DIY CO2 smell - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2008, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 smell

Hi all, I a 38 gallon planted tank with DIy CO2 running. I am using a 1 gallon plastic jug, which is plumbed through a check valve to a Red Sea power head venturi setup. In this generator I am using 5 cups of dechlorinated water, 5 cups of sugar, and 1 tsp of yeast. It seem to work really well except for one issue-it stinks to high heaven.

Have any of you had this issue, and is there anyway to eliminate the odor? I am investigating better bottles, and I am in the process of getting some 1 gallon flourinated bottles. These are much more chemically resistant, as I think some of the odor is coming through the plastic. Secondly, I am sure some of this smell is coming through the powerheads input into the tank via the bubbles.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Mark
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2008, 03:59 PM
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What kind of odor? Is this a yeasty beer and bread smell that might bother you but might smell ok to some people? Or is this a stench-of-death kind of smell that nobody could possibly like? If it's the former, it's normal, and there's nothing you can do about it. If it's the later, then you have bacterial contamination.

BTW, 5 cups water and 5 cups sugar is way too sweet. You need more water. Typo?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2008, 04:33 PM
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I know what you're talking about. It's a really bad strange smell and I usually get a headache after smelling it, kind of like a farting smell. After all, it is the byproduct of the yeast.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2008, 04:52 PM
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don't use a plastic jug which is not made for liquid under pressure.
best to use a dark green plastic 2L or 3L 7up or ginger-ale bottle.
you don't need more than 1 cup of sugar per quart or liter of water.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2008, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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I see the errors of my ways. I thought it might be a bit on the sweet side, so to speak.

It is a horrible, the kind of stench you can taste. I am not sure how I got a bacterial contamination, but it is certainly possible. I could deal with a little yeast smell, as could my wife, but this was bad. I have changed it out, and would open up the house, but it is 2 degrees out.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2008, 08:39 PM
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I liked the smell when I used DIY Co2. It was just a yeasty bread or beer smell. Is there a leak, b/c I never could smell it much unless I opened the container?

75 gallon tank: gH 12 degrees, kH 4 degrees/ PC lighting - Coralife Lunar Deluxe fixture 4X65W (2 GE 55W 9325K bulbs, 2 55W EIKO 6500K bulbs)/ 1 Penguin 330 HOB filter, 1 Penguin 125 - bio wheels removed/ Pressurized CO2: tubing fed into input of a maxi-jet 400 power head, 4 bps
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-19-2008, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markkoelsch View Post
I see the errors of my ways. I thought it might be a bit on the sweet side, so to speak.

It is a horrible, the kind of stench you can taste. I am not sure how I got a bacterial contamination, but it is certainly possible. I could deal with a little yeast smell, as could my wife, but this was bad. I have changed it out, and would open up the house, but it is 2 degrees out.
Keep things as clean as you can, but don't be surprised that you got bacteria. They're all over the place.

This happened to me once, and it kept happening, because no matter how well I'd wash the container (truthfully, not that well) the bacteria kept coming back. I eventually decided upon chemical warfare. I didn't have any antibiotics in the house, so I used a random bit of knowledge I picked up scanning journal article abstracts: aspirin kills certain kinds of bacteria, but it doesn't kill yeast. Not knowing what kind of bacteria caused the stench I was experiencing, I gave it a shot. It seemed to work. I never got bacterial growth while I was adding aspirin to my brew. I was using something like four to six 325 mg tablets.

That's not the "right" solution to the problem, but it worked for me. YMMV
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2008, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. If there is a leak, I have not been able to find it. I will try a different bottle when the ones I am waiting on show up. I will also try reducing the amount of sugar in the mix.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2008, 09:05 PM
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Isn't yeast + sugar water in anaerobic condtions a simple process of fermentation, with CO2 and alcohol as a byproduct?

I think that smell is alcohol, which will make you a little dizzy if inhaled deeply.
It's like we're brewing really bad tasting/smelling beer.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-20-2008, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekstr View Post
Isn't yeast + sugar water in anaerobic condtions a simple process of fermentation, with CO2 and alcohol as a byproduct?

I think that smell is alcohol, which will make you a little dizzy if inhaled deeply.
It's like we're brewing really bad tasting/smelling beer.
You are correct.

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