Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Ranchi, Jharkhand, India
CO2 - The Madhatter's DIY
When I was introduced to the EI system while browsing the net, it intrigued me and I researched the possibility to go CO2 and tried to decide which of my tanks would be best suited for the experiment. My ‘Incomparable’, a 6’ x 3’ x 2’ with sun light pouring in from the top for 4 hours a day was the best suited for the experiment, for if I was successful I would have the space to get new plants and multiply them.
Next came the decision was I going to go pressurized or DIY. Going pressurized means a goodly investment for a system which you might not like to continue with. DIY was a much economical system which I could build for myself. So some more research and asking around, the general advice was that DIY system was unsuitable for large aquariums and you could not store the CO2 generated at night. I have never been a good recipient for safe advice, something which has led me into a lot of trouble but has also rewarded me with lot of unusual experiences and untrammeled paths. So decided to go DIY.
The first hurdle was very easily overcome – steady CO2 production in large enough quantity. 3 forty L HDP jerry cans made up the CO2 generator house in tank of its own and submerged in water kept at 30 C with a heater, helped by a polystyrene foam jacket around the tank and a top fashioned out of left-over ply-boards. Each of the jerry can has its own flow valve to cut it out from the system when it is being recharged. The recharging takes place without removing the jerry can from the tank. The slurry is siphoned out, water hosed in for the wash, siphoned again, fresh mix siphoned in and recapped.
The night storage too became quite simple – a 20 L HDP jerry can laid sideways and with some bricks on top of it fitted to the delivery pipe before the bubble counter which has a flow valve to control the rate of flow and to stop the gas at night. To stop the generators from ballooning I used three 2” wide nylon belts around their body. The 20 L is allowed to balloon and ends up concave in the evening that’s how it should be when I am stopping the CO2.
The system was commissioned on 15 March 2007 and I am so satisfied with it that I have altogether decided never to go pressurized. All I wish to do now is to add a solenoid to the system to make the flow automatic with the light timer. I also desire to add a pressure meter and also a pressure switch accentuated safety valve.
If you have a choice, you have a problem, till you elect your choice. No choice, no problem, only consequences, learn to live with them.