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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any experience with this system?


I didn't want to do DIY because my 10 gal aquarium sits on a kitchen bar and I didn't want a big ugly 2 liter bottle sitting next to it. So I decided to buy this system yesterday. It seemed perfectly sized for the 10gal and the canister looked nice.

I set it up yesterday and after hours of waiting, I didn't get one bubble. I thought maybe I didn't have the water warm enough in the canister, so I dumped it out, rinsed, and started all over with warmer water. I set it back up and waited over night. I woke up this morning expecting to see bubbles running up the ladder. There were bubbles, but they were all gathering on the ladder and just sitting there on the rungs. They weren't getting smaller (as I would think they would when they dissolve). And the tube was going so slow. It was taking a little over a minute to spit out one bubble.

Does it take a few days to get adjusted and spit out more bpm? Did anyone else have issues with it going this slow at first? I need to know if I should just take the whole thing back to the store or not. Maybe just make my own damn CO2 system and deal with the unsightly 2liter bottle.
 

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Just to let you know, the Nutrafin CO2 system is essentially DIY CO2, in a nicer looking black bottle. As such, you can put in your own yeast and sugar, and get the same results. Simply adjust the amounts to suit the volume of the bottle.

How warm was the water you used? If it was too warm, it could have killed the yeast before it even went into the bottle. Did you activate the yeast before adding it to the canister? As for the bubbles sitting on the ladder rungs; it takes a few days before there is enough "slime" built up on the ladder. Once this occurs, the bubbles will follow the ladder rungs and get smaller as they move up the ladder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmm, I just followed the directions. I threw in the sugar, the "activator", the "stabilizer" all at once, and then i put warm water on top of that. I gave it a quick stir and put on the cap. Hmm, now I'm thinking I should dissolve the sugar first in the warm water first before adding the packets.

It felt like the water was in the 80's. I didn't have a thermometer to test the temp before adding it.

But if I should have more bubbles than this by now, then I need to rinse it out and try again.
 

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I have one.

I also use this same system on my 10 gallon for the same reasons.
Sometimes the packets that you get are old, and therefore don't work very well.

Take a look at your packets, there will be a production date on them. If it's older than a year, I found that they don't work very well.

Also, fI am trying to find the right amounts to use so I don't have to buy the packets. The ingredients can be bought in any grocery store for a lot less, but I'm still not sure on how much to use. I will let you know when I figure it out.

One thing that I do is to add the sugar to the line, then fill it about half way with warm to hot water. I use a butter knife to stir it all up untill the sugar is all disolved. I then top it off with cold water and set the whole thing aside and let it cool to room temp. Then add both packets.

If the Prod Dates aren't tht old, I usually start getting bubbles in a couple of hours. After a day or so, the bubble rate increases to about 1 for every three seconds.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I also use this same system on my 10 gallon for the same reasons.
Sometimes the packets that you get are old, and therefore don't work very well.

Take a look at your packets, there will be a production date on them. If it's older than a year, I found that they don't work very well.

Also, fI am trying to find the right amounts to use so I don't have to buy the packets. The ingredients can be bought in any grocery store for a lot less, but I'm still not sure on how much to use. I will let you know when I figure it out.

One thing that I do is to add the sugar to the line, then fill it about half way with warm to hot water. I use a butter knife to stir it all up untill the sugar is all disolved. I then top it off with cold water and set the whole thing aside and let it cool to room temp. Then add both packets.

If the Prod Dates aren't tht old, I usually start getting bubbles in a couple of hours. After a day or so, the bubble rate increases to about 1 for every three seconds.

Hope this helps.
Thanks for the help! I'll rinse out, try it this way and learn to be patient. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
googling around, I found that one person figured out the exact amount of the nutrafin ingredients to be:

1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon yeast
2 cups water

Now I see people use baking yeast, and others use active yeast. I'm not sure which kind of yeast packets to buy.
 

