was up and running withing a few hours of setting it all up.

ingredients
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon yeast
- 3/4 full of water two-liter bottle

materials
- one 2 liter bottle
- one 16oz gatorade bottle
- airline
- check valve
- airstone for diffusion

process:
- mixed up the yeast in a separate cup of water, let sit fo 15 minutes
- added two cups of sugar to the 3/4 full two-liter bottle
- after 15 minutes, added yeast to the two-liter bottle
- gently shook/swooshed the bottle to activate it
- used superglue on the outside of the bottle cap/airline connections to seal

here are some pix and more details on my set up...

reactor: 2L bottle 3/4 filled with warm water, 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast. it has one tube going from just underneath the cap, into the bubble counter, make sure that tube goes a couple inches past the water in the bubble counter

bubble counter: smaller gatorade bottle, filled 3/4 full with water. this has two tubes in it, one from the reactor, and then the outgoing line that goes into the tank. the outgoing lined should be positioned about 3/4" beneath the cap, this allows the gas to exit and flow up through the check valve and then into the tank. to diffuse it, im using an airstone, i do have an eBay diffuser on the way though.

diffuser: the airstone is placed at the end of the airline and rests just beneath the intake. the gas is released and is sucked into the intake, the bubbles are very small. hopefully my ebay glass diffuser comes this week.
***the pic shows my ebay glass/ceramic diffuser. the airstone did work good though.

what you cant see in this pic is the "check-valve" that is being used. it is placed on the outgoing (left side) line, it is used to prevent syphoning of water from the tank into the reactor. a bubble counter isn't exactly necessary, but its highly recommended to prevent the gunk/residue that can build up (from the yeast and sugar) flowing into your tank.


ok i followed this to the letter, question, dont you use bicarb soda?

well see in a few hours if its working, if not not sure what am doing wrong.

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Juwel Rio 125 - 125 Litres (27.5 Gallon), 2x28 Watt Lights, Juwel Bioflow 3.0, Flourish Excel, Low Light Plants.
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