CO2 disaster : (

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by ilikefish, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. ilikefishValued MemberMember

    I made a 2L DIY CO2 setup (1cup sugar half a packet of yeast) (It was connected to an air-stone not a water pump) and then I placed it in my 10g(only shrimp and lots of plants) and turned off the air pump...

    They looked fine during the day but this morning 9/40 shrimp molted and 3 are minimally responsive to touch... I Immediately disconnected the CO2 and turned up the air-pump to max...

    I hope my sick shrimps make it : (...

    I was aware of a potential CO2 crash during the night but I figured that since I didn't have a proper bubble-smasher? that I would be fine... I guess not...

    Now I'm scared to try again and I have HC and glosso in the tank which from what I can tell needs CO2... but if I had to choose I'd choose my shrimp any day...

    Any thoughts? Does anyone think simply turning on the air pump at night would be enough? (It does make alott of surface disturbance...)
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  2. funkman262Well Known MemberMember

    How long was it running for? That's a whole lot of yeast that you used. You're typically only supposed to use 1/8 to 1/2 tsp of yeast. The more yeast you use, the quicker the reaction will occur and the more CO2 that's being produced. I'm running a 3L reactor with 2 cups sugar and 1/2 tsp yeast in a 45g and I'm getting enough CO2 to be good for the plants yet safe for the fish. Using that much yeast in just a 10g tank is probably overloading the tank with CO2 at levels unsafe for the shrimp. My guess is that with that recipe, using an airstone at night won't help because it'll still be way too much during the day.

  3. ilikefishValued MemberMember

    It was running for a total of 24 hours... and I didn't have a tablespoon and thought that half a packet would be about rig........


    tsp is teaspoon :( oops.... :(

    I always read it and just in my head thought table spoon....

    well now I know my issue... I'm going to give them a break and let it equalize for 2-3 weeks before I try anything again... as far as the plants oh well they should make it...

    so if your setup is safe then by using simple ratios... hypothetically
    2 Litter bottle
    4/9 cups of sugar
    1/9tsp yeast

    Would be equivalent to your setup in my ten gallon.

    I'm not sure how I'd measure that but I will find a way! lol

    Oh and thanks for your help : )

  4. funkman262Well Known MemberMember

    That's not quite how it works. Here's what you should do:

    2L bottle
    2 cups sugar
    1/8 tsp yeast
    Fill bottle with water 2/3 to the top

    The yeast uses the sugar as food, so you don't want to decrease that amount. The more yeast you have, the quicker the reaction (releases more CO2) but it goes bad more quickly also (the reaction produces alcohol which kills the yeast). Less yeast will give you a more steady supply of CO2 at lower concentrations so the reaction will last longer before you need to empty the bottle and make it again. Feel free to ask more questions. There are a lot of threads already about making DIY CO2 reactors so I'll see if I could find a few of them for you.

  5. ilikefishValued MemberMember

    I have read many threads but everyone always gave their recipes for larger tanks... never for the small ones but I will use your recipe... but won't 2 cups of sugar last a while? (which is what I want but wait wait follow me)... and because it lasts a while the little yeast I have would make alcohol and kill the little yeast I have before the 2 cups ever got completely used... right? or no?

    Also should I make a bubble smasher (water pump that smashes the bubbles) or will a mere air-stone be fine?

    Thank you so much for all of your help : )...
  6. navyscubaWell Known MemberMember

    That was a lot of yeast. I don't have a bubbler for air on my tanks that have c02 and the filter is running all day and never had an issue.
  7. funkman262Well Known MemberMember

    With less yeast, it'll take longer for enough alcohol to be produced to kill the yeast. Sugar is so cheap that I wouldn't be worried about adding too much sugar because I don't believe it'll affect anything (what matters is that the yeast have enough food). You could make it last even longer by using a larger container with the same recipe and the additional water would essentially dilute the alcohol that's produced allowing the reaction to occur over a longer period of time.
  8. cm11599psWell Known MemberMember

    Pardon my ignorance, but why wouldn't you use real CO2? I have a kegerator (specially designed fridge that lets me have draft beer at home) that I have a CO2 hooked to. The CO2 tank helps keep the beer carbonated and helps it dispense from the keg.

