DIY c02 question. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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DIY c02 question.

Hey all,

Okay.. So I just tried the DIY C02 and its working.. like a bubble every 2-4 seconds I think. Anyway, I am using a 20 ounce gatorade bottle with 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 tsp of yeast. How many bottles should I be using? I have a 46 gallon bowfront tank. I have the airline running into the strainer on the filter so it gets chopped up by the impeller for now. Also, can I use a metal t to connect two bottles to the one air line? Thanks.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 08:44 AM
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to give you an idea, on my 20H i use two 2 liter bottles connected with an airline "T". 2 cups of sugar in both and a pinch of yeast.

The reason that i use a larger body of water with the same amount of sugar and yeast is because the yeast will keep creating two things as long as they can survive(alcohol and co2) once the water becomes too alcoholic, the yeast die(hence, no more co2) so the larger the water volume, the more diluted the alcohol will be, so the longer the yeast can produce co2 before the alcohol level in the water kills it.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 10:52 PM
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You ideally want about 1 bottle per 10 - 15 gallons to give you high enough levels (although a lot depends on the efficiency of your diffusion method).

I use 2 - 2L bottles on my 32g - 2c sugar, 1/4 tsp yeast each. After one week I add another 1/4 tsp yeast. After two weeks I totally change them out. I also use a desk lamp to provide heat to the bottles since the room temp dips a lot and messes with production. Sure you can T them together if you want. Personally I have them seperately so that in case one runs out I can tell which bottle is the culprit.

I think that usually in my case the yeast die because they run out of nutrients (not sugar) and not because too much methanol builds up. I base this on the fact that I can add more new yeast again and it will keep producing for another week or more.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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I started another one and teed them together put there is no bubbles nnow. I figured the one producing would bubble even if the other ones not? I dont have any leaks either..
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-28-2007, 11:16 PM
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Yep if it's working you will get bubbles either way, if you have no leaks. Sometimes when you agitate them it takes a few minutes for them to start producing again, give it a good hour and if you don't see anything start doing another leak search... suck air out of the outlet tube so the bottles start to implode and kink it off...you'll notice pretty quick if you have leaks. Also keep in mind that the one bottle now has to pressurize both bottles before you'll see bubbles so it will take longer.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, it's starting to bubble, but at the same rate it was earlyer. I'll give it a day or two and see if it starts going a bit faster.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 03:13 AM
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I would get a c02 drop checker to get an accurate gauge of what your c02 levels are. While this may not apply to use as your aquarium is larger, in one of my 10 gallons with one 2 litre bottles DIY yeast I was getting c02 levels too high as per drop checker turning yellow, so I had to run a small airstone to keep the levels at the desired 30 ppm as per drop checker turning green. I would not have known that my c02 levels were excessive if I did not use a c02 drop checker. You can also use this c02 level calculator if you do not want to get a drop checker, but most claim that the calculator gives false readings.
http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

Disbursement of your c02 is just as important if not more important than c02 production. This link talks about using circulation and c02 misting as a means of maximizing c02 disbursement.
http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.u...php?blogid=116


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the links and info Homer. I decreased surface agitation by filling the tank on up with water.. I will hook up a air stone during the night to run so there isent a lack of oxygen in the water..

I may hook a third bottle up soon. Do you think this will help with the green spot algae that I have? It's all over the glass, rocks, and plants. My siamese (spelling?) algae eater isent realy eating it either.. I turn off the lights whenever I go to bed and on when I wake up, but I'm going to start having them on 8-10 hours a day starting tommorow, so maybe that will help too.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by icex View Post
Thanks for the links and info Homer. I decreased surface agitation by filling the tank on up with water.. I will hook up a air stone during the night to run so there isent a lack of oxygen in the water..

I may hook a third bottle up soon. Do you think this will help with the green spot algae that I have? It's all over the glass, rocks, and plants. My siamese (spelling?) algae eater isent realy eating it either.. I turn off the lights whenever I go to bed and on when I wake up, but I'm going to start having them on 8-10 hours a day starting tommorow, so maybe that will help too.
You're welcome. First thing that I would do is get a drop checker and have the airstone all hooked up and on standby. Watch the c02 levels carefully as per drop checker. To be safe, you can place the airstone connected to an airpump and have it set on a timer, so that you can have the pump come on at night and turn off in the day. I run my airstone 24/7 and believe it or not the drop checker remains green. I change the drop checker solution at least every two weeks and get the same thing, so I know it is not inaccurate. I replace the c02 brew every 2 weeks to keep the c02 levels consistent. One thing that you may want to seriously consider is using a bubble counter and or check valve with the DIY c02, otherwise you may see snot plugs forming in your tank and clogging c02 production. I had this problem big time until I started using a check valve. I am just waiting for the bubble counter. Once I get this, I will also use it. The bubble counter can help catch some of this gunk before it clogs up c02 production in your diffuser. The snot plugs are not harmful but they do interfere/block c02 bubble release. You can probably make your own bubble counter, but I was too lazy, so I ordered these two to test.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Gamba-XII-Japane...QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.com/Bubble-counter-L...QQcmdZViewItem

