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CO2 for an aquarium – where to get and how to do it yourself

Good day, friends. Today I want to highlight the topic of carbon dioxide in the aquarium and its role for hydrophytes.

Due to the fact that purchased CO2 plants are quite expensive, aquarists began to look for ways to manufacture CO2 plants with their own hands. In this field of activity we have managed to achieve some results and successfully apply them in practice.

In today’s article, I will try to describe to the maximum what kind of things there are at all to supply carbon dioxide to the aquarium and the pros and cons of purchased installations with homemade ones. Let’s proceed.

I want to start with a homemade installation based on yeast fermentation. The simplicity of making such an installation for supplying carbon dioxide to an aquarium has made this method one of the most popular, without resorting to expensive devices.

For the manufacture of such a device you need to take a capacity of 1.5-5 liters, yeast, water and sugar.

How to make such a miracle of technology? Take in a bottle pour 100 grams of sugar, throw 10 grams of yeast and fill it all with water.

My advice to you is not to fill it up to the very top, leave space up to the lid of 5 centimeters, as trouble may occur. Two times I overdid it and poured a lot of water. There was a strong reaction of this mixture, all the dregs rose to the silicone hoses and flooded me into the aquarium.

And imagine my eyes: I go home and see how neither fish nor plants are visible in the aquarium. In general, the first time everything worked out more or less successfully, turned on enhanced aeration and filtration, and managed to get rid of the turbidity in a day.

But the second time was worse: almost all the red neons, swordtails, rodostomuses and one pearl gourah died. After that I do not pour so much water.

Mash

Of the advantages of such a CO2 installation, I consider ease of manufacture and cheapness. The disadvantages are as follows: it is impossible to serve portion-wise carbon dioxide into the aquarium, unregulated supply of CO2 and the rate of exhaustion of the mixture.

When the mixture is ready, close it tightly with a lid in which you first make a hole for the silicone tube. Insert the tube into the cap and cover it well with silicone around so that there is no leakage of carbon dioxide out and not into the aquarium.

After installing the finished mixture, you have to wait a little bit until the reaction starts. At first, CO2 will be released in relatively small portions, then the feed will increase significantly, and by the end of the “starter” life, the feed rate will again decrease. It turns out that we will not regulate the flow, and the gas will flow into the aquarium at night, which is not very good.

At night, CO2 is not necessary in the aquarium, as the plants themselves will produce it as a result of photosynthesis.

Of course you can pick up a clamper and pinch the phone, but I wouldn’t advise you to do that. You will either destroy the sealant around the hoses, or from a large concentration of gas in the middle of the night can break the bottle.

By the way, this can also be called a minus of such a method of carbon dioxide production.

In addition to the products of fermentation, low pressure cylinders can be used. For lovers of aquariums, not so long ago began to manufacture special cylinders with thin walls.

Such containers are somewhat reminiscent of ordinary aerosol cans. Carbon dioxide is injected into these tanks by pressure, which is injected into the aquarium diffuser.

Such cylinders are not expensive and this option will be comparatively better than the one described above for one simple reason: at night you can sleep well and not worry that large amounts of carbon dioxide will be dissolved in aquarium water at night. However, as in the first case, you also will not be able to dispense the flow and will do everything by eye.

In addition, the life of such a cylinder will not be much more homemade brew.

The next option is to use a high crush cylinder. This method of carbon dioxide supply to the aquarium is considered to be professional.

Carbon dioxide is pumped into thick-walled cylinders under high pressure. A special reduction gearbox is connected to the cylinder to reduce the pressure. Capacities of such cylinders are various and can vary from 1 to 1 40 liters.

The pressure of carbon dioxide in such a cylinder is slightly more than 50 bar. The advantage of this method of feeding aquarium plants with carbon dioxide is that such a balloon will be enough for you for about a year.

High pressure cylinder

The cost of reducing gear and balloon is moderate and does not bite. However, just as in the first two cases described, the question of gas dosage remains open. However, the following interesting method was found: take a needle valve and adjust it for carbon dioxide consumption.

Another option is to use the bubble counter.

To avoid frequent carbon dioxide concentration tests, you can adjust the bubble counter as needed. Even to control the level of CO2 in the aquarium there are indicators that will change their color at different concentrations of carbon dioxide.

If you like this method, then make it a rule to turn off the valve every evening so that gas does not flow into the water at night, and in the morning when the lights come on, wait a couple of hours and you can turn it on again. In order not to bathe and constantly not guarding this valve, you can purchase an electromagnetic valve that will open and close the valve automatically by a timer.

After all, we are all people, we are all human, you can forget to open or close, so I think this is an ideal option. But for this you have to dump some money, I was not interested in such things, I mean the cost of such valves, so I won’t even be able to name them.

If you feed carbon dioxide into the tank temporarily and the plant’s consumption of CO2 is uncontrolled, then your water content will constantly fluctuate with carbon dioxide. Perhaps the most optimal solution to this problem would be an expensive installation of a pH / CO2 controller.

This unit will automatically maintain the level of active reaction of the medium, with the result that you can monitor the concentration of gas in your tank.

The principle of operation of the device is based on taking into account the ratio of such indicators as carbonate hardness, pH, pH and CO2 level in the aquarium. If the pH has exceeded the established allowable level, the controller must power the special solenoid valve.

When establishing a normal pH value, the valve should close.

Such an option is considered ideal, only a “small” nuance remains – installations of a similar nature cost a fabulous amount and not everyone can afford such a toy. Since our salaries leave much to be desired, our minds are pushing us towards a cheaper solution of the problem, albeit not very simple.

There is of course one nuance of such a controller: I advise you to use it in aquariums with very soft water, this will be fully justified. But since the water from our water supply is supersaturated with salts, its hardness sometimes reaches 30 degrees.

We can lower the hardness by adding distilled water or use pre-purified water through the filter. Thus, we achieve medium hardness, and in such water, I think it’s not worth being afraid of an excess of carbon dioxide.

And at the end of this article, which turned out to be quite voluminous, I want to point out three important devices that are not expensive and with their help we can bring carbon dioxide into our aquariums:

Diffuser

The diffuser is a bell filled with carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is served from above, and the lower part of this bell is open towards the water.

At this site, CO2 enters our aquarium. There are versions of the bells, in which the hole is sealed with either a mesh or a semi-permeable membrane. However, as experiments have shown, devices of this nature strongly lose to usual open diffusers, since the absorption of carbon dioxide is slowed down by the grid, which quickly becomes clogged.

A device of this nature are not expensive and are ideal for cans of small volumes.

Diffuser

Reactor

This idea is considered prudent if you don’t want to use carbon dioxide bubbles directly in the water for free. The reactor has the form of a transparent plastic cup, on top of which two jets are brought: carbon dioxide and water.

The flow rate must be chosen so that the aquarium water is saturated with carbon dioxide directly in the installation.

A foam cork is installed at the bottom of the device, due to which gas does not exit the reactor, and water quietly flows through it. As a rule, reactors are connected to a pH controller, which is an ideal option.

Such devices are just perfect for large-volume aquariums, where diffusers will be powerless.

Reactor

Spiral

And finally, we came to the end of the post, and finally, we would like to mention a simple and old device for the supply of CO2. The gas in such a device will be fed into a long spiral of glass, and then it will rise along it slowly and dissolve in the aquarium water. You will not be able to automatically adjust the feed level here.

It is better to buy such an embodiment of the device, in which the gas bubble will be dissolved before it reaches the water. In the shops you can find various modifications of such adaptations, but the principle remains the same.

Spiral

That’s all for today, see you soon, friends.

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