my DIY co2 problem...

my DIY co2 problem...

Postby Indiana Gardener » 2009-04-01 23:17

Ok, I finally took the leap yesterday, said what the heck, and made a co2 generator.

I found a recipe online that said it would last 4 to 5 weeks and went with that. It's 1/4 tsp of yeast (I used the brown bead type), 2 c sugar ( I used granular, not powdered, if it matters) , and 1 tsp baking soda.

I did use warm, but not hot, water (48 oz) as it said to do. Mixed everything together, shook it well, and waited 24 hrs to see what would happen. Nothing happened. My connections are all tightly sealed brass fittings on which I used plumbers tape.

It does make bubbles, but only when I shake the bottle a little (gently as not to get any solution in line).

What I am wondering is, will it ever make gas on its own without being shaken?
Thanks.
Bye for now,


David
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Re: my DIY co2 problem...

Postby KittyKat » 2009-04-02 07:59

Indiana Gardener wrote:Ok, I finally took the leap yesterday, said what the heck, and made a co2 generator.

Congrats! Wasn't very difficult, now was it? ;)
Indiana Gardener wrote:I found a recipe online that said it would last 4 to 5 weeks and went with that. It's 1/4 tsp of yeast (I used the brown bead type), 2 c sugar ( I used granular, not powdered, if it matters) , and 1 tsp baking soda.

So far so good IME... The type of sugar matters: the bigger the grains, the smaller the surface area, the longer it lasts and the less it produces per time period. I find granulated sugar perfect.
Indiana Gardener wrote:I did use warm, but not hot, water (48 oz) as it said to do. Mixed everything together, shook it well, and waited 24 hrs to see what would happen. Nothing happened. My connections are all tightly sealed brass fittings on which I used plumbers tape.

I would have used about a third of the water, if not less...
Indiana Gardener wrote:What I am wondering is, will it ever make gas on its own without being shaken?

It will, but it will take a while to start and once it does, it will only make one bubble every few minutes. If you want it to be more potent, then just use less water. You don't really want to have more then one bubble per minute to start off with and you are more likely to get better uptake of the CO2 if you put a very fine airstone on the end.
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Re: my DIY co2 problem...

Postby Indiana Gardener » 2009-04-02 11:55

Wasn't very difficult, now was it? ;)


No, but now I will have to remember to start another batch a couple days before the old one completely gives out. I'll remember to use much less water next time.

It is finally putting out a few very fine bubbles this morning.

For a reactor, I have an upside down peanut butter can. A small pump jets water in through one side, and on the other, a bit lower down, is the air inlet with the stone inside. The lid has a couple inch diameter hole in it with a thin sponge over it.

The plan was that the jet of water would dissolve the co2 bubbles and that water would then flow out of the bottom hole on the lid. So far, however, the gas has formed a large bubble at the top of the can over night. I'm concerned that it will eventually be mostly gas, the it will be too much for my pump's suction cups, and the whole thing will just float up...

I hope this works. The professional, and very fragile I suspect, glass ones on ebay from Malaysia are $14 with S&H.

What kind of reactor do you use?


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Re: my DIY co2 problem...

Postby Indiana Gardener » 2009-04-02 14:10

Update:

The can became full enough with co2 that the stone was no longer under water. So I just took the can off of the pump and suction cupped the air stone to the glass under the intake of the pump. Now, when bubbles come out of the stone, the pump sucks them up, pulverizes them, and sprays them across the tank. :)


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Re: my DIY co2 problem...

Postby KittyKat » 2009-04-02 15:28

I don't have CO2 set up at the moment, but when I did, I used to have just a fine airstone on the end of the airline, attached to the side of the tank. Not the most efficient way but it was enough for the small tank at the time :)
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Re: my DIY co2 problem...

Postby man-alive » 2009-08-05 19:16

They have new pour in liquid plant fertilizers now available. Do these work and do they actually do away with the need for Co2 injection. If so it would be alot easier, but it seems to easy to be ok for the fish and the plants.
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Re: my DIY co2 problem...

Postby KittyKat » 2009-08-06 05:50

man-alive wrote:They have new pour in liquid plant fertilizers now available. Do these work and do they actually do away with the need for Co2 injection. If so it would be alot easier, but it seems to easy to be ok for the fish and the plants.


These have been available for quite a while actually, but I have never come across one which contained dissolveable CO2 so the answer to your first question is no, they do not do away with the need for CO2.

Do they work? Yes. They add back to the water nitrates (i.e. plant food) and/or nutrients/minerals which the plants use up and must have for healthy growth.

Yes and no to the last part.. that, is a much more difficult consideration as it very much depends on each individual tank and the fertiliser in question! For example, if you have high nitrates (say, 250ppm) and add a fertiliser which in nitrate based so that you now have 500ppm nitrates content of the water.. then that obviously is not good for your fish because nitrates in high concentrations are harmful. Also, your plants may not actually be able to use them up if they do not have enough light and/or CO2 so you would just be overdosing on something which is harmful.
But also, if there are no nitrates and you have lot of light and/or CO2, then you in effect, wasting the light/CO2 and you should add nitrates as they do not harm fish when in small quantities, but will help the plants very much.
On the other hand, even fish require certain nutrients and minerals in the water and if your plants use them up, then neither the plants nor the fish are getting what they need to be healthy so the addition of nutrient/mineral based fertiliser would benefit both. Problem: it is very difficult to find out how much is needed and how much is there for most of these. Solution: read sources of reliable information and find out who/what needs what.

On average, just be careful, take it slow, do regular water changes and everything should be fine. You might also want to consider using solid, slow release fertilisers as it is more difficult to overdose with those if you follow the instructions until you get the feel for what your fish and plants need :)
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