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C02 Slime on Hagen Ladder

1308 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Vitae
Hi All,

Time for my first question....

I am running a DIY C02 setup on my 26g Bowfront tank. I am using two 2L bottles hooked together into a Hagen ladder. I have been running this about 2 weeks. I am getting white "slime" on the first three rows in the ladder. I can clean it and it is back in about 3-4 days. My bottles are filled such that they are not foaming into the lines. I don't mind the slime except that it slows the C02 bubbles and they merge and do not desolve well.

Any thoughts?
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Welcome to PT!!!

How do you know its not diffusing well??? The best thing to have is a very slow moving CO2 bubble...this way its exposed to the water column for as long as possible.

If its really bugging you then keep wiping it away, but i only wipe it away once the bubbles aren't coming out at all or overshooting the ladder.

I get similar stuff that comes out as thin white flakes that seem to form along the inside of the tubing leading from my Co2 reactor. I wish I knew what causes it since it makes a mess in my tank water every time I restart my filter. Like you, I'm also sure none of the DIY stuff coming from my bottle is getting into the air lines to my reactor. Hopefully someone will chime in with the right answer soon.
Ya its probably some sort of by-product from the reaction going on.

And i think he can tell its not diffusing well because if the bubbles join together then they are still very large when they reach the surface. There is less total surface area than if the bubbles were separate leading to slowing diffusion into the water.

I think the only solution is to clean it periodically. Mine gets mucked up and then the bubbles get stuck and start combining together too.

Also once it is clean, you can adjust the tilt of the bubble ladder to slow the bubbles down.
Tilting the ladder won't make it any better. It will go slowly on one side then on the other side it will zip right up, and so on...

Maybe the slime is yeast poo along with the CO2?
Tilting the ladder does help, at least for me. Yes one way it will zip up, but the other way is extremely slow if you tilt it just right. So overall the bubbles reach the top much more slowly than with the ladder strait.
Actually when the ladder is clean it is diffusing great. Bubbles start out good size and are almost gone by the time they reach the top of the ladder. When the white haze starts to build it stops the bubbles, then two or three collect together and shoot through the rest of the ladder fast and are not dissolving into the water.

I have seen some DIY setups that have a seperate, small empty bottle that the output of the 2L's go into and a seperate output out of this to the tank. Keeps foam out of the tank if it should happen to get into the line. Any idea if that would reduce the buildup or is the white build-up normal on the output of a yeast based system?

Thanks for the help. 1st planted tank!
the answer is to set up a gas separator. i was skeptical at first too. skeptical that something that you can make with things you have in your home right now in less than 5 minutes could work so well. LOVE those cheap, simple but elegant, effective solutions.

search here for gas separator. it works. say bye bye to yeast snot. i use a co2 diffusor and it was clogging completely every 2 days until i bubbled the gas through a separate 16 oz. gatorade bottle.
Water or no Water in Gas seperator?

So, I've found conflicting info on having the gas seperator empty or with water.

Kindbud - By your reply "bubbled the gas through a separate 16 oz. gatorade bottle" leads me to believe that you have water in your seperator?? Doesn't this bottle absorb some of the C02? Or is is so minimal it isn't worth worrying about?
yes, water in the separator (gatorade bottle). right out of the tap too. it doesn't get any simpler. i fill pretty high up to just where the plastic starts to curve (gas out tube cut close to the lid). though some co2 gas will be dissolved in the water i'd think it would hit saturation rather quickly and make, for practical purposes, no difference at all.

remember to drill your holes in the lid smaller than the circumference of the tubing you use and yank it through with pliers. unless you NEED the pliers to pull it through it just won't be tight enough to be sealed.

and btw, i use extra tubing from those hagen kits to connect everything. works great. i thought initially that there was no way that tubing that hard could be sealed so thoroughly without some sort of gunk/glue/sealant.

get a glass diffusor when you get tired of dealing with that ladder. i did, after years of faithful use (they do work great), and i'll never use a ladder again. i splurged and got the pollen diffusor from ADA but people around here say the inexpensive ones work just as well (some even use those wooden airstones that you can buy for a dollar).

good luck with everything. you'll be amazed, as i was, as everyone else was the first time they added co2, when you see what a difference it makes.
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Thanks for the help. Cleaned the ladder last night, hooked up the separator and we'll see how it looks after work today.

Regarding the pollen diffuser, will this work on a non-pressurized C02? I was under the impression there wasn't enough pressure in a DIY set up to work well with diffusers.
Thanks again, Ladder is totally clean after 24 hours!
i use the pollen glass ada diffusor with diy co2. in fact, i use it with the hagen canister you have going right now because i think it looks cool. well, tidier than soda bottles anyway. i love the hanging mechanism on those things. and yeah, it does look cool. dammit.
can i see some photos of your gas separator?
I've got one of those glass diffusers on my hagen diy bottle.. and I get the strands of "white goo" as well.. though my guppy fry seem to really like to eat it o,o
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