CO2 discussion (rdracer66 continued from ODNO thread) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2002, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally posted by rdracer66
Here is my co2 setup

this past sunday i made a bactch of my first diy co2
i put 2cups sugar and 1 flieshmans packet and filled with luke warm water and then shaked
hooked up the line and then fed it into the tank with a airstone on the end, and its clogged twice so far
it puts out jjust tiny stream of tiny bubbles
and now it's every few seconds it puts out a bunch
in the beginning it was a steady flow, my problem now is that i see the bubbles at the top just sitting there
this is a 29g and i have a penguin 170 and a cheapo walmart filter about 20g one in there
so im dumbfounded as to why the little bubbles are just lying up top ??
any ideas ?

I want to just use a air stone if possible
1 because im just not that mechanicaly inclined 2 i dont want a ph crash
my ph out of the tap is 7.6 and gh and kh at 1 !!
i just checked the ph tonite and i'd say its around 7.0-7.2 so it must be working a tad, my plants do seem to perk up just a little lately and i increased the light to 10hrs from 7 I'll try to get a pic up tomorrow. as far as the bulbs go I think the 2nd cheaper one woudl be better to due to cost but i just checked that page again and the expensive one they sell one at a time the cheaper one is a case at a time, wonder if i can get them to change there rules ? or find it somewhere else maybe ? on a side note to the co2 setup i have shouldnt it be coming out the entire air stone not just a tiny tiny spot on the bottom ? maybe i have a leak ? i didnt glue the line going thru the cap, i made a really small hole enough for the tip go thru and used a pair of pliers to pull it thru and it was not easy to say the least so im preety sure its' air tight
As for your CO2/pH situation, a few things...

1) Your water is fairly soft. Injecting CO2 can easily cause some pretty dramatic pH swings. You should think about adding a buffer of some sort. A tsp of baking soda should raise your KH enough to keep major pH swings out of the way. Fish don't like change - and I would even raise the hardness slowly. Maybe 1/4 tsp per hour and test KH in between additions.

2) Don't assume that line is airtight in the tight hole you drilled in the cap. It is most likely leaking considerably and that's why you're only seeing a small stream, and only occasionally. Use some silicone or epoxy to make that sucker airtight.

It's not unusual that the airstone is only delivering bubbles from a small area of the stone. There isn't a lot of pressure coming from the line, especially since you might have leakage around the tube/cap connection. The air needs to push quite a few inches of water before it can escape the airstone, while the cap is just open to atmosphere.
Also, the bubbles are just floating on the surface because your water is soft. They aren't doing much good by just rising to the surface and popping. Try putting the airstone underneath one of those filters and letting the filter break the bubbles up into tiny bubbles that can be absorbed into the water column far more efficiently.

With a KH of just 1 degree, it's going to be tough to get appreciable CO2 levels without causing major pH dips. At a pH of 7.6, your incidentary CO2 levels were less than 1ppm! Even at a pH of 7.0, they are only 3-4ppm. Raise that KH to 2-3 degrees and shoot for a pH of 6.8-7.0 and your plants will be seeing the levels of CO2 that they need to really grow.

- Sam P -
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2002, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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One more thing...
I like to use a LOT less yeast than an entire Fleischman's packet! 1/8 - 1/4 tsp is all you need to get it started, and it will last longer since the yeast will need time to build up in strength rather than just flourish in a few days and cause significant acid production in the container that will prevent further use.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-01-2002, 05:41 PM
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ok thanks for the tips
i'll try some baking soda
just a teaspoon right ?
normally i do a 25% water change once a week, is that ok u think ?
if so how much baking soda will i need a week. also i use 2 tsp every 10 days of leafzone, should i up that ? or up the days or ?
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-08-2002, 06:03 AM
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I use DIY co2 on one of my ten gallon tanks (3 packets of jello, 1 cup sugar, 1/8th teaspoon yeast. 3" headroom in 2l coke bottle). I run the line directly into my powerfilter's intake, and let the impeller break up the co2 bubbles. This also lets me know how often it's producing bubbles (a resounding "Kistchhhhh" ever minute or so).
It usually takes a few days (from what I've seen and heard) for the yeast to do their thing and get into swing, with the reduced sugar (and moderate temprature) mine's been going for almost a month, and the yeast have only taken out about 3" of jello.
The effects aren't steller at first. However my african swords are putting off about 20 new baby leaves a week (meaning I get to trim 10 a week to keep them contained!)
I haven't noticed any dramatic swings in chemestry (mind you, I rarely test).
I love the diy method, personally, and doubt I'll ever use anything else. I'm even planning space on a stand for a 50gl for bottles.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-08-2002, 07:41 AM
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I use 1 teaspoon of yeast
3/4 cup of sugar
Then fill with tap water.
This gets goin in an hour producing a constant stream of tiny bubles out of the airstone. Lasts about a month (normally change cos the bubbles have slowed down.)
This seems to work best for me.

Regarding raisin the KH. Ive got very soft water to. What you need to do is get your tank right first. Then when you do a water change add some to the fresh water before u add it to the tank. I tested the bucket before and after addin KH+ (whatever u use) to get the same KH value thats in your tank. Once you work out how much u need to add to the bucket add that to every bucket from then on and ur KH will stay at an appropiate level. Its a bit of trial and error but once uv worked out whats best for u it takes no time at all. Remember to do things slowly and if you add to much just do a quick water change and start from scratch.
Ull be fine.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-08-2002, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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That is good advice, PharCyde - about regulating KH with water changes. It's a pain, but swings in ph/hardness are a huge cause of stress for fish and you can't forget to keep things in balance when you change water.

You can vary the recipe. The more sugar you use, the longer the recipe should last, but there's a limit to how long a yeast generator will be effective because acidic byproducts will start to kill off the yeast over time and some sugar will be left unused. The quantity of sugar won't have much effect on how quickly a yeast generator will come up to speed, though. Even a tsp of sugar will be enough to get yeast brewing within an hour. It's the quantity of yeast that gets it going quick, but also contributes towards the mixture dying off quickly.

I want to try that Jello recipe, but I get 3 weeks out of my recipe now and I haven't heard people getting more than a month of efficient production out of the Jello system so I'm not sure it is worth the effort.

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