1. Welcome to AquaScaping World!

    Become a register member to get FULL SITE ACCESS AND BENEFITS.

    Join the ASW community now!

    Dismiss Notice

DIY Co2 Not Generating - 17 Hours

Discussion in 'Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Section' started by MarineRecon, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. MarineRecon

    MarineRecon New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    United States
    Hi everyone. Yesterday I set up an diy co2 system.

    It consists of a 1 liter bottle (brew) --> bubble counter (1 liter bottle) --> check valve ---> diffuser (extra fine airstone)

    It has been 17 hours with no signs of any Co2. Is it because the bubble counter bottle adds more pressure for the Co2 to get through? Is it because I didn't de-chorlinate my water? Is it because I am using a 1 liter bottle as the generator?

    Any info would be appreciated. :)
     
  2. abhradip1986

    abhradip1986 Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2012
    Likes Received:
    151
    Location:
    Bangalore, India
    If i'm not wrong the extra fine diffusers require 20psi pressure to start bubbling, and DIY CO2 will never produce such pressure if atleast 4-5 bottles are not aligned together!
     
  3. bsnyder921

    bsnyder921 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Hi Marine-
    Welcome to the forum and congrats on your DIY CO2 system.

    You could have a few problems going on, and you can figure out the issue by doing a little investigating.

    First, I'd take the tubing connected to your 1L bottle and put it directly into the tank. Hold it steady, and wait for bubbles to start coming out. As long as your 'brew' is producing CO2, you should see bubbles coming out pretty quickly - within a minute or so. If you don't get any bubbles, you know where your problem lies -- with the brew itself, or perhaps a leak in the 1L bottle or the tubing.

    If you get bubbles, then you know that the problem lies in the bubble counter, check valve, or diffuser. Here's a take on those three scenarios:

    Bubble counter - get rid of this, you don't need it. All it's going to do is make it harder for the CO2 bubbles to reach the tank. You'll never get more than a few bubbles per second (at best) with your DIY setup, so there's no need to worry about overdosing on CO2. Plus, even if you were getting too many bubbles, there's no way to fine-adjust the flow of CO2 from your bottle anyway. So ditch the bubble counter. Save it for if/when you get a pressurized system.

    Check valve - First, (I have to say it) - make sure it's installed the correct way (not backwards). Also, some of these actually require a fair amount of pressure to get air (or CO2) to go through. Some check valves work differently from others. Try blowing into the intake end of your check valve - how hard do you have to blow in order to get air to come out? If you have to blow hard at all, I'd ditch the check valve as well. That's right, ditch it. When I had a DIY system I never had one and I never had any issues. You won't either, as long as 1) your CO2 tubing doesn't have any leaks, 2) the spot where the tubing enters the bottle is air tight, and 3) the cap on the bottle is tight. If you think about it, water will never flow back from your aquarium into your bottle because there's no room for the water to go. The bottle is already filled to 100% capacity with your brew and CO2. Backflow is therefore impossible unless you have a leak in your system. If you don't believe me, take the end of the tubing that would go into the aquarium and try to blow. You shouldn't be able to -- and if you can, that means you have a leak. So if you can't blow air into it, water won't go into it either.

    Extra fine airstone - again, try the experiment where you attach tubing to the airstone, then drop the airstone into the tank where you want it, and then try to blow air through the tubing. See how hard it is to get bubbles to come out of your air stone. My guess is that it will be pretty hard. Remember, DIY CO2 systems will not create a lot of pressure! And that's good, you don't want them to because if something went wrong they might explode (messy). But if the airstone is the problem, don't worry. There are plenty of great and inexpensive ways to get tiny bubbles of CO2 with a DIY system. I made one myself out of a tiny filter, and I posted the process for making it on youtube.. check it out!



    Using that method, there is absolutely nothing between the CO2 bottle and the diffuser, so it's very easy for the CO2 bubbles to make it into the tank.

    Good luck and keep us posted with your progress!
    -Brian
     
  4. MarineRecon

    MarineRecon New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    United States
    Wow! Thank you for all of that great information. I have just replaced my brew because someone informed me that I had probably killed the yeast because when I activated it I used hot/boiling water. If the Co2 doesn't form within 12 hours I will be sure to take full action of your post.

    Just want to double check that we are talking about the same airstone.

    http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2752197

    Once again, thank you very much. :)
     
  5. bsnyder921

    bsnyder921 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    No problem at all, I'm glad to help!

    You're spot on about the boiling water. Remember, the yeast in the packets are actually living things. You burned them all alive, which is why they never started breathing (yes, they literally breathe and exhale carbon dioxide). Only use very slightly warm water. Usually I'd make my brew this way --

    Fill up your CO2 bottle with a little bit of water... about 1/4 of the way. Then add all of your yeast. This way, the yeast hits the water when it goes into the bottle, and will help you mix it around in the water. If you add the yeast to an empty dry bottle, it sometimes clumps and gets stuck in the bottom of the bottle when you add the water. After you add the yeast, fill the bottle up with some more water - filling it up about halfway. Now shake the bottle vigorously to mix your brew all around. I've found that this seems to help activate the yeast. Once it's thoroughly mixed, add the rest of the water to fill up your bottle to however full you like it to be. (Note - I don't like filling it up all the way and THEN shaking it, because it's harder to get the mixture to really splash around if the bottle is nearly full.)

