CO2 Problem -- Darn cats! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-24-2005, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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CO2 Problem -- Darn cats!

This morning, the new DIY CO2 2L bottle I had just attached to my system were knocked over by one of my cats. The bottles are attached like this:

2 2L bottles -> short length of clear tubing w/airlock (one for each bottle) -> short length of clear tubing to a t-connector -> longer length of clear tubing to another airlock -> black tubing that goes into the tank and is connected via suction cup to a spot underneath my DIY bell so it can bubble into the bell

A bit of mix had leaked onto the floor. Maybe 1/2-3/4 of a cup, however, was gone and I'm not sure if that much spilled onto the floor. The clear airlines showed evidence of liquid in the lines, but the tank itself showed no problems. No cloudiness. Fish seem fine.

To be on the safe side, I did a couple of big water changes -- probably 70% total -- and, several hours later, everything still seems fine.

Would you say I'm probably okay, or should I do more water changes over the next few days? The only downside to the black airline tubing, which usually makes my CO2 system invisible, is that I can't see what's going on in there!

Thanks!
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-24-2005, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Well, everything DID seem fine...now 5 of my 6 zebra danios, my angel, and one of my swordtails are hanging out at the top of the tank. I turned on an airstone. I guess another water change is in order...
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-24-2005, 06:09 PM
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A couple of hints. Switch to juice bottles. They are less likely to tip over.

If your mix is leaking then your CO2 is leaking. When you build the new bottles use a small drill bit to drill the hole in the cap. Then cut the tubing at an angle and pull it though the hole with pliers. This will give you a gas and liquid tight seal.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-24-2005, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, for the reply Rex -- that is how I drilled my caps. I think I saw that suggestions from you on this forum, as a matter of fact! (So double-thanks!) And I'll look for those wider juice bottles the next time I'm in the store.

I suspect that the mixture leaked onto the floor because I just hadn't twisted the cap on as tightly as needed since I was putting the new bottle on in kind of a hurry last night. Actually, it may be a good thing that I did a lousy job screwing on the cap because if it had been tight, perhaps more would have gotten in the tank?

I turned on an airpump. Most of the danios are still on the surface, as is my angel, but the swordtails are swimming around the tank and 2 or 3 of the danios seem to be leaving the surface regularly and behaving more normally. I'm hoping to have the chance to do another water change in the next hour or so -- for now, I'm keeping an eye on things!
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
 
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Everything seems to be fine at this point -- all of the fish seem to be acting normally.

HOWEVER, I did finish dinner and discover that, while we ate, the cats were at it again and had chewed up the CO2 line from one of my bottles. I cut it close to the bottle and reinstalled it with new tubing, but does anyone have good suggestions for keeping cats from chewing on airlines?

The room isn't one that I can close them out of, and the bottle won't fit under my tank because the stand has a shelf in the middle and therefore won't accommodate the 2L bottle.

Thanks for any ideas. If I can't get them to lay off the tubing, I'm afraid it's going to be back to Flourish Excel for me and my tank!
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 03:31 AM
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spray them with a water gun? that's all i've got, dude...

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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 03:44 AM
 
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Heya! Guess who!

Re your DIY CO2, you could switch to jugs, or stick with soda pop bottles. What I've found works are #3 test tube tops with pre-drilled holes. The holes are PERFECT for airline tubes. I was like: woah! awesomo.........

As for the cats, I suggest spraying the area with vinegar. Or you can go to a pet store and get something called "Bitter End" the indoor formula. I believe it's 6 bucks for a big bottle, and you can spray this around the area instead. Makes cats behave, and I don't know why.

I think it might be magic.....

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 03:52 AM
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The way i connect the tubing to my co2 bottles are with a plastic connector that they give you to hook airline tubing into disposable airstones and i put it into the drilled hole and apply silicon cement into the hole before i push in the plastic connector. This method seems to work well because there is cement on two surfaces: the plastic protruding in the middle as well as along the length of it. Also the tube can be easily removed and the bottle can be taken away.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 04:32 PM
 
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Buy some 'bitter apple' spray from the pet store. Animals don't like the flavor and should avoid it. You could also just rub the outsides with Tabasco sauce, but wash yer hands afterwards.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 06:08 PM
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^ Please don't use tabasco. They can get it in their eyes which is incredibly cruel.
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 06:41 PM
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You really need those cats?
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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My tank is still horribly cloudy despite filter cleanings, water changes, etc. The fish seem healthy, but it looks awful. I'm still running the airstone to make ssure there's plenty of oxygen. More cleaning to come later today, I suppose.

The cats tend to only go for the tubing when I'm not in the room or overnight, so the squirt gun approach isn't going to work. And I could try Bitter Apple, but one of my cats is insanely persistent when it comes to chewing up squishy/chewy stuff (rubber bands, plastic watch bands, bits of toys, balloons etc. -- we have to really watch him!) and I fear that it wouldn't deter him. Or that it would stop him from chewing up the lines, but while he figured out that it tasted bad, he'd still do significant damage.

I don't want to totally screw up my tank while I try to figure out a good cat deterrent (I think ultimately, I'll just get a different tank stand that would accommodate the bottles and be secure!) So Excel it is for the time being -- I pulled out the CO2 system last night. I was concerned because, until I get my tank back to normal, I don't want any more damage. Maybe I'll try the CO2 again another time, and use the Bitter Apple on the tubing as a safeguard. But for now, I'm just going to try dosing Excel.

I know Excel is expensive, but can I expect it to work pretty well in a low-ish light setup? (About 2.25 wpg is my plan.) Thanks for the tips on cats, and for any insights on Excel.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 07:02 PM
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I think a stand that will accomodate everything and keep it "out of sight, out of mind" is probably the best route to go rather than try all these other fixes and risk further damage and problems. I've known some very persistent felines.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 08:05 PM
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another suggestion for the cats: take them to the vet and get their teeth cleaned. mine always chew on semi-rigid plastic wwhen their teeth need cleaning.
otherwise, out of sight out of mind is the best thing.
good luck

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-25-2005, 09:17 PM
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Another thing you can try is to spray the bottles with that cheap white-powder deodorant. I have to do that to the underside of my Christmas tree every year. Otherwise, all my lights stop working for some reason. Works very well against my four cats. Now if I can just get the fat one to stop jumping at the tank and scaring all my fish...

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