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DIY CO2 Question

Richard2510

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14 Oct 2009
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Hi guys,

Need a bit of help again please. I have this morning filled my Rio 180 up. It currently just contains the substrate. The decor is going in tomorrow when I'll partial empty and then re-fill the tank (I had to check it was water tight and the heater and filter work, which they do :lol: )

Anyway, I have put together a home made CO2 generator using sugar (2 cups), water (warm, but not hot) and a sachet of Champagne yeast from the local brewers shop. Now everywhere I read says about adding 1/4 or 1/2 a teaspoon of yeast, but the guy in the shop said to pour the whole sachet in (about 2 teaspoons full). Well after a fair few hours all I have is a brown foam on the surface of the bottle and not a single bubble of CO2 to be seen anywhere. Am I just too impatient, or has the mixture gone wrong somewhere?

Appreciate your help

Richard :wave:
 

Voo

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Been a long while since i've made my own DIY CO2, but i remember never putting in a whole packet at once. If you was brewing something then you probably would use the whole thing, but for CO2 you don't need that much.

It can also take a few hours to get started too. Just make sure none of the foam/mixture gets into the tank!
 

Richard2510

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Voo said:
Been a long while since i've made my own DIY CO2, but i remember never putting in a whole packet at once. If you was brewing something then you probably would use the whole thing, but for CO2 you don't need that much.

It can also take a few hours to get started too. Just make sure none of the foam/mixture gets into the tank!

HHMMMM, I think the guy in the shop may have got this one wrong, although he did know it was for a fish tank and he did seem like he knew about it. This morning still nothing. The brown foam is now more of a white foam. I presume these DIY CO mixtures produce enough pressure to pass through such things as non-return valves?

Any more advice greatly appreciated.

Richard
 

Richard2510

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LondonDragon said:
How big is the bottle? How much water you putting in?

It's a 2 litre coke bottle and I've filled it up to just before the start of the curve at the top of th bottle. :angelic:

Richard
 

LondonDragon

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Recipe for a 2 litre bottle:

Fill bottle 2/3 thirds with luke warm water, 2-3 cups of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of yeast and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

It will always take a few hours for it to start off, I used DIY CO2 in the past to good effect but the size of your tank might need a little more, depends on the lighting you have. Also remember that the more yeast you had the more bubbles you get but the solution will eat up the sugar quicker therefore last a lot less.

Its always better to have two bottles going, replace one one week and the other then next with two diffusers, with DIY CO2 you also run the risk of poisoning your fish, so I would recommend an air pump during lights out, plants do not take up CO2 without any lights on, just turn the air pump off a couple of hours before lights on. I did that and never had any problems with my tank, I did run two bottles, replaced one on a Sunday and the other on a Wednesday, but they were smaller bottles.

I used this yeast: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Doves-Farm-Quick- ... 3ca664d2f6 125g lasted me for the whole time I used DIY CO2 and still had some let after a year.

Good luck
 

LondonDragon

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Richard2510 said:
Thank you. I really appreciate the advice. :thumbup:
Anytime :)

Also worth remembering that room temperature also can influence the mixture, if the room is too cold it might kill it off, quality of the yeast also a problem sometimes, I only ever used the one in my previous post and worked a treat.
Also ensure your check valves are on the right way round or not broken, quick test is just to remove it, a bubble counter is also useful has you can see if there is any flow rate and also any liquid that escapes the mixture gets trapped in the bubble counter and not in the tank, and also good to see when it run outs or is about to.

I used one of these and it was great: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Brand-New-Bubble- ... 3a4a906ba7

Only thing to note also you must have a diffuser designed for DIY CO2, most diffusers need so much pressure that the DIY will not cope and most likely can give you problems and make a lot of mess. The only glass diffusers that I would recommend are the nano ones: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CO2-Aquarium-Fish ... 29fe3b3d7f

Any questions just fire them at us :)
 

Voo

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Also make sure there's no leaks! How have you attached the airline to the coke bottle? I often found that the glue would work it's way loose from the lid after some time.
 

LondonDragon

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Voo said:
Also make sure there's no leaks! How have you attached the airline to the coke bottle? I often found that the glue would work it's way loose from the lid after some time.
Reason I purchased two Nutrafin Kits and then just used a DIY solution, because their bottle are very good and designed to hold the pressure, and no leaks ;)
 

Richard2510

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AAARRRGGGHHH!!! After literally hours of trying different formulas, checking for leaks, replacing bottle top with new silicone sealer (enough to seal around 400 fish tanks I'd say), it turns out the air taps ALL leak. I have 3, 1 on each bottle and 1 to control the over all out put, and they all just p**s air out :thumbdown:

Does anyone now of a type of air tap that doesn't leak? These three are all Algarde.

Cheers

Richard
 

LondonDragon

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Richard2510 said:
Um, the little blue taps that you can use to control the flow. Can't think what else they'd be called. :idea: Like this - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170380850513&ssPageName=STRK:MEBDIX:IT
You cannot use this on a DIY solution, if too much pressure builds up inside the bottle it will just explode and make a mess lol good luck cleaning that afterwards ;)
That's why I recommend using an air pump during lights out, I don't think a 2 litre bottle will be enough anyway for a 180 litre tank so you don't have to worry about the taps :p
 

Richard2510

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Ok, really appreciate the advice. Starting to re-think the whole DIY CO2 system now. I'll have a look around for a good value system.
 

LondonDragon

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Richard2510 said:
Ok, really appreciate the advice. Starting to re-think the whole DIY CO2 system now. I'll have a look around for a good value system.

Just use bottle -> non return valve -> bubble counter -> non return valve -> nano diffuser

You should also use a drop checker just to monitor the CO2 in the tank, had a second bottle if necessary.
 

Richard2510

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LondonDragon said:
Voo said:
Also make sure there's no leaks! How have you attached the airline to the coke bottle? I often found that the glue would work it's way loose from the lid after some time.
Reason I purchased two Nutrafin Kits and then just used a DIY solution, because their bottle are very good and designed to hold the pressure, and no leaks ;)

Just had a quick look at these. I think I'll get a couple. How do you control the flow rate?

Richard
 

LondonDragon

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Richard2510 said:
Just had a quick look at these. I think I'll get a couple. How do you control the flow rate?
With DIY you can't, just let it all go into the tank 24/7, that's why you need to start with one bottle and measure it with a drop checker and then if you need to had the second bottle, the air pump during lights out will give the fish a break and prevent them being poisoned.

EDIT: Corrected punctuation as made aware by Mark, cheers
 

vauxhallmark

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LondonDragon said:
Richard2510 said:
Just had a quick look at these. I think I'll get a couple. How do you control the flow rate?
With DIY you can't just let it all go into the tank 24/7, that's why you need to start with one bottle and measure it with a drop checker and then if you need to had the second bottle, the air pump during lights out will give the fish a break and prevent them being poisoned.

London Dragon, you're right as ever, I don't need to contribute to this thread, as you've got it all in hand, but your post above needs a comma in it, otherwise it means the opposite of what I'm sure you're trying to say, which is:

Q How do you control the flow rate?

A With DIY you can't, just let it go into the tank 24/7

Not wanting to hijack, hope you don't mind me adding this in.

Best regards,

Mark
 

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