Beginner CO2 questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2011, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Beginner CO2 questions

I'd like to make my own CO2 tanks out of soda/whatever bottles but I have some questions.

1. Which is a good model to follow? I prefer Youtube videos because it's easy to understand because you can see what they're doing step by step.

2. What size bottle and how many bottles do I need for which size tank?

3. Brewers yeast is better, right?

4. If I'm going to start using CO2 in my tanks, do I need to get a CO2 test kit? Do I need to get a O2 kit also?

I apologize if these answers are already answered some where but I didn't see them and I'm dealing with sleep problems and it makes focusing and understanding a little difficult.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2011, 04:13 PM
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DIY CO2 is so simple I don't see a need for a model. I use a 3 liter cranberry juice bottle, with a handle, for a 45 gallon tank. It provides plenty of CO2 for that size tank. I used a drill to put a hole in the center of the cap, with the hole about 1/16 inch less in diameter than my tubing is. Then I cut the end of a piece of tubing at a sharp angle, using a utility knife. I poked the sharp end down into the cap, and used needle nose pliers to pull it down so it was about an inch below the cap. That makes a very tight seal on the tube, and didn't completely close the inside of the tube. The other end of the tube goes to a bubble counter, which is a small bottled water bottle. The cap on that bottle, I drilled with two holes, same as above. I pulled the tube from the 3 liter bottle down about half way into the water bottle. Then I added another tube in the other hole, pulled down about an inch. The other end of that tube goes to a check valve to allow flow out of the bottle, but not back in. On the other end of the check valve is another tube that goes to a small air stone, which sits in the tank under the inlet to the canister filter.

The mix I use, which gives me 3 weeks of CO2 before the bubble rate drops to about half, is 3 cups of sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of bread machine yeast. I add the sugar and baking soda first, half fill the bottle with barely warm water and shake it to dissolve the sugar. Then I put the yeast in a cup of barely warm water and slosh it around to wet the yeast, then pour that into the bottle. Finally, I fill the bottle up to about 3 inches from the top with more barely warm water, add the cap as tight as I can by hand, and it is ready to go. The bubble counter gets just plain water, about 2/3 full.

Hoppy
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2011, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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But how do I know what size bottles I need for which size tanks? I don't have a 45 gallon tank.

And do I need special tubing, such as silicone or something?

I thought CO2 would dissolve an airstone?

And do I need to get test kits for CO2 and O2?

A lot of my questions weren't answered.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2011, 05:24 PM
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Based on the question your asking I don't think your ready to setup a co2 system. Even if you don't want to put the effort in I still suggest using the search function.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2011, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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I did.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2011, 09:55 PM
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I've never heard a claim from somebody who was able to gas out fish in any size tank with a single bottle of DIY CO2. Use a two-liter bottle, divide hoppy's recipe by 2/3, and set it up. Airstones work, but will clog up quickly. Nano diffusers (the cheap glass/ceramic type) will generally work with DIY CO2. You can also use a chopstick.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-05-2011, 10:37 PM
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i used a 2 litre bottle, 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 tsp of regular yeast. i just followed this https://www.plantedtank.net/articles/DIY-Yeast-CO2/7/

i didn't have a bubble counter or an air stone. i have a hob filter and a sponge over the filter intake so i just stuck the airline down between the sponge and the filter intake and that was it. when the co2 came out of the airline it was sucked straight into the filter. and then, i hope, the swirling around in the filter dissolved the co2.

i used this on a 10 gallon tank and it usually worked for about 4 weeks. i don't know what my airline is made of. i never tested for co2 or o2. it worked good for me.

now i am looking into upgrading to pressurized co2 for my 20 and 29 gallon.

kevmo911, how do you use a chopstick?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindy View Post
kevmo911, how do you use a chopstick?
you jam the pointy end into the co2 tube. then just clip off the excess chopstick. works slightly better than an airstone (finer pores) but worse than a regular co2 diffuser. i've done this many times as a temp fix for a broken diffuser.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 12:57 AM
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cool! good to know. thanks
i should add, i checked my yeast and i was using bread machine yeast.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-06-2011, 04:10 AM
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1. Go to youtube, search DIY CO2, you'll find dozens of videos that show virtually identical setups.

2. Use a 2L bottle, if it doesn't give the results you like, make it bigger.

3. Brewer's yeast will survive longer.

4. Can't hurt, but as mentioned you probably won't need it. Watch your fish for problems (staying near the surface) and adjust accordingly.

5. You can use CO2 tubing if you want.

Probably better off sealing any joints you make with a thin bead of silicone as well. Leaks are fairly easy to get with these setups.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2011, 01:42 AM
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What purpose does the baking soda serve?
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-07-2011, 04:30 AM
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Baking soda helps keep the pH of the solution a bit higher and increases its buffering ability. Yeast does not tolerate acidic conditions well at all (which is why it's not the only fermenter in sourdough bread.) Adding the baking soda keeps the mixture producing longer and at a more stable rate.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-08-2011, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the helpful advice! As soon as I get some energy, I'm going to build some set ups. My 15 gallon high especially needs it.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-09-2011, 07:40 PM
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Purchase a Hagen Mini elite filter and modify it to be your CO2 diffuser.
Here's the mod:
http://www.youtube.com/user/jacimo50.../0/2U8G47254a8
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