DIY CO2 in a new tank not working so well... - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 in a new tank not working so well...

I just (finally!) got my new 46g tank, and i threw in an airstone attached to two, 3L bottles of a water/sugar/yeast concoction, because i heard that its better to heavily plant a tank and way overdose on CO2 than to just cycle a tanko normally. So anyway, i put in tons of hygro's, rotala, ludwigia, and myrio's and hooked up my CO2, but it's not working very well. It doesn't bubble very much, and since its a relatively large tank (my other tanks are a 5g and a 10g), there doesn't seem to be much CO2 actually in the water. What can i do to increase my levels of CO2 for a few weeks so my plants can grow really well before i add any new fish? I have a bunch of other, smaller bottles that i could potentially use, but i don't have all that much ariline tubing left to attach it to my airstones (which i only have two of).

So to sum this all up (sorry, kind of a long question!) i need to maximize my CO2 in my new tank. how can i do this? Is there a better place to put the airstone or hook up the co2 to or something? it doesn't seem like it is bubbling as much as it should be for 6L altogether of DIY CO2, but it is the same mixture that i have working fantastically in my 10g tank with only 1L of CO2.

Wilson
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-17-2008, 07:25 PM
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You never told us what CO2 recipe you're using, nor how you are diffusing it into the water, nor how much surface turbulence there is... these things are important to know, if we are to suggest you change your methods.

First off, that's a big tank to be using diy CO2 on. I realize you have 3 bottles, but still, the tank holds a large volume of water that needs to be pumped full of CO2, and at best a diy recipe is only going to give you about 1-2 bubbles per second. Secondly, the recipe you are using has a lot to do with it... what if you just made the recipe wrong? Also, what are the ambient room temps? If it's too cold, the yeast might not have the appetite they would have at warmer temps, leaving you with less CO2 as a result. Also, provided the recipe is good, and you are diffusing it properly, you could still off-gas the CO2 by creating too much surface turbulence.

Lastly, do you have a drop checker? Without one, you are pretty much just guessing at the concentration of CO2 in the water. Every CO2'd aquarium needs one, IMO.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 04:33 AM Thread Starter
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oh. haha thanks church! i didnt realize all of that matters so much. i put in 3 cups of sugar and a teaspoon of yeast in each 3L bottle and filled it with lukewarm water so that there is abotu 4" of air between the water and the cap of the bottle. the room is usually around 70F, sometimes more, sometimes a little bit less, but usually aroudn that. i have the bottles connected to an airstone at the bottom of the tank. oh, and there is minimal surface turbulence (i have a canister filter with the output like 4" below the surface of the water)

where can i get a drop checker? my LFS doesn't have them. i didn't realize you could calculate the CO2 concentration, i thought there was some way to test for it like you do for ammonia or NO2.

Wilson
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-18-2008, 03:37 PM
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You can get drop checkers from several places. I got mine from Green Leaf Aquariums. The way they work is you put a solution that is KNOWN to measure 4dKH inside of it, then you add a couple of drops of pH indicator solution. This will turn the solution inside the drop checker a deep blue color. Then, you put the drop checker inside your aquarium, where the amount of CO2 will be different than it is outside of the aquarium, and the solution should start changing to a green color.

It works by using the inherent relationship between dKH, pH, and CO2. When your drop checker (using a known 4dKH solution) is colored green, that means there is an acceptable range of CO2 dissolved in the water.

Usually, at least the one I got did, the drop checker will also come with the 4dKH solution and the pH indicator solution.

Drop checkers ONLY work if you are using a 4dKH solution. So unless you know what you are doing, you should make sure your drop checker comes with it, so you don't have to try making it.
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