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Old 01-27-2013, 08:31 PM   #1
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DIY co2.

I'm thinking of doing a DIY co2 setup for my 55g as I'm making my way to all live plants. I had a memeber pm me about what all I need, but I was wondering for those of you who have gone this route what have you found works best material wise; like what kind of plastic bottles have worked best for example. Also what's a good recipe for the co2? Ive read some use just yeast and baking soda, and some add sodium bicarbonate (which is baking soda right?) to the recipe.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:24 AM   #2
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I just set up a DIY Co2 system for my 20 gal. Tank and I used just a plain 2 liter bottle that you can buy soda in. I used a smaller bottle for the water. I found a recipe on YouTube that uses yeast, baking soda, sugar and molasses and of course the warm water. Good luck.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:31 AM   #3
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I am planning on switching to bottles that are a little thicker. Since the soda bottles are a bit flimsy and I think over time that they may spring a leak. So you might want to start out with a little thicker bottle than the 2liter bottle you can get in the grocery store.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:31 PM   #4
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I am planning on switching to bottles that are a little thicker. Since the soda bottles are a bit flimsy and I think over time that they may spring a leak. So you might want to start out with a little thicker bottle than the 2liter bottle you can get in the grocery store.
I think the soda bottles should be fine. To contain carbon dioxide build up is, after all, their primary use.
I haven't tried to set up my system yet, but in researching it I discovered that the usual place people run into problems are with the bottle caps. Have you (Bdonaldson, or anyone else who has set up a co2 system with soda bottles) had any trouble with leaks around where you put the tube into the cap?? Somewhere I read that aquarium silicone won't bond well to the plastic of the cap. They suggested using a small bulk head type fitting intended for use in model airplanes that connects to airline tubing. But they are kind of pricey.

Just my two cents.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:08 AM   #5
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Yeah I think you are right about the soda bottle being ok. I have only had my co2 set up for about 3 weeks now. I did not use the sealant on my caps i just drilled the holes a bit smaller than the tubing and it makes for a tight fit. It's worked so far for me.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:11 PM   #6
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I used the large (124oz) gatorade jugs. I didn't need to seal the lids on and they hold tight. I drilled a small hole in the cap, tightly fit a hose splicer in the hole and then connected the silicone tubing to the barb sticking out of the cap. I did silicone the hose splicer around it where it goes in the cap.

My recipe is about 4 cups of steaming hot water + 2 cups of sugar. shake until sugar dissolved. Fill the rest of the bottle up (until the bottle starts to curve - about 3 or so inches from the top) with cold water and achieve a nice tepid temperature. add 1tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp of active dry yeast. Shake.

I have two running and I change each jug out every two weeks, but alternate weeks, so every sunday I change one jug. I get a steady stream of 2-3bps.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:39 PM   #7
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Not to jack the OP's thread too much, but since it was brought up here I figured I could ask her instead of starting a whole new thread.

I'm new to the DIY CO2 as well, and I'm getting CO2 buildup in my bottles and drop checker but I'm not quite seeing the pressure going through the hoses. Maybe .5-1bps. It's pretty cold up here so that's taking away from the activity of the yeast, so my question is how are you keeping the yeast warm enough to hold 2-3bps?

I wrapped my bottle in a hot towel and watched the bps go up, but this obviously won't last throughout the day.

The Gatorade bottle is a good idea for a thicker bottle with a better cap. I'm using the standard 2 liter pop bottle and I think it'll hold no problem. It may Degrade over a very long time but not in the near future. I saw that question up above here.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:06 AM   #8
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Not to jack the OP's thread too much, but since it was brought up here I figured I could ask her instead of starting a whole new thread.

I'm new to the DIY CO2 as well, and I'm getting CO2 buildup in my bottles and drop checker but I'm not quite seeing the pressure going through the hoses. Maybe .5-1bps. It's pretty cold up here so that's taking away from the activity of the yeast, so my question is how are you keeping the yeast warm enough to hold 2-3bps?

