Saturday, 12 May 2007

d.i.y. co2 injection

so, i have a fair few plants in the aquarium now and after reading other peoples aquarium blogs, it seems a cheap way of getting plants to flourish is to get more carbon dioxide into the water. thus reducing the amount of energy and effort the plants need to expend in order to assimilate the co2.

you can spend a fortune on co2 cannisters, injection systems, reactors and diffusers if you choose, or you can do what i have just done and make your own. basically as follows. one empty 2 litre coke bottle, tube into another smaller bottle, then tube out of that into the power head where the water is returned into the tank. plus arildite. then, filled the 2 litre bottle just less than half full of warm water(so i can lie it on a shelf hidden away). added to this 1+1/2 cups of sugar and mix lots. then add mixture of acivated yeast - 1/2 tsp mixed vigorously in a little warm water. re-assemble, et voila! it took about 2 hours for co2 to start being produced. i tested it with an airstone initially to see if any gas was being emitted, which is was so job done!

a word of warning for anyone who wants to do this. i have added safety features to the d.i.y. kit including a valve which will blow off if the pressure is too much, rather this than a room coated in smelly brown yeast mixture! and finally, co2 is produced faster during the day when it is warmer - which is fine as this is when plants do their photosynthesis and use up the co2. in the evening co2 is still produced but at a slower rate. i need to monitor the effect this is going to have on the pH, co2 + water = carboic acid, not sure if this reaction will take place i need to research but i have read plenty which tells me the pH will be effected and that it will also flucuate between night and day. i don't think i need to worry so much as it is only a small amount of co2 going into the tank but it will be interesting to note nonetheless. don't worry about the fish, they like it a bit acidic - until i started this experiment my pH hovered around the 6.4 mark.


Armando said...

So acidic water will no bother the fish. But what about the CO2? Would it need more oxigen too for keep the fish well?

We are starting a new aquarium and we want a bunch of plants, but we also want fish there. CO2 sound good for plants. I wonder what happend if you put Co2 for a while and then remove it.

Thanks for the info

Chas said...

- i read - high levels of co2 in the water will definately impede the fishes ability to respire yes. however low concentrations will have no adverse effect at all.

- this must be true, not least due to the fact that so many places sell systems designed specifically to do just this job.

- remember the more co2 the plants get, the more o2 they will produce adding to that already being absorbed on the surface. which is nice. :-)

- i understand that switching the co2 off at night is not really a good idea as it will cause the pH to fluctuate more. and that is definately bad for fish.

i hope this helps a bit. i gained most of my information using google to search "homemade co2 injection" and also starting through other links from your own blog. so thanks to you too. =D

AlabamaGal said...

Hi, I am Armando's wife, Michelle. I've been checking out your blog after Armando showed it to me. It is excellent! Thanks for commenting on our blog. I am learning a lot. I enjoyed the video below of your fish. :)

I'll visit again soon!

Chas said...


rotem said...

great, i enjoy reading it.
the videos are excellent!

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Fishy Business said...

thats great to hear it worked for you. I tried a similar method and the CO2 level got to high and changed the pH and caused the bacterial cycle a bit of damage... a bit scared to try again