Trying out Citric acid and Baking soda CO2 - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-12-2015, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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post #17 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 01:37 AM
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How did your plants do when you were running it 24/7? What will happen to the plants when you crank down your bps and run it only a portion of the day? Still trying to decide if its even worth getting the solenoid on a diy setup.
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post #18 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-13-2015, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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How did your plants do when you were running it 24/7? What will happen to the plants when you crank down your bps and run it only a portion of the day? Still trying to decide if its even worth getting the solenoid on a diy setup.
Plants look fine 24/7. I will start turning it off just to extend the mix life. Was looking on eBay and found a solenoid for under $15 so I am tempted. The reasons for turning it off at night with this setup are the same as pressurized.
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post #19 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 05:27 AM
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If at some point point your needle valve fails or get hold a correct pressure i have an alternative. Its tedious but works. You simply alter the amount of water in your citric acid solution. My recipe is 2.5 cups of water ( close to your 600ml). So i added a 3 cups instead, and reaction slowed to a crawl. 2.75 cups was a little better.
I also tried 2 bottles at 2.5 cups on a one diffuser. That drained both bottles in 1.5 days and sent my Ph down to 6.4... so then i did 2.75 cups and that seemed ok.
Point is play with the amount of water in your acid and you get varying reaction rates
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post #20 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-14-2015, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
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If at some point point your needle valve fails or get hold a correct pressure i have an alternative. Its tedious but works. You simply alter the amount of water in your citric acid solution. My recipe is 2.5 cups of water ( close to your 600ml). So i added a 3 cups instead, and reaction slowed to a crawl. 2.75 cups was a little better.
I also tried 2 bottles at 2.5 cups on a one diffuser. That drained both bottles in 1.5 days and sent my Ph down to 6.4... so then i did 2.75 cups and that seemed ok.
Point is play with the amount of water in your acid and you get varying reaction rates
Interesting. I was wondering what would happen if you increased all ingredients by 50%. If that might increase output time.
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post #21 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 03:15 AM
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thanks everyone, lots of great stuff here to try.

doubling the amount of materials might make it last longer, but it also might become more volatile and not work well to turn off at night and build up the pressure, just thinking that it might be to much pressure depending on what you're using for bottles/lids.

for the diy co2 cap/bubble counter combo thing, how has it been? I've looked at them for over a year but never pulled the trigger on buying on one. do you suggest its worth a try?


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post #22 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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So yesterday I recharged the bottles with fresh citric acid and backing soda. I have had the unit in operation now for two weeks and running it at 2 bps for 24/7 I have only been able to go 7 days before its empty and co2 production stops. To stay with this unit I feel I need to see two weeks on a charge which was how long I would go with yeast.
With the at least a two week goal in mind I started using the shut off ball valve I installed last night. When I turned off the valve yesterday the pressure gauge was reading just in the green at 1 lb. I was wondering what would happen over night and if I would awake to burst bottles. This morning all was fine and the pressure gauge was still at 1. It would seem that the reports I had read werr indeed correct and if you close the valve the two bottles obtain even pressure so the process stops and does not move citric acid from bottle A to bottle B.
When I opened the valve this morning I expected a rush of co2 that may overwhelm my eheim but that was not the case either. After a few moments the bubble count climbed back to where it had been yesterday.
So far I am very pleased with the performance of the pressure gauge and the needle valve. As to the question if I think its worth getting I'll let you know in two weeks. If I can get two weeks or more between recharge then absolutely its worth it. Much more control over yeast, cheaper than a pressure system. Buy hey, if you have the cash go with a full on pressure system.
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post #23 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 02:56 PM
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I would think vinegar and baking soda are cheaper than sugar and yeast.
As long as the pressure relief valve works bottles will not over pressurize.

Coming from the beverage industry, I'll share some bottle info here.
Use bottles intended for carbonated soda not a tea or water bottle.
Soda bottles are blown from a heavier gram weight preform.
They are designed to handle more pressure.
When PET carbonated soda bottles are filled 50-75 PSI is normal.
After receiving a cap their pressure is around 14-30 PSI sent to market.
I can assume this is why 1-2 bar is green on their pressure gauge.
Over time PET bottles in a store will lose CO2, PET plastics are porous.
Thus flat soda from the store, too long on the shelf. The caps don't leak.
PET bottles are blown from an extruded plastic preform.
Seams that you see on the sides of the bottle are not really a seam.
It is a mark from the two halves of the mold, not a weak point.
Weak points tend to be in the feet of the bottle, 5 points the bottle stands on.
Select a bottle without dented in or damaged feet.
Dropped bottles should be discarded and replaced, creases create a weak spot.
Caps come in two varieties lined and liner less.
Pick one with a liner it has an extra membrane to provide a better seal.
Usually water bottles have no liner.

