Question CO2 injection (yeast/sugar), how can I tell it's actually 'working'

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ryanr

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So here's the setup:
I'm using the , which is a yeast/sugar CO2 generator.

I started it up on saturday, mixed as per their directions using 25C water, adding the yeast and sugar first, then adding a litre of water. Shake, and let sit. The kit has a powered diffuser.

My (somewhat obvious/silly) question, how can I tell the CO2 is working/injecting. If I give the generator bottle a little shake, I get bubbles through the diffuser, but with out the shaking, I'm yet to see any evidence of the gas coming through the diffuser?

I can only think that:
- I have too small of a check valve and not enough pressure coming through from the bottle
- the room temp is too cool for proper 'activation' (approx 20C)
- the mixture has not activated properly, and I'm not getting the appropriate flow of gas.

any other thoughts?

oh, and I am getting pH fluctuations atm from night to day, suggesting 'something is working'.

Just looking for some advice, I've never worked with CO2 before. All help, comments and suggestions welcomed.
 

funkman262

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You've been here long enough to know that there are no silly questions here . Are your pH fluctuations different than before you started injecting CO2? I can't tell you an answer for sure, but I had a similar experience. I use a DIY CO2 setup and I tried using less yeast than usual to have a weaker but more stable system. I waited 24 hours and I didn't see any bubbles. I shook it and then bubbles started flowing like crazy. Then I just added a little more yeast (to make it the same amount I usually do) and it started having a constant bubble rate. I'm curious what others say about this so I could understand the problem I had a little better. There are a few members here who have a lot of experience with CO2 injection so they'll be able to offer much better help. Good luck
 

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The PH fluctuations do indicate that something is working but that could just be form the co2 given off by the plants at night. 20c should be plenty warm enough for a decent reaction to be taking place regardless of the type of yeast your using. Temp does have an effect on how active some yeasts are but we are not talking really low temps here so I don't think it is a factor. The check valve should make no difference.

I'm inclined to think this has more to do with the recipe that you have used. How much sugar & how much yeast have you put in & what is the volume of the generator? The other thing is that the yeast could be bad. It doesn't happen often but I have copped bad batches of yeast before that would not activate.
 
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You've been here long enough to know that there are no silly questions here
Funkman, lol, I know

As for the recipe, I didn't measure it, but it felt and looked like about 2 cups sugar, and about 1/2 teaspoon yeast, mixed with 1 litre of water (per their directions).

Once filled, there isn't a lot of room left at the top above the water level (maybe 1.5-2" [4-5cm])

I'll have a hunt around and look at some of the advice on DIY CO2 recipes here at fishlore and might need to play around with the recipe.

Thanks for the advice as always
 
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ryanr

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OK, a little update.
I decided to move the generator canister down to the floor, in the thought that the gas will create more pressure going up the tube, rather than having it on the same level as the tank, and the gas travelling horizontally (if that makes sense).

Suffice to say, I'm now getting bubbles

It's not consistent, but it would appear 1 bubble every 5-10 seconds [well 1 bubble diffused into about 30 tiny ones]

(Myabe that's an obvious thing, and that the generator needs to be lower, but hey, something learned )
 

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It shouldn't actually make any difference. The highest pressure needed is to push the gas down through the water rather than up the length of the tube. So long as it is working though I guess it doesn't really matter. I'm not a fan of the commercial co2 generators. They don't have sufficient volume for a sustained reaction IMO & you can't see if the mixture is actually bubbling or not. I reckon you will get better results from the old 2lt Coke bottle generator.

At least it is doing something now though.
 
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can't see if the mixture is actually bubbling
Good point

But I really do like the nice clean look of the 'professionally prepared' bottle. If everything was hidden in a cabinet, probably not a big deal, but this one is in sight, and I'm a "tidy/neat/clean" freak.....

Or maybe I could find a tupperware type generator bottle with o-ring seal
I'm just not keen on the look of a coke bottle.....

I wonder if the old home brew bubbler thing could be adapted to fit an airline..... that'd let me see bubbles being produced, then it'd just be a matter of it getting through the diffuser (like this one), but I guess that's what bubble counters are for .....

I'm also thinking I might change the recipe to suit a 1L container, might mean more regular mixing of fresh stuff, or maybe I could use a little less water in the recipe. (haven't gotten around to checking new recipes yet)

Thanks again Nutter
 

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Most people use two cups sugar & 1/2tsp yeast for thier 2lt generators so I think it would stand to reason that you should halve that mixture. More sugar extends the life of the mix (to a point), more yeast creates a faster reaction (more bubbles) but shortens the life of the mix. The other thing that might help but wouldn't look the greatest is to put the generator in a bucket of water with a cheap aquarium heater. That way you have a stable temp for consistant bubble supply & you can increase the temp if you feel the mix isn't producing fast enough for you. Higher temps also shorten the mixes life. If you want it to look neater you could always use some kind of storage container with a lid or a 20lt white bucket with a lid so that everything was out of sight.
 

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I made my co2 reactor and system off a youtube video. I have to say it has worked good for just over a week and I might have messed it up when I mixed the sugar/yeast. I used a maxi jet 1200 with the aeriator for diffusing.
 
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