I wrapped my bottle in a hot towel and watched the bps go up, but this obviously won't last throughout the day.

The Gatorade bottle is a good idea for a thicker bottle with a better cap. I'm using the standard 2 liter pop bottle and I think it'll hold no problem. It may Degrade over a very long time but not in the near future. I saw that question up above here.
I'm not doing anything special. The temperature in my cabinet is 70-74 depending on the room temp.

I checked last night and I'm still getting 2+ bps. One of the bottle mixes is 16 days old, the other is 9 days old. I haven't seen a substantial drop in CO2 production yet. In fact, last night my drop checker went yellow.

It could have to do with my yeast. i use Red Star active dry yeast. I buy it in 32oz. packages, store it air tight in my refridgerator. It bakes better bread than the other stuff, maybe it does better for DIY CO2 too?

Also, the reason I chose the larger gatorade jug over the 2L bottle is for dilution purposes. I used the same amount of sugar and yeast others use in 2L bottles, but I have 75% more water in my mix. As alcohol is created by the yeast, the concentration of it in my jugs is less than that in a 2L bottle. This allows the yeast to continue to feed off the sugar longer before alcohol stops the process.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:00 AM   #9
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I did pressurized co2 DIY for like a total of 50 bucks if you want a glass diffuser tack on another 50, don't have to mess with any gross stuff or plastic bottles. Pm me if you want to go this route.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:46 PM   #10
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Hello all,

Has anyone ever tried using an air pump connected directly to a diffuser using a light dimmer switch to control the amount of air going into the diffuser? I am actually going to try it tonight. Will let you know how it works out. It would save having to make a yeast solution.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:06 PM   #11
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Hello all,

Has anyone ever tried using an air pump connected directly to a diffuser using a light dimmer switch to control the amount of air going into the diffuser? I am actually going to try it tonight. Will let you know how it works out. It would save having to make a yeast solution.
Are you suggesting just pumping air into a diffuser (glass or ceramic) instead of an airstone in order to increase CO2 in your tank, without any method to generate CO2 other than what is already in the atmosphere? If thats what you are saying, you aren't going to get any results different than just using an air pump connected to an airstone, as far as CO2 concentration is concerned.

Atmospheric CO2 concentration is approximately 0.0314%. By contrast, CO2 from a DIY setup is anywhere from 78-98% pure CO2, and compressed CO2 in a high-tech setup is 99.99% CO2.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:16 PM   #12
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I found out that it doesn't work connecting the air pump directly to the air diffuser. I don't know a lot about how the co2 works. I was following a suggestion that someone at work made. I really didn't think it would work. Thanks a lot for the info. I need to read up on the whole co2 process. I guess will be making a DIY solution until I can afford a nice co2 system.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:19 AM   #13
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Use active dry yeast, not "rapid rise" or "instant rise" yeast. You will have better results.
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Old 02-26-2013, 07:10 AM   #14
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Use active dry yeast, not "rapid rise" or "instant rise" yeast. You will have better results.
Thank you phin. I will do that. Just set my DIY system back up last night. I am using the glass diffuser but i am having problems keeping the ceramic disk clean. I switched it out with the Red Sea reactor 500. I am hoping to get better results with this one. I will find out tonight if its working.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:46 AM   #15
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You can't use glass diffusers with DIY, pressure only.
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:49 AM   #16
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You can use a glass diffuser with DIY co2 as long as you have a diffuser that's rated for it.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:46 AM   #17
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Does anyone know what is the best diffuser to use with a DIY co2 setup?
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Old 02-27-2013, 12:10 PM   #18
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Inline reactor (diffuser). Works great on a canister, but really all you need is a powerhead/pump.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:11 AM   #19
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Inline reactor (diffuser). Works great on a canister, but really all you need is a powerhead/pump.
I have a powerhead so i will try that. Thanks Phin i appreciate the info.
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Old 03-06-2013, 07:51 AM   #20
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Ok I am going pressurized co2. Tired of mixing stuff and having it turn to alcohol. What size co2 tank do you think I should get for my 125 gallon aquarium?
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