DIY Oxygenator... for fun and emergencies! NEW DEVELOPMENT! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Oxygenator... for fun and emergencies! NEW DEVELOPMENT!

Oxygenator --- by TAF

I have created a page that I am keeping updated for this article.

Here is the link: http://www.coloradoaquarium.org/pics/oxy.html


Following info is older, but I will leave it here for those that don't want to go to the linked article.




I am happy to share this with all, but would love to get a little credit if you re-produce this document.

The benifits to O2 being introduced into your tank are as follows:
1. Direct influx of O2 without having to have surface aggitation which can cause CO2 loss.
2. Inflow of O2 for crowded tanks.
3. In-tank diffusion of O2 in emergency cases such as loss of electricity, without having to directly dose Hydrogen Peroxide.
4. I am sure there are other benifits that I am not fully aware of.


Drawbacks:
1. You can overdose with O2 if you are not careful, as with CO2.
2. Water can only hold so much gas, so if you fully saturate with O2, your CO2 may not be able to disolve.
3. I am sure there are other draw-backs that I am not fully aware of.


Sidenote:
The reaction of H2O2 into H2O & O2 causes heat. This heat is (in the industrial pages) said to distribute easily into the water that normal H2O2 is mixed in, but it bears noting since strong solutions of H2O2 break down faster as the heat increases. However, with the weak solution that is available for home use, I have not noticed any issues with this.

Story:
I suffocated some fish due to trying to reduce surface aggitation to hold in my CO2, so after responding to a thread about an 'Oxydator' that uses a 'catalyst' and a 'special ceramic' and costs a pretty penny, I got busy and did some research finding this:

Small amounts of other materials that contain catalysts (silver, lead, copper, chromium, mercury, and iron oxide rust) can cause rapid decomposition and an explosive pressure rupture of the containing vessel if it is not properly vented. --- Product Information - Safety and Handling Guidelines

Of course this was talking about industrial safety, but it gave me several options for a catalyst, one of which is already present in the plant and fish hobby.... lead.

And Now....
I will be playing around with the correct ammount of this and that for a while to get a good idea of how much O2 is needed, how much is produced, and how long it will produce, but I have the basics of a good Oxygenator that I would love to share with everyone.

(It is also a lot cheaper than the $70+ for a fancy Oxydator)

Materials:
Small bottle (I used a little 8oz water bottle.)
Straight air line connector
Drill with a bit that is just a little smaller than your air line connector.
Air line
Fine Bubble Diffusor (shown here with an old disposable kind)
Innert rocks... only needed for 'in tank' style as weight to hold it down(I used glass decorative rocks, and glass marbles would work great.)
Small piece of lead weight (the kind that holds down plants)
H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide)


Set up:



Shown 'In-Tank' Style:





You could also do it as an out-of-tank system by running a longer air hose from the bottle into the tank, but it would take longer for pressure to build.

I would recomend the in-tank style for emergency aplications.

Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
What's my sign? I'm an aquarist. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish


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Last edited by TAF CAF; 11-10-2010 at 04:36 AM.
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post #2 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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So, what do you think?

Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
What's my sign? I'm an aquarist. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish


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post #3 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 11:14 PM
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I think its a great idea... but then I would now wouldn't I?

BUMP
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post #4 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 11:57 PM
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The surface of any tank of water is acting as an oxygenator. The O2 in the atmosphere will be absorbed by the water until the water is in equillibrium with the atmosphere. If the water surface is kept in motion so there is no stagnant area at the surface the equillibrium should be reached fairly quickly.

Or, one can run a mixture of about 70% nitrogen and 30% oxygen thru a diffuser in the tank - otherwise known as an airstone with an air pump. That gets you a vigorous stream of oxygen containing bubbles going thru the water.

So, what does this device do that is better? I'm confused, I guess.

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post #5 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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Well, the benifits to a normal tank would only be needed if you were over-stocked and the fish were using up the O2 faster than it could come into the tank.

The real benifits to this are:
1. If your surface aggitation is stopped, by perhaps a loss of power, you could introduce concentraited oxygen to the water to save your fish. (This has previously been done by directly dosing peroxide to the tank, but this alows the H2O2 to break down before being introduced into the tank.)

2. Surface aggitation is great... that is unless you are trying to keep CO2 from escaping immediatly into the air. However, in reducing your surface aggitation, you also reduce the ability of your suface to transfer oxygen in.

In my case, my hoods fit with only a small gap, so I either pump in air and aggitate the heck out of the surface and lose all my CO2, or get rid of the air pump and reduce the surface aggitation and suffocate my fish.

I am really just trying to find a copromise that will let me have CO2 and O2 at the same time.

Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
What's my sign? I'm an aquarist. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish


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post #6 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TAF CAF View Post
The benifits to O2 being introduced into your tank are as follows:
[I]1. Direct influx of O2 without having to have surface aggitation which can cause CO2 loss.
2. Inflow of O2 for crowded tanks.
3. In-tank diffusion of O2 in emergency cases such as loss of electricity, without having to directly dose Hydrogen Peroxide.

