problems with my DIY CO2 system - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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problems with my DIY CO2 system

I've had this working perfectly for 6 months now. The standard 2 gallon plastic coke bottle, had tube connector drilled in the lid and sealed with aquarium sealant. The tube went to a glass jelly jar with tin lid, had water in it for a bubble counter. That was also sealed with aquarium sealant. That output tube went to the tank, with an air stone and sat under the intake to my canister filter. When I built this, I read that CO2 breaks down check valves, so they don't work very well. So I didn't see the need to use one. Ugh...now I kind of wish I tried using one anyway.

Thankfully, I was home today when I noticed water running out from under the aquarium stand. But I'll back up to last night when I changed out the yeast recipe (I change it every 2 weeks). When I took the bottle out of the aquarium stand, the tube connector completely came off. The aquarium sealant that was holding it on just fell off. I was baffled, but went ahead and sealed it back to the lid of the bottle. I waited about 4 hours and it felt dry, so I went ahead and made my recipe, hooked it all up and went about my business.

It usually takes about 2-3 hours before I see bubbles. So I was surprised not to see any bubbles this morning when I woke up. I looked at the tube and didn't see any water in it. I decided I'd mess with it later today. Bad mistake.

I walk by and notice water running down the floor, alongside the couch. I found it was coming from the aquarium stand. I opened the stand and saw that the sealant from the glass jar had come undone and the glass jar was completely full of backed-up water. It was a steady stream coming from the tube. Oh and the water that was in the glass jar smelled horrible, like rotten eggs. The plastic coke bottle smelled of the normal yeast smell.

Now I'm baffled as to what caused this to happen. Should I be using a different kind of sealant? Is there a check valve that I can use with CO2?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 01:57 AM
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By "aquarium sealant" I assume you mean silicone? That did not work well for me. It didn't seem to stay stuck to the soda bottle lid for long. I have had success with a product called "Household Goop" that you should be able to find at Home Depot. I've also wondered lately if a hot glue gun would work.

As far as a check valve, you can use a regular plastic one, with the understanding that it won't last forever. I would be inclined to replace it when replacing the airline tubing (which gets brittle after long exposure to co2). Brass check valves do not degrade from co2, but they are more expensive. I didn't get bother to get a brass check valve until I upgraded to a pressurized system.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 02:22 AM Thread Starter
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The tube says aquarium sealant, but it feels just like silicone, so I do assume that it is.

I'll definitely look for the household goop! I do have a hot glue gun, but I wonder if the heat would not be good for the tubing?

It may be worth doing the brass check valve. I hate for this to happen on a day when I'm not home!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 06:44 AM
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Drill a hole in the lid smaller in diameter than the tubing, cut the tubing at an angle and pull it through with pliers. No need for any "sealant".


Last edited by Tino; 02-05-2011 at 03:13 PM. Reason: illustration added
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 10:14 AM
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DIY Co2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharper View Post
I've had this working perfectly for 6 months now. The standard 2 gallon plastic coke bottle, had tube connector drilled in the lid and sealed with aquarium sealant. The tube went to a glass jelly jar with tin lid, had water in it for a bubble counter. That was also sealed with aquarium sealant. That output tube went to the tank, with an air stone and sat under the intake to my canister filter. When I built this, I read that CO2 breaks down check valves, so they don't work very well. So I didn't see the need to use one. Ugh...now I kind of wish I tried using one anyway.

Thankfully, I was home today when I noticed water running out from under the aquarium stand. But I'll back up to last night when I changed out the yeast recipe (I change it every 2 weeks). When I took the bottle out of the aquarium stand, the tube connector completely came off. The aquarium sealant that was holding it on just fell off. I was baffled, but went ahead and sealed it back to the lid of the bottle. I waited about 4 hours and it felt dry, so I went ahead and made my recipe, hooked it all up and went about my business.

It usually takes about 2-3 hours before I see bubbles. So I was surprised not to see any bubbles this morning when I woke up. I looked at the tube and didn't see any water in it. I decided I'd mess with it later today. Bad mistake.

I walk by and notice water running down the floor, alongside the couch. I found it was coming from the aquarium stand. I opened the stand and saw that the sealant from the glass jar had come undone and the glass jar was completely full of backed-up water. It was a steady stream coming from the tube. Oh and the water that was in the glass jar smelled horrible, like rotten eggs. The plastic coke bottle smelled of the normal yeast smell.

Now I'm baffled as to what caused this to happen. Should I be using a different kind of sealant? Is there a check valve that I can use with CO2?
Better if u can buy pressurized Co2.No such headache in the pressurized Co2 and also u can avoid the smell when u recharge your bottle.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 02:13 PM
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super glue and yeah, hot glue gun, is what worked for me

that and using the pliers to pull it through a smaller hole, still glued it tho to be safe, both top and bottom of the lid got glued, works perfectly. Just have to screw the bottle to the lid

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 02:46 PM
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Use a wine/glass bottle and the rubber stoppers with the holes in them like they sell at Online Science Mall. Then you don't have to worry about messing with silicone, hot glue, etc.

"Aquarists are a brave lot. We mix water and electricity every day."
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tino View Post
Drill a hole in the lid smaller in diameter than the tubing, cut the tubing at an angle and pull it through with pliers. No need for any "sealant".

+1

My first DIY was covered in silicone and looked like hell. Now all I do is drill a slightly smaller hole, fold the tubing a bit, and then drag it through, clipping off a slanted chunk at the end for the gas to make it out easier.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tino View Post
Drill a hole in the lid smaller in diameter than the tubing, cut the tubing at an angle and pull it through with pliers. No need for any "sealant".

You don't have any issues of the tube being pinched shut in the smaller hole?

I'll definitely give this a try and have the household goop on hand just in case.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
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You don't have any issues of the tube being pinched shut in the smaller hole?
Not at all.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 04:08 PM
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I use nylon bulk fittings from this website: http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html I've used these for 5 years without a problem, and they are very cheap! It gives you a "mechanical" seal, and I glued around it also to make sure it doesn't leak! Scroll down to the bottom to section with these fittings, but also other great info on this webpage.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnovince View Post
I use nylon bulk fittings from this website: http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html I've used these for 5 years without a problem, and they are very cheap! It gives you a "mechanical" seal, and I glued around it also to make sure it doesn't leak! Scroll down to the bottom to section with these fittings, but also other great info on this webpage.
same here, i've used this setup for couple of years now without any problems.

stay away from the jar....replace it for a smaller coke bottle...also check your airstone it could be plugged.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 08:39 PM
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-06-2011, 08:43 PM
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Oh, we're talking about the same product.

I haven't heard of many adhesives working well with polyethylene. Have to give Chicken's goop a try.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharper View Post
You don't have any issues of the tube being pinched shut in the smaller hole?

I'll definitely give this a try and have the household goop on hand just in case.
You drill a hole slightly smaller, nothing TOO tiny. Works like a charm.
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