DIY CO2 - help! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2013, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 - help!

Built a 2L diy co2 kit and here's my issue...

The recipes, tried 4 and 2 different types of active yeast yield no result.

If I squeeze my generator I get bubbles in the tank (yay sealed)

If I slightly heat generator (hair dryer etc) I get bubbles in generator and tank (yay)

When water cools back to room temp no more bubbles

Shaking the generator provides a 10-20 sec stream of bubbles but slowly fades.


Am I missing something? I let one sit 24hrs and one for only 3 hours but even in a small cup I can't get it to froth like people say it should. I wonder if I need to start with way hotter water.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2013, 10:50 PM
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You don't want to use water that is too hot or it can kill the yeast cells. Mine normally takes at least a day to get going, 2 is what I would say is normal and then a few more to ramp up. I'm sure in TX the temp in your house (Unless you are blazing the AC) is plenty for solid yeast reproduction.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2013, 11:11 PM
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IME, you don't want to shake the bottle.

What I do is fill up a 2L bottle with tepid water and add the 2c of sugar and mix as much as I can. While I'm doing that, I have my yeast sitting in a small bowl of warm water to activate them. Once I see foam coming up in the bowl, I add it to the bottle of water/sugar/baking soda, then cap/seal it. I usually see bubbles showing up in a few hours.

Also, what are you using as a diffuser? Those ceramic diffusers that are usually seen with pressurized CO2 systems don't work too well with DIY since it doesn't usually produce enough pressure to diffuse. Same thing with air stones IME --> sometimes I can get bubbles with the air stone, sometimes not, so I just have the hose inserted into a powerhead in the tank to chop up the CO2 bubbles.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2013, 11:15 PM
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Just out of curiosity, which recipes have you tried? What yeast are you using and how long have you had it? Shelf life can play a part.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-02-2013, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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So speaking of the devil it works. The lucky part of all this was I found a quick fix if you ever need a recipe brewed up and working quickly... a blow dryer. I held it 1-2' ft away but really you shouldn't ever have to do this unless you did not use warm enough water upfront. However, I was always worried about burning it so I decided to not heat the water enough.. i guess?

I used the following recipes but note that I dissolved the sugar in the water and let the water come back to room temperature. I always used 'warm' water with yeast, stirred, and then added a pinch of sugar / stirred every 3 minutes for 12 minutes and added to sugar water.

2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 baking soda
75% water

2 cup sugar
1 tsp yeast
1/4 baking soda
75% water

1 1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp yeast
1/4 baking soda
75% water

Currently working
1.8 cup sugar
1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 baking soda
75% water

Used RedStar which NEVER worked even heating; may have just got a bad batch. The other brand Fiesh-oh lets be honest the name is impossible to spell; works fine.

I did skip (For now) adding a bubbler just to make sure I got the system at least working. If the system never worked without bubbler I would have just went out and bought a real setup. I saw A LOT of people saying they had issues and they had done this, that, and the other. So to ensure no complications I used a 2L bottle, ONE check valve, ONE tubing, and ONE custom diffuser. People seemed to have bought 500 pieces online and then had problems. If I see chunks going in, or notice too low of a pH or incorrect hardiness fine I will take the extra step now that I have a working solution. I am all about not adding extra work or problems on myself when it comes to the aquarium.

One thing I have learned in this hobby is think how you could do something cheaper and easier. Not to save a buck or be some elitist but when you draft up 10 solutions you really understand what you are doing. Then, circle back and do it whatever way you think will work the best. It is all a guessing game and I think that is what keeps it interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ngrubich View Post
IME, you don't want to shake the bottle.

What I do is fill up a 2L bottle with tepid water and add the 2c of sugar and mix as much as I can. While I'm doing that, I have my yeast sitting in a small bowl of warm water to activate them. Once I see foam coming up in the bowl, I add it to the bottle of water/sugar/baking soda, then cap/seal it. I usually see bubbles showing up in a few hours.

Also, what are you using as a diffuser? Those ceramic diffusers that are usually seen with pressurized CO2 systems don't work too well with DIY since it doesn't usually produce enough pressure to diffuse. Same thing with air stones IME --> sometimes I can get bubbles with the air stone, sometimes not, so I just have the hose inserted into a powerhead in the tank to chop up the CO2 bubbles.
I took an old undergravel diffuser (not a power head) and installed the airline and an air-stone to prevent 'large' bubbles. Then I jammed it with a sponge from the kitchen (clean brand new) that was full of tiny holes to allow air to escape and not block up and create one 'large' bubble. Then I used fish/water safe silicon and filled 90% of the holes in the diffuser. So the final product was this little old piece of plastic with tiny holes all over the place that would help create small slow bubbles for more time in tank than one 'large' bubble.

I took this crazy contraption, once dry of course, and jammed it under one of my 20LB M. Driftwood pieces. Now the Driftwood looks like a Disney movie and no one will see this diffuser which looks chuck e-cheese.

I am not a fan of equipment in my tank so anything I can hide I am all for. This worked out well because I could hide 90% of it in the gravel with just the parts with holes sticking out (which I even gently sprinkled some gravel over). I need to figure out how to get rid of the airline tubing but for now you only see 20% so I guess thats ok... Come on plants GROWWWWWW! Then I can hide this piece of junk airline tubing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzac View Post
You don't want to use water that is too hot or it can kill the yeast cells. Mine normally takes at least a day to get going, 2 is what I would say is normal and then a few more to ramp up. I'm sure in TX the temp in your house (Unless you are blazing the AC) is plenty for solid yeast reproduction.
We run our house @ 72 year around. I was too scared about killing the yeast that I guess I never used water that was warm enough. I need to just suck it up and measure the water so I know what 105 feels like, lol. Blow dryer is the trick!

Last edited by Darkblade48; 09-03-2013 at 04:39 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-03-2013, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomasanderson View Post
Built a 2L diy co2 kit and here's my issue...

The recipes, tried 4 and 2 different types of active yeast yield no result.

If I squeeze my generator I get bubbles in the tank (yay sealed)

If I slightly heat generator (hair dryer etc) I get bubbles in generator and tank (yay)

When water cools back to room temp no more bubbles

Shaking the generator provides a 10-20 sec stream of bubbles but slowly fades.


Am I missing something? I let one sit 24hrs and one for only 3 hours but even in a small cup I can't get it to froth like people say it should. I wonder if I need to statrt with way hotter water.
try using warm water, not hot but warm to dissolve the sugar in. Do the same for the yeast. Then mix it together with the baking soda. Add a cup of room temp orange juice too. I do this and get bubbles in 30 minutes.


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