DIY CO2 setup - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 setup

I want to add CO2 to the small planted tanks. We have a 20G and a 4G nano. I would like to add to both of these. I would like to keep this simple and as safe as possible. Could some one walk me through this Please
I am about to order from Big Al's so if I need to order some things just let me know. I have read a lot about this. Everyone of this forum is so nice and any help here would be great.
Thank You

Karen / Cocobid

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 09:03 PM
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Hi Karen

This is a good article about DIY CO2. http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html

There is more info in the FAQ section. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/planted-tank-faq/

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 09:26 PM
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Here's some more info: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...bs-grains.html

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 10:21 PM
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The above posts are for yeast/sugar DIY CO2.

You were not really specific about what which type of CO2 that you want to use.

Are you wanting DIY info?

Or, are you wanting to use a pressurized CO2 system and run both aquariums by using a regulator with two needle valves and bubble counters?

Here is some pressurized CO2 info.
general info: http://www.rexgrigg.com/co2.htm
You will need a regulator similar to this one: http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/co...regulator.html

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-28-2008, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank You Left have been reading!!
The soda bottle method was what I wanted to start with. OK so I am reading about the large bottles and they will generate enough quantity for a 55G, I wanted to start this on the small tanks.
So would I use a smaller bottle for this and a second bottle for a diffuser? Will try to find the bulk head inserts, if not will just insert tubing temporally. Now I do not have anything to diffuse into the tank with. Any suggestions? Should I order anything. Do I need a pop off valve like the diagram suggested am I asking way to many questions. I have read all the links and this is one of those projects that you can take off in many directions. I would love to have CO2 on the large tanks, both run Eheim's, but I want to experiment on a smaller scale.
Again Thank You and I really appreciate your help
Karen

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 12:59 AM
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Use 2L bottles. Maybe 2 for the 20. For a 55g tank You'd need 4-5 2L bottles.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 02:21 AM
 
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People were super generous in stepping me through a DIY setup for my 5.5 gallon recently. Here's the thread, you might find it useful. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/di...ly-minded.html
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobid View Post
Thank You Left have been reading!!
The soda bottle method was what I wanted to start with. OK so I am reading about the large bottles and they will generate enough quantity for a 55G, I wanted to start this on the small tanks.
Hi Karen.

I understand.

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Originally Posted by Cocobid View Post
So would I use a smaller bottle for this and a second bottle for a diffuser?
A smaller bottle will work, but a larger bottle will last longer. I use a 3 liter water bottle for my yeast solution and a 24 ounce bottle for the separator.

The second bottle is not a diffuser. It is a separator bottle. There is also a picture of 2 yeast solution bottles connected together and then there is a separator bottle.

A diffuser is what is in your aquarium to diffuse the CO2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobid View Post
Will try to find the bulk head inserts, if not will just insert tubing temporally.
I don't use those inserts.

I do it "Rex Grigg style." I drill a hole in the cap that is smaller than the outer diameter of the tubing. I cut the end at a slant and push it into the hole. Then I use pliers to pull the tubing through. You want a snug fit and it won't leak.

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Originally Posted by Cocobid View Post
Now I do not have anything to diffuse into the tank with. Any suggestions?
I have some suggestions.
- You can put your CO2 tubing into the intake of your filter. The CO2 will get chopped up into tiny bubbles and it will then dissolve into the aquarium water. I use an airline elbow pushed half way into the a slit in the intake strainer. The outside part is connected to the tubing and the inside part is where the CO2 comes out.
- You can use an air stone, one of the many style of diffusers, lime wood diffusers, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobid View Post
Should I order anything.
I don't know what you have to use.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobid View Post
Do I need a pop off valve like the diagram suggested?
You need a check valve to keep the yeast/sugar solution from getting into your aquarium. This will be a mess if it gets into the aquarium.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobid View Post
am I asking way to many questions.
Nope. This is what forums are for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobid View Post
I have read all the links and this is one of those projects that you can take off in many directions. I would love to have CO2 on the large tanks, both run Eheim's, but I want to experiment on a smaller scale.
Pressurized CO2 is the way to go on large aquariums. DIY is a PITA on large tanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobid View Post
Again Thank You and I really appreciate your help
Karen
You are very welcome.

