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Thread: DIY CO2 injection system

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    Eric's Avatar
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    DIY CO2 injection system

    So I have been thinking up ideas for a good Utricularia setup, and I read on some threads here that they generally appreciate a good amount of CO2 in the water. After some research I decided to make my own little CO2 pump. I connected an aquarium tube line through a hole in a one gallon milk container lid via superglue and silicone caulk. I then attached an air stone to the other end of the tube. By dissolving a few cups of sugar in water and adding yeast, CO2 is produced as a yeast fermentation by-product. Within hours of mixing it all up and putting the cap on tight I had a steady stream of bubbles going. All I'll have to do is switch out the soon to be alcohol water with new water containing sugar every few weeks. Has anyone else tried this?

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    Axelrod12's Avatar
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    I've used DIY co2 on some of my aquariums in the past. While I've seen reasonable success from others using it I never had incredible success myself. It definitely works but is really only suited to smaller setups, probably under 20 gallons at the most. My issues with it were having very inconsistent co2 production. There are all sorts of recipes out there, some even using jello and rice or different yeasts, that are supposed to stabilize co2 bubble counts and make mixtures last longer. I never went crazy with mine though so mine always started out with decent co2 production but faded fairly quickly to amounts that weren't really doing much of anything. Do you have any filtration or water movement in the setup?

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    Eric's Avatar
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    Do you mean water movement in the yeast container? Or water movement where the plants are? I think if I had some sort of movement in the yeast container that it would do significantly better, whenever I shake it there is a two or three minute burst of bubbles.

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    I meant where the plants are. Excess surface movement or disruption will cause the dissolved co2 to gas out of the water faster. How big is the setup?

    From what I understand movement in the reactor with the yeast isn't necessary it will still have the reaction occur regardless. Perhaps movement will speed up the reaction, but that would probably just produce more bubbles in the beginning and make the reaction stop altogether much quicker.

    The idea behind the jello recipes is that the jello prevents the yeast from getting to all the sugar right away. This prolongs the reaction and lets the mixture produce co2 longer.

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    Eric's Avatar
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    The jello idea sounds very interesting. My setup is pretty small, only about a liter of water so I don't think the surface disruption will be too much of an issue. I'll look around for some ideas and see if anyone has successfully slowed down the yeast

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    Eric's Avatar
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    I may not dissolve the sugar fully in the water next time, as this could keep the yeast from using all the sugars in the first week or so. I've also heard that adding baking soda to the water acts as a buffer and tends to keep the yeast alive longer before the pH drops.

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    Axelrod12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    I may not dissolve the sugar fully in the water next time, as this could keep the yeast from using all the sugars in the first week or so. I've also heard that adding baking soda to the water acts as a buffer and tends to keep the yeast alive longer before the pH drops.
    It can, whether its necessary probably depends on the hardness of your water from the tap.

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    oi.......sounds like too much trouble for something that will grow anyway. i had one when i first started but got tired of messing with it and sold it after the plants outgrew the terrarium.

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