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ashlee18

DIY CO2

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Let me start this off by saying, I am no expert at this but this has worked so far. And if anything doesn't make sense, please ask questions. Also, please ignore all my random aquarium crap lol

You will want to do 1 setup for every 30 gallons. So I did 2 for my 55.

Materials you will need:

1. 2 liter bottle

2. Small bottle or jar

3. Airline tubing.

4. Silicone

5. Check valve

6. Airstone

7. Drill

IMG_0042.jpg

First, find the drill bit that is just a little bit smaller than your airline tubing. If you pick one that is too small, that is fine. You can always make the hole bigger but not smaller ;)

IMG_0043.jpg

Drill 2 holes in the bottle cap to the smaller bottle or jar. Drill 1 hole in the bottle cap of the two liter bottle.

IMG_0044.jpg

I made the holes too small and had to make them bigger.

IMG_0045.jpg

Cut 2 pieces of airline tubing. You will need 1 long piece (long enought to go from your jar into the tank) and one short piece about 1 foot long. My long piece is about 4 feet long because the airstones are near the bottom of the tank and the bottles sit on a shelf under the tank.

I found that the least messy way to silicone the tubing to the cap was to place a gob of silicone where you want the cap to be and push the cap into that spot. And then use something to smooth it into the cracks. Also, cutting the tubing into an angle makes it easier to push through the hole.

In your cap with two holes: You will want to make one of the tubes is at least 3 inches or more throuh the bottle cap. One needs to be much shorter and only long enough to be siliconed securely.

IMG_0046.jpg

In your cap with one hole: You are siliconing this to the other end of the short piece. This piece only needs to be push in far enough to silicone it.

IMG_0047.jpg

This is what it will look like:

IMG_0048.jpg

Cut the short piece and add in a check valve. You want the arrow to go from your 2 liter bottle into the small bottle or jar.

IMG_0054.jpg

Let the silicone sit for at least 24 hours before you mess with it.

Then put your airstone on other end of the long piece. You can put it where ever you want in your tank but I read that it is best to try and get it into the filter. Some people put the airstone directly into the intake.

IMG_0050.jpg

Next, the recipe and preparing the bottles.

Ingredients:

1. Regular sugar

2. Brown sugar

3. Yeast (don't use fast rising but the regular stuff)

4. Baking soda

IMG_0051.jpg

You can use just brown or regular sugar if you don't want to use both. You also don't have to use baking soda.

I used: 2 cups of sugar total. I wanted it to be 2/3 brown sugar and 1/3 regular sugar. So I did 1 1/3 cups brown sugar and 2/3 cup regular sugar. Then add in 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon yeast. The brown sugar is a pain to get through the funnel but is easier when mixed with the regular sugar beforehand.

IMG_0052.jpg

Add warm water. Don't use hot water. Add until the water reaches the curve in the top of the bottle or 2/3rd full. As you can see, I added too much but didn't want to pour it out. Give it a good shake to mix everything up.

IMG_0053.jpg

Screw on the top with only one tube to the 2 liter bottle.

IMG_0055.jpg

Fill your small bottle or jar 2/3rd of the way. Screw on the top with 2 tubes.

IMG_0056.jpg

My second setup.

IMG_0057.jpg

The longer tube should be in the water. This is your bubble counter. You want 1 bubble per second. It also stops the mixture from the 2 liter bottle from going into your tank.

IMG_0058.jpg

I started the bottles and they were making some bubbles 1.5 hrs later. I will post a video of them in action tomorrow.

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Nice job!

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Wow. The steps are very clearly described, and the pictures helped a ton! Great job, Ashlee. Looking forward to seeing that lush tropical tank :)

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Thank you! I made a DIY setup last weekend and it wasn't working--now I know why! :)

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Thanks guys. Your comments make it worth it :) I forgot to take a "before" picture. I will have to do that tomorrow. The tank is pitiful looking.

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Great job Ashlee :)

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Very cool! I have a few questions though, as I have no clue about co2 systems.

The small bottle is filled with tap water?

Why do you say white sugar, brown sugar, yeast and baking soda when using just either white or brown sugar plus yeast alone is good enough? What is the advantage when using all four ingredients like you did?

