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DIY CO2 bubble count?
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Joined: 31 Dec 2003

PostPosted: 2005.01.07(Fri)18:25    Post subject: DIY CO2 bubble count? Reply with quote

I'm using DIY CO2 on a 10-gallon planted and can't get the pH to budge much more than 7.8 from 8.0. KH is about 4-5 degrees. I think I'm just not generating enough bubbles. What would be "enough"? I'm getting about 8 bubbles per minute. I'm getting good diffusion though using the ladder as the bubbles end up about the size of a pinhead.

Maybe I'm getting a false reading on the pH/KH/CO2 chart due to some other buffering? PO4 is still high but I just planted much more heavily this week and expect (hope) that it will go down.

I dose daily with a little KNO3, MgSO4, K2SO4, Flourish for trace, and Seachem Flourish Excel because I don't think I have enough carbon. No carbon in the filter. I have barely measurable NO3 and Fe at the end of each day.

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Joined: 30 Dec 2004
Location: North Carolina, USA

PostPosted: 2005.01.07(Fri)20:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

8 bubbles a minute isn't going to amount to much. To give you a reference, most people using pressurized co2 start at a bubble a second and adjust from there ( 60 bubbles a minute). Last I checked, I had mine going almost two bubbles a second in a 75 gallon tank.

WIth diy in a ten gallon, I assume you're using a two litre bottle or something. Sounds like you need to adjust your sugar/yeast ratio somehow if you're only getting 8 bubbles a minute.
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2005.01.07(Fri)21:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also look to the circulation in the tank and try to reduce surface agitation.

Put the ladder along the side of the tank nearest the filter outlet. Not on the far side.

After that, look at the recipe you use. Try something different, maybe add baking soda if you are using baking yeast. Ot try a jello recipe or Tara Nybergs' mix with protein powder and molasses.

In my 10 gallon I only get about 8 or so to start, then it declineks, but the plants are fine. I don't wven measure the pH anymore, but I thin it went from 7.9 to 7.6. I have a HOB filters so that limits how much CO2 I keep in the water.
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Joined: 31 Dec 2003

PostPosted: 2005.01.10(Mon)19:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I've moved the bubble ladder over by the filter output. I'm thinking of making a DIY reactor using a powerhead and a piece of gravel vacuum tube in order to disolve all of the CO2. All I have is a penguin filter but the water level in the tank is at the output level of the penguin so I shouldn't be losing too much CO2 from turbulence. Would a DIY reactor work better than the ladder or would it be better to put the bubbles into the filter input?

I'm going to try a couple different ideas with the yeast. I had just read a couple of weeks ago about adding protein power, etc to the mix so I may give that a try.

How many bubbles/minute can/should a two-liter setup make so I know what to aim for?
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Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Location: MD's Eastern Shore, USA

PostPosted: 2005.01.10(Mon)21:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get rather good results just running the CO2 into the intake of my HOB... ~24ppm with DIY yeast and now pressurized. The key is playing with the mix til you find what works for you, then take care to duplicate it each time. For me the mix was 1.5c sugar/0.75tsp yeast/H2O just up to the "shoulder" of a 2l soda bottle.
My biggest beef with DIY(yeast/sugar/H2O) is the inconsistancy and hassle of making up a new batch every 1~2 weeks. I have had batches last a little longer but usually 2 weeks was tops. The Jello DIY lasted much longer but @ a slightly lower bubble rate, a search here @ A of A should produce a recipe. I have not tried the Nyberg mix having gone to pressurized before stumbling on to it... here is a link to the Aquatic Gardeners Org's power point presentation; Nyberg Yeast. This sounds promising for making DIY yeast easier and perhaps more consistent. If you have problems with that link I can post another discussion of the Nyberg method to give the general idea...

As far as bubble rate is concerned I use ~ 1 bps on my 20g... pH6.4 & 2dKH

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PostPosted: 2005.01.11(Tue)11:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good so far. I'll try some alternates recipes I also think I'll go to a two-bottle approach in order to smooth out the peaks and valleys in a single-bottle approach. I remixed last night with the single bottle and as of this morning the bubble count was still disappointing.

So perhaps hooking up both bottles in parallel and alternating changing them every other week. Perhaps third bottle (empty) as a check valve as well.

Sounds like fun at first and then just plain work later but I can't afford a pressurized system.
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