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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know, cause I did it. :icon_redf

I have a fairly new 37 gallon tank, with one bottle of DIY CO2 being diffused through my canister filter. I had a drop checker on the way, but figured it would be safe to go ahead and run it anyway since everything I'd seen indicated that it was pretty much impossible to get high enough CO2 levels to be dangerous to fauna with one bottle and a tank this size.

Well, one of my corys was displaying classic symptoms of CO2 poisoning two days ago, but I assumed it must be a swim bladder problem because my one bottle of DIY CO2 couldn't possibly be producing levels of CO2 that high, could it?

Well, the drop checker finally arrived yesterday and after three-four hours in the tank it was bright yellow! :icon_eek:

I knew the canister filter was doing an extremely good job of diffusing the CO2 as I have NEVER seen a single bubble in almost two weeks of use, but I didn't realize it was THAT efficient.
 

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ur problem.. most likely no surface agitation.. i run 60-80 ppm c02 with shrimp otos and neons.. all of them are healthy. from c02 on to c02 off.. day and night..

fish can survive high c02 levels. they can regulate it through their gills and skin. however they cannot do so without good levels of o2.. increase surface agitation by airstone powerhead or raising the spraybar on ur cannister..

I am highly suspect of why ur fish died.. i did DIY c02 before pressurized and it was hard to keep c02 levels high with 2 one gallon jugs mixed to last 2 weeks
 

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Yes, it is possible to gas your fish with DIY CO2. Just not common. It bugs me whenever people say it's "impossible".

The first time I tried it, I used a recipe with too much yeast. A few hours later, every fish in my tank was gasping at the surface. CO2 was somewhere around 100ppm.

While fish can survive high CO2 levels as long as oxygen is also high, there is a limit. And not all fish will fare equally well when close to the limit. If a particular fish has gill scarring due to prior illness or chemical exposure (like chlorine), its respiratory capacity will be decreased; and will struggle at high CO2 levels even when the rest are fine. Which may be case with your cory.

There was one other odd incident too. I was running DIY CO2 into my canister filter, which I had shut off for feeding. My favorite bamboo shrimp was sitting on a leaf directly in front of the outflow. When I turned the filter back on, he received a blast of accumulated CO2 bubbles in the face. A minute later he fell off the leaf, dead. Sad day. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have fairly low surface agitation, but it is definitely not extremely low or non-existant.

I have also been getting a lot of protein film on the surface of the water. I wonder if that is inhibiting CO2/O2 exchange?
 

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I have fairly low surface agitation, but it is definitely not extremely low or non-existant.

I have also been getting a lot of protein film on the surface of the water. I wonder if that is inhibiting CO2/O2 exchange?
Protein film will inhibit CO2/O2 exchange. And is often a sign that surface agitation is too low. Since surface agitation is subjective and can't be quantitative measured, you may have less than you think.

Don't be afraid to crank it up a bit. Some CO2 will be lost, but in practice, it's usually less than you might expect.
 

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It's definitely possible. I've done it multiple times in tanks that had plenty of surface agitation for gas exchange. The 2 most memorable times were when I setup a 1 gallon jug with a DIY yeast mixture. I placed the end of the tube in the tank w/no method of diffusion. About an hour later it was producing CO2. Went to bed. Woke up the next morning and all the panda corys were completely drunk. I thought I missed the party and then I realized it was the DIY CO2. Mind you it was a 10 gallon tank with a Sunsun 302 canister with the spraybar pointed at the surface.

The second time was when I first installed my Rex Griggs reactor with DIY CO2 on a 20g long. Within an hour of hooking up the wine bottle DIY CO2, all of the corys were drunk off of the CO2.

Both times I was really surprised, b/c I too had read that it was impossible...
 

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I had two 1 gallon jugs running and my drop checker was bright yellow. Fish were uncharacteristically not ravenously hungry and just picked at their food. My canister filtration was slowing down and needed cleaning. After I cleaned it out the surface agitation increased and the drop checker went back to lime green. Fish were very hungry again. Yes it is possible to gas fish with DIY CO2, but not easy.
 
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