I tried DIY CO2 several months ago and my cats got into the system twice, once chewing up the lines and once knocking the bottles over. (The saga is detailed here - https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/ge...darn-cats.html
I had despaired of using CO2 in my 29 gallon tank since two of my three cats are extremely persistent about things like this, but other folks' success with cat-proofing and an algae outbreak after upping my lighting have inspired me to give DIY CO2 another whirl. I went to Home Depot today and got:
10' of 5/8" outside diameter vinyl braided tubing (clear tubing with a vinyl mesh-like braid imbedded in it -- very tough, thick and seemingly cat-proof)
Velcro tie-down straps
And my plan is to run two DIY 2L bottles for my 29 gallon tank, using a T-connector to connect the two bottles to the main line that will run into the tank, where I'll do a DIY bell diffuser, which worked great for me in the past in terms of CO2 content in the water.
(1) Drill the caps for the bottles, and run a short piece of airline from each bottle to the T-connector, sealing the area where the line goes into the bottle cap with some aquarium silicone sealant to prevent leaks. Run each piece of line through a short length of the 5/8" vinyl braided tubing to the T connector.
(2) Run a line from the T-connector up to the top of the tank, running the line through more of the 5/8" vinyl braided tubing.
(3) Place a check valve where the line emerges from the vinyl tubing and run another piece of line (black) into the tank and to the CO2 bell at the bottom (made from a cut-off soda bottle and affixed with airline-holder suction cups to the bottom corner of the tank.
(4) Change one bottle per week to keep steady CO2 flow.
(5) Wrap velcro straps around each bottle and attach straps somehow or other to the outside of the aquarium stand. Each strap is 15" long and 1/4" wide and goes around the bottle and attaches to itself with an inch or two to spare. I'm thinking 2 straps per bottle, but I'm not sure how to attach the straps to something that will hold them upright and impervious to cats. The guy at Home Depot suggested putting a screw through each strap into the tank stand, but I'm wondering if there's a better option?
(6) Spray the entire outside-the-tank assembly with non-toxic bitter apple spray to discourage adventurous chewers as a second layer of feline deterrant.
What do you think -- good plan? Bad plan? Improvable plan?
And with this sort of setup, would you run an airstone at night? I have very hard water with a high GH and KH and usually a PH of over 7, but it fluctuates a bit. (I'll check the readings and post an update.) And I'll do a search for everyone's favorite DIY sugar/yeast mixes for 2L bottles.
Thanks for any feedback on the plan. I'm hoping this will eliminate my algae, prevent any cat-induced problems with the CO2 system, and allow me (and the cats, who really do love to watch the fish!) to enjoy the tank without stress.