larch's DIY CO2 Setup for 80 Litre Tank

Discussion in 'D.I.Y.' started by larch, May 26, 2013.

  1. larch
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    larch Green fingers

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    So I decided to go the DIY CO2 route for my tank as it is a low maintenance cheap on the fly DIY setup and so far after some trail and error I think I finally got it down. What you will need is the following:

    1. 2 litre Coke bottle label removed and washed and left out to dry.

    2. 1 litre Coke bottle label removed and washed and left out to dry.

    3. Airline tubing +- 6 meters depending on your needs and non-return valve.

    4. Air-stone and two suction cups and some marine silicon.


    First you take the cap from your 2 litre bottle and drill a hole in it so that the airline tubing fits snugly into it (make sure it sits flush with were the bottle cap ends when you screw it onto the bottle), silicon both top and bottom parts were the airline tubing meets the cap, make sure not to get any of it on the cap thread. Then take the 1 litre bottle cap and drill two holes in it. The tubing from the 2 litre bottle goes into the one hole (Make sure it goes about halfway down into the bottle) and do the same you did with the 2 litre bottle. Then somewhere on your airline attach the non return valve and on the end your air-stone with a suction cup.

    So basically you will end up with a 2 litre bottle that has a tube running from the 2 litre strait into the 1 litre and from there another tube running from your 1 litre to your valve and then your air-stone. Now fill your 1 litre with water till the piece of tubing is under water. We do this so that when the CO2 is produced whatever particles and other things that might pop out of it that the water will catch it and that we get clean CO2 out on the other side.

    Ingredients for CO2:

    2 cups sugar.
    1 tsp baking soda. (Reason for baking soda is it stops the water from going acidic which kills the yeast)
    1/2 tsp yeast.

    How to Mix:

    Start with a small bowl and add a small amount of lukewarm water (Not hot as it will kill the yeast) and add a teaspoon or two of sugar. Mix in the yeast with a fork, stirring regularly until bubbles form on the surface. This will help to "activate" dry yeast by adding oxygen, preventing mass die-offs that occur if you just throw the yeast into the bottle. Let this sit for 10 minutes.

    Now add the 2 cups of sugar and a table spoon of baking soda into the 2 litre using a funnel. Fill it about 2/3 of the way with lukewarm water. Tap water is fine, put on a cap and shake till all of the sugar and baking soda has dissolved. Then add the bowl of yeast you don't have to mix it just put on the caps and make sure they are secured properly and store them near your tank.

    I use the mixture of 2 cups sugar and 1/2 tsp of yeast. ore yeast means the mixture will produce a lot of C02 but not last as long. So with this 1/2 a tsp it produces a constant C02 for a longer period of time, I would say for 3 weeks and the 1 tsp mixture lasts 2 weeks or less. It should take and hour or two to start producing. It may take a day depending on the temperature of water you used in the mixture.
     
  2. larch
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    larch Green fingers

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    Here is some images of my setup. I found using some cotton wool at the top to trap the CO2 bubbles will help keeping it longer in the tank:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. larch
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    larch Green fingers

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    5 days into my new C02 setup and mixture is still going strong. I gave the bottle a good shake this morning again to make sure it stays active.
     
  4. larch
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    larch Green fingers

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    So my DIY CO2 mix lasted a week this morning no more bubbles came out of the airstone even after shaking the bottle so I will have to replace it 3 times a month which aint to bad.
     
  5. Puntius
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    Puntius Green fingers

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    Nice man not to bad keep us updated on how things are growing, I read somewhere that it takes a while for the plants to start growing woes after CO2 has been added. Any signs that your plants have been growing better?
     
  6. Sir Bob Roberts
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    Sir Bob Roberts Green fingers

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  7. shihr
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    shihr Administrator Staff Member

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    an air pump? what is the point then? if there is a vacume in the system try using a check valve. that will ensure that the tank water isnt siphoned into the bottle ;)
     
  8. R.C.
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    R.C. Moderator Staff Member

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    Looking at the link, he has the airline directly into venturi of his "pump" and this creates a vacuum effect. :)
     
  9. larch
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    larch Green fingers

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    The moss has taken off like a rocket so has my Amazon sword and my Anubia, the Vallis was slow on the uptake but shoots and runners are popping out everywhere now. Other than the CO2 I am also using root tabs and Tropica ferts 10 pumps a week.
     
  10. Puntius
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    Puntius Green fingers

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    Nice man that is good news, I will try and setup my DIY CO2 next weekend.
     
  11. larch
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    larch Green fingers

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    Just one more thing if I buy a small power head would I be able to connect it to the venturi connector, without it sucking my whole DIY CO2 mix into the tank?
     
  12. larch
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    larch Green fingers

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  13. larch
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    larch Green fingers

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    Mark III of my DIY CO2 built same setup but instead of one 2 litre bottle I now have two. And instead of having both tubes running into a single bottle I use a T connector connecting both bottles too a single one which will equalize the pressure in both giving me a more steady stream of CO2.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Puntius
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    Puntius Green fingers

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    Nice man looking good, I might start mine up this month some time.
     
  15. zaqwsx15
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    zaqwsx15 Noob

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    hi Larch

    I have mainly been lurking and reading up as much as possible on the forums...i spend more time on TASA usually

    firstly, loving your DIY setup, its simple and by the looks of it, very effective.

    quick question...how do you regulate when the CO2 is on and off? do you leave it running for a week at a time non-stop? through the night and everything?

    can anyone else think of how to regulate this?

    im about to make one this weekend - thanks for sharing your setup :headbang:
     
  16. larch
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    larch Green fingers

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    I will get back to you in an hour I did some further upgrades on the system. Will post pictures here.
     
  17. larch
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    larch Green fingers

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    Here is my version 3.0 of my DIY CO2 setup. I found that using 2 bottles of my CO2 mix is overkill as I almost gassed my fish using the mix. So I switched back to my 1 bottle system and it works perfectly. As for switching it off, I keep it running 24/7 and it has no ill effects on my fish or plants. Here is what my new DIY CO2 diffuser delivery system looks like:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. larch
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    larch Green fingers

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    Here is my current bottle setup (I am working on a improved version using proper bottles and a built in release valve):

    [​IMG]

    And this is what the delivery system looks like: (Bigger picture)

    [​IMG]
     
  19. larch
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    larch Green fingers

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    So after fiddling around too much I managed to create a leak in my DIY CO2 setup, so I re-did it using some contact glue. The top part of the cap I will be using black car silicon as it is stronger than normal silicon they usually use this on car gaskets. The bottom of the cap I will be using normal marine. I don't have a work bench so I had to improvise with booze bottles:

    [​IMG]

    I also found this tiny power head at a LPS store does only 200 LPH but that does not matter I can now distribute my CO2 from right under my HOB filter and it is not as big and unsightly as my other internal filter. It is about 5 CM bigger than my thermometer:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. SilverJ87
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    SilverJ87 Algae harvester

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    Thank you very much for this post. I have been searching for something like this for a while. Very helpful and easy to understand. 3 questions. Do u need sunlight for this to work? Will this also work for a 100liter tank? Where would I find a return valve suitable for this setup?
     

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