Diy co2

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Zoom, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    Ok, so I've decided that nothing beats a planted aquarium. But in order to get the perfect planted aquarium you need to have (1) proper lighting, and (2) CO2 injected into the system.

    I have sorted out the lighting, and believe I am on the right track there.

    This week I did a lot of research into DIY CO2 kits, as in JHB, hardly any LPS know what a CO2 injection system is, let alone the cheap version (approx R150.00) that Solex recommends as the cheaper alternative. All my LPS offered my Carbon chips for the filter. (Stupid idiots). And the LPS that did know what I was talking about, only stocked the R3k + stuff. (WHich did not suit my budget.)

    The DIY kit is very simple to make, and I am not going to go into too much detail about it, because you can google it yourself. There is a wealth of information about it.

    The major down sides to DIY CO2 is mainly (1) you can't really monitor how much CO2 you are injecting accurately, and (2) you can't stop it at night.
    Basically Yeast is added to sugar and water and put into an airtight container with air tubing going into the tank. Thus the yeast reacts with sugar, creating CO2 which we all now see goes into the tank. If you block the pipe at night, the yeast continues to react over night, and the bottle will eventually burst, leaving your lovely carpetted floor, furniture and everything else covered in a lovely sticky solution of fermenting sugar. And yes, it does REEK like beer gone bad.

    So how have I overcome these problems... well, in order to monitor the amount of CO2 I'm adding, instead of putting an airstone at the end of the tube, I put a drop counter in. (Thanks for the recommendation Solex). This literally enables me to count the number of drops. The number of drops can then be regulated with a valve (i.e to 1 drop every 5 seconds or so). Then what I did was I Tee'd off a piece of tubing off the main line coming into the tank, and simply put a shut of valve on the end. At night I will open this valve full, thus the CO2 being produced will take the path of least resistance, i.e not go into the tank, but simply evaporate into the air.

    My only concern with this, and time will tell, is if my lounge will have a yeast/sugar fermentation smell in the morning or not.

    My question to the experts now is what do I need to do to test that I am introducing sufficient CO2 into the tank? I don't want to overdo it and suffocate my fish, and I don't want to underdo it that it's got no beneficial use to the plants.
     
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  3. speedz

    speedz In need of a fishroom....

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    that is a good question
     
  4. sarf

    sarf

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    You must be careful wit putting co2 off at night..co2 levels can cause ph swings which are not good for your fish..i leave my diy c02 on whole night.can u post a pic of the drop counter please
     
  5. brentnorm

    brentnorm

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    How many drops per second do you inject ?
     
  6. sarf

    sarf

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    Brentnorm..i dont have anythin regulating my co2 at d moment..so wana check how the drop counter looks n get me one.i have added some crushed coral to take,as recommendation by some guys on planted tank forums..jst to make sure ph does not drop too much due to too much co2.i am looking for a bubble counter..got a glass co2 diffuser from a friend..it works fantastically
     
  7. Zafgak

    Zafgak Old fart

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    Zoom - a couple of suggestions - The vent pipe from the T piece can be routed outside so no smell. Always leave the release valve slightly open, day or night, that way if you forget to open it at night - no explosion. In fact I would have the whole setup outside and only pipe the CO2 in..
     
  8. OP
    Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    Not as easy as it is if you live on a ground floor.... I'm on a third floor flat...and the balcony is too far away from the tank to put the stuff outside. THe longet the tuging.. the less it works.

    I'll post a pic tomorrow evening. Sorry, I went out this evening and got back late
     
  9. Zafgak

    Zafgak Old fart

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    OK sorry Zoom - didnt realise the third floor flat
     
  10. OP
    Zoom

    Zoom Retired Moderator

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    Here's the bubble counter.

    Inlet tube lets the air into the bottom chamber (Which is also filled with water)
    The CO2 then simply bubble through the chamber and passes out through the other pipe.

    Usually when you put CO2 into water, the only way you can do it is through an air-stone or the bubble counter. Through an air-stone works, but the bubbles come out as a constant stream of extremely small bubbles, so you really can't 'count' the bubbles. But with the bubble counter, you are able to count the amount of bubbles per minute.

    WHY you would want to do this I do not know, because I still do not know how I am suppose to test if I am over CO2ing or under CO2ing my tank.

    DSC00034.jpg
     

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