I got a new DIY Co2 idea - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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I got a new DIY Co2 idea



Ok well i've read that Co2 reproduction stops because the yeast dies from high alcohol levels. There are not many strands of yeast out there that do very well with high levels of alcohol... so what if we just dilute the alcohol to non lethal levels somehow. Well I have an idea... since they can deal with some alcohol and since most people use 2 liter bottles, would a DIY yeast co2 reactor last 2,3 or even 4 times as longer if you just increase the sugar (fuel) by 4 times a standard 2 liter and increase the water capacity (to dilute the alcohol produced) by 4 times. So basically you would be using a 2 or 3 gallon tank with ~8 cups of sugar in it with ~1tsp of yeast. The extra water in the tank would allow the alcohol to dilute 4 times before what it would in a 2 liter thus giving you a lifetime of about 2 months with much less co2 fluctation throughout that period. Anyone else think this would work. I think I am going to give it a try!

If this works we could just bump up the size to ~10 gallons and have it last as long as a 5# pressurized. I understand this has limitations on it but if yeast only dies from the alcohol I don't see why this method wouldnt work. Comments?


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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 02:38 PM
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I don't think that would be as beneficial as you suggest. The yeast will multiply to use up the sugar just as fast, but produce the CO2 at a greater amount proportional to the volume.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 02:39 PM
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yeast runs on sugar. if you add more water, and more sugar, you are going to have the exact same problem. yeast grows exponentially, not linearly. they yeast will reach carrying capacity (lethal levels of alcohol) at nearly the same time i bet.

now, if you were to add clean water to an existing culture, that would dilute the alcohol.

ever tried champagne yeast?


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 02:42 PM
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The more sugar you put in the more alcohol/c02 they will produce. You can't get away from that ratio. CO2 is actually the by product. You could put the same amount ot sugar and yeast that you would in a 2L bottle into a larger volume of water. That would prolong the CO2 production but won't really increase the amount of CO2 that you get by very much.

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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The more sugar you put in the more alcohol/c02 they will produce. You can't get away from that ratio. CO2 is actually the by product. You could put the same amount ot sugar and yeast that you would in a 2L bottle into a larger volume of water. That would prolong the CO2 production but won't really increase the amount of CO2 that you get by very much.
thanks for the comments guys

i'm getting most of my info from here

DIY CO2 System for Planted Aquarium

anyways so putting the same amount of sugar and yeast in a bottle that is 4x as big as a 2 liter should dilute the alcohol enough to make the mixture last 4x longer, I was thinking that because the yeast was in there longer it would need more sugar to eat as it is in there longer to continue to produce co2


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 06:56 PM
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Sooner or later it will run out of sugar to eat and then stop producing CO2. The trick has always been trying to get the sugar all used up at the same time the alcohol levels begin to get toxic. That will be as efficient as you can get. Bigger volumes just increase the amount of CO2 at a given moment in time.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-26-2006, 10:30 PM
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theres another problem with using a 10G tank as a generator. the CO2 system must be airtight. i'm not saying its impossible but making a tank completely airtight has gotta be more trouble than its worth.

It is a good idea though. i've thought about trying to plant my 75 and using gallon jugs with screw tops as generators. the problem is dissolving it... magnum 350? maybe...


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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 02:35 AM Thread Starter
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theres another problem with using a 10G tank as a generator. the CO2 system must be airtight. i'm not saying its impossible but making a tank completely airtight has gotta be more trouble than its worth.

It is a good idea though. i've thought about trying to plant my 75 and using gallon jugs with screw tops as generators. the problem is dissolving it... magnum 350? maybe...
bubble ladder! i wasn't saying a 10 gal fish tank i am using a 3 liter right now... i don't really have room to test this idea now in a small dorm but oh well


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 03:11 AM
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If food source runs out--the yeast colony will die.
If alcohol levels get too high--the yeast colony will die.

When You add a large amount of yeast to a mixture---C02 production will start rapidly and end rapidly.

When You add a very small amount of yeast to a mixture---C02 production will start slowly and increase over time.

If you add X amount of yeast to Y amount of sugar and Z amount of water--the yeast will die when either the food source is gone, or the alcohol levels gets too high.

If you add the same amount of yeast (X) to the same amount of sugar (Y) to 10x the amount of water (Z)--the yeast will die when the food source runs out: Sugar (Y).

In order for you to accomplish your task---you would need to add food: Sugar. And people do this. But it is generally easier to dump and reload--so that is what most people do from what I can gather. Some reuse the yeast---they dump out some of the water and refill and add sugar.

The questions are: How much sugar, and how often? If you add too much sugar--the yeast population will get too large. Not enough and it will die off. As long as there is food--the yeast will multiply. And they will multiply and multiply and multiply.

An Auto-Air-Doser or a pump-doser could probably be set on a timer to dose a certain amount of a sugar/water solution to work this out in a 5g jug. BUT too much sugar--too many yeast: population control becomes the problem.

But I guess with some thought, time and a bubble counter---this could be worked out.

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i don't really have room to test this idea now in a small dorm
Sure you do. 1g jug, fill it with water, add 1/4 cup of sugar and a tiny pinch of yeast, run it into a DIY bubble counter---see how long you can get it to last by just adding sugar, and see how well you can nail down the amount and frequency of food addition by trying to stabilize it at X BPS........


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 10:09 AM
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I've already tried something like this. Against the advice of most people that responded to my thread about the same idea, i went ahead and tried it anyway. I used an 8 liter fabric softner bottle. I basicly used 8 cups of sugar and one teaspoon of yeast. The mixture did not seem to last significantly longer than usual.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 02:59 PM Thread Starter
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I've already tried something like this. Against the advice of most people that responded to my thread about the same idea, i went ahead and tried it anyway. I used an 8 liter fabric softner bottle. I basicly used 8 cups of sugar and one teaspoon of yeast. The mixture did not seem to last significantly longer than usual.
did it put out a lot of co2 though?


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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 08:28 PM
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... is the old solution like beer?

What would happen if you drank it? I'm not, but I'm curious.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 09:02 PM
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... is the old solution like beer?

What would happen if you drank it? I'm not, but I'm curious.
It would most likely get you sick as hell. I am curious as the the actual alchohol content. Enough to kill yeast is probably not enough to get you drunk.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by justlikeapill View Post
... is the old solution like beer?

What would happen if you drank it? I'm not, but I'm curious.
haha i was thinking the same thing


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 09:56 PM
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What would happen if you drank it? I'm not, but I'm curious.

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