DIY CO2 + unsecured bottles + cats = dead fish - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2007, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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DIY CO2 + unsecured bottles + cats = dead fish

For all the other newbs out there, please learn from the mistakes of other newbs, in this case mine.

I read about DIY CO2 quite a bit before I set it up and read about using Gatorade bottles instead of standard 1 liter bottles because they have a larger base and are less likely to tip. What I didn't realize was how much damage a tipped bottle could do. I probably should've read more and definitely should've secured my bottles better, but hindsight is 20/20.

I had a 2 bottle setup using Gatorade bottles and the mixtures were about 1 1/2 and 3 weeks old respectively (using Chamapagne yeast). There was a space between the tank stand and the wall that was just slightly larger than the bottles, so I figured tucking them back there would be safe.

My cats managed to knock over the bottles in the middle of the night. The next day the house smelled like a bakery - well the yeast part at least. I didn't realize right away what happened until I looked at the tank and the water was milky. It's only a 10gal but I couldn't see from one side to the other.

I saved as much as I could by tossing them in the newly divided corner of my 90 gal:
  • 6 out of 10 neons lived
  • All 3 otos lived
  • I lost dozens and dozens of shrimp. All of the adults died. I managed to save some of the babies, but I can't find them in the other tank now, which doesn't surprise me, but worries me because I was able to find a single dead one. I'll have to look more tonight to see if I can find any that are hiding.
  • I was able to save a few of each kind of snail that I have (spixi, red ramshorn and MTS)

Please, when using DIY CO2, make sure you bottles are as cat/baby/idiot-proof as possible. My solution is to chain them to the side of the stand so I can remove them easily to refill them, but do whatever you fell is best. Just please do something...


Sol
90gal non-planted - gone - It sprung a leak and shattered
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2007, 05:09 PM
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I once had an overzealous mix spew into my 40 gallon. Resulting in tan water and a horrible yeast smell it was so thick you could not see a inch down. Massive water changes and carbon filtration managed to save everything.. of course i had no shrimp in the tank so i can't comment on them but my rams did make it!

Sorry about your loss and great advice

Personally i place my 2l bottles in a rubbermade container that fits them snugly

Starting back into the Hobby!
Setup my 55g with 108w T5HO and co2 and augmented pool sand. Converted from Fish only.

Planing a 65g Tall done right from the start using Tom Barr's Non-Co2 Method now I just need to figure out the lighting!

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2007, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Also, it's important to be aware that a bottle doesn't have to tip all the way over to wreak havoc. If it just tips enough that the water covers the top of the bottle, the yeast will still produce CO2 and push it out the airline. That could be as little as a 60 degree angle depending on how full you filled the bottles.

Sol
90gal non-planted - gone - It sprung a leak and shattered
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2007, 08:18 PM
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Cats have a really bad reputation for doing this.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2007, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solstice View Post
Also, it's important to be aware that a bottle doesn't have to tip all the way over to wreak havoc. If it just tips enough that the water covers the top of the bottle, the yeast will still produce CO2 and push it out the airline. That could be as little as a 60 degree angle depending on how full you filled the bottles.
You should be using a counter/gas separator also as a hot batch can foam: http://rexgrigg.com/bubblecounter.jpg

Rex's Guide to CO2

Moved to Tucson.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2007, 08:47 PM
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I've had this happen as well.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2007, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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You should be using a counter/gas separator also as a hot batch can foam: http://rexgrigg.com/bubblecounter.jpg
Hmm, I could try this when I set it back up, but I don't see how this would really help. I mean, the water would just get forced into the counter and would eventually fill that up and still get pushed into the tank. It probably would've bought me some time, but I don't think it would've prevented it all together, unless I'm missing something(?).

Sol
90gal non-planted - gone - It sprung a leak and shattered
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-05-2007, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Solstice View Post
Hmm, I could try this when I set it back up, but I don't see how this would really help. I mean, the water would just get forced into the counter and would eventually fill that up and still get pushed into the tank. It probably would've bought me some time, but I don't think it would've prevented it all together, unless I'm missing something(?).
In addition to securing the bottle, you should also include a separator as DIY often spits strange things into the tank in normal operation.

A counter will also help you determine when to make a new batch.

Securing compressed CO2 tanks is equally important as the liquid should damage the regulator.

Moved to Tucson.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-06-2007, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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Does anybody have any suggestions for how I should go about cleaning this up? I was planning on filling and emptying the tank 4 or 5 times and then letting it sit and cycle with the snails that are still alive in it for a couple of weeks. Do you guys think that's sufficient?

Sol
90gal non-planted - gone - It sprung a leak and shattered
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-07-2007, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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No suggestions? I've done 4 80% water changes now. Do you guys think that's enough?

Sol
90gal non-planted - gone - It sprung a leak and shattered
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 06:51 PM
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i know this is like over a month old but...
you could just do a bunch of water changes (might take a few purifire bottles) and it will be gone after awhile.

and about idiot proofing... i think i maxed out on that scale lol.
i thought my diy co2 bottle was all sealed so i went to bed to wake up and find out it exploded all over my equipment lol.
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