Stabilizing DIY CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-27-2007, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Stabilizing DIY CO2

I built another DIY CO2 generator after I got fed up with having two soda bottles. The new one I built is made from a large 4 litre juice jug and it works great, but I have had mixed results.

I have been using the jello recipe because I thought it would be more stable. I add 4 cups of boiling water to 4 packs of jello, then I add 4 cups sugar and water. I put the jello mixture in a big glass casarole dish and cube it when it sets and then into the jug. As for the yeast, originally I added 1 tsp but after about a week the yeast fizzled and died, I think as a result of too much alcohol being produced. So I reduced the amount of yeast to 3/4tsp and I also added another cup of water with the yeast to help dilute the alcohol. This mixture is producing just as much, if not more and it hasn't faded out like the first one. I have had one reoccurring problem though, the mixture will stop producing a consistent stream of bubbles and instead will let off huge bursts every thirty seconds. Has anyone else had this issue? For the life of me I can figure out why it does this, sometimes for days.

With this setup I have been able to get pearling to occur and my bubble count must be around at least 2 bubbles a second. Honestly I stopped counting when I got to 80 bubbles a minute. Overall I would consider my new CO2 generator to be a success, but I would like to further stabilize the bubble production. I have been using bakers yeast until now, but I think I will try champaign yeast next. Does anyone have any further suggestions on how I could enhance the mixture?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Has no one else ever had this problem? It just quits producing constantly and lets off timed bursts of CO2. I thought it may be a clog, but I haven't been able to find any visible obstruction in the airline. I keep thinking it must be the mixture, but I just don't understand how it could possibly cause this issue. When I was running two soda bottles I never had this issue, sometimes the bubble count would slow, but nothing like this. My new CO2 recipe is no different than what I was doing before, only I doubled everything and put it all in a four liter jug.

This is seriously a PITA, I just can't figure it out. I could really use some help, thanks.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 01:50 AM
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Baking Soda.

http://fish.cecolts.com/pics/co2.html scroll down about halfway for his recipe. this is what I use and it works well.


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 02:53 AM
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thanks for that creedy
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 10:39 AM
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you bet. Good luck.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenleaf888 View Post
Has no one else ever had this problem? It just quits producing constantly and lets off timed bursts of CO2. I thought it may be a clog, but I haven't been able to find any visible obstruction in the airline. I keep thinking it must be the mixture, but I just don't understand how it could possibly cause this issue. When I was running two soda bottles I never had this issue, sometimes the bubble count would slow, but nothing like this. My new CO2 recipe is no different than what I was doing before, only I doubled everything and put it all in a four liter jug.

This is seriously a PITA, I just can't figure it out. I could really use some help, thanks.
I really doubt it's a mixture issue. It's not like the yeast take coffee breaks. I would really check the lines, and the check valve. perhaps a small bit of gunk
where the line comes out of the cap.

HTH

Walter

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 02:04 PM
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With my setup that phenomenon is caused by a sticky check valve. The pressure builds until it opens, then the CO2 flows until the pressure falls below the threshold needed to keep the valve open. It oscillates.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 04:42 PM
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definitely sounds like a sticky check valve. i had this happen once. and after a big amount of bubbles come out, wait ten seconds and then flick the check valve. should pop open and release bubbles.

also, as for the bubble count... do it like reading someone's pulse. count for 15 seconds, multiply by four.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 04:52 PM
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How are you diffusing?


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 05:47 PM
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As everyone has mentioned...check valve. I've got the same problem. Cheap check valves get stuck when they get moist, so they cannot be used for diy co2 setups.

I've never heard of anyone using jelly to stabilize the yeast mixture. Very interesting, what does it do?
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 08:29 PM
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Jello, not jelly

It suspends the sugar in the jello mix, so the yeast can't go crazy on it.

Two effects, in my experience:

One, it more regulates the bubbles output - no more yeast going crazy for a week and then petering out. It should stay pretty steady until the yeast gives out to alchohol.

Two, it makes it longer between redoing batches. My yeast still goes kaput in a few weeks like everyone else's. But, I pour off the top, put in a new 1 cup of water with 1/4 teaspoon yeast, and start it over, without having to redo the sugar and all.

I don't cube it; I pour my mix right into the bottle before it sets - and I add baking soda to the mix once it is in the bottle. It fizzes up, it is okay, it settles back down as the jello sets up. Pop the bottle in the fridge, let it set, pull it out and put cup of water with my yeast in it, and voila.

Last edited by ingg; 08-02-2007 at 08:38 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-02-2007, 08:40 PM
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Interesting... Well I guess whatever works for you guys with large tanks. I've got a 29, and I get about .5 bps for 2-4 weeks out of each juice bottle... My take on it: the more water, the better; more sugar; less yeast.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-07-2007, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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Well my first mixture finally ran out and I made a new one last night. It started off totally inconsistent, but since then it has stabilized and is now producing around 120 bubble's a minute consistently. I took the check valve off and I was able to blow through it easily enough, not sure if that means anything. But to make sure it wasn't clogged, I ran the tube into the tank without and it continued to let out random bursts of bubble's. So I am not so sure it is the check valve but if I have issues with this mixture I will check it again.

This time I used 3 cups sugar 8 cups boiling water and four packs of jello. After I cubed the jello and put it in the container, I put 1 teaspoon of yeast and mcreedy I took your advice and added 1 teaspoon of baking soda too 3 cups warm water.

Ukrainetz look at this.

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...o2-thread.html

And right now I am pumping the CO2 into my HOB intake, which is actually working quite good I think. I am going to be getting a glass diffuser very soon however.

Thanks for all the feedback.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-08-2007, 10:43 PM
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In that case could the culprit be the jello? Perhaps the gas bubbles get trapped in the mixture, and then violently escape?
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-09-2007, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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Well I am back to square one. Once again my CO2 generator seems to have a mind of it's own. Now it is just pumping bubbles out randomly.

Ukrainetz I pondered the same question. I was watching my CO2 bottle and their are indeed trapped pockets in the jello, this has led me to rethink cubing the jello. For my next mixture I will simply let the jello set inside the container and see if that makes a difference with the bubble consistency. I presume it will produce less, but perhaps that will lead to some stability.

I am also going to replace the check valve, perhaps mine is stuck. Check valves cost nothing and even if mine isn't stuck, I am sure I will find a use for the extra.

BTW I originally decided to cube the jello because it increases the surface area exposed to the yeast drastically and in turn creates more CO2, but I am not so sure I am satisfied with the results. I have achieved some phenomenal bubble rates for DIY(98 bubbles a second), but the bubble consistency has been nothing but craptacular.

I am also going to replace the check valve, perhaps mine is stuck. Check valves cost nothing and even if mine isn't stuck, I am sure I will find a use for the extra.
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