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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The SR Aquaristik Co2 Generator
One of my co-workers runs a company called SR Aquaristik. He has recently released a co2 generator and asked me if I would like to try it out. The idea of a simple method of providing co2 without an expensive system had me immediately interested. One of the cool features of this product is that is uses citric acid and baking soda as opposed to my previous experiences with the ‘yeast method.’
After removing all of the components from the box, I was surprised by the quality. Each component feels built to last; I can also tell immediately that this system is going to look a thousand times sleeker than any DIY yeast setup I have seen.
I started by first assembling all of the components to ensure I had everything I needed. Because the tubing came slightly kinked, I had to prepare it by warming it in a pan of water. This caused the kinks to work themselves out, leaving a straight piece of tubing for the system.
After straightening the tubing, I added the round ball/weight to a piece of tubing approximately ten inches. This tubing and weight was then connected to the side of the system with the pressure gauge (this will eventually sit inside of the bottle containing the citric acid solution). Afterwards, I added another smaller piece of tubing (about 2 inches) to the side containing the valve.
I decided that I wanted two identical bottles. This way I could proudly display the entire unit next to my cabinet without it looking like a high school science project. Since I am not a ‘pop’ drinker, I decided to enjoy a root beer float (or 6) with my girlfriend.
After finishing way too many root beer floats, I cleaned and rinsed each bottle thoroughly. Once I was confident that all of the preservatives and sugar had been removed, I carefully peeled each label from the bottle, leaving two clear and clean 2 liters bottles.
I proceeded to mark one bottle “A” and the other “B.” This way I will have no problem distinguishing the two later in the process. With each bottle clean and labeled properly, I was ready to start adding the citric acid and baking soda.
I then used a homemade paper funnel to add 200 grams of citric acid powder to the bottle marked “A.” After, I added about 20 oz. of clean water to the same bottle. Once the water was added, I shook the bottle, helping to dilute the citric acid powder in the water effectively.
Next it was time for the baking soda bottle. Using another homemade paper funnel, I added 7 oz. of baking soda and 7 oz. of water. Again, I shook the bottle, allowing the baking soda to mix properly with the water in the bottle.
After both bottles were properly filled, I threaded the bottle containing citric acid to the side with the pressure gauge. The bottle containing baking soda was then threaded to the opposite side containing the valve.
In order to start the reaction I simply squeezed the bottle containing the citric acid. You must squeeze the bottle until you are unable to squeeze any more, maximizing the amount of solution added to the second bottle. Upon releasing the bottle, the citric acid solution was siphoned into the other side, reacting with the baking soda solution. Then, open the valve for several seconds, allowing some of the pressure to escape. Close the valve and repeat the squeezing and valve action until you notice the pressure gauge reach between 2.5 and 3 kg. The goal here is to allow the two bottles to reach equilibrium, allowing the system to siphon more citric acid solution when needed. The whole process took about 17 minutes before reaching the desired level of pressure. A couple ‘light’ shakes helped to move the process along faster.
Once the proper level of pressure was attained, the system was ready for use. I simply connected the bubble counter and length of tubing to the valve side and moved the system over to my small deco tank. I am quite excited to see the results. The bubble counter seems to be operating well, and the system is providing very consistent co2 so far! Whether you use DIY yeast co2 systems or have yet to venture into the world of co2, I would absolutely recommend trying system out as an accurate, but affordable alternative to expensive pressurized systems.
 

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This type of CO2 system has been reviewed here before. We know it works, but, as I recall, the problem is how often you have to replace the solutions. Baking soda is dirt cheap, and easy to obtain, but citric acid isn't that cheap, and is not available in every grocery store. If you have to renew the solutions every 3rd day, for example, this very quickly becomes both a nuisance and and expensive one. Please follow up and let us know how steady your bubble rate is, and how often you have to replace the solutions, plus what you have to pay for the citric acid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The bubble rate is very consistent and works well for the small tank. In regards to the citric acid, I have been grabbing it at the local Walmart at a reasonable price. While you certainly need to replace the solutions, it takes about 5-10 minutes and has not been any inconvenience up until this point!
 

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After I started using a pressurized CO2 system, tank, regulator, solenoid, and so on, and seeing how easy that is to set up and run, I see something like this and think "it's a toy". Yes, the initial investment in pressurized CO2 is high, but once your past that, it's very inexpensive to run, and any decent equipment will last many years. I set mine up and I get about a year out of a 15 lb tank of CO2, and this is a 90 gal tank.

I'd recommend saving the money and getting the pressurized CO2 system you really want.
 

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Bba

This is a black bearded algae growing machine.:grin2: When I did DIY CO2, I had layers of BBA on my plants and everything else. If anyone is serious, just use your credit card and get a custom built pressurized system because it doesn't lose value. You can sell it for what you got it for, or maybe even a little bit more. If you don't have a job yet, then I'd just go with the cheapest DIY stuff you can find and save money to get the real stuff.
 
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