Diy co2: Help on mixture - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Diy co2: Help on mixture

Hey guys,
Im having some trouble with my co2, hope someone can help me out!

It's a basic setup, just some airline tubing with a check valve running into a airstone. I drilled a small hole in the top of a 2 litre bottle and just poked it through and sealed it off. I tried a straight valve(plastic) first but it kept leaking. The design I have now is air tight.

Ive tried 2 mixtures, one was cups of sugar, 2 tsp of yeast and 1/2 tsp of baking soda, which works but not overly well ( little bubble production)

The second mixture I've tried was 3/4 cups of sugar 2 tsp of yeast and 1/2 tsp of baking soda, which did work somewhat but I broke the bottle it was in.

I was wondering if anyone has developed a flawless formula they are willing to share!

Btw the tank is fish less hence the lack of a bubble counter and diffusor
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 11:15 PM
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You're using a lot of yeast so the mixture should work well but not last long. You may have a space where co2 is leaking before it gets to the airstone (which isn't that great of a diffuser anyway) like on the cap or something.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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It hasn't even start really, unless I give the bottle a good shake theres rarely any bubbles. Idt its the cap leaking I put some liquid glue there the tubing is insert ( while the reaction was in action) to see if there was a leak bc the glue would get little bubbles in it, but it never. I can't see it leaking anywhere else.

I was going to buy the diffusor that comes with the fugal co2 system at my lfs but it was almost 13 bucks and I wasn't even sure if the diy had enough pressure to push through the ceramic disk. I also read that they clog easily with the diy co2 because it is a "dirty" mixture.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 11:28 PM
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For a two liter bottle, I used 2 cups of sugar, 1/2 t. of yeast, and 1/2 t. of baking soda. I stopped using the baking soda after awhile, and didn't really see any difference.

Depending on the size of your tank, you may need more than one two liter bottle. I used two on my 29 gallon, and alternated when I refreshed the mixture on each to keep co2 levels as consistent as possible.


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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-14-2012, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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Its only on my ten gallon. My other planted tanks (55 and 36 gals) aren't even running co2 and they are doing way better than this ten gallon. My only assumption is there are two many nutrients in the water and its hard on the plants. Its dirtied, dozed with excel plus it has two 40w 6700k cfl bulbs on it, which is why I've opted for co2
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 12:13 AM
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I would maybe get a new batch of yeast or a diff. kind?

Mix I use: 2-2.5 cups sugar, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Champagne yeast (Lalvin EC1118), luke warm water.


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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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I just tried mixed up a brown sugar batch, Ill see how that one turns out
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 02:23 AM
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so how do you guys diffuse the co2 into the water?
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 03:46 AM
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I have mine fed into my power head currently, for lack of a better method available to me at this time. I'm hoping to have something better after tax returns!

The power head does seem to be working decently for now, though. It spews out eensy-weensy bubbles (by taking the bubbles coming from the tubing and smashing them to bits) that start at the bottom of the right side of the tank and rush along with the current to the left side, swirling around the tank until some of the tiny bubbles eventually reach the surface.

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 01:47 AM
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There is no need for baking soda. Yeast thrive in acidic environments. I've made blueberry wine with Ph around 4-4.5 and pumped the co2 from the process into the fish tank. My tank smelled like blueberries.
Instead of starting with fresh yeast every week, just pour some out and top off with sugar and water solution. There's a day or 2 lag when fermenting, topping off will help. Eventually some bacteria will colonize and you end up with sour dough mix - time to start fresh. Add some fruit juice that doesn't have preservatives like potassium sorbate. The juice adds acidity and nutrients. Don't put too much sugar unless its wine yeast, i dont think bread yeast can take the osmotic pressure. So no more than 3 pounds of sugar per gallon.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Ill give it a go, thanks a lot!
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 12:49 PM
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I do DIY on my 10gal. This is how I do it.

Mixture is: 2 cups sugar, 1/4 to 1/2 t. yeast....I dissolve the sugar in a bowl of hot water and let it cool until it is just barely warm. Then I add my yeast to the bowl. Stir..Let sit for about an hr. Take 2L bottle and gentle poor out old mix, I want some sludge left on the bottom. I poor in the new mix and top off with warm water. In about an hr after that I am back up to pressure.

I find the key is to start your new mix before you empty the old. I also pinch off the hose so very little air gets into the system.

I use a chopstick, sharpened at both ends in a pencil sharpener, as my diffuser and give it a good wipe down each week.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 12:54 PM
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i would experiment with different formulas the key is to find a balance between suffiecient food for the yeast (sugar) sufficient yeast to produce c02 and enough baking sodas to prevent the mixture fementing and producing conditions that will kill the yeast also skaking the bottle will not produce an accurate and consistant level of co2 production

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-17-2012, 08:10 PM
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Folks - the best recipe is:
- 1 liter tepid water
- 250 ml white sugar
- Precisely 1 ml standard baker's yeast
- 15 ml baking soda

This recipe will keep going and gonig for weeks - check the science here:

http://www.diyco2.blogspot.com.au/
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 08:31 PM
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What I use is:

1 cup sugar (plain white sugar)
1 tsp. dry active yeast (I got a jar of it for a few bucks and keep it in the fridge)
1 tsp. of baking powder (yes, powder)
lukewarm water to activate the yeast

I have two CO2 setups staggered to keep the CO2 production relatively constant.
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