Alternative DIY CO2 Reactors - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 08:28 PM Thread Starter
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Alternative DIY CO2 Reactors

Following the purchase of a light upgrade, I am considering entering the realm of DIY CO2. Note I have never attempted it before. I cannot afford a pressurized CO2 system at the moment, so I was looking at different CO2 DIY setups. Seeing as how my 25gal is the centerpiece of my girlfriend and I's new apartment, I want to be able to easily hide the reactor bottles. My girlfriend would kill me if I had a 2liter soda bottle full of nastiness with a bunch of tubes hanging out of it. I am planning on concealing it in a wicker basket on the shelf directly under the tank. I'm assuming I can't just turn the reactor on its side, so are there any other alternative containers to use as reactors? Possibly a series of mini gatorade bottles that would work? Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 08:32 PM
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here is my take. Ive been running DIY yeast containers in 2 liter bottles for years. Although they are nasty looking, dirty, sticky and ugly they do make a difference. It just gets old, changing the mixture, changing your DIY diffuser etc. I use cigarette filters as diffusers, they work great! You probably aren't going to get enough pressure to use a fancy ceramic diffuser that you see with injected systems. Turning a 2 liter on its side will be weird because your inlet for the co2 would be under water. That wont work. I just hide mine in the stand under the tank. But am in the process of buying a co2 tank and regulator, am just sick and tired of changing yeast water.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 08:33 PM
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Depending on what kind of diffusal method you use (and the pressure it generates), you can pretty much use any airtight container. If you're going to use a ceramic diffuser, I would suggest heavier walled bottles though. A series of bottles is fine, but it's more work and there's a higher chance for leaks.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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here is my take. Ive been running DIY yeast containers in 2 liter bottles for years. Although they are nasty looking, dirty, sticky and ugly they do make a difference. It just gets old, changing the mixture, changing your DIY diffuser etc. I use cigarette filters as diffusers, they work great! You probably aren't going to get enough pressure to use a fancy ceramic diffuser that you see with injected systems. Turning a 2 liter on its side will be weird because your inlet for the co2 would be under water. That wont work. I just hide mine in the stand under the tank. But am in the process of buying a co2 tank and regulator, am just sick and tired of changing yeast water.
Yeah, in the future I want to invest in a pressurized CO2 system, it is pricey but there is resale value to those, there's a lot of different uses for CO2 systems. I just don't have the $150 at the moment to drop on one (see above: "upgraded lighting" haha). From what i've heard it doesn't sound super demanding changing out the yeast every couple of weeks. Even so, I don't know how a 2 liter would fit with my shelf (I can post pics) so I would have to set it on the ground. I think the extra feet of tubing would cause it to lose pressure, but I could be wrong.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 08:47 PM
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I think the extra feet of tubing would cause it to lose pressure, but I could be wrong.
An extra foot or two of tubing won't hurt it. I used to keep mine on the ground and pump it up to a 10g on a stand.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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An extra foot or two of tubing won't hurt it. I used to keep mine on the ground and pump it up to a 10g on a stand.
Cool good to know. Might use this method after all. Still gonna keep my eyes open for a good horizontal container though just in case.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 09:42 PM
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I keep mine in the cabinet portion of my stand and it pumps up and into the tank just fine. I have a power head that has an intake tube for an air pump presumably but I pump the CO2 into it and it disperses it well.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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I've seen people use the end of a typical wooden chopstick as a diffuser, and like jmf3460 stated he uses a cigarette filter. Would these work in conjunction with a 2l generator at floor level? I'm planning on using one of those 12oz (?) Gatorade bottles as a gas separator and I hear using a gas separator can decrease output pressure as well.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 10:51 PM
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If you have a canister filter, do what I did when I had diy and use the Rex Griggs inline method. I don't use diy anymore but I always used the recipes that lasted the longest. Of course, the longer it lasts, the less bps you get but if you use the inline reactor correctly, you'll get 100% diffusion and you won't need more than 1 bps. Plus, you won't get your water all bubbly. The reactor itself cost about $15 to make and was extremely simple. All you need is a bubble counter and you can make one of those yourself also.

It's pretty straight forward. I got all the stuff from home depot and it took me 20 minutes to put together.

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