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Old 03-26-2013, 01:11 PM   #1
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A way to shut off diy CO2 at night

I saw this suggested on the plantedtank.com forum and decided to try it out. The poster didn't give details how they did it so I had to experiment some. You add a shutoff valve to the line before it enters the tank. Right behind the shutoff valve you attach a three way connector. On the third arm of the connector you use a rubber band and attach a balloon. When you shut the valve off at night, the CO2 backs up into the balloon. In the morning you open the shutoff valve and the CO2 feeds back into the diffuser. I have had this set up for 5 days and so far it has worked. I would suggest using a somewhat large balloon and make sure it is pretty thick rubber. I have been using a party balloon but the inflating and deflating weakens the balloon. You will need to change it about every seven days or so. I used a two way gang valve that allows me to adjust how much CO2 feeds into the tank. It allowed me to attach two bottles to the diffuser. Pictures follow.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:04 AM   #2
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I'm new to plant care, why would you need to turn off the co2 at night?
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:15 AM   #3
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How big is the balloon getting at night. Can you get a pic of it?
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:26 AM   #4
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I heard the co2 seeps through the ballon so you lose some?
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sillyfishies View Post
I heard the co2 seeps through the ballon so you lose some?
If it can hold helium it can hold CO2. It's probably not too nice to the balloon in the process though.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:31 AM   #6
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It gets anywhere from orange size to grapefruit size. I will try and get a picture in the morning. I posted this in another thread and it was suggested that I had a leak because the size of the inflation was so small. I checked all connections with soapy water and there were no leaks. My room cools off quiet a bit at night and the yeast slows way down at night on producing CO2. Once my room warms up, the balloon inflates more. I also used powdered sugar instead of granulated because that was all I had on hand at the time. I am still getting a steady stream of CO2 but the two bottles that I used granulated sugar in seem to be making more. When I open the valve up in the morning, I get a lot of micro bubbles. I made a diffuser out of an extra impeller motor I had. I feed the gas straight into it and my whole tank gets covered in very fine bubbles. By the end of the 8 hour light period, the plants all have tiny bubble sticking to them. They have really taken off growing. I am ordering a drop checker to see if I am getting good saturation but it will be another week or two.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:36 PM   #7
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Finally got a pic of the balloon. This picture was taken after a cold night so the CO2 production had slowed some. On a warm night it fully inflates. I have had it setup for three weeks and it has worked out great. Keeps my PH from completely crashing. In my experimental tank, leaving he CO2 on 24/7 crashed my Ph.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:24 AM   #8
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All I did for mine was get a metal dual in dual out check valve hooked my bottle III p to the inlets and ran my hose from one outlet at set it at 1bps when my light goes off I open the valve that goes nowhere an hour before they come on I close it and in 30 min its pumpin steady again.
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:41 AM   #9
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I finally got my CO2 indicator. I turned green within an hour of installing it. According to the chart that means I have adequat CO2. I feed the line into an extra power head I had, right into the intake. I put an artificial sea sponge on the outtake pipe and I am getting really fine bubbles. Plus the sponge cav8t8es are holding onto some of the CO2. I have the power head hooked up to a timer. I haven't been shutting it off at night because I got lazy. When the power head is off the CO2 just releases into the tank in large bubbles every 5-10 minutes or so. CO2 production drops at night because my room gets cool.

I am getting PH swings though. My Ph has dropped so low at times that my fish start acting funny. They fall over to their side and flop around. I immediately add a pinch of baking soda and it goes back up to 6.6 or so. I have added seashells, freshwater clam shells, and eggshells to try and buffer it. I cannot find coral in my area and it is too expensive to order it online with the shipping it would cost me around $50. I am going to look for some limestone. Living in Ky it shouldn't be to hard to find. Do I need Kh/Gh test kit to figure out how much I need to buffer it?
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildroseofky View Post
I finally got my CO2 indicator. I turned green within an hour of installing it. According to the chart that means I have adequat CO2. I feed the line into an extra power head I had, right into the intake. I put an artificial sea sponge on the outtake pipe and I am getting really fine bubbles. Plus the sponge cav8t8es are holding onto some of the CO2. I have the power head hooked up to a timer. I haven't been shutting it off at night because I got lazy. When the power head is off the CO2 just releases into the tank in large bubbles every 5-10 minutes or so. CO2 production drops at night because my room gets cool.

I am getting PH swings though. My Ph has dropped so low at times that my fish start acting funny. They fall over to their side and flop around. I immediately add a pinch of baking soda and it goes back up to 6.6 or so. I have added seashells, freshwater clam shells, and eggshells to try and buffer it. I cannot find coral in my area and it is too expensive to order it online with the shipping it would cost me around $50. I am going to look for some limestone. Living in Ky it shouldn't be to hard to find. Do I need Kh/Gh test kit to figure out how much I need to buffer it?
Those ph swings are possibly caused by the co2 running at night.
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