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Not backing Soda

googling around, I found that one person figured out the exact amount of the nutrafin ingredients to be:

1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon yeast
2 cups water

Now I see people use baking yeast, and others use active yeast. I'm not sure which kind of yeast packets to buy.
I also found that same link but don't think that it is backing soda, here is why.

1. Backing Soda (sodium bicarbonate) acts as a buffer. In other words, when water starts to become acidic (too much acid) the backing soda counter acts that, keeping your PH from dropping.

The problem with adding backing soda to the Sugar/Yeast mixture is that the backing soda will not buffer the water in your tank, only the water in your Co2 reaction chamber.

I don't see how adding it to the sugar/yeast mixture is going to do anything.

2. I was very curious about what was actually in that stabilizer packet. So I took one to my Chemistry lab and we ran some experiments on it. (You can actually do this at home yourself to see what I'm talking about.

We placed the contents of the packet into a little dish. We put about the same amount of backing soda in another dish.

We then added a couple drops of an acid base to each. (you can use vinegar if your doing this at home)

What we found was that the backing soda showed little to no reaction with the acid base.

The Stabilizer packet started foaming big time.

Conclusion. While the contents of the stabilizer packet may contain SOME backing soda, it is not the only thing that is in there. Just what all is in that little packet I am still trying to figure out

I just changed out my system today (new sugar/water/yeast) but did NOT add the stabilizer packet or any backing soda. I am monitoring my water parameters as well as how long the mixture lasts and when I get some more data I will let you know.

As far as what type of yeast?

I'll let the experts on this site comment more on that.
 

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Hmm, I just followed the directions. I threw in the sugar, the "activator", the "stabilizer" all at once, and then i put warm water on top of that. I gave it a quick stir and put on the cap. Hmm, now I'm thinking I should dissolve the sugar first in the warm water first before adding the packets.
The activator is simply yeast, while the stabilizer is baking soda.

You should add the yeast last, the order of the other things prior to this does not matter.

It felt like the water was in the 80's. I didn't have a thermometer to test the temp before adding it.
This may have been a little too warm for the yeast. Try a little cooler water next time.

oh yeah, i see the packets say produced 12/2008 - that may explain the 1 bpm
This yeast is less than 1 year old, it should not be dead yet.

Now I see people use baking yeast, and others use active yeast. I'm not sure which kind of yeast packets to buy.
I just buy the active yeast that I find in my grocery store. There are some people that use yeast for wine, champagne, etc. I don't really see the point of going out of your way for something that is supposed to be as "simple" as DIY CO2.

1. Backing Soda (sodium bicarbonate) acts as a buffer. In other words, when water starts to become acidic (too much acid) the backing soda counter acts that, keeping your PH from dropping.

The problem with adding backing soda to the Sugar/Yeast mixture is that the backing soda will not buffer the water in your tank, only the water in your Co2 reaction chamber.
The baking soda is supposed to buffer the water in the reaction chamber. Why would it need to buffer the aquarium water?

The fermentative process that yeast uses to metabolize the sugar decreases the pH slowly, and the baking soda that is added is supposed to counter this effect. Whether or not it is truly more effective than not adding baking soda is open to dispute.

What we found was that the backing soda showed little to no reaction with the acid base.

The Stabilizer packet started foaming big time.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) reacts vigorously with even 5% acetic acid (vinegar). Are you sure you were using the correct reagents?

Conclusion. While the contents of the stabilizer packet may contain SOME backing soda, it is not the only thing that is in there. Just what all is in that little packet I am still trying to figure out
Have you tried running it through mass spec? :D
 

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Oooops

That was stupid.
I posted the results of the experiment backwards.

The BACKING SODA foamed big time.

The packet did not. (foamed a little)

Guess I should proof read my posts before hitting that submit button.

As far as buffering the water.

Co2 in the tank can cause the PH to drop. As the Co2 is converted into energy by the plants due to photosynthesis, it produces carbonic acid, this causes the PH in the tank to drop.