Just because I am such a noob, can you go a bit into detail what the process is? I assume the sugar/yeast/water mix produces gas which then goes via long tube directly into the water in the small bottle to do...??? what? LOL And this somehow changes the gas in the small bottle, which then is slowly being pushed into the tank water, where the filter sucks it up and...??

Sorry for being such a noob LOL I just like to not only know how it is done, but also how it works! :)

I'd love to try this myself. Maybe I'll do some shopping at work today :D

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang

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This is great!

I have a very basic CO2 system on my tropical tank (this one) and all you put in it is white sugar, yeast, water and a bit of baking soda. I'm curious about why you use the brown sugar as well?

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Great tutorial Ashlee.

I have a few questions:

You made a bubble counter, but is there any way for you to control the output of co2? Do you use a valve of somekind that I failed to notice? (i can be dense like that)

Do you have any idea how long this setup should keep putting out co2 for? Or does it depend on tank volume/pressure?

Why is it best to get co2 into the filter? I would have instinctively avoided that because adding co2 can make o2 levels drop at night so idve been worried about starving my bbs of o2 by filling it with co2 :/ also wouldnt having it by the outlet "disperse" it better?

I too am a co2 novice so these might be dumb questions, ive always just balanced light and ferts to grow my plants, im thinking of co2 more lately and this makes it sound achievable!

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Your tutorial was really great. White sugar lasts longer, but brown sugar makes more co2. The batch will just have to be replaced sooner. You can buy champagne yeast on ebay and it's sulpposed to last for eight weeks or more. I haven't tried it yet. You Also might want to get a cheap glass diffuser, as the co2 will eat the air stone. Nice Job. :)

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Thanks guys :)

I bought the ceramic air stone in hopes that it will last longer than the blue one ;) I was looking at diffusers too though in case the airstone doesn't work.

Fang, the big bottle makes the bubbles. The bubbles have to escape through the only tube and go to the smaller bottle. The smaller bottle is only there to count the bubbles. The bubbles come out of the long tube under the water, making it easy to count. Then they break the surface and go through the smaller tube and out of the airstone. Because of the pressure from the mixture bottle, it all keeps moving in 1 direction.

For the mixture, you only need sugar and yeast. Brown sugar and baking soda are supposed to help up the CO2 and make it last longer.

When I left it, the setups were making 1 bubble per 5 seconds. So I didn't add anything to controll the flow yet. If it were to go over 1 bubble per second, I would add in the piece. The piece would go in the same section as the check valve but after it.

From what I read, the 1 bubble per second is not enough to starve the bbs, that is why the put it in the filter. The filter method is to disperse the bubbles even more.

Also, this batch should last 2 weeks but can go up to 4. You also want to shake the bottle if it produces less bubbles. If you shake it and it doesn't help, you need a new batch :)

The small bottles are filled with regular tap water.

Edited by ashlee18

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Oh ok, now I know what you mean with counting bubbles. So the waterbottle really has no actual purpose except for showing how many bubbles there are. I get it! :D

Gonna go do this now. I keep whining about not having a fish tank project. You saved me! Lova ya! :heart:D

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^lol I know! I was getting bored so decided to try this one night.

Right, the smaller bottle is for counting bubbles and to prevent the mixture from going into the tank.

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Got it! I bought two 2 liter bottles of seltzer water (dumped except for one huge glass for myself) and two 1 liter bottles of spring water today, along with some yeast. I know we got a ton of sugar and brown sugar that we bought for all the Christmas cookies we never made LOL, as well as baking soda. Steven always has that for his various projects. Everything else I have on hand.

Charging the battery for the drill right now :D I am so excited LOLOLOL

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good luck Fang!

Ashlee I hope youre going to keep us informed with a play-by-play of the plants in this tank! :]

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Good luck! I will try to remember a video. I am kinda frazzeled today.

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Let me start this off by saying, I am no expert at this but this has worked so far. And if anything doesn't make sense, please ask questions. Also, please ignore all my random aquarium crap lol

You will want to do 1 setup for every 30 gallons. So I did 2 for my 55.

