DIY CO2 method...yay or nay? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 method...yay or nay?

Has anyone tried this method of CO2 delivery (upside down plastic bottles) and did it work or is it too inconsistent?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=VfAJ3ITS3Nw
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 06:33 PM
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Dude or dudette.. Do yourself a huge favor, buy a mid grade regulator. Paintball or big tank... monitor it and be sure it doesn't run too low... and you'll never look back... Well worth the investment. Don't bother with DIY
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 06:35 PM
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@kwal83 I've not personally tried this, but I don't run enough tanks for it to be cost prohibitive to run pressurized to each tank. I also don't want plastic bottles or similarly bulky items in my tank. This is a method that has been used a lot, but as far as efficiency, this specific case doesn't compare to diffused CO2 since it's a passive system. I've seen something from Fluval, if I'm not mistaken, where they sell the little CO2 cartridges and you just load one into a "bell" in the tank that then passively diffuses. A little more "elegant", but still bulky.

Are you considering this particular method for some reason?
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Only because getting started in pressurized CO2 is so expensive but I'm tired of drab plants and dream of a lush green tank. I'm not real keen on floating bottles in my tank either. I'm just beginning to understand all the components involved in a pressurized system and also I'm still sort of debating if I should just leave well enough alone as I don't currently have any problems in the tank like algae blooms and it's been up and running for 6 years. Thanks for the feedback though!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 07:34 PM
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@kwal83 have you tried yeast&sugar DIY Co2? Do that, and have the air tubing go to a Maxi-Jet or similar powerhead. Works great for me.

I can't imagine a bottle of gas is very effective. You want tiny bubbles to swish around with as much contact as possible. That looks ugly too, like, awful. I don't know AQUARIUMCo OP is impressed with it.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by kwal83 View Post
Only because getting started in pressurized CO2 is so expensive but I'm tired of drab plants and dream of a lush green tank. I'm not real keen on floating bottles in my tank either. I'm just beginning to understand all the components involved in a pressurized system and also I'm still sort of debating if I should just leave well enough alone as I don't currently have any problems in the tank like algae blooms and it's been up and running for 6 years. Thanks for the feedback though!
You would almost need a regulator and CO2 tank to do what he's doing. You can see those are regulated bubbles coming off a CO2 canister. I'm sure there are other ways, but those ways would probably include little gram CO2 cartridges or making your own CO2 via yeast and sugar or baking soda and citric acid.

I despise DIY CO2. I ran the baking soda/citric acid setup for a month before I decided I'd had it and bought a regulator and a CO2 tank. It was the best decision I made since I was committed to running high tech. And depending on the size of your tank, DIY can be a limiting factor.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 08:13 PM
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I tried diy yeast/sugar co2 once and it leaked once. The smell was awful with a capital AWFUL. Also the aquariums I run co2 on currently are all 75g+ and 3/4 run sumps while the 4th has a giant sponge filter with an airstone in it going 24/7 (it was supposed to just be for skipping cycling but I just let it stay in there because I've overstocked it.) The size of these yeast batches would be crazy... I might as well start a brewery.
Gotta replace it constantly for any kind of consistency, I can manage that for like BBS or some such, but never again will I waste my time on diy co2.

Maybe if I was only running 1 small to mediocre sized tank, but I just don't have the patience to be maintaining diy co2 nonsense instead of the things I actually want to do.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwal83 View Post
Has anyone tried this method of CO2 delivery (upside down plastic bottles) and did it work or is it too inconsistent?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=VfAJ3ITS3Nw
Ahh you are me 2 months ago before I started my walstad. CO2, dont use DIY. Just buy a paintball tank with the aquatek mini. For roughly $150 or less you can get a full CO2 setup with equipment and all. Eventually your highly effective and reliable CO2 will surpass the value and quality of the DIY method. Trust me, I've done the math. Of course I ditched the CO2 since my parents would not budge on buying CO2 equipment...

Edit: Dont forget that DIY most likely has no real solenoid and has a EOTD (end of tank dump) that might gas your fish if youre not careful.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 10:12 PM
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Let me chime in on this one

I run DIY CO2 on my 17 gallon. It works fine and I've had no problems with it at all. It sits off to the side and you cannot see it when observing the tank, only the diffuser (which every system has). Contrary to what a lot of people are saying (that is "Dont use it") I would argue against that. I would encourage you to at least try the DIY CO2 method first because it is far less expensive (in the short term) which is just enough time to see if you enjoy having it in your tank. If the tank responds positively, you enjoy the new growth (and upkeep), and can regulate it all on your own, then I would go ahead and purchase a set up. Much better to have experience with it to get the best use out of the equipment than go in without it.

I chose DIY because i'm leaving for college and will not be home a majority of the year. DIY was more economical/practical for me since there is no long term.

If you do decide to try DIY here is a very helpful video on how its done, and what you'll need.

EDIT: USE CITRIC ACID AND BAKING SODA!!! If it leaks there will be no smell, yeasts smells don't use it, Citric acid and baking soda is also far more effective in its chemical reaction.


Hope this helps!

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 10:40 PM
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I ran DIY Co2 for years when I was a kid. It's a pain in the ass, but it's not impossible. The hardest thing is making sure your carbon contributions are in balance with the other variables. As always.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-19-2018, 11:52 PM
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I started off DIY CO2 with the Baking Soda and Citric Acid method and I still use it on my 20 gallon. It works fine and is consistent. I just run it 24/7 with ample surface agitation and at 1 bubbles per second. I'm not sure of the EOTD someone mentioned above since I haven't experienced it. Once my Citric Acid runs out, I just let it run for another day or so and then turn it off so I can 'refuel' the bottles with the reactants.
I also have a pressurized system for my 75gallon tank that I enjoy as well. Both work fine.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-20-2018, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses everyone. There were some good ideas. I guess I just need to figure out how much money and time I want to invest in the tank.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-21-2018, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwal83 View Post
Thanks for the responses everyone. There were some good ideas. I guess I just need to figure out how much money and time I want to invest in the tank.
Another method I saw was using paintball CO2 Canisters as a source and routing them into the tank. Much more consistent and lasts about half a year on a small/medium tank. I'm going to try to switch to this myself.

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