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Old 03-26-2013, 12:11 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 03-26-2013, 11:04 PM   #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 03-26-2013, 11:15 PM   #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 03-26-2013, 11:26 PM   #4
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I heard the co2 seeps through the ballon so you lose some?
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:37 PM   #5
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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, 12:31 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, 02:36 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, 03:24 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 04-13-2013, 11:41 PM   #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, 09:02 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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Old 04-23-2013, 12:24 AM   #11
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Tried the balloon trick. It didn't have enough pressure in the morning to push the co2 through the diffuser. But am still trying different things.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:28 AM   #12
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A rig set up like this can't build pressure as long as the balloon can expand, and once the balloon can't expand it breaks. You need to run it into a powerhead, filter, or some other setup that doesn't require pressure.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:41 AM   #13
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I had it that way before but had to remove the powerhead due to my new stock not being able to handle that much current. I did though end up working a different way out with multiple t connectors check valves and single in &out gang valves.but it now builds enough pressure and can shut it off at night without loosing too much pressure at night
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:37 PM   #14
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I have never had any problems with the balloon reducing pressure in the line. Of course I have it hooked up to a power head intake. I just open the check valve all the way and the CO2 comes gushing out. I then close the valve about halfway to reduce how much is getting into the tank. If I leave it all the way open my fish start gasping for air. You can also gently squeeze the balloon and it will get the flow started.

Try adding a sponge to the outflow. That is what i had to do. Otherwise it knocked the fish around. Here are some pictures of how I am diffusing the CO2.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:48 PM   #15
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I had mine running into a power bit had to remove due to reason stated above and I needed it switched to my 55 as a circulation pump then put into the intake of my filstar bit my wife didn't want any rubber or soft plastic parts getting eaten up by the co2 so I bought a glass diffuser added an extra bottle and plasiwelded all my connecters to the caps and it works like a charm.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:08 PM   #16
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Update on system. Found out that the 2 way diverter valves will not hold up to the CO2. The hard plastic fell apart at the outlet that the CO2 passes through. I did find another way to slow down or shut off the flow though. It is a pinch control that is used on I.V.s in hospitals. It goes over the tubing not inside it. I
found this on an online aquarium supplies site. It was $13 though. I did a quick internet search and found them on Amazon for $5. I am going to order a couple of these and try them out. I also am ordering some inline air control valves and see how that works. Right now I am using a close pin to pinch the tubing to control the flow. Can't get any more red neck than that. LOL
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:29 PM   #17
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Hi
Do not use silicone tubing but use clear high pressure tubing.
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