Materials you will need:

1. 2 liter bottle

2. Small bottle or jar

3. Airline tubing.

4. Silicone

5. Check valve

6. Airstone

7. Drill

IMG_0042.jpg

First, find the drill bit that is just a little bit smaller than your airline tubing. If you pick one that is too small, that is fine. You can always make the hole bigger but not smaller ;)

IMG_0043.jpg

Drill 2 holes in the bottle cap to the smaller bottle or jar. Drill 1 hole in the bottle cap of the two liter bottle.

IMG_0044.jpg

I made the holes too small and had to make them bigger.

IMG_0045.jpg

Cut 2 pieces of airline tubing. You will need 1 long piece (long enought to go from your jar into the tank) and one short piece about 1 foot long. My long piece is about 4 feet long because the airstones are near the bottom of the tank and the bottles sit on a shelf under the tank.

I found that the least messy way to silicone the tubing to the cap was to place a gob of silicone where you want the cap to be and push the cap into that spot. And then use something to smooth it into the cracks. Also, cutting the tubing into an angle makes it easier to push through the hole.

In your cap with two holes: You will want to make one of the tubes is at least 3 inches or more throuh the bottle cap. One needs to be much shorter and only long enough to be siliconed securely.

IMG_0046.jpg

In your cap with one hole: You are siliconing this to the other end of the short piece. This piece only needs to be push in far enough to silicone it.

IMG_0047.jpg

This is what it will look like:

IMG_0048.jpg

Cut the short piece and add in a check valve. You want the arrow to go from your 2 liter bottle into the small bottle or jar.

IMG_0054.jpg

Let the silicone sit for at least 24 hours before you mess with it.

Then put your airstone on other end of the long piece. You can put it where ever you want in your tank but I read that it is best to try and get it into the filter. Some people put the airstone directly into the intake.

IMG_0050.jpg

Next, the recipe and preparing the bottles.

Ingredients:

1. Regular sugar

2. Brown sugar

3. Yeast (don't use fast rising but the regular stuff)

4. Baking soda

IMG_0051.jpg

You can use just brown or regular sugar if you don't want to use both. You also don't have to use baking soda.

I used: 2 cups of sugar total. I wanted it to be 2/3 brown sugar and 1/3 regular sugar. So I did 1 1/3 cups brown sugar and 2/3 cup regular sugar. Then add in 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon yeast. The brown sugar is a pain to get through the funnel but is easier when mixed with the regular sugar beforehand.

IMG_0052.jpg

Add warm water. Don't use hot water. Add until the water reaches the curve in the top of the bottle or 2/3rd full. As you can see, I added too much but didn't want to pour it out. Give it a good shake to mix everything up.

IMG_0053.jpg

Screw on the top with only one tube to the 2 liter bottle.

IMG_0055.jpg

Fill your small bottle or jar 2/3rd of the way. Screw on the top with 2 tubes.

IMG_0056.jpg

My second setup.

IMG_0057.jpg

The longer tube should be in the water. This is your bubble counter. You want 1 bubble per second. It also stops the mixture from the 2 liter bottle from going into your tank.

IMG_0058.jpg

I started the bottles and they were making some bubbles 1.5 hrs later. I will post a video of them in action tomorrow.

This post has been promoted to an article

Great job! Awesome perseverance!

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i actually have this same set tup. but i keep on using bad mix ratio, so i will try your mix ingredients and see how it does. thanks for posting

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I have left my co2 solution for so long it has turned to alcohol. I'm too afraid to open the bottle. LOL

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weel, that is very interesting! I learn so much here @ kokos! Thanks Ashlee. I look forward to seeing the results.

mj

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I have left my co2 solution for so long it has turned to alcohol. I'm too afraid to open the bottle. LOL

haha i remember leaving a solution sit for a while. it smelled like some "fine" wine.

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Dan, were you trying to make fish flavored vodka???

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:lol

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Dan, were you trying to make fish flavored vodka???
hmmmm there's an idea. Lol.

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Dan, were you trying to make fish flavored vodka???
hmmmm there's an idea. Lol.

Oh dont give him Ideas :rofl

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