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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
I've just purchased the Nutrafin yeast Co2 system and set it up last night using the included Activator/Stabilizer packets. When I woke up this morning I found the aquarium water level had dropped a fair bit and to my shock, water had gone from the tanks through the tubing but luckily I placed the canister in a large popcorn bucket to prevent it from tipping over! The whole bucket was filled with water but the cap appears firm. I followed the instructions to the letter and can't figure out what went wrong! I placed the canister below the tank on the ground but did not cut the tubing to a shorter length, could that be the problem? Or is it just a bad batch of yeast? I'm worried that this might happen again! Is it normal for the aquarium water to seep into the canister if the fermentation did not happen for some reason? What happens when your Co2 runs out, is it supposed to do that? I'm worried if there's a problem with the canister itself. Anyone else has this problem?
I've just remixed a new batch using ordinary baker's yeast,sugar,water and baking soda, cut the tubing much shorter...hopefully it works this time.
Thanks...and great forum this is!:smile:
 

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Fermentation had started. The bottle pressurized and created a siphon and sucked the water from the tank like you would a straw from a glass of water. think about it....you created a vacuum. they only source of relief from the vacuum was the free surface of water from the aquairum. so, it sucked back in the water.

Check Valves Check Valves Check Valves!!!!

Spend the 2 bucks and sleep easy tonight.
 

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as far as what happens when the CO2 runs out...I assume you are using the ladder wall that came with the system. Once the CO2 starts producing, you will see the bubbles "climb the ladder". After a while, you will see it stabilize and a constant stream of bubles should appear. Keep an eye on it and get comfortable with what you see and how often. You will notice when it starts to drop off....

Should last 3 to 4 weeks if prepared correctly, assuming you have no leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, I've placed a check valve now but there's nothing in the instructions to say that a check valve was necessary. Also it is better to place the canister level with aquarium or higher or doesn't it really matter? Thank God I placed that popcorn tub, otherwise I would have had a very messy and smelly carpet and my gf would have killed me!:icon_smil
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice. Yes, I'm using the Hagen ladder. Is it normal for the canister lid to remain tight once water get in due to the vacuum? I understand the canister has some sort of pressure release system. I hope that's the case and not a leak in the canister itself! Also does a regular plastic check valve do or do I need a brass one. I read somewhere the plastic ones don't hold up too well after a while with CO2.
 

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There is no instructions for it because they assume you are going to use the clamp they give you to hang on the side of the tank (whish puts it at tank level). instructions only take you so far sometimes, better to ask around and get some insight.

there are plenty of people here who (i guarentee) have tried it before and failed and can give you tons of advise prior...lol!! (myself included)

But at least it was catostrophic. Good work with the bucket! You thought about it at least!

In my opinion, anything that has airlines into the tank should have some type of check valve, if practical. Others may disagree, but, your case in point, you never know what small thing can drive a huge problem or mess.

Back to your question. Doesn't matter where you put it. Its pressurized...it will find its way to the ladder...

Good luck!!
 

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not sure where you leaked from. Who knows, just be happy it stayed in the bucket...lol.

As far as check valves. The plastic ones will work for a while, but be weary of them.

As the fermentation process starts, you will see a white gummy looking residue start to form in the lines and on the ladder. this is the byproduct of the process. not harmful, its organic, but they WILL clog things up for you after a while. they check valve will probably be one of the first culprits to get clogged. i reccomend the plastic ones, because they are usually clear and easy to inspect, but I guarentee others here will think differently.

I usually go 2 or 3 batches then change the check valve (just to be on the safe side)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all your advice so far. I'll look into the brass ones, but like you said it's pretty hard to tell if it's clogged and the last thing I need is an exploding canister! This is my first attempt at a planted tank and I'm still learning (obviously), sorry for the silly questions! I've had the tank setup a few weeks (it's only a 10 gallon tall), planted with java ferns, baby's tears, lace ferns, some hair grass, crypts and swords. It's really a nano planted tank and I have been using Flourish Excel with good results but thought a CO2 system would be worth a try just for the heck of it.
Would a system like the Hagen produce enough CO2 to cause significant pH swings in a small tank like that? Should I be monitoring the pH and kH regularly?
 

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No such thing as dumb questions. If you don't ask, how can you find out!! We are all there and thats why these forums are here. to share info, experience and of course assistance.

Sounds like a good stock of plants. nothing wrong with a 10 gallon tank, i have one and love it!! real easy to work with and certainly a wonderful tank for a starter. Gives you ample oppurtunity to experiment and try things and certainly learn from (I STILL AM!!)

Will it cause major pH swings...maybe. It really depends on a few parameters, kH and gH being part of that. I reccomend you read a few articles if you really want to get into it to get a better understanding.

http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/CO2/
http://www.brainyday.com/jared/aquarium/info.htm
http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html

with proper water buffering, the pH should stabilze somewhat. you would some shift between morning and night due to the fact that plants do not utilize the CO2 when the lights are off (no photosynthesis with no light), so some monor shifting should occur.

Maybe someone a little more literate on the topic can jump in here and give you the "whats and hows", but those articles are a good start IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What plants do you have on your 10 gallon? I only have stock lighting which really limits the type of plants I can grow, it's those all in one units by Aqua One (AR380) that is really popular here in Australia. The filtration system is good but the lighting is much more difficult to upgrade, I would have to ditch the hood but that would ruin the looks of it. I'll see if I can upgrade the ballasts of the existing Power compacts to something more substantial. Even with the stock lighting and using Flourish Excel, the plants seem to be doing very well, the java moss is out of control, the java ferns' leaves are growing so quickly! I'll be needing a larger tank soon! :icon_roll
Here's a link to pic of my tank http://www.photo-host.org/view/168619ar380tank.jpg
 

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Well, my 10 gallon is really just a mess of plants. Its a "temporary grow out" area for some of my excess stock. will take a look tonight and see whats in there (I can't even remember). I have a stock hood, with a 6700 K 15 Watt bulb, but honestly, I did fine with the original bulb believe it or not for quite some time. The 15 watt keeps growth at a reasonable rate, or I would be in there trimming every other day, which I do not have time for with the other god knows how many tanks I have.

Aside for a grow out take (and storage...lol), its also used for my Bamboo Shrimp house.:flick:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just checked the ladder, there's bubbles, bubbles, bubbles! Seems like everything is working normally, although the bubbles appear to get stuck on the ladder and clumping together and not really moving to the top, I'm sure it will improve in a day or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all your responses, I am having fun learning and making mistakes (hopefully not major ones), it's great having members like you to help along the way! I think I might be getting a larger tank soon..and maybe I'll end up using my 10G like you. LOL
 

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Fermentation had started. The bottle pressurized and created a siphon and sucked the water from the tank like you would a straw from a glass of water. think about it....you created a vacuum. they only source of relief from the vacuum was the free surface of water from the aquairum. so, it sucked back in the water.

Check Valves Check Valves Check Valves!!!!

Spend the 2 bucks and sleep easy tonight.
That doesn't make sense, because how can it siphon when it pressurizes? Pressure forces CO2 to come out, not water come it.
 

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I just thought the same Espada, that post made no sense.... the likely cause of the siphon was an accidental squeeze of the canister, which created vacuum and slowly sucked water into the ferm. chamber. That is why I prefer juice or soda bottles instead of those fancy co2 containers, you can see what's going on inside (flooding, bubbling, etc). But a check valve could've prevented that. Thanks for the resurection
 

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If you placed the canister below the tank level this will happen and I assume this is what you have done since you put it in a bucket. The canister should be fixed to the top of the tank with the fixing clamp. You won't need a check valve if you did this, I've used these for years with no problems once set up correctly.
 
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