DIY CO2 control - why not? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-31-2007, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 control - why not?

Hi: I'm new here, but have been lurking for a few months. I have a question.

Everything I've read says you can't control the CO2 output from a DIY reactor. Why not? It seems to me there would several ways to do it.

If you want to turn it off completely for a while, take the line out of the tank. If you use a gas separator all that will happen is that CO2 will escape into the room.

If you want to decrease the CO2 output, couldn't you change the diffusing to make it less efficient, such as letting larger bubbles out or letting bubble escape to the surface?

Am I missing something?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-31-2007, 11:53 PM
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Usually it is not necessary to unhook a DIY system. Most DIY systems do not make enough CO2 to be harmful to the fish and critters.

What is your reason for wanting to "turn it off?"

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-01-2007, 01:12 AM Thread Starter
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Actually, I have not wanted to turn it off. I just wanted to make sure I understood what the options were if it did get too high.

Thanks.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-01-2007, 01:23 AM
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I wouldnt be too worried about DIY CO2 getting too high to harm fish. The small ammount of CO2 in the tank will be used up too quickly by the plants.


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-01-2007, 01:29 AM
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What i do is put a clip on the line and stops the flow. when i turn the lights on. i let the co2 go. since my diy co2 doesnt make enough co2 for my 30 long

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-01-2007, 02:03 AM
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I am not sure about clamping the DIY co2 line...
The pressure will build up quite a bit.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-01-2007, 02:15 AM
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watchout for the DIY CO2 bottle explosion...


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-01-2007, 04:12 AM
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Ive seen a large solid core 4" pvc "chamber" that had a regulator of some type attached to it. It was fed using diyco2, which would pressurize the co2 chamber. I recall their being some check valves between the co2 producers, and the PVC chamber. While not ideal - it would be a neat project. For controlling it a simpler way - you could just use a 2 port brass gang valve. One port going to open air, the other your reactor. just close the reactor valve, and open the other one.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 02:23 AM
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for me, since i put my co2 output tube at the bottom of my co2 diffuser ladder rather than the top where 10 gallon tanks should be set at, i installed a T in line, than a valve off the other line going no where, so at night i just turn the knob. in the morning, i tighten the valve when i wake up for work, by the time the timer turns the lights on, the co2 has regained enough pressure to push the bubbles out at a decent rate. Now also, by barely opening the valve, it will reduce the flow to the tank, not cut it off completly

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by James From Cali View Post
I wouldnt be too worried about DIY CO2 getting too high to harm fish. The small ammount of CO2 in the tank will be used up too quickly by the plants.
i've gotten 30ppm of CO2 from a DIY system. It's how the bubbles are diffused into the tank that matters.

If you want to, at night just unscrew the lid on the DIY bottle.. pretty easy.


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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 01:53 PM
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i've gotten 30ppm of CO2 from a DIY system. It's how the bubbles are diffused into the tank that matters.

If you want to, at night just unscrew the lid on the DIY bottle.. pretty easy.

I agreed with you, there are many times when I wake the next morning, I see fish that are about to die. I use 4 2L bottles for my DIY CO2. I have an air pump hooked up to a timer, so when the lights are off, the air pump will deliver air to the aquarium to prevent to much CO2 dissolved during night time.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 07:30 PM
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what I do is I run air pump all the time and crank it up when the lights go off.

Right now I'm experimenting with different recipes/yeast strain combinations to get one I like so that I can just run air at night. What could you do is to run a 3-way "L" type ball valve
(like http://assuredautomation.com/31D/index.php )
and run the actuator on a timer when energized it will supply a tank and when the actuator is de-energized, it move flow to a 2L bottle that bubbles underneath some water (vapor lock) to keep your yeast in their sterile environment and during a power outage it will vent to the vapor lock and not continuously inject into the tank.

example sample picture of automated diy co2:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/1351358931/
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by drtechno View Post
what I do is I run air pump all the time and crank it up when the lights go off.

Right now I'm experimenting with different recipes/yeast strain combinations to get one I like so that I can just run air at night. What could you do is to run a 3-way "L" type ball valve
(like http://assuredautomation.com/31D/index.php )
and run the actuator on a timer when energized it will supply a tank and when the actuator is de-energized, it move flow to a 2L bottle that bubbles underneath some water (vapor lock) to keep your yeast in their sterile environment and during a power outage it will vent to the vapor lock and not continuously inject into the tank.
Not to threadcrap or anything, but for all this money spent on acutuators and complicated systems, why not check out the Swap n Shop and local welding shops for good deals on a pressurized system?

Just unscrew the cap at night or use a gang valve as others have suggested.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 07:59 PM
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Gang valves are what I use. I just get a cheap 2 way metal gang valve. At night, shut off the line that goes to the tank and open the line that goes into the air.

In the morning, shut off the line that goes into the air and open the line that goes into the tank.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 08:22 PM
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I'm sure you can find valves like that valve cheaper if you look and do research. Its just a sample how you can do an automatic diy co2.
as for me,

I never run out of co2 because its a byproduct when I make beer
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