DIY Co2 noob questions - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-22-2009, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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DIY Co2 noob questions

Would using 2 2liter bottles be better than using 1 1gal container? I've got some Arizona Tea 3.74L bottles that I'm thinking about using. Probably start one, then add 2nd one when other starts to taper off. Should I just double the sugar/yeast recipe?

Secondly, do you guys 'shut off' your DIY Co2 setups at night? I guess a drop checker would be the best way to tell if that is necessary, no? Are their dangers associated with DIY Co2 and low-light periods? If you are 'turning them off', how are you doing it?

Thanks!

Aaron
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 07:03 AM
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CO2 help

~ To answer the first question I find the best thing to do is go by the size of your planted tank, I personally have a 15g, rather small planted tank but has a lot of plants too, I use 1 liter bottles with 1 cup of sugar to 1/4 teaspoon of yeast, you can scale this to your tank size as reference. I keep 2-3 bottles of sugar water ready to mix yeast in anytime, that way I get a week and a half to two weeks before I switch the yeast and sugar mix out for a new one, also you only have to pour out the bad water and keep the yeast culture in the bottom, then add more warm sugar water and mix it up again. This can be done a few times, I do it twice and then replace the yeast along with the water and sugar.
~ To answer the second question yes you shut off your water pump during low light or night time hours because your plants actually release their CO2 during those times, if you don't you can build up carbonic acid in your aquarium lowering the pH, if you run you system non stop, also you inhibit the hemoglobin in the fish's blood from absorbing the oxygen in the water if to much CO2 is present in the water. You can watch the CO2 level by watching kH or pH levels. Low pH means High CO2 levels obviously. What i do because I only get a bubble every 2-3 minutes I let it build in the dissolving chamber until the pump comes on in the morning with the lights, to do this you don't need much CO2 generation but a very efficient dissolving chamber that is sealed completely at the top to hold the CO2 until used and be large enough not to blow out the CO2 during start up, hope this helps.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 11:40 AM
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You turn off the CO2??!!! Wow, your just asking for a disaster one day. Have you ever seen one of these bottles when they explode from the pressure build up?

Let the Co2 run... it won't hurt. If your paranoid about the "toxic levels" (which I find nearly impossible to achieve with DIY Co2), then run an airstone at night to give some turbulence to the water surface for outgasing and for a bit more O2.

Running two bottles is a good thing. You can just set youself up to swap out one bottle every two weeks like lanaborn said. If your diligent, you should be able to maintain a pretty consistent CO2 level.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 01:30 PM
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I agree, just keep the co2 running 24/7. Why make this more complicated than necessary, especially since it's pretty hard to overdo diy co2?

If running an airstone at night would give you peace of mind, you might want to put it on a timer, to simplify things. (Can you tell I like to do things the easy way whenever possible? )

Running two bottles at the same time and switching them out alternately will definitely keep your co2 levels more consistent than running one larger bottle.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 09:19 PM
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~ Sorry if i wasn't clear but i never would turn off the gas flow, i merely said i shut off my pump so i don't dissolve anymore CO2, rather simple to do, i do not see how that complicates it. The gas will just build up in your dissolving chamber at no pressure at all until the pumps comes on an dissolves it in the morning. I can see my pH rise and fall over the course of a day with my digital meter, CO2 does affect pH level especially in smaller tanks.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 11:24 PM
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Ok, I will bite.

Pump? Like a powerhead or something? Is this how your diffusing the CO2 (ie airstone under a powerhead and its chomping it up?) Something like this perhaps?
If so, I can see the logic behind it, still not sure if its necessary, but to each his own.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 01:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advise. I think I'll run (2) 1 gallon jugs. I just need to get the recipe dialed in and see how long things last.

I noticed that I'm getting some white, fuzzy stuff on my air stone (inside DIY reactor). I'm assuming this is some sort of yeast residue? If I purchased a powered, vortex-type reactor (like this http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=15524) do I need to worry about that yeast residue gumming that thing up?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 12:20 PM
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Put a gas separator in. It'll act as a bubble counter, and collect the gunk before it gets to your air stone\reactor\diffuser. From http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html

Walter

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-26-2009, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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Sweet, that was next on my to-do list anyways!

Thanks for the help.

Aaron
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