just an idea - hi-tec DIY CO2 for discussion - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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just an idea - hi-tec DIY CO2 for discussion

Hi

Anyone thought about trying anything like this ?



The idea is to get consistent CO2 levels by aiming with the CO2 mix so that it is giving the right CO2 levels after the initial peak and let the ph controller mop up the excess during the first few days, venting it to atmosphere.

I've been thinking about this, since trying out 'turbo yeast' mix (yeast designed to give a 20% yield of alchohol) which has been yielding very high CO2 levels. Just need to sort out the longevity...

Discuss... ?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 12:58 PM
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Seems like a feasable design. May I ask, do you just happen to have an extra solenoid/controller laying around? I mean, If you were gonna invest $100+ in that, why not skip it and purchase a tank and regulator?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karl
Hi

Anyone thought about trying anything like this ?



The idea is to get consistent CO2 levels by aiming with the CO2 mix so that it is giving the right CO2 levels after the initial peak and let the ph controller mop up the excess during the first few days, venting it to atmosphere.

I've been thinking about this, since trying out 'turbo yeast' mix (yeast designed to give a 20% yield of alchohol) which has been yielding very high CO2 levels. Just need to sort out the longevity...

Discuss... ?
why do you have two check valves?

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
why do you have two check valves?
The check valve straight from the bottle is so that when the bottle is venting to atmosphere, it doesn't get air in it which would stall the mix.

The check valve above the T-piece is to prevent water syphoning from the tank through the 'vent to atmosphere' route.

Quote:
May I ask, do you just happen to have an extra solenoid/controller laying around? I mean, If you were gonna invest $100+ in that, why not skip it and purchase a tank and regulator?
Yes, the economics of it are arguable, which is why it's only at discussion at the moment. I guess the prime benefit of going this route that I'd see is that it is a ph controlled setup for about the same price as a basic pressurised setup which would have no ph control. So there's no end of tank dump to worry about or ph crash.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 02:31 PM
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One possible problem.

What type of container are you going to use to hold your CO2?
If not released (solenoid failure), a lot of pressure can be built up, and something will have to give.

Check out this http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/yeast-disaster.html
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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What type of container are you going to use to hold your CO2?
If not released, a lot of pressure can be built up, and something will have to give.
yes it's a good point. The design needs some sort of safety valve in, in case the solenoid fails.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 03:37 PM
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Lol, I was gonna comment on the possibility of siphon, but then noticed the check valves

I'm sorry if this is drawing the topic away from your intentions (feasability). BUT, so many people just leave on the pressurized for 24 hours a day, or shut it off with the lights. End-of-tank dump can be easily avoided by watching the high-end pressure side.

Unless you are keeping super-sensitive fish, and only have X amount of dollars, I don't know that this would be at all worth it.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2006, 03:55 PM
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The most cost effective reliable set up is, in my opinion:

Azoo regulator
CO2 cylinder
Timer

Unless you use a number of DIY CO2 bottles, there is very little chance of overdosing the tank with CO2. The Azoo regulator does not include a bubble counter. You can count bubbles going up the filter intake or into the DIY reactor. It does include a solenoid.

The pH regulator is the least needed (most oversold) item of any CO2 set up.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2006, 12:18 AM
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The first check valve on the bottle is unnecessary. As long as the yeast is still alive and fed, the bottle will be under positive pressure and that will prevent air from getting into the bottle.

I don't see the need for a safety "blow-off" either, as long as your reactor does not impede flow. If the solenoid fails in the closed position, all the CO2 will simply flow into the tank.

My main concern is with this turbo yeast. If it's as active, and short-lived as you claim, you will be wasting a lot, and having to change the mixture quite often.

Seems like a less wasteful and maintenance-intensive option would be to use regular yeast, and invert the output from the pH meter to turn on a heater for the yeast mixture when pH goes too high.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-24-2006, 02:18 AM
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It not a bad idea, but its probably not all that practical. Once you put $100 into a controller and $40 or whatever into a solenoid and build/ buy a reactor, why don't you just spend another $80 and get a pressurized co2 tank and regulator and never have to worry about yeast again.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2006, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Seems like a less wasteful and maintenance-intensive option would be to use regular yeast, and invert the output from the pH meter to turn on a heater for the yeast mixture when pH goes too high.
I'm interested in this idea, how does the heater idea work DarkCobra ?

With regard the wasted CO2. At the moment the real pain with the DIY stuff is not being able to hold consistent CO2 levels and having to fiddle with it every day. I'm happy to make up a new bottle once a week if it means I get the steady CO2 ppm I'm after and it'll do it's thing all week without fuss.

Quote:
why don't you just spend another $80 and get a pressurized co2 tank and regulator and never have to worry about yeast again.
Basically because I'd worry about the fish. I think if I went to pressurised CO2 I'd want a PH controller anyway just as a safe guard against a PH crash and end of tank dump, so buying these items now isn't a waste of money, just a step in the right direction.

Incidentally, I've found a cheap (by UK standards) ph controller and solenoid on ebay, so have ordered them.. should be setting something up soon..
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