Help with diy co2? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Help with diy co2?

Hello,
I set up a diy co2 system the other day.
I mixed 2 cups brown sugar, 1 tsp yeast, and 1 tsp of baking soda. Below is a picture.
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It hasn't shown any signs of bubbling so far.
I bid on a glass diffusor and will probably win it, maybe that will help?
Any advice here is appreciated!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 07:13 PM
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The diffuser won't impact the generation of co2, merely the distribution of it. Your problem is that you don't seem to be making any right now.

If inside your bottle you don't see any frothing / bubbles, then your yeast isn't alive. Solution: get fresh yeast. If you used to see frothing / bubbles, and you don't anymore, take a small taste of the liquid in there. If it tastes sweet, then your yeast stopped fermenting early. Solution: make up a fresh batch of sugar water, using half as much sugar as before. It won't bubble for as long, but you won't waste sugar. If it doesn't taste sweet, then your yeast ate all the sugar and are no longer active (no food). You would probably see a layer of beige opaque sludge at the bottom too. Solution: carefully pour off the top clear liquid, leaving the opaque goop, mix up some more sugar water in room temp water, and pour it into the goop.

But I'm guessing your yeast is dead. Get fresh yeast.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 07:15 PM
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Also: how much water is in there. Tough to tell from the photo. For 2 cups sugar you should probably have around 2L (1/2 gal) water. If you have too little water it'll hinder the yeast's growth too.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortsboy View Post
If it doesn't taste sweet, then your yeast ate all the sugar and are no longer active (no food). You would probably see a layer of beige opaque sludge at the bottom too. Solution: carefully pour off the top clear liquid, leaving the opaque goop, mix up some more sugar water in room temp water, and pour it into the goop.
I did see an opaque layer! I'll pour off the top liquid and I'll see if more sugar water works. Thank you, very informative.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 08:54 PM
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Without a side pic it's hard to tell but it's entirely possible that your construction isn't airtight.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 12:32 AM
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I will give you a quick rundown of what I did when I ran DIY CO2. There are 80 bazillion recipes out there and all of them are only slightly different. Here are my thoughts:

Yeast needs to be warm - if your room is below 70f, you're going to have to use a LOT more yeast to get the desired amount of CO2. Some people put heating pads (the kind you use for muscle pain) under/around/close to the bottle(s) to get the temp into the mid-70s to 80f....BE CAREFUL THAT YOU DON'T OVERHEAT THE BOTTLES OR YOU WILL HAVE A SERIOUS MESS ON YOUR HANDS! If you can think of a better way to regulate temp, use it.

Recipe I used:

2 cups sugar, one of which was dark brown sugar.
1/2 TSP Fleishmann's Yeast (NOT QUICK ACTING)
1/2 TSP Baking Soda
~2 liters of tap water (I used an Arizona Tea bottle which is 1 gallon capacity)

I filled the bottle with the hottest tap water out of the sink. Do NOT overfill the bottle. Go right to the part of the bottle where it begins to curve toward the top, assuming you're using a 2 liter soda bottle. Fuller than that and you risk drawing liquid up the airline hose, and you definitely don't want to do that. Ok, I added my sugars and shook till dissolved. Then I took a cup OF THAT WATER and added the yeast to it and sloshed it around to wet it. I let this mixture sit for maybe half an hour. This is an important step! Once I saw that the yeast was foaming I poured it into the bottle, which by then had cooled off to about 100f. This produced the most consistent CO2 output of any recipe I used. About 2 weeks worth of gas... If you cap off the bottle of CO2 mixture before the yeast has a chance to grow a bit it seems to stunt it and you (I) never seem to get full productivity out of it.

The other thing I noticed in your pic is that you scotch-taped the airline into the cap of the bottle. That won't work. You need to drill a hole in the cap that's undersized for the airline you're using, and then take and cut the airline end at an angle so that you can grip it and pull it through the hole in the cap with a pair of pliers. This will create an air-tight junction. Glue won't stick to the airline or the cap, so this has proven to be the best method.







Make sure it is a TIGHT fit. You also need a check valve between the bottle and the aquarium. You don't want CO2 mix in your tank.

One last thought: That bottle you're using looks like plastic. Those jars are not thick enough to handle the pressures you're going to be generating and I would definitely re-think using them. Pop bottles are designed to withstand high pressures from shipping and general handling and are a much wiser choice here. The only downside they have is that they tip over easily. Make sure you provide for that possibility in your setup. I used the Arizona bottles because they're thick walled and they were handy at the time. I didn't use them with any diffuser that caused back pressure like you say you won in your auction. Those are generally a PITA with DIY for various reasons. YMMV.


Good luck!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 12:34 AM
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The cap on your jar is also darned near impossible to get air tight - they weren't designed for it - do the pop bottles!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m00se View Post
1/2 TSP Fleishmann's Yeast (NOT QUICK ACTING)

> I used Fleishmanns Quick Acting- I'll go get the other kind.
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Originally Posted by m00se View Post
If you cap off the bottle of CO2 mixture before the yeast has a chance to grow a bit it seems to stunt it and you (I) never seem to get full productivity out of it.
> I had capped the container immediately, good to know!

Quote:
Originally Posted by m00se View Post
You need to drill a hole in the cap that's undersized for the airline you're using, and then take and cut the airline end at an angle so that you can grip it and pull it through the hole in the cap with a pair of pliers.

> I originally did this, then added the tape as an extra. Probably not the best tape to use, I'll use a better kind.
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You also need a check valve between the bottle and the aquarium.

> Will do
Quote:
Originally Posted by m00se View Post
Pop bottles are designed to withstand high pressures from shipping and general handling and are a much wiser choice here. I used the Arizona bottles because they're thick walled and they were handy at the time.

> Sounds like a good idea, I'll see what I can find.
Thank you for your detailed explaination! I appreciate it.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 02:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m00se View Post
The cap on your jar is also darned near impossible to get air tight - they weren't designed for it - do the pop bottles!
+1 that tape on the cap will leak. You should get something like silicon.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 03:03 AM
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TBH, on my first attempt I used Goop All Purpose Cement and glued the inside and outside of the cap liberally, and it worked. But the undersize hole/friction fit is more elegant and it works immediately. No need to wait till the glue dries. I don't think silicone sticks to polypropylene. It might fill the gaps but it doesn't chemically react to form a mechanical bond. If the hole is small enough there shouldn't be a need to put any tape on it.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 03:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m00se View Post
TBH, on my first attempt I used Goop All Purpose Cement and glued the inside and outside of the cap liberally, and it worked. But the undersize hole/friction fit is more elegant and it works immediately. No need to wait till the glue dries. I don't think silicone sticks to polypropylene. It might fill the gaps but it doesn't chemically react to form a mechanical bond. If the hole is small enough there shouldn't be a need to put any tape on it.
I use rigid tubing and seal the gap with silicon. it works well.
The rigid tube must fit tight.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-23-2012, 03:23 AM
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I've been using the large Ocean Spray bottles with the handles on them, they are SOOOO sturdy and cap nice and tight, and don't tip over.

Be carfeful with your yeast too, if the water is too hot, you can kill it.

Always a good idea to prime your yeast (helps with baking too). Do lukewarm water in a small glass, put in your yeast, stir it until it is fully dissolved and creamy and then add a pinch or two to start the yeast growing (but not enough to really get going strong), and stir it a few times to help get oxygen into it and allow it to rehydrate for 10 to 15 minutes. THEN add it to the sugar water mixture. That will ensure all the yeast gets re-hydrated and activated before throwing it into a feast of sugar water.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 12:43 AM
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hot glue from a hot glue gun works real good too.. thats what I use with mine
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-24-2012, 08:22 PM
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Alyssa how do you diffuse your diy co2? Sorry to hijack but im going to start mine tonight and I have 2 soda bottles and 2 gatorade. Figured if there's not enough pressure for nano diffuser, I'd just add more

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