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My short term solution to pressurized Co2

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  • My short term solution to pressurized Co2

    I had a problem! The wife’s put my aquatic aspirations on a limited hold down period. “No more major spending until after summer.” So this means, no Pressurized Co2 until then. I sat down, put on my thinking cap and brain strained to figure out a way to stabilize and increase the efficiency of my DIY set up. My tank has been bouncing back and forth from BBA to GSA outbreaks for the last 2 months. I have battled two DIY Co2 leaks (caused by hardened air hose at the bottle connection) causing inconsistencies and dealing with low/inconsistent diffusion rates. I knew I needed to solve these issues in order to start Tom Barr’s EI method.

    And I believe I have created the ultimate DIY Yeast set-up!

    Please tell me if anyone can see any issues I might want to address with this system. What could go wrong? And please don’t bring up glass bottles exploding; it’s not going to happen. I change and clean one every week and not once has one even had a hint of blockage. Thanks for any other suggestions though.


    Firstly, I needed to completely resolve the plastic leaks caused by air hose hardening at the bottle entryway and this is what I’ve done. I went to Canadian Tire and purchased 3 brake caliper bleeder valves and soldered them into very tight holes in the steel pickle jar lids (no more silicone). I tested all three under water. I put a tube on the valve and pumped air into the bottle with a bike tire pump until the lids started to really bulge, not a single air bubble leaked. The bottles are air tight! Problem solved.







    Then onto my diffusion issues, but remember I needed to solve my problem cheaply. The bleeder valves only costed me about 6 bucks. I thought about it and thought about it and then decided to take a little break. While doing some tank clean-up with a small amount of gravel vacuuming I got an idea when watching little bits of gravel fight against the pythons current. If I were to buy another 10” Python I could use the second cap to create an inline diffuser! Diffusion solved…..I hoped!






    I also wanted to create an easier way the remove and replace the bottles while at the same time introducing as little oxygen to the system as possible. I also wanted to minimize tube flex from pressure. I used this really thick airline hose I found a Canadian Tire (twice as thick as the airline at Aquarium Services) really heavy duty stuff which is also supposed to be resistant to corrosive chemicals. I rigged up a series of valves to help lock in as much Co2 in the system as possible while changing bottles.






    So I rigged it all up, tore out my old ugly system and waited. 36 hours and lots of “air” bubbles later and little to no Co2 getting into the water. Lot’s of air building up in the diffuser that was not defusing, so I had to keep purging it out, which was easy because of the Eheim caps at the edge of the tank. Needless to say, I was pulling my freakin’ hair out! LOL. I was like “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE!?!?!??!

    I thought possibly because Co2 is heavier then air that is was just slowly pushing the air out first. In fact, I believe I was close to jumping of a bridge if this wasn’t the case! LOL Anyway, sure enough, just a few hours after 36 hours had passed I started noticing the drop checker changing color. It changed fairly quickly too, within about 2-3 hours it turned a nice dark green, right around 10:00PM. The next morning it was a nice light yellow green and seems to be holding. I look forward to seeing what happens after 1 week and I have to change a bottle. I have my current mixture lasting just over 3 weeks.

    1.8 liters tank water
    1 cup sugar
    teaspoon yeast
    teaspoon baking soda

    The whole system seems to be working out well. I started EI on Monday, yay!

    I want a Tom Barr tank, and God Damn it, I’m going to get one! Pressurized Co2 or no pressurized Co2.

    When I cleaned and reset-up the drop checker, I set it up with a “5dkh” solution. I figure if I can get yellow-green with a 5dkh solution then I can be even more assured that there is at least 30ppm Co2 in the tank.

    First day



    36-38 hours later, at 36 it still looked mostly like the first picture….then,



    Next morning and now 2 more days in and the color is holding at a nice yellow green,






    What do you guys think? Suggestions? Thoughts?
    Last edited by I Love Aqautic Weeds!; 06-15-2010, 08:26 PM.

  • #2
    Seems to be working. Well done. I spend a lot of time DIYing my own projects so I totally appreciate your ingenuity.

    What did you use to glue the extra gravel vac cap on with? Did you have any trouble getting the cap off in the first place?
    "Do, then talk about it.
    No do? No talk!!" - Tom Barr

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Oreo View Post
      Seems to be working. Well done. I spend a lot of time DIYing my own projects so I totally appreciate your ingenuity.

      What did you use to glue the extra gravel vac cap on with? Did you have any trouble getting the cap off in the first place?

      Thanks,

      I had no issues at all getting the cap off, they are not siliconed or glued in any way. On there own they fit real tight and do not leak but I decided to silicone the caps in place, just in case. If the damn thing came apart it would empty near half the tank onto the floor and my wife would not be impressed. LOL

      Another great thing about the diffuser is that when I do get the pressurized set-up I can plug it right in to this one.
      Last edited by I Love Aqautic Weeds!; 06-15-2010, 08:40 PM.

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      • #4
        Just had a thought... It might be worth while hitting those jar lids with some clear-coat spray paint to keep rust at bay. I'm pretty sure they aren't stainless. Tape off the inside rim though so you don't mess up the way it seals to the jar.
        "Do, then talk about it.
        No do? No talk!!" - Tom Barr

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Oreo View Post
          Just had a thought... It might be worth while hitting those jar lids with some clear-coat spray paint to keep rust at bay. I'm pretty sure they aren't stainless. Tape off the inside rim though so you don't mess up the way it seals to the jar.
          Thta's great idea! Thanks, i have some black I can put on it.

          Comment


          • #6
            deleted deleted
            Last edited by james.folsom; 08-26-2010, 07:25 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by james.folsom View Post
              Where can I buy that drop checker?

              You can use gelatin to solidify the mixture, and regulate the CO2 release.
              I bought it from Aquarium Services here in Toronto.

              Comment

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