    Now that you've made your brew, go drink one. By the time you're done the CO2 should be coming out. It should never take 12 hours. In fact, if you aren't getting a pretty steady stream of bubbles within the first 10-20 minutes, you probably have bad yeast (yeast does have a shelf life), a leak, or your water was too hot/cold.

    I'd always make the brew in the kitchen. Once it's done and the cap w/ tubing is in place, I'd take the end of the tubing and put it in a glass of water. That way it's really easy to see when the bubbles start coming out. Once you verify that you have bubbles, then you can take it all over to your aquarium and get it setup.
     
  6. MarineRecon

    MarineRecon New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    United States
  7. bsnyder921

    bsnyder921 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I have no idea if they'll come out of the air stone or not. Honestly I doubt it. But since the stone only costs a few bucks, you can give it a try. Here's what I'd do:

    1. Once you make your brew, put end of the tubing into a glass of water to verify that bubbles are coming out. Nothing should be attached to the tubing except the bottle at one end.

    2. Now attach the air stone to the end of the tubing and drop the airstone into the glass of water. Wait at least a minute or two. If the bubbles don't come out right away, it's because the pressure hasn't built up enough yet. Kind of like you trying to blow up a balloon. If you aren't blowing hard enough (pressure), the balloon won't inflate (no bubbles coming out). You have to blow hard enough to get the balloon to inflate, right? Same with your CO2 -- the CO2 bubbles have to be pushing hard enough to get the bubbles to go through the air stone. There's a chance that they won't ever push hard enough to go through the air stone -- and that could be dangerous because it might result in your bottle exploding from a build up of pressure. If bubbles DO come out of the airstone, the next step is to drop the airstone down into your aquarium. The deeper the airstone is in water, the more pressure will be required to get the bubbles to come out of it. If bubbles STILL come out after the airstone is at the bottom of your tank, check out your bottle. Does it look like it's swollen and about to explode? If it is, unscrew the cap and release the pressure before it explodes -- and don't try using the air stone again. :)

    Again, there are tons of easy ways to diffuse bubbles in your aquarium with a DIY Co2 system that are easy and cheap. Just do a youtube search for DIY CO2 diffuser and see how others are doing it. There's no shortage of good ideas!
     
  8. MarineRecon

    MarineRecon New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    United States
    Thanks a ton! That is what I am about to do right now. :D
     
  9. sushant

    sushant Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    New Delhi
    if you are using a regular air stone there is on reason should not work (apart from bad brew and leak). but the diffuser used for pressurised co2 cylinder is certainly not going to work here.
     
  10. MarineRecon

    MarineRecon New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    United States
    Thank you. I have everything set up and running. I am using a bell because nothing else works for my pressure. I do not mind because I only have a 10 gallon tank with hair grass that I would like to turn into a carpet. I also have fertilizer tabs and liquid Co2/Carbon supplement. I am just happy that it is working! :D
     
  11. jasonperry

    jasonperry Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    linclonshire
    i use the jbl spiral type of defuser on my diy set up and works realy wel ill give u my mixture if its any help i activate around half a teaspoon of yeast in warmish luke warm water with a small pinch of sugar to help create oxeygen for the yeast to activate and wisk it to create lots of bubbels i keep wisking every 3 mins for 10 mins then add yeast to sugar water also luke warm. i use a 2 ltr bottel for the reaction chamber and a small bottel half filled with water to filter the gas to take the alcahol out i use the 2ltr bottle mixture of 2 cups of cane sugar and 3rd of a spoon of biocarb soda to buff i get 2 and a half weeks of solid co2 production out of this mix i shake the bottel every 3 to 4 days to keep it fizzing the pressure needed i hope this helped... i hate the messing about of diy set up so going pressurised soon :)
     
  12. jasonperry

    jasonperry Aspiring Aquascaper

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2011
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    linclonshire
    if you didnt want to buy a difuser you can make one
    .cut a top off a bottel around 1 inch from the top of the bottel.
    .get some really fine filter sponge and placing it right up inside take the lid off the section thats cut to alow the co2 to escape.
    drill a little hole a shade smaller than the co2 piping not at the lid part at the bottom and the place the tube.
    . attatch a suction cup so it can be place in the tank. there you go a diy difuser the co2 bubbels work there way up the the sponge and melt into the tank the sponge chops the co2 bubbels up hope this is all helpful if you need it :)
     
  13. kura-kura

    kura-kura New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Likes Received:
    0
    another cheap way to make a difuser is to use those wooden/bamboo chopstick that they give in the Chinese restaurant cut them to 2inch or so then stick it at the end of the tube.... it works great for me
     

Share This Page

Sponsored link: