DIY CO2 help - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2014, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 help

Hello every friend,

I just set up my 55g planted tank. I've been trying to produce CO2, but failed. I think I did follow the procedure. However, no bubbles came out. Here is what I did:

1. Add 2 cups of sugar to 2L bottle
2. 2 cups of warm water (about 80-100F), then add into bottle and shake until sugar is all dissolved
3. Add 1/2 tsp bake soda and shake
4. 1/4 cup of warm water (about 100F) and add 1/4 tsp of yeast (Red Star Paster Champagne active dry wine yeast), stir with fork
5. Add a pinch of sugar to cup, stir with fork, sit for 15 minutes
6. pour the dissolved yeast into 2L bottle, shake briefly and hook it up.

I've been waiting for more than 30 hours, still no bubbles came out.

I just have no idea what I'm doing wrong. As far as I know this system is air tight. The only concern might be the temperature. Is it the matter of the room temperature? Now the room is 60~65F. Is it too low? I assume that might be too cold for yeast-sugar to produce CO2. So I put that 2L bottle with the mixed liquid in a warm water (about 80F) for an hour. Still nothing happened.

Do you guys have any idea what I did wrong?

Thanks for any help in advance.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2014, 07:11 PM
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There can be many reasons for that. Diy co2 systems most likely will not have enough pressure to push co2 through co2 diffusers.



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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2014, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krispyplants View Post
There can be many reasons for that. Diy co2 systems most likely will not have enough pressure to push co2 through co2 diffusers.
Thanks for your reply. I've checked. I believe there is no leak. I use 2L coke bottle. Someone says that I can see some small bubbles on the surface. There is no in mine. Anything else I did wrong?
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 12:31 AM
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Sometimes if the yeast cools rapidly, they will go dormant.
At 65* their metabolism will be a little slower. I haven't made champagne before, but wine yeasts tend to take off a little slower.

The yeast will keep producing CO2, probably to the point where the bottle would explode, which is over 100psi. More than enough to push gas through a ceramic diffuser. I use a ceramic diffuser with no issues, granted the three or four I have used were all the same brand. Different density diffusers may cause an issue, but the bottle would rupture or you would blow a line off of a fitting if it required more pressure than DIY CO2 could provide. I keep seeing people posting that ceramic diffusers do not work with DIY CO2, but I have never seen a warning about anything rupturing, which makes me doubt that their systems were sufficiently air tight. Switching over to a different diffusion method with lower pressure would force less gas out the leaks and produce bubbles in to the tank, which could lead people to believe that it just won't work. Either that or they are parroting what other people have said.

If you squeeze the bottle is it solid, or can you still squeeze it like you just put the cap on?

If it is relatively soft, you are not producing CO2 yet. Try placing the bottle in a pot of warm water (while still connected) for a little longer than an hour. If you shake it up a lot (when initially setting it up), you will get more oxygen in to solution. While oxygen is present, they mostly reproduce, once the oxygen is used up, they start producing CO2. Dry brewing/wine yeasts always took a day and a half or longer to get started for me in the cooler months.

If the bottle is relatively hard, try dripping soapy water on the connections, if you are getting bubbles, that is where your leak is. (there may be more than one)
If you have a check valve, verify that you have it installed the correct way.

If you have opened it at all, it will take a while for the pressure to build back up.

Does your tap water have chloramine? I wonder if that could have killed off the yeast.

I usually feel kind of guilty using the quick reply... my replies are rarely quick.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 04-25-2014 at 05:18 AM. Reason: Back to back posts
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you soooo much Beer.

I placed the bottle in a pot of warm water (about 80F while still connected) for 2 hours. After 24 hours, I do see some bubbles from gas separator bottle, even though they are going off very slow (1 bubble every 8 sec). I'm gonna keep waiting. Hope faster bubbles going off soon.

I have another question. Can I use MAX MIX CO2 REACTOR on DIY CO2? Now I use nano glass diffuser. I want to make the system more efficient by using a reactor.

Thank you again.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 02:16 PM
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i also have a problems with champagne yeast.
i tried 3 different ways preparing the bottle, including yours and also one that was in instruction wich came with yeast.

still no luck within 24h. this time im gonna wait 2-3 days and if still nothing im gonna drop bread yeast into bottle
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Update.

It's really the matter of temperature. Today, I place the bottle in a pot of warm water, the CO2 goes off much more faster from 1 bubble every 8 sec to 2~3 bubbles/sec. It seems that the champagne yeast starts slowly.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 04:49 PM
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Have any of you guys tried http://www.amazon.com/Midwest-Homebrewing-and-Winemaking-Supplies/dp/B0064O77LQ/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1398444331&sr=8-8&keywords=distiller%27s+yeast? It's fantastic. I get a huge bubble flow out of just a couple of small containers with this stuff.

Distiller's yeast is highly ethanol tolerant, so it will keep churning out CO2 under conditions which would be toxic to other yeast strains. That means more bang for your buck. Also, if you're like me and abhor waste, you can throw the leftovers in a still and get some not-half-bad DIY vodka. Even before distillation, the mash is like 20% ethanol.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 07:06 PM
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Temperature plays a crucial role in DIY CO2.
When I used to do this, I used to put an incandescent bulb near the bottle to give it some warmth.
BTW, if you have a 55, making DIY CO2 would be much more costlier in the long term than buying a CO2 kit.
People sell pocket friendly CO2 kits here if you wanna try.

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