Be careful when you first set it up. You don't want a strong solution for a small aquarium. This can OD the critters.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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I ran across a thread over on APC and I think Left you were joining in on the post about the Hagen Elite Mini used for the reactor. I have probably read to much, running scared about messing things up but I am going to let that go and forge ahead. Some advise to get a second bottle going in a week so output stays constant. I bought a wooden diffuser, silicone, rigid tubing,check valve and juice bottles. I am a baker so yeast is no biggie, but will look into champagne/wine yeast. Allison & Overstocked Thanks for the info!!!
Will work on getting it started later today.

The water/yeast mixture should fill about 2/3 of the bottle?

At what level of the tank do I put the bottles, can they be put on the floor?

Our tap water Ph runs around 8.0 so actually this would be great to have slightly lower. The 55G in the next year or so I will make it planted and keep Discus (not breeding) that tank separates 2 rooms with CO2 that could be just Ouuulala If I could afford all the gear to set up a CO2 the 60, 55 4 are all in the same room and realistically speaking a canister would be ideal but little more than I can afford.
Thank You for patiently answering all my questions~~~~

Karen / Cocobid

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-30-2008, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobid View Post
The water/yeast mixture should fill about 2/3 of the bottle?
Fill it up to the top of the label if you're using 2L bottles. The yeast will bubble and you don't really want it getting into your tubing at the top. If it does, it makes a mess and could find its way into your aquarium. The gas separator bottle helps prevent this.

Fill the separator bottle up half way or so; enough to cover the end of the tubing coming from the yeast bottle, but low enough that there's still an air gap before the cap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocobid View Post
At what level of the tank do I put the bottles, can they be put on the floor?
They can be, but make sure you have those check valves in there or you'll end up with your aquarium emptied onto the floor. It might be advisable to keep the bottles closer to the level of the tank.


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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I Have Bubbles
Last night on the kitchen counter I hooked up the system and to my surprise this morning I have a really strong stream of bubbles. I used an air stone just for testing going into a glass of water. Was able to find a mini elite filter so may need some help setting that up. So this is for the 4G nano. These are 1.75 mil bottles, one for the yeast mix and the other the separator. Is this overdoing it???
Oh guide me here.
Thank You Karen

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 06:39 PM
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the gas seperator that big is requiring more pressure to get gas into the tank. Id go with a 20oz or 1L bottle.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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This is so cool I will get a clock nearby tonight and do a count, but when a bubble hits this little filter it produces the fine mist of bubbles. They just fly all over the tank!
Over_stock I filled the separator up about oh 3/4 full. I placed the nano HOB over this little filter to distribute the bubble even more. We will see, really neat now next Q is what is the time frame to start seeing the benefits of CO2?
13W on Nano!
Credit where credit is due~~~~
This is Niko's little filter idea and wow does it work WTG Nico!!!!

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Last edited by Cocobid; 10-02-2008 at 08:57 PM. Reason: Adding info
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 09:02 PM
 
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We will see, really neat now next Q is what is the time frame to start seeing the benefits of CO2?
13W on Nano!
I have more light than you, but I got pearling within 2 days. I also felt like my plants "perked up" almost right away but that might have been wishful thinking.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-06-2008, 08:35 AM
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My current set up is a two liter bottle with the sugar/yeast, then a check-valve, and then the Hagen Elite Mini as the diffuser.
This works really good as at night, you can slow down the bubble count a bit by turning the dial on the side of the Elite Mini. Then, during the photo period, you can up the bubble count.
Also, I think Left C might have made a mistake on the reason for the Check-valve. Check Valves are to stop back syphoning. As long as you have the gas separator and the Co2 sollution isnt at the top of the bottle, there should be more than sufficient room for the ''head'' that is caused by fermentation.
If you ever take the cap off of the pop bottle and leave the Co2 tubing dangling from your aquarium when you go to the kitchen to make up a new mixture, you'll probs come back to a puddle on the ground/carpet. A Check Valve can only go one way, allowing the Co2 pressure to go forward into the tank, and then the spring will push the stoper back and block the water from back syphoning.
This is a very imortant factor- MAKE SURE THE CHECK VALVE IS FACING THE RIGHT WAY. You can blow into it if you want. You want your breath going towards the aquarium so bubbles come out. If you find yourself blowing and blowing and your cheeks start to hurt and there is no bubbles, then the valve is facing the wrong way.


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