What am I doing wrong? DIY CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 01:30 AM Thread Starter
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What am I doing wrong? DIY CO2

For some reason I can not get my co2 to work right.

The first recipe I tried was 3/4 cup sugar and about a tsp yeast, with a few cups of water. That bubbled good(about 1bps) for about a day before slowing way down (1 bubble every 5-6 seconds). The second time I used RO water (thinking maybe my tap killed it), and 1.5 cups water to about a tsp yeast. I added that bottle to the first (I have two bottles as i have a 55 gallon tank.) That didn't do quite as good, and again slowed way down in a day.

Last night I mixed up both bottles at the same time. I used tap water, 1.5 cups sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp yeast. I used a different yeast in both bottles, in case it was just bad yeast. They did the yeasty foamy thing though. Right now, between both bottles I am getting about one bubble every 15 seconds. This morning I sprayed everything leading up to the bubble counter with soapy water, and couldn't find a leak.

HELP!

Please....

Laura


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Oh, and the second time I added a bit of milk powder. I was thinking about getting some protien powder to make it last longer, but I am not going to bother trying that if I can't get it to work right in the first place.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 03:08 AM
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What type of yeast are you using? I don't really measure out amounts any more for my DIY CO2 but I think I'm using something like 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 tsp yeast (regular not rapid rise) and a bit less than 1/2 tsp baking soda. I add in enough RO water to bring the total volume up to about a 900 mL. I'm using a 1 L plastic bottle as a container. I get a good bubble rate for a couple of weeks before I need to start over. I am bubbling into the intake for my cannister filter on a 40 gal tank. Plants are doing well and are pearling nicely by late afternoon when the O2 has become saturated. I buy bulk yeast at Costco (1 lb bricks) and store them in the freezer. A small jar of yeast is kept in the refrigerator and refilled when needed.

Good luck and keep at it. Your plants will thank you.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for answering.
I think that is the same yeast I have been using. I think it is red star. I got it in a brick like bag from costco. It is just regular dry active yeast. I used fleshman's in the second bottle the other day, regular dry active yeast.

I am using 2 liter bottles, maybe I just need to add less water?

I will try that tonight.

How warm is it in your house? Maybe that is my problem. It is about 70* in here, so not super warm.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 04:09 PM
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Right now our house is rather cool as well. 66-70 most of the time. I'm wondering now if you have a leak somewhere. The CO2 is generated so slowly a soap solution might not show leaks easily and perhaps as the pressure builds the leaks gets worse. How did you seal the top of your 2 L bottles? I had used silicone caulking at first but it developed a slow leak after a few months. I've since resealed with hot glue and/or 100% silicone sealer (like you'd use to seal a tank). I'm not using a bubble counter but I can see that I get around 3-4 bps going into the intake when I use two 1 L bottles.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 05:58 PM
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Cold temps will slow down the yeast a lot. Have you ever try making bread in the winter?
It's quite a pain.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 06:34 PM
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http://freshwater-aquarium-passion.b...injection.html


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 09:37 PM
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I use fleischmans active dry yeast. 3/4 teaspoon with a cup of sugar in a 40 oz beer bottle filled up 3/4 of the way.
Make sure you activate the yeast first - place the yeast in a shot glass with hot water, 100-110 degrees, then add the yeast to the sugar and warm water mixture.
I also add a tablespoon of protein powder and keep the co2 in a cool dark place and it lasts almost 2 weeks.

And to seal the bottle I wrapped Teflon Tape (white [censored][censored][censored][censored] that plumbers use and other pipe people) around the airline tubing and shoved it into the hole in the cap i made. Its very tight. But you could use silicon too.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 07:08 AM
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brown sugar it has molasses in it,the molasses helps the yeast last longer. i don't know why but it works for me iv tried them both side by side.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 09:50 PM
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Temperature makes all the difference with yeast. In fact, most yeast cultures will go dormant below 64 degrees. Above 78 degrees, and most yeast will die off.

Molasses is nothing more than unprocessed sugar. Real brown sugar is less processed white sugar, but mostly these days it's just white sugar with molasses added to it.

If you cook the water and sugar together to form a syrup, you'd make for better CO2 production. The reason being is that none of the sugar will settle. Just remember to let the syrup cool first. You can add some veggie oil to the mix if foam at the top is a problem.

I would use filtered water instead of tap water. Common minerals found in tap water can make the environment harsher for yeast to thrive.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much everyone! I found a good deal on a pressurized system, and picked it up today, so hopefully that will be that. Once I get that going, I might try diy on my 10 gallon, and will still need these tips.


I used aquarium silicone sealer to make attach the hose to the bottles, and used some hard tubing instead of putting the soft tubing in the holes. I also used shorter peices of tubing on the bottles, so I could just attach that to the coupler/splitter, so that I wouldn't be messing with the seal on the caps.

It could be a leak... maybe I will start from scratch next time. It isn't as if 2 litter bottles are expensive. Speaking of which, could I just use a 1 litter bottle for my 10 gallon, to save on space?

I haven't tried making syrup, but I did mix the sugar with hot water first to disolve it (then added some cold water before adding the yeast so i wouldn't kill it.) I didn't pre start the yeast though. You don't really have to in bread, so i figured you don't have to in diy co2 (and most recipes don't call for it) but it certainly won't hurt to try.

Zareth, when you say you seal the bottle with teflon tape, do you just seal where the hose goes into the cap, or do you seal up the whole cap when it is on and re-do it when you re do the mix?


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 06:28 AM
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I tried and experimented with various recipes over the past year or so. My current recipe is the most fun to make and is as follows. I'll heat some RO water in a mug in the microwave for about 20 seconds, dissolve a teaspoon of either brown sugar, white sugar or honey in it, then add 1/4 - 1/2 tsp yeast (rough measure, usually I eyeball it) and leave it on the kitchen counter for an hour or so until it's nice and foamy. While waiting, I prepare the soda bottle. I add about 2-3 cups of white sugar in the 2L bottle, add roughly 1/4 - 1/2 cup baking soda and 1-2 tablespoons of vanilla or chocolate protein powder. Fill the bottle about halfway with RO, shake it up, then add the activated yeast mixture. This recipe lasts the longest for me, about a month. I also found that putting a check valve where you connect/disconnect the bottle will prevent losing pressure in the diffuser when you change the bottle out. I have two bottles running connected by a t-valve and I stagger changing the bottles out to keep the CO2 levels somewhat constant. Cheers!
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