As far as I know, that stabilizer packet is supposed prevent the ph drop in your tank.

Now in MY tank (10g) the PH is stable at 6.8 when I use the stabilizer packets.

Right now (I just did it today) I'm running the thing WITHOUT the stabilizer packet or backing soda to see if I get any ph drop in the tank.

As far as killing the yeast in the reaction chamber. I was under the impression that the alcohol build up is what killed the yeast.
 

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Co2 in the tank can cause the PH to drop. As the Co2 is converted into energy by the plants due to photosynthesis, it produces carbonic acid, this causes the PH in the tank to drop.
Plants do not convert CO2 into energy. In addition, the usage of CO2 during photosynthesis does not produce carbonic acid.

Carbonic acid is formed when CO2 dissolves into the water; it is this that causes the pH to drop.

As far as I know, that stabilizer packet is supposed prevent the ph drop in your tank.
The stabilizer package is not supposed to prevent the pH drop in your tank. If you are not adding the stabilizer package directly to the tank in the first place, how would it buffer the tank pH? The only purpose of the stabilizer package is to (supposedly) prevent the pH drop in the plastic canister from dropping too low and killing the yeast prematurely.

As far as killing the yeast in the reaction chamber. I was under the impression that the alcohol build up is what killed the yeast.
Indeed, ultimately, it is the ethanol build up that kills the yeast, not the pH drop. This is why I never added baking soda to my DIY mixtures back when I was using them.
 

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Carbonic acid is produced simply from adding Co2 to the water? Really?
I thought it was a by product of the plants breaking down the Co2. Using the carbon and releasing the O2.
Hmmmmm.

I don't claaim to be an expert or anything, this was just my understanding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
well i don't have anything in my tank yet. I wanted to get this going and test the pH before I added plants and fish. This tank has been running for almost 3 weeks now (finances has made this a slow process) with nothing in it. But my pH has been at 7.6 so I really don't mind a little pH drop from CO2. If I don't get a drop from the CO2, I have some pH down I can use.

I got back from the grocery store and all they had was rapid rise. Ugh! i was pissed. The only other kind was a jar of yeast that is specifically for bread machines. I went ahead and got the rapid rise and trying it out.

I dissolved the sugar in some warm water in the canister and just set it on the counter while I went to the store for a little while. I came home and it felt right at room temp. I went ahead and put 3/4 tsp of baking soda, dissolved it and then I put in 1/4 tsp of the yeast. Good thing I have nothing in the tank yet so I can experiment to see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
wow, i'm already getting bubbles - 1 every 15 seconds. the problem is they don't seem to be getting any smaller as they go up the ladder. I don't think they are dissolving any.
 

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googling around, I found that one person figured out the exact amount of the nutrafin ingredients to be:

1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon yeast
2 cups water

Now I see people use baking yeast, and others use active yeast. I'm not sure which kind of yeast packets to buy.
When I was using DIY I bought the glass jar of yeast at walmart for something like $3.
 

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Carbonic acid is produced simply from adding Co2 to the water? Really?
I thought it was a by product of the plants breaking down the Co2. Using the carbon and releasing the O2.
Yes. The dissolution of CO2 into water produces carbonic acid.

It is not made as a byproduct of the plants breaking down the CO2.

If I don't get a drop from the CO2, I have some pH down I can use.
Do not use pH down, even if your pH does not drop even with the injection of CO2. Chemically altering your pH is extremely bad, as it can lead to large pH fluctuations which are deadly for fish.

wow, i'm already getting bubbles - 1 every 15 seconds. the problem is they don't seem to be getting any smaller as they go up the ladder. I don't think they are dissolving any.
The bubbles should dissolve very slightly as they make their way up the ladder.
 

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That ladder thingy is a terrible diffuser in my opinion. I'm still using mine but am looking for a different one.

They start getting smaller after awhile. It seems the dirtier that ladder is the better it works. At least in my tank that is.
 
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