I am going to try this new CO2 method, I think instant pressure is far better.
First day on sugar and yeast is really weak.
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post #24 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 03:02 PM
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How are you dispersing this right now?
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post #25 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post
I would think vinegar and baking soda are cheaper than sugar and yeast.
As long as the pressure relief valve works bottles will not over pressurize.

Coming from the beverage industry, I'll share some bottle info here.
Use bottles intended for carbonated soda not a tea or water bottle.
Soda bottles are blown from a heavier gram weight preform.
They are designed to handle more pressure.
When PET carbonated soda bottles are filled 50-75 PSI is normal.
After receiving a cap their pressure is around 14-30 PSI sent to market.
I can assume this is why 1-2 bar is green on their pressure gauge.
Over time PET bottles in a store will lose CO2, PET plastics are porous.
Thus flat soda from the store, too long on the shelf. The caps don't leak.
PET bottles are blown from an extruded plastic preform.
Seams that you see on the sides of the bottle are not really a seam.
It is a mark from the two halves of the mold, not a weak point.
Weak points tend to be in the feet of the bottle, 5 points the bottle stands on.
Select a bottle without dented in or damaged feet.
Dropped bottles should be discarded and replaced, creases create a weak spot.
Caps come in two varieties lined and liner less.
Pick one with a liner it has an extra membrane to provide a better seal.
Usually water bottles have no liner.

I am going to try this new CO2 method, I think instant pressure is far better.
First day on sugar and yeast is really weak.
Thanks for the info on bottles. Currently I'm using mountain dew bottles. I like green. Several write ups advise against using vinegar. Does not last as long and apparently pressure can be a problem. All who have tried it that I could find went back to citric acid.
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post #26 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 03:47 PM
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Vinegar is 5% acetic acid (CH 3 COOH) and water.
If too volatile it can be diluted as well.


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post #27 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 04:02 PM
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One of the biggest problems with DIY CO2 is waiting too long before replenishing the bottle contents. This lets the ppm of CO2 in the tank water drop too low for too long, and that can trigger BBA growth. It takes self discipline to adapt and follow a rigid routine for replenishing the bottles. When I used DIY CO2, I had bad BBA even with low light, because self discipline isn't one of my big attributes. It worked fine until I got bored with the process and waited too long to do my tank duties. When you use pressurized CO2 the tank of CO2 lasts much, much longer and the pressure gauge on the bottle gives you several days warning that you need to refill it, so laziness is much less likely to get you in big BBA trouble. But, if you can discipline yourself well enough, this looks like a very good low cost CO2 option.

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post #28 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-15-2015, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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One of the biggest problems with DIY CO2 is waiting too long before replenishing the bottle contents. This lets the ppm of CO2 in the tank water drop too low for too long, and that can trigger BBA growth. It takes self discipline to adapt and follow a rigid routine for replenishing the bottles. When I used DIY CO2, I had bad BBA even with low light, because self discipline isn't one of my big attributes. It worked fine until I got bored with the process and waited too long to do my tank duties. When you use pressurized CO2 the tank of CO2 lasts much, much longer and the pressure gauge on the bottle gives you several days warning that you need to refill it, so laziness is much less likely to get you in big BBA trouble. But, if you can discipline yourself well enough, this looks like a very good low cost CO2 option.
I totally agree. Since I am retired being on a regular schedule to change out the bottles is easy. One reason I started up this tank was to have more things to fill up my vast amount of hobby time.
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post #29 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-16-2015, 02:56 AM
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Looks like there are different forms of citric acid, monohydrate and anhydrous. Also different grades, food and chemical grade. I wonder if these factors can change how long the reaction occurs.
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post #30 of 868 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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How are you dispersing this right now?
Missed this question. Sorry. Currently through my eheim 2211 canister filter.
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