Is it possible to inject too much co2 with a diy setup? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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Is it possible to inject too much co2 with a diy setup?

I had a bit of a scare tonight. I walked by the fish tank while making dinner and noticed that both of my German Blue Rams were at the surface. This is very odd because most of the time they are swimming at the bottom of the tank in and out of the plants. They only come to the surface during feeding. I took a closer look at them and they looked like they were gasping for air. Uh oh. I took a look at the rest of the tank. Everybody else seemed ok, but I did notice that the Harlequin Rasboras and Rummy Nosed Tetras were not as active swimming as they normally were.

I wondered if my new batch of yeast was producing too much co2 and lowering the ph too much. I did not think this was possible using 2 x 2L soda bottles with the above recipes for a 55 gallon very well planted tank. I took a sample of tank water and tested the ph. Now I only have a water test kit that is designed for salt water aquariums. So the lowest ph that it can detect was 7.4. It only went higher from there. After I added the reagent the color corresponded to 7.4.

My question is if my ph is actually 7.4 or is it lower but my test kit was not designed to go lower. I got worried and I unplugged my co2 set up. Ironic isn't it since I have put so much effort in trying to make it as efficient as possible in getting the co2 dissolved into the water and retaining as much co2 as possible. I also redirected the outflow nozzle of my HOB filter so that the water agitates the surface more in hopes of out gassing the co2.

My yeast recipe is as follows:

- Approx 8 cups of water. I basically filled up the 2L soda bottle until it tapered close to the cap. I find that if you limit how much air is in the bottle, the start up time for bubble production into the fish tank is dramatically shorted. I was getting co2 bubbles in the fish tank in about 30 minutes.
- 1.5 cups of sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda. (This combats the change in ph due to increasing amounts of alcohols produced by the yeast which ultimately kills the yeast.).
- 1/4 tsp yeast rapid rise
- 1 cube of chicken bullion. This is something new I am testing in this particular batch. I have read that the yeast extract and protein in the bullion helps to keep the yeast alive longer. I'm already seeing much stronger co2 production from the start as compared to the last batch.


Can I really inject too much co2 with a diy setup consisting of 2 x 2L soda bottles for a 55 gallon tank? I'm a bit skeptical.

- Hung

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 06:00 AM
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You can certainly have too much CO2 from a DIY kit.

I have a 10g with DIY CO2. I use a drop checker in mine with lab certified 4 dKH solution in it.

When I start up a new mix, the drop checker is yellow. I turn on an air stone connected to an air pump. Then I adjust the rate of the air bubbles until the drop checker turns green.

When the DIY CO2 slows a bit, the drop checker turns blue. This is when I cut the air stone off and the drop checker then turns green.

After a while, the CO2 will slow and the drop checker will be a blue color. I make a new mix when it turns a blue green color.


You need to get a low range freshwater pH test kit. It measures a pH from 6.0 to 7.6. A saltwater kit will not be accurate in freshwater.

This API kit will work just fine for you. http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...waterminiphkit

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your input. I yanked my diy co2 reactor out of the tank for now. I just ordered a drop checker and check valve from ebay (made a bit of a mess when I unplugged my diy co2 system which created a siphon affect and then a nice puddle to clean up *groans*). Tomorrow I will get a fresh water ph mini kit.

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Last edited by hungtran10; 09-29-2008 at 05:34 PM.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 01:48 PM
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I doubt VERY seriously that 2 2L bottles of DIY Co2 could be too much in a 55 gallon. Before I put pressurized on both of my 55's I was using 2 1 Gallon bottles on each of my 55's and I wasn't getting enough Co2. How many bubbles per sec were you getting? I get about 2 or 2 1/2 bubbles a sec out of a 1 gal bottle.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 03:43 PM
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Hi Hung

I hope that my info helps you.

Bugman has a very valid point too.

There could be another issue going on, but until you know your CO2 level, you are only guessing as to what the actual problem is.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left C View Post
but until you know your CO2 level, you are only guessing as to what the actual problem is.Left C
Agreed. Get a drop checker. You can get a good one from Orlando at Green Leaf for 19.99. Not a lot to invest to know where you stand on Co2.

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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Ya I was skeptical too, but it's all speculation at this point until I get my drop checker. I got an email this morning from the seller that it has been sent.

Now here's something to consider. I took out my co2 diffuser from that tank last night. I left my lights on all night in hopes to continue to stimulate photosynthesis. If there was too much co2 in the tank then at least the plants can soak some of it up. This morning after an entire night with no co2 injection, I woke up to find that my plants were still pearling. My anubias nanas were still emitting their little streams of oxygen bubbles.

In regards to how many bubbles per second, that I did not check last night since I had just set up a new batch of yeast the day before. It was cranking the bubbles out continuously like a machine gun though. Shrug.

- Hung

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-29-2008, 06:19 PM
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I'd like to know how that Bullion Cube works out for you. Updates!
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