    I have a 5 lb CO2 tank that will dispense about 5-7 full size kegs before needing to be filled. It only costs about $15 to fill it.
  9. funkman262Well Known MemberMember

    Many people do use "real" CO2 (btw DIY CO2 is still "real" CO2). Many people purchase expensive CO2 canisters with regulators that allow the system to generate a more accurate amount of CO2 in the tank. This yeast and sugar method of generating CO2 is just cheaper and it's been done over and over again so there's a lot of people to talk to about it. I don't know anything about the kegerator but I'm sure if you happen to have one lying around then you might be able to do something with it. This method cost me less than $8 to set up (nearly all of the cost being from check valves and tubing) and will be relatively free to run.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  10. Nate McFinWell Known MemberMember

    If you do end up using an airstone at night put it on a timer to go off one hour before lights on in the morning to allow the Co2 to build up to good levels.
  11. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    Wow you sure have been paying attention to the co2 threads Funkman!!

    cm11599ps - You could use the 5lb bottle from your beer fridge for running co2 into an aquarium. The expensive part is that you need a bunch of other stuff to do it as well, like a regulator, needle valve & proper co2 line among other things. With injected co2 the actual co2 bottle & refills are the cheap bit. If your right into your planted tank & you can afford to either buy or build your own injected co2 system, I urge you to do so. You have much more control, in the very long run it works out cheaper & the results can be amazing for your plants.
  12. cm11599psWell Known MemberMember

    I actually make my own beer and need to add yeast after I'm done mixing the ingredients so I know all about that. lol

    For what it's worth, I add my yeast to my bucket with an airlock. About a day after the yeast is added you can see the results. CO2 is being released through the airlock, bubbles are rising from the bottom of the bucket and you can see the yeast floating all around the bucket. After about 2-3 weeks this process stops since the yeast ate all of the fermentable sugars. You have beer at that point, but it's flat beer.

    At that point you pour a bit of additional sugar in your beer bottles and then pour the flat beer into the bottles and then cap them. The yeast then goes and eats that additional sugar and since the you capped the bottles the CO2 has nowhere to go but 1) dissolve into the beer and 2), expand the bottle to get it rock hard.

    Two weeks after that process you have nice, carbonated beer.

    Anyway, back to the topic and good luck with your plants!:;rocker
  13. ilikefishValued MemberMember

    Thank you all for your help! Buttt... Earlier I was given a recipe to try and I was wondering If I should run it through a water pump to smash the bubbles or just run it through an air stone...
  14. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    The water pump will diffuse more of the co2 into the water than the airstone will. So long as you modify the recipe so that the co2 is not being produced so fast & you start running an air pump at night to avoid the PH crash you should be able to run the co2 through the water pump with no problems. Keep an eye on the fish for the first couple of days after you do it. If you see them going to the surface alot or with an increased gill rate, it would be wise to back off the amount of co2 you are injecting into the tank. Also monitor the PH closely. Check it first thing when the lights come on, then halfway through the day & then again just before the lights go off. Do that for a few days until you get the hang of what the PH is doing. You can then use the timer on your air pump to set the pump to match the PH swings & reduce how large they are. If running the air pump at night is not enough to reduce the size of the PH swings try using a larger or multiple air stones.
  15. ilikefishValued MemberMember

    There are no fish so I can't look for increased gill rate... aside from that that sounds good... also some people put baking soda into their DIY reactors... what is that for?
  16. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    With no fish you can't really overdose the co2. Pump in as much as you want but still try to keep the PH stable. Plants don't like PH swings either.

    Some people add baking soda to thier yeast mixes because as the reaction happens the PH of the mixture can supposedly get low enough to kill the yeast. I've found that adding baking soda actually shortens the life of the mixture myself so I don't use it. If you want to experiment with it though go for your life. Some people do some wierd stuff with thier yeast recipes. Including using honey instead of sugar & adding bread crumbs into the mix. At the end of the day diy co2 systems have to be played with a bit to get what works best for your individual system so don't be afraid to experiment, especially if there are no fish in the tank.
  17. funkman262Well Known MemberMember

    There's no fish in the tank but based on the OP there are shrimp that the member is trying to avoid killing.

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