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Old 06-06-2006, 03:26 PM   #1
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My DIY CO2 has no effect, ideas?

I have a typical DIY CO2 set up:
2L bottle, Sugar and Yeast.

The mixture I use is this:
Add 2 Cups of Sugar to half a bottle of cold water and mix well.
Mix 1 tsp of yeast with a half cup of 100F water, add to sugar water and fill the bottle to where the neck begins with cold water. This produces a fairly constant supply of co2 for 4+ weeks.

I get a bubble every few seconds and I catch it in a Jungle Labs Fiz Factory chamber where it sits. The chamber is right below the filter output so the water is pretty active there. I haven't seen any changes in my plants since I have started this set-up 2 -3 months ago. Is there a better way of doing this?

Is the problem possibly the chamber? I considered a ladder but sometimes the bublles aren't constant and the bottle will release a series of bubbles and then nothing for a minute or two so the flow is not consistent.

Thanks
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:32 PM   #2
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What are your KH and PH readings? This will tell you the amount of CO2 that is dissolved in your water.
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:34 PM   #3
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ph has always been around 7.8 - 8.0 and my kh is 120ppm I believe.
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:38 PM   #4
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With those numbers you are only getting a CO2 level of 3ppm. Assuming no leaks, you probably need a better diffuser and you may want to add a second bottle. This is the calculator I used. What is the PH and Kh of your tap water after you let it sit out over night?
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Old 06-06-2006, 04:19 PM   #5
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Re: My DIY CO2 has no effect, ideas?

Quote:
Originally Posted by u2_Crazy
...The chamber is right below the filter output so the water is pretty active there. ...
Im assuming you're using an HOB - more than likely you are offgassing all of the CO2 right away and it isnt staying in the water at all. High surface agitation causes gas levels in the water to equalize with the air - this is what keeps O2 in the tank. By injecting CO2 and having a lot of aggitation, the increased level is leaving the water to balance out the concentration in the air.

If you are using an HOB, are you running the water hieght as high as possible? this will greatly reduce off gassing and get rid of the water fall effect - as well as making the tank a lot quieter.
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:12 PM   #6
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Also, do you have a biowheel in your filter? If so remove it, as it is excellant at gassing off the CO2 you are working so hard to inject into your tank.
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:44 PM   #7
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remove the bio-wheel? is this ok to do? I always keep the water as high as possible so there is no watrerfall at all, I read to keep the chamber in the highest water flow area, should I move it to the other side away from the output of the HOB?
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:50 PM   #8
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or.......... put the co2 line right into the intake of your HOB filter. this way all the co2 goes right into it and it acts as your diffuser. i bought the hagen co2 system and the ladder works great.i saw a dramitic difference in my plants withing 2 weeks. HERE is a link of my tank 2 weeks then 4 weeks after adding co2. the bottom pic is at firts then the top pic is 2 weeks after. then if u scroll down u can see it at 4 weeks. pretty dramatic difference. i was experimenting that month to see grown thats why it looks so bad with all the same plant lol. here is a more recent example of what the co2 does. here was the tank.

and here is the tank about 1 month later

see the differnce lol. i am almost positive that it is a diffuser problem. also adding another bottle will not hurt.
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Old 06-07-2006, 12:47 AM   #9
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I had a DIY system that would stop releasing bubbles, build up pressure, then release a whole bunch all at once. Is this what yours is doing? A semi-faulty one-way valve was the culprit.

Does CO2 "overflow" the fizfactory chamber? If very much CO2 is escaping you may want a larger chamber or an additional one.

I am a big fan of the bell-type diffusors (like the fizfactory) for DIY setups. They may have downsides, but they will usually give you more stable results. You can simply give them more than they can handle and you will always have enough and never too much.
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Old 06-07-2006, 01:00 AM   #10
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8O a month?? I must not be getting very much co2 out of my set up. I am running the tube right into my AC. It looks like a ladder might be a good investment?
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:27 AM   #11
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lol well i upgraded my light aswell. i made my own light to get the out put i wanted but the co2 kept me algae free and made the plants colour soo much more vibrant. i love the ladder diffuser. a bubble a bit bigger than a pea comes out every 3 seconds or so and then by the time it is at the top it is a little bigger than a pin head. u usually have about 20 bubbles on the lader at once all at various sizes. the co2 system was the best thing i ever bought. i am going pressurised today though i hope it works as well lol.
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:03 AM   #12
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The biowheel is the culprit. With passive diffusion you aren't injecting enough CO2 to compensate for the amount that the BioWheel is gasing off. If you don't remove the BioWheel you might as well remove the CO2 or switch to pressurized.

You're plants will help make up for the loss of the BioWheel and it will just encourage the Bacteria to recolonize on the filter pad (or other media in the filter) instead of the biowheel. Just make sure to keep an eye on your parms for the first few days incase you tank goes through a mini cycle. Also keep an eye on your fish in the morning, if you find them gasping at the surface you'll want to add a airstone at night.

I was able to remove the biowheel from a filter without any problems. No mini cycle, no fish gasping at the surface in the morning, or anything. Plus the CO2 levels in my tank jumped dramatically. It was well worth it.
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Old 06-07-2006, 10:00 AM   #13
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You can remove the biowheel. Your tank is well established and you probably won't see anykind of mini-cycle at all. I personally think they are just a marketing scheme any way.

I would add a second bottle. I don't think you can maintain a high enough CO2 level with just 1 2L bottle on a 29gallon tank. It also nags at me that you are getting almost no CO2 at all. I wouldn't think the biowheel would gas it all off, but Joy is the expert so I defer to her wisdom and I have never had a biowheel.

Good luck.
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Old 06-07-2006, 10:30 AM   #14
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Could be a leak in your system or a faulty check valve as hashbaz has suggested. The faulty check vavle happened to me as well. No pressure then a ton all at once. I'm thinking you have a leak somewhere, it only takes a small one to stop the bubbles from getting to the water. Smell around the top of your CO2 bottle. You shouldn't smell anything. If it smells like old beer, you have a leak. Sometimes I'll crank the lid tighter and that will do the trick! Good luck.
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Old 06-08-2006, 03:46 PM   #15
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I removed the Bio-Wheel last night, I am going to add an airstone during the dark times. I am also going to add in a second bottle. I think I will stagger them so 1 is 2 weeks older than the other, that should give me a pretty consistent CO2 output

Will this set-up be better? Sorry, I got carried away in paint.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg co2_161.jpg (13.7 KB, 108 views)
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:07 PM   #16
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That's the setup I use on my 30gal tank. I just use 1 check valve between the "T" and the diffuser. I use 2 1gal juice bottles though instead of the 2L bottles, which is something you may want to look into. I'm getting a consistent 25-30ppm.
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:26 AM   #17
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That's some nice work in paint!!! Well done.

I personally so not use check valves on my c02, there is too much chance of it jamming up and you getting a REALLY bad mess. A gas seperator will work just as well without the risk.

How a look at your diffuser - Does it ever completely fill up and co2 bubble past it?? If so you need to upgrade your diffuser - There are some really good diy ones on this forum.
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:00 AM   #18
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my diffuser usually only half fills up, but I moved it away from the filter output yesterday so It may not diffuse as quickly anymore. I'll keep an eye on it.
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3 Buenos Aires Tetras, 4 Pepper Cories, 2 Clown Plecos, 1 Blue Gourami, 1 Gold Gourami, 1 Apple Snail.
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