DIY CO2 Disaster - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 01:42 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy DIY CO2 Disaster

Yesterday I began testing a DIY CO2 setup in my 10gal planted tank.

It doesn't seem to be working too well so far...

I'm using a pair of 2l pop bottles with yeast and feeding the output into the tank via an airstone (right next to the input to my HOB filter so the impeller could help it to dissolve).

About 24 hours in I go into the room and see my ghost shrimp lying dead on the bottom and my fish gasping on the surface. CO2 levels are WAY too high...

KH: 9
pH: 6.0 (this is misleading since my test bottoms out at 6.0, my tap water is 7.2, before turing on CO2 my pH was 7.6)

First things first, move the CO2 away from the filter input... anything to get less dissolving, turn the airstone back on, turn the filter to full and do a 50% water change. pH is back up to 6.8 and the fish are sticking closer to the bottom now.

Since I can't really control flow from my DIY system (unless someone has an idea for that?) I'm trying to balance CO2 injection and outgassing...

Am I crazy?

Ian
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 01:51 AM
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I think the problem you have is you are injecting too much CO2. I use the same set up, (2) 2 liter bottles, for my 55 gallon tank. Your putting a lot of CO2 into 10 gallons of water. My bet would be that the shrimp died of CO2 poisoning combined with the sudden PH drop. I'm sure someone here will be able to spit out a lot more scientific answers than that, but I'm thinking it will boil down to the same thing. Try just one bottle and keep the airstone away from the intake. Then if your not getting enough CO2, just put the stone back under the intake and see how that does you. Hope it helps!
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 02:05 AM
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I did the same thing too. Except I killed a small school of harlequin rasboras and a few otos.

1 2liter is way too much for a 10 gallon, unless it's got lots of fast growers, a good amount of light and ferts.

Some people have 2 2liters on a 10, but they're usually the ones with 90watt CFs and a ton of stems and floating plants.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 02:13 AM
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You can monitor the CO2 level in the tank water to be sure you aren't overdoing it by using a "drop checker" - see this thread: DIY Drop Checker - Page 2 - Aquatic Plant Central- aquascaping...a living art

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 02:20 PM
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Yeah, it sounds like you were putting in WAY too much co2. Unless you have an absolute jungle in your 10 gal. CO2 dissolves in water fairly quick. I just hooked up a single 2 liter bottle to my 55 gal 2 days ago and it is sufficient. I only have about 10 plants at the moment, it raised the co2 like 10ppm and lowered my ph by .4 within 12 hrs. I've been watching the fish closely, they seem just fine surprisingly. But I can't imagine how fast the co2 would climb if I took 45 gallons of water out and doubled the co2.

Also, the quickest way to check co2 is to compare your KH and PH using the chart on this site. Click on "calculators" at the top.

Depending on the amount of plants you have, I would just go with a single 1 liter bottle for now, maybe gradually increase bottle sizes over time.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 04:02 PM
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the most acurate way to measure co2 is still through looking into your tank,

fish at surface and gasping, too much co2

plants not pearling much/algae? not enough co2...

I have used my test kits in my 26 gallon to say I have ~30 ppm Co2 when hardly anything is pearling,

usually with high light and high plant load, 1 2 liter for every 10gal is enough, you just overdosed


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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiboarder72 View Post
the most acurate way to measure co2 is still through looking into your tank,

fish at surface and gasping, too much co2

plants not pearling much/algae? not enough co2...

I have used my test kits in my 26 gallon to say I have ~30 ppm Co2 when hardly anything is pearling,

usually with high light and high plant load, 1 2 liter for every 10gal is enough, you just overdosed

Okay, now I'm concerned about my own set up. Your saying 1 2 liter bottle for every 10 gallons, so I should be using 5 bottles for my 55 gallon tank? That is scary, although I admit my plants are not pearling much at all and I KNOW I'm getting enough light to them. Should I really put that much more in? If so, I'm going to have to just shell out the money for a pressurized bottle because I don't feel like changing out 2 bottles a week to keep up with the demand. Sheesh.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jake106 View Post
Okay, now I'm concerned about my own set up. Your saying 1 2 liter bottle for every 10 gallons, so I should be using 5 bottles for my 55 gallon tank? That is scary, although I admit my plants are not pearling much at all and I KNOW I'm getting enough light to them. Should I really put that much more in? If so, I'm going to have to just shell out the money for a pressurized bottle because I don't feel like changing out 2 bottles a week to keep up with the demand. Sheesh.
well I said for HIGH light, HIGH plant load, you said you only have 10 plants... and in a 55 gallon, unless these are some huge plants, this is hardly any, this is why you could probably just get away with 2 bottles

I would recommend filling it up with plants as much as you can as it will be much better in combating algae down the road, not too many people use DIY co2 on anything bigger than 40gallons, because it just isnt cost effective anymore and its much easier to do than setting up a ton of 2 liter bottles and switching one out every couple days, I use 2 bottles on my 26gallon and it works well, its all about balancing co2 to your amount of light and amount of plants,

basically you need more co2 for the more light (faster usage of co2) and more plants (use more co2) you have


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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 05:30 PM
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Actually, I'm not the one who said he had ten plants, I have a lot more than that. You helped me though, I think it's time I look into a pressurized system. I have a smallish scuba tank in my garage, I don't think it would be too difficult to convert it over to CO2 instead of air. I'll do some research and see what I see. It WOULD be nice to not have to mix yeast and sugar every saturday morning.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 07:22 PM
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Actually, I'm not the one who said he had ten plants, I have a lot more than that. You helped me though, I think it's time I look into a pressurized system. I have a smallish scuba tank in my garage, I don't think it would be too difficult to convert it over to CO2 instead of air. I'll do some research and see what I see. It WOULD be nice to not have to mix yeast and sugar every saturday morning.
yea you will probably want to look into pressurized, sorry i refered to the wrong person who had 10 plants there are lots of benifits to going pressurized though, the only drawback is the high initial cost though, there are alot of threads on it here don't forget about the search button it will be your friend


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