I am currently battling green spot algae in my 40 gallon. Many some say that it is due to low phosphate levels and increasing these can help minimize this. My phosphate levels test 5+ppm straight out of the tap as tested with a calibrated test kit so I know this reading is accurate. Others say that, it is due to high light levels and I believe this may be the reason in my case. Some say that increasing c02 levels can help prevent it. I believe this as in another tank where I had some on leaves, not glass, adding DIY c02 reduced it. I have set my lights on a split photoperiod using a timer(I was going to try noonburst but changed my mind) so that the lights come on from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Off from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on again from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for a total of 7 hours. A nerite snail is also known to eat green spot algae, but it may litter your tank with eggs that look like salt crystals but won't hatch or it may escape if you don't have a tight fitting lid on your aquarium.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info. The snail is out of the question pretty much.. puffers + clown loachs haha..

I may get a drop checker, but where can I get one? I'd love to leave my airstone on 24/7 if it wouldent bother the c02. My c02 tube goes into the strainer on my penguin 200 for right now.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icex View Post
Thanks for the info. The snail is out of the question pretty much.. puffers + clown loachs haha..

I may get a drop checker, but where can I get one? I'd love to leave my airstone on 24/7 if it wouldent bother the c02. My c02 tube goes into the strainer on my penguin 200 for right now.

You're welcome.

BlackSunshine, a member on this forum, sells them. He is a pretty decent guy to deal with and I have had no problems with the drop checkers that I bought from him. He also includes the proper solution to use in the drop checker, so it is a plug and play solution. With the ones you buy elsewhere, you either have to make your own solution which is not difficult but can be a PITA or purchase the solution seperately which can get costy. Anyway here is the link.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sw...-checkers.html

Also, with the airstone, just have on on standby in case of an emergency, you may not even need to hook it up. It will be difficult to know your c02 levels without a drop checker unless you sit by your tank 24/7 while the C02 is being injected to see if the fish are spending most of their at the top and appear to be gasping more than usual.

And it is okay to feed your c02 tube through the strainer of your filter. That is what I am doing on a tank I just set up and it appears to be working fine. Just place a check valve and or bubble counter in the c02 tubing to prevent the snot plugs. The snot plugs are not harmful but could clog up your filter with some slime.

In another tank, where I am feeding the c02 tubing to the intake of a filter, but am not using a check valve or bubble counter, I am noticing some pretty wicked slime from the c02 snot on the polywool every week when I clean my filter.


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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homer_Simpson View Post
...appear to be gasping more than usual.


What amount of gasping should be considered "usual"?

With DIY CO2, you're going to have a hard time OD'ing your tank, but if you're worried then absolutely, get a drop checker. Using your fish as indicators just induces unnecessary stress.

I believe that your Penguin 200 has a bio-wheel, right? That's probably going to outgas your CO2 big-time. (I couldn't keep the CO2 levels up in my 29gal when I ran an Eclipse hood, the bio-wheel would outgas it as fast as I could put it in.) If you don't want to replace your bio-wheel filter, then consider using Seachem Excel as an alternative to CO2.

(You could also consider this: remove the bio-wheel, take the "papery stuff" off the plastic frame and cut it up into pieces. Put the pieces into one of those mesh media bags from the LFS, then drop the bag into the reservoir of the filter. That keeps your bacteria colony in the system without the agitation of the bio-wheel.)

JM2
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 03:48 PM
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...What amount of gasping should be considered "usual"?
When you successfully keep fish for 9+ years you develop a knack for knowing when your fish are not well or when they are spending far more time at the surface "gasping more than usual"...trust me, I have done this with pin point accuracy many times and when I ignored such signs of distress the fish that exhibited the behaviours they were belly up by the next day. Kind of like a farmer with many years experience who can spot a sick cow or knows by dealing with cattle when something is not right with his herd.

But as I suggested to the poster in his initial inquiry as you recall, I strongly suggested that he get a c02 drop checker and rely that to get an accurate gauge of his c02 "unless" like I stated he wants to sit by his tank 24/7 watching the fish, which I doubt he or anyone else would want to do.


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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Homer_Simpson View Post
When you successfully keep fish for 9+ years you develop a knack for knowing when your fish are not well
Absolutely, I agree 100%. For a noobie, though, a drop checker gives more objective feedback than the (subjective) stress level of the fish. I was trying to reinforce your recommendation, in an off-the-wall kind of way.

On other forums (not this one), I've actually seen advice given to noobs to "just crank up the CO2 'til the fish are gasping at the surface, then dial it back a little." Grrrrrrrrr.....

I certainly didn't mean to imply anything about you or your aquaristic abilities with my comment. I knew what you meant, but it struck me funny the way you phrased it - the underlying implication was that there is an amount of gasping that is considered normal.

Regards,
Mike
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-29-2007, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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It starts to bubble for awhile then stops. I had a leak but fixed it and it worked again but now I have to shake it for it to work. Should I redo the bottle I made last night? The other one is fine.. it's this new one giving me problems..
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