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Do-it-yourself co2 reactor for aquarium

maintenance, care, compatibility

Periodic carbon dioxide supply to the aquarium is necessary because as a result of filtration and aeration, the CO2 content in the water tends to zero. And in such conditions, algae in a fish house can die. You can create a system (or generator) of carbon dioxide with your own hands at home.

It is not so difficult.

From school, anyone knows that carbon dioxide, the basis of photosynthesis, is absorbed by plants from the surrounding air. Due to this, in fact, the growth of terrestrial flora occurs.

And in the natural aquatic environment the concentration of CO2 is sufficient for the development of aquatic plants.

The same conditions must be created in the aquarium, which is a closed tank. Creating a concentration of carbon dioxide ranging from 3 to 7 milligrams per liter of aqua is a necessary condition for aquarium plants to feel normal.

To do this, it is not necessary to acquire industrial carbon dioxide systems.

Drinking sparkling water as a source of carbon dioxide

Required reagents

For nano aquariums up to 20 liters, not everyone wants to contact the balloon CO2 installation. You can make a CO2 generator in Braga or soda. But you can do it easier.

There is an ancient and undeservedly forgotten method of supplying CO2 — this is the use of soda water. Sparkling water is a kind of carbon dioxide concentrate already dissolved in water.

The CO2 content in the soda is usually about 5000-10000 mg / l, and after opening the bottle it tends to 1450 mg / l. If you count how much carbonated water is needed to bring the CO2 concentration in the aquarium to 10 mg / l, it turns out to be quite economical.

Fresh soda needs only 20 ml per 10 l of aquarium water, which will give 10 mg / l CO2 in the aquarium. Simply in the morning to soda with fertilizers.

After standing, soda can be added in large quantities, as carbon dioxide disappears.

Approximately 1 liter of soda will be enough for a 10-20 liters aquarium for a month. Any sparkling water will fit, of course, except saline.

It is better to use the cheapest. They are usually made from tap water :).

Greater than 10 mg / l is better not to bring the concentration of CO2 by this method.

First, it is not known how much carbon dioxide your soda contains is 5000 mg / l or 10000 mg / l. Secondly, large fluctuations in the concentration of CO2 in the aquarium are not desirable.

After adding soda, the concentration will gradually decrease due to the consumption of aquarium plants. Constant fluctuations of CO2 from 10 mg / l to zero and back are not terrible.

But fluctuations from 20-30mg / l to zero are much worse for balance in an aquarium.

  • there is no need for a CO2 dissolution reactor and a bubble counter, since CO2 is already dissolved in sparkling water;
  • ease of use;
  • economical in the short term;
  • convenient for nano aquariums.
  • unstable concentration of CO2 in the aquarium;
  • the price of 1 gram of CO2 is the highest of the listed methods, that is uneconomical in the long run and for large-scale aquariums;
  • low CO2 supply compared to other methods.

Some practical tips:

For most plants, including rare and difficult, only a small CO2 feeding is sufficient; better underfeed than overfeed. Try to keep the indicator in the green zone.

However, if you suddenly discover that the indicator has turned yellow or completely discolored, there is no reason to panic.

co2 for aquarium

If there is nothing wrong with the fish, you don’t need to change the water, you can remove the bottle and send it to the refrigerator for a while, the plants will gradually absorb the excess carbon dioxide, watch the fish, indicators often go off scale in my aquariums, but not a single death of fish – for CO2 poisoning was not.

When optimal saturation conditions are found, it makes no sense to cut off the carbon dioxide supply for the night, a small morning excess of CO2 will be selected by plants in the evening, this mode repeats daily variations in the gas composition and Ph in natural water bodies and has a beneficial effect on the growth of all plants.

IMPORTANT: when using external filters or filters of other models as a reactor, do not in any case supply CO2 to the filter elements. CO2 should be supplied only AFTER all fillers, otherwise the microflora inhabiting the filter materials may die.

When reloading the bottle, do not hang the free end of the tube from the edge of the aquarium – the filter pressure can drive the water over the edge and it will flow to the floor.

If you are forgetful, I do not advise to use the clamping wheel on the dropper tube as well. If you close it for a long time during fermentation, the increased pressure inside can break the bottle.

Do not put the bottle on the warm lamp of the aquarium – fermentation will go too intensively and will end in a short time.

If your farm has several aquariums, I advise you to provide each of them with their own personal bottle. In my household there are different aquariums with a capacity of 150 to 400 liters, I recharge all the bottles at once, about once every 10-15 days.

Controls for the carbon dioxide content in the aquarium.

To control the supply of CO2 in an aquarium, there is actually one way to measure acidity (PH) and carbonate hardness (CN), followed by determining the concentration of CO2 in water using the table Table carbon dioxide content in an aquarium (CO2, CO2). It is somewhat more convenient to do this procedure with the calculator calculator.php # j One feature is in our calculator, when entering the PH value, you need to use a decimal point as a decimal place.

co2 for aquarium

  • Based on the same principle, the use of drop checker (QH). DF is a container, in one part of which the reference indicator solution is filled with water from KN 4, to which an indicator has been added, an analogue of the PH test. The second part of the tank is open and aquarium water flows into it. Both parts of the tank are designed in such a way that there is always an air cushion between the indicator solution and the aquarium water. A kind of “siphon vice versa.”
  • When the concentration of CO2 in the aquarium water increases, a part of it goes out of it into an air cushion, leveling the partial pressure of CO2 in the water and the air above it. At the same time, CO2 is dissolved in the indicator solution, also equalizing the partial pressure. As a result, the concentration of CO2 in the aquarium water and in the indicator solution becomes the same.
  • With a change in the concentration of CO2 in the indicator solution, its pH also changes, to which the indicator responds by changing color. By its color and can be judged on the concentration of CO2. When reducing the concentration of CO2 in water, everything happens in reverse order. This is a permanent test for PH Drop Checker with your own hands (DIY CO2 Drop Checker).
  • A very convenient device with one significant drawback, until all the above processes are completed, it takes 2-3 hours, the time delay of the QH. During this time, you can put all the fish. Therefore, I would recommend using tests and a calculator at the stage of gas supply development to have “instantaneous” values, and use the QH for general control in the already established mode.
    Bubble counter.
    To track the amount of CO2 entering the aquarium, a bubble counter is used – a small transparent tank filled with water and embedded into the gas supply line. CO2 passing through it is visually observed in the form of bubbles passing through the water at equal intervals from one another. Selling CO2 balloon equipment, diffusers (St. Petersburg) (fifth photo to the left, seventh photo to the right). Again, I don’t understand why to pay, when you could just as well take a drip filter for this purpose))).
  • It is advisable to put a check valve under the bubble counter, so that in the event of a gas pressure drop, the water does not flow down the tube. The check valve should also be placed in front of a rowan branch or a diffuser in the aquarium. Non-return valve in the carbon dioxide supply system for the aquarium
    -Pearling is a bubbling plant. A somewhat subjective method of controlling the CO2 content in an aquarium.
  • However, the fact remains that an experienced aquarist, knowing the chemical composition of the water in his aquarium and his own lighting, may well make a fairly accurate conclusion about the concentration of CO2 in the water. Moreover, different plants react to it differently.
  • For the manufacture of a working gas generator with adjustable flow will require a little more materials and labor.

    The principle of the installation is the gradual supply of citric acid from one vessel to another, where there is baking soda. The acid is mixed with soda, and the CO2 released as a result of a chemical reaction enters the aquarium tank.

    Consider the manufacturing process of the stages of work.

    О admin


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