DIY CO2 and ceramic diffusers - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 and ceramic diffusers

I see all these threads where people say that ceramic diffusers do not work with DIY CO2, but I wonder how many of these people have tried it.

I have used three or four Fluval ceramic diffusers with no issues. One brand, so it is more anecdotal evidence than anything else, but I really wonder if it is an issue of the pressure required or the construction of the set up.

I am pretty confident that the yeast will continue to produce CO2 until the bottle explodes (over 100PSI) or an airline ruptures or blows off of a fitting, some component failure. I have not seen anybody mention anything about this or warnings of exploding bottles with ceramic diffusers, so I doubt this is happening to people. I may try an experiment to see if yeast will build up enough pressure to rupture a bottle when the weather gets a little warmer if I can find somewhere to do this where it will not disturb anyone or freak anybody out thinking that somebody is discharging a firearm near the house. I do know that the pressure effects the fermentation process, but I do not believe that it will shut the fermentation process down.

I believe that the majority of people are either parroting what they have read or had a leak that was off gassing with the ceramic diffuser, but was small enough so that with a lower pressure diffuser it was not apparent due to the majority of the gas being expelled through the diffuser. This switching diffuser types and getting CO2 discharged into the tank could easily lead someone to believe that DIY CO2 does not work with ceramic diffusers.


How many people here have actually tried to run DIY CO2 with ceramic diffusers?
What brand(s) did you use?
How many people did it not work for?
If it did not work, did you run a full leak test with a bubble solution (simple soap and water)?
If it did not work, were you using a simple sugar and water solution, or was it a more complex mixture?





For me, Fluval ceramic diffuser with sugar, water, some molasses, and baker's yeast (I kind of eyeball it based on the contour lines of the bottle). I drill the hole in the cap 1/16" smaller than the airline (need to check that the hose isn't pinched off in the cap. Sometimes I have to open the hole up a little bit. It is sufficiently tight that glue is probably not needed), then super glue it in place from both sides and let it dry over night. I tried more complex set ups, but it was too much hassle and failure prone. This has worked pretty flawlessly for the past several bottles I have set up.

I usually feel kind of guilty using the quick reply... my replies are rarely quick.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 07:16 AM
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what size tanks have you done this in?
I have no experience with CO2 but am curious
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 10:49 AM
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I use a mega over-engineered (definitely leak-free) DIY yeast setup that will run a ceramic diffuser no problem. However, like yourself, I've only used the fluval brand (I've got 3 that I alternated/cleaned weekly) so it's not really "new" info to this thread. Though I'm quite sure I could generate enough consistent pressure to use any other brand/type using my routine (for a journal w/ a detailed description of my setup: click here)

People who claim it can't be done are either regurgitating what they've read or have not achieved a leak-free system.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yashmack View Post
what size tanks have you done this in?
I have no experience with CO2 but am curious
10g, 7g bow (2 different ones), 8" cube, & plastic storage containers.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-28-2014, 08:13 AM
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a real nice alternative is this eheim difuser. costs ~4eur. it is adjustable for bubble size
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 04:53 AM
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Yes! I have

I am using a CO2 diffuser on a DIY settup. And it has been creating a fountain of Microbubbles, it started working better when I added the second gallon. My diffuser sits at the bottom of my tall tank and has no problem forming microbubbles.

75G Tank
Diffuser - Estone spiral V diffuser bought on amazon - The suction cup it came with sucks(not literally)!
KIV-1116 Lalvin Yeast for Winemaking
2 X 1 gallon Jug
- 2 cups sugar each
- 1/3 teaspoon Yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

This is currently keeping my system at Approx. 14ppm
I am considering adding a 3rd gallon jug. People say DIY systems are not stable enough, well 3 Jugs cycling at different times should stop the inconsistancy. I am considering buying Pressure gauges to help keep tabs on the Yeast. For now writing it down has been working only need to start a fresh jug every 4 - 5 weeks.

I made the hole thing with 4 check valves, Standard tubing, Aquarium Silicon and drilling holes in tops of water bottle and jugs.

I ran this settup to prove you can run CO2 on larger tanks, but it might eventually end up costing me more money in sugar in the long run, so far it has been pretty darn cheap. I'll have to stop by Costco

Update: I currently have 4 1 gallon jugs for my DIY CO2 settup for my 75 gallon, This has created a fountain of microbubbles no issue it receiving pressure. I have it sitting under my AQ filter 100 or 400 whatever the series is called now flowing it right back down into my tank very happy with the settup so far.

I am still unsure if it is providing enough CO2 for my tank I have API liquid PH tester and test strips neither are very definitive I have no Idea what my Co2 PPm is. I think i'm at 7.4 ph with ~200gKh so probably 20 PPM. The issue is I was getting the same readings when I had 2 gallon jugs versus 4 gallon jugs, its definetly creating more CO2. If anyone has any Suggestions how to get a better reading, I'm considering going with a Drop checker, not sure how fine tuned those can get.

Last edited by BobLsaget; 05-21-2014 at 09:06 PM. Reason: update
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 07:51 AM
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I was running 2, 2L bottles on a 10 gallon tank. I completely leak checked everything.

I had a small diffuser from aquatic magic on ebay - couldn't make it work. Had to go with a different idea.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2014, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creekbottom View Post
.... couldn't make it work. Had to go with a different idea.
How long was it hoked up before you decided it wasn't working?
Was it producing CO2? How rigid was the bottle when you disconnected it?
How did you leak test it?

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-07-2014, 11:32 PM
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Setup my first DIY yesterday, it's been about 24 hours and no bubbles coming out of my Fluval Ceramic diffuser. No leaks, so it's either the check valve that's too resistant or the diffuser.

Recipe I used from a post on this forum:
1.5 Liter Soda Bottle
1/2 teaspoon of yeast
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
2 cups of dominoes light brown sugar


EDIT: I guess enough pressure finally built up and there's a constant stream of microbubbles from the Fluval Diffuser.

Last edited by Gametheory; 05-08-2014 at 06:17 AM. Reason: change in situation
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