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DIY CO2 equipment questions

948 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  KatJack
Hello, I'm setting up a DIY CO2 system for my 25g tall aquarium. I'd like to upgrade to pressurized, but simply don't have the money and probably won't for some time.
While not entirely new to planted tanks, I'm definitely new to CO2 systems so... I have a couple concerns, naturally. lol

First of all, I don't want this system to explode. I live in an apartment, so that would not be good. Not good at all!

I bought some glass equipment on eBay recently because it was cheap, and free shipping! woo! However, I didn't think everything through when I bought the stuff.

I bought a glass nano diffuser, ADA imitation glass bubble counter, and a glass check valve (the one you see everywhere online with a red glass bobber as the mechanism) and 9' of clear polyester airline tubing. Is all this stuff safe to use with a DIY set up? I plan to use two 2 liter pop bottles and a 12oz pop bottle as a "gas separater" (I realize I could use this as a the bubble counter if I need to). Basically, I'm concerned about having enough pressure in the system to be effective, but not so much that I end up scrubbing sugary yeast out of every corner of the room :icon_eek:

Also, I've seen a couple different orders for the equipment online. Which would you recommend?

option 1: CO2 generator - tubing - gas separator - tubing - bubble counter - check valve - tubing - diffuser

option 2: same thing, but with the bubble counter and check valve switched

The bubble counter contains water... so shouldn't the check valve go before the counter to prevent backflow in case of lost pressure?

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Your setup will produce enough pressure to expel CO2 as long as there are no leaks in the system. You can use super glue gel to make sure all the tubing connections are sealed. Also, drill a hole that's smaller in diameter than the tubing and use needle-nose pliers to pull the tubing through to get that snug fit.

I place my check valve after the bubble counter on the same tube going into the tank. I've never used a glass check valve before though. I've that heard metal ones are better since the CO2 doesn't corrode them over time. I personally use plastic ones since they are cheap and easy enough to replace if they get clogged.

You can use a soda or cranberry juice jug for the reactor, a smaller bottle filled with water for the bubble counter/yeast collector, and a glass diffuser. I use CO2 tubing, but you could probably get away with regular airline tubing.
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Man, setting up a paintball co2 isn't that expensive at the end.

Way easier to deal with.
Man, setting up a paintball co2 isn't that expensive at the end.

Way easier to deal with.
I was thinking the exact same thing. People sell the kits on here and all you need is the paintball CO2 canister.
Yeah and I just saw the 20oz bottles on eBay ridiculously cheap.
Hmm... I'll definitely look into it. I guess I never heard it was "easier" before, but telling me that pretty much sold me on it. However, until I get that going, what about the current set-up I have on hand?

Thanks for the feedback!
Never mind, it's working just fine right now. I've got a friend that is willing to give me one of his paintball CO2 canisters fo' free so... this will be a done deal soon. Thanks again!
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