Story:
I suffocated some fish due to trying to reduce surface aggitation to hold in my CO2, so after responding to a thread about an 'Oxydator' that uses a 'catalyst' and a 'special ceramic' and costs a pretty penny, I got busy and did some research finding this:

I would recomend the in-tank style for emergency aplications.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAF CAF View Post
2. Surface aggitation is great... that is unless you are trying to keep CO2 from escaping immediatly into the air. However, in reducing your surface aggitation, you also reduce the ability of your suface to transfer oxygen in.

In my case, my hoods fit with only a small gap, so I either pump in air and aggitate the heck out of the surface and lose all my CO2, or get rid of the air pump and reduce the surface aggitation and suffocate my fish.

I am really just trying to find a copromise that will let me have CO2 and O2 at the same time.

You said this was for emergency situations. In such a situation, I would want to outgas ALL my CO2 to save my fish. If the CO2 is killing the fish, why not outgas it all just to be safe? In essence, the CO2 is suffocating the fish/livestock, so why would you want to keep CO2 there while infusing O2 into the water? Doesn't really make much sense to me....run an airstone, outgas the CO2, let the O2 in the atmosphere (~79% nitrogen, ~21% oxygen) equilibrate with that in the water. If it were truly an emergency, you could use your device along with an airstone to outgas the CO2 was well as add oxygen to the water. However, since the atmosphere contains ~21% oxygen, the airstone would do a much quicker job of dissolving O2 in the water.

On the other hand, if you're using this as a continual supply of oxygen to your tank as a supplement while you're injecting CO2, be prepared to buy gallons upon gallons of H2O2. The breakdown rate is incredibly quick. A liter of the stuff might not even last you a day of continual O2 production...that's why it's kept in dark bottles and under cool temperatures, to reduce the breakdown.
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post #7 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 05:38 PM
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you say that
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAF CAF View Post

I am really just trying to find a copromise that will let me have CO2 and O2 at the same time.
if your plants are growing, then you should gave oxygen in the water.

are your plants growing - and the fish are dying, or seem very stressed?
or are the fish living, and you see no plant growth?

by adding O2 in any form (air pump, or your H2O2 reactor there), you are gonna be reducing the CO2 content of the water, and conversely increasing the O2 concentration. but its not like its all O2 or all CO2. they can both coexist, and do in a healthy planted tank.


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post #8 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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You said this was for emergency situations. In such a situation, I would want to outgas ALL my CO2 to save my fish. If the CO2 is killing the fish, why not outgas it all just to be safe? In essence, the CO2 is suffocating the fish/livestock, so why would you want to keep CO2 there while infusing O2 into the water? Doesn't really make much sense to me....run an airstone, outgas the CO2, let the O2 in the atmosphere (~79% nitrogen, ~21% oxygen) equilibrate with that in the water. If it were truly an emergency, you could use your device along with an airstone to outgas the CO2 was well as add oxygen to the water. However, since the atmosphere contains ~21% oxygen, the airstone would do a much quicker job of dissolving O2 in the water.

On the other hand, if you're using this as a continual supply of oxygen to your tank as a supplement while you're injecting CO2, be prepared to buy gallons upon gallons of H2O2. The breakdown rate is incredibly quick. A liter of the stuff might not even last you a day of continual O2 production...that's why it's kept in dark bottles and under cool temperatures, to reduce the breakdown.
First, the uses for this in an emergency situation is for the instance where the electricity goes out and you are stuck with dying fish with no way to run an air pump. (As stated earlier, there are people who use direct dosing of Hydrogen Peroxide to save their fish. My device has the benefit of seperating and only pumping th O2 into the tank. As I have been told H2O2 is a biocide which can wreck havoc with your biological systems, and this is what I am trying to avoid.)

I am currently using this as a very small and constant supplemental O2 supply. I have an eight ounce bottle of "common" Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2 3% solution), that I have been using for three days and still have a small stream of O2 bubbles.

I am not trying to use this device as the sole source of O2, however, I have already seen happier and healthier fish while I am able to retain the level of CO2 preferable for my plants.

Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
What's my sign? I'm an aquarist. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish


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post #9 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquanut415 View Post
you say that


if your plants are growing, then you should gave oxygen in the water.

are your plants growing - and the fish are dying, or seem very stressed?
or are the fish living, and you see no plant growth?

by adding O2 in any form (air pump, or your H2O2 reactor there), you are gonna be reducing the CO2 content of the water, and conversely increasing the O2 concentration. but its not like its all O2 or all CO2. they can both coexist, and do in a healthy planted tank.

I understand that you can have both CO2 and O2. But if your CO2 is collecting under your hoods and keeping the O2 from the atmosphere from getting into your tank. You are eventually going to have to get O2 into your tank somehow. As stated earlier by pumping in air through an air stone I was losing too much CO2 in order to obtain the desired levels of O2.

I love that people are discussing the pros and cons of this, and I would like to keep this from being a reference only to my particular tanks. Despite what others may be thinking, I do understand the issues my tanks are having and am not really here to discuss my personal options, as I have already done so in other threads, but rather to provide another option that others may like to try.

Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
What's my sign? I'm an aquarist. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish


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post #10 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 07:24 PM
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just an idea but you say your hood isnt very well ventelated right? if its a diy hood you sould be able to install a small computer fan witha power pack from a radioshack or electronics store. That should give you more "O2" that can equalize with the water but im guessing it might kill your co2 concentration as well but not as bad as "severe" surface agitation
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post #11 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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just an idea but you say your hood isnt very well ventelated right? if its a diy hood you sould be able to install a small computer fan witha power pack from a radioshack or electronics store. That should give you more "O2" that can equalize with the water but im guessing it might kill your co2 concentration as well but not as bad as "severe" surface agitation
I have been considering this, however my hoods are low set glass and they reduce my airflow not just the canopy area. In the summer months I may be able to remove those glass tops and have a fan in the canopy, but in the winter I can't.

Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
What's my sign? I'm an aquarist. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish


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post #12 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-29-2006, 09:12 PM
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You say you're using 3% H2O2, meaning 3 mililiters of pure H2O2 per 100 mL of solution.

Say you have 100mL in that DIY bottle of yours. That means 3mL of H2O2.

2 H2O2 -> 2 H2O + O2
3mL H2O2 * (1.4067 grams of H2O2 / mL) * (1 mol H2O2 / 34.0146 grams) * (1 mol O2 / 2 mol H2O2) * (32 grams of O2 / mol O2) = 1.99 grams O2.

Say you had a 10# CO2 tank that lasts 2 years (24 months), which is 730 days. 10 pounds * 454 grams / pound = 4540 grams. Over 730 days, that's 6.29 grams of CO2 released per day. Of course, a 10# tank rarely ever lasts a whole 24 months without a refil. A better estimate would be around 16 months, giving close to 9.30 grams of CO2 a day.

Your 2 grams of oxygen isn't going to do much for your fish over the long run. In cases of emergency, you could heat up some H2O2, dump it into a huge bottle, and add in some pieces of liver (high in peroxidase, hastens the degradation reaction), and try that.

If you use a solenoid with your regulator, if the electricity cuts out, the solenoid should close anyways. No more CO2. No worries.
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post #13 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-30-2006, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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We are definitly on the low tech DIY side, so no solenoid, but the bigger problem with a 'lights out' would be the loss of all surface movement.

I imagine with an emergency situation, you would have to use a small bottle and a full piece of lead weight (I am only using a very thin strip about 3/4 of an inch long and less than 1/8 in width). Of course, that would depend on the number of fish, and of course, how fine of a bubble diffusor you are using.

As a tiny flow of bubbles, we are going on 4 1/2 days now with still a tiny production of bubbles that are possitioned to be caught in the sponge pre-filter of my powerhead and seem to be disolving completely there.

Of course, I understand that I am pumping in much less than the fish would need in total, but as a little suplimental source, it seems to be working well.

I have slowly reduced surface disturbance and outside air being pumped in, (therefore reducing both the escape of CO2 and the entrance of O2 at the surface) over these few days, and am finally getting a good amount of CO2, while my fish are still swimming and feeling good. (The result before the oxygenator of this was dead fish.)

Oh, I also looked up the 'Oxydator' that was discussed in another thread....
Pactor GMBH (Sochting) Oxydator W - Marine Depot - Marine and Reef Aquarium Super Store

Perhaps, it explains the benifits better than I have been able to.


Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
What's my sign? I'm an aquarist. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish


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post #14 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 12:12 AM
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Dont let them get You down.....Many people don't understand simple English.

Experiment with it and see if it works! If it does--Some People will find a use for it.

You are not the only person that has 02 issues in their tank, so others can potentially benefit from your efforts....

Most of my setups are low to low-medium light w/ slow growers--so I don't see a lot of "Pearling". Additon of 02--might just be helpful.

Increase surface agitation? Lose more C02! That's how it works! Read the boards: But you'll lose more C02..... But you'll lose more C02..... But you'll lose more C02..... God Save the C02---well, you may have just found a way to save some MORE C02.

I, for one, am interested in Your results......


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post #15 of 58 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

It is still going just a little bubble at a time. I am thinking that if I use a smaller piece of lead to start with, it will slow down the innitial reaction and each 8 oz will last with tiny bubble flow more steadily for about a week.

I am going to set another up soon, on the same premis of using two CO2 bottles.... as one starts running out, the other will take up the slack and I will have a pretty constant rate. The trouble seems to be that the reaction is almost instant, and then deminishes as the H2O2 is broken down, so something that would make the initial reaction a bit slower would be good, so I am going to use a smaller piece of lead in the next bottle, and see how it goes.

Something so expensive and addictive HAS to be illegal. I'm just waiting for the police to break down my door and confinscate my fish food.
What's my sign? I'm an aquarist. --- 18g Planted Guppies, 15g Planted Killifish, 40g Planted Molly, 55g Asst Cichlids, 120g Planted Community, 60g Salty Reef, 180g Planted Goldfish


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