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2 ft Aquascape and DIY CO2 reactor

 
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S_Nayak
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 3:51 pm Post subject: 2 ft Aquascape and DIY CO2 reactor Reply with quote

 Hi  All
 
 My  name  is  Sandeep  Nayak  and  I  have  recently  started  fish  keeping  for  the  last  six  months.  My  friend  Dr.  M  has  suggested  that  I  keep  plants  in  my  tank  and  therefore  with  a  large  contribution  of  plants  from  him  and  support,  I  have  started  a  small  tank  on  the  30th  of  May.  I'm  posting  the  pics  and  details  online  so  that  others  may  also  get  interested  in  keeping  plants  alongwith  their  fishes.
 
 My  Tank  specs...
 
 24L  X  18D  X  15H  in  inches
 Fluval  405  external  filter  -  1200l/hr
 Golden  rice  sand
 DIY  CO2  generator
 Lights  --  
 Philips  12000K  White  2ft  -  18  W  X  1
 Philips  Trulite  2  ft  -  18  W  X  1
 
 
 Dr.  M.  has  a  DIY  CO2  generator  in  which  he  uses  yeast  and  sugar  for  creating  CO2.  This  method  has  inconsistent  CO2  generation  and  the  alchohol  produced  can  create  a  bad  odour  in  the  tank.  I  have  another  solution  which  I  have  set  up  at  my  place,  and  I  need  help  from  like  minded  hobbyists  to  make  this  method  successful.  The  simplest  way  to  generate  CO2,  is  to  react  Citric  Acid  with  Sodium  Bicarbonate.  Normally  the  two  are  available  at  any  chemist  shop,  and  we  mix  them  together.  Once  they  are  dissolved  in  water  Sodium  Citrate  and  CO2  are  produced.  This  reaction  can  be  controlled  by  doing  the  following.  In  one  bottle  dissolve  20g  of  Citric  Acid  with  200ml  of  water.  In  another  bottle  dissolve  20g  of  Sodium  Bicarbonate  with  200ml  of  water.  You  now  have  two  solns.  Use  any  airtight  coke  bottle  and  fix  a  connector  on  top,  to  attach  the  air  tube.  Please  follow  the  procedure  for  any  DIY  CO2  generator  posted  earlier  to  create  this  bottle.  Attach  the  other  end  of  this  tubing  to  an  airstone  and  place  it  near  the  filter  inlet.
 
 This  is  where  the  experiment  starts  and  where  I  require  a  lot  of  participation  from  you.
 
 For  the  last  two  days,  I  have  undertaken  the  following...
 
 In  the  coke  bottle  (  I  doubt  the  airtightness  of  my  bottle  ),  take  300ml  of  tap  water
 Add  5ml  of  citric  acid  soln
 Add  5ml  of  Sodium  bicarbonate  soln  every  4-5  hours.
 Place  the  cap  tightly  and  shake  the  bottle  gently  to  create  initial  pressure.  Once  the  bubbles  appear  in  the  airstone,  stop  shaking,  and  place  it  gently  on  the  floor.  Intermittent  bubbling  should  be  consistent  for  4-5  hrs.
 
 The  depth  of  airstone  in  the  water  (  pressure  exerted  by  the  water  )  controls  the  bubble  generation.  The  deeper  the  airstone  is  placed,  the  fewer  the  bubbles.
 
 I  need  to  get  a  proper  consistency  of  bubbles  and  longer  duration  without  bursting  the  bottle.  Therefore  please  experiment  at  your  end  and  let  us  get  this  system  foolproof  so  that  every  one  who  cannot  afford  an  expensive  CO2  injection  system  can  use  this  method  safely.  
 
 I  have  been  monitoring  the  pH  levels  and  they  fluctuate  bet.  6.9  -  7.3  from  morning  to  eve.  From  a  rough  estimate  this  puts  the  CO2  levels  at  
 
 At  KH=7,  the  following  table  relates  CO2  to  pH:  
      CO2  (ppm)   pH
      -------------
      42            6.7
      33            6.8
      26            6.9
      21            7.0
      17            7.1
      13            7.2
      10.5         7.3
       8            7.4
 
 This  has  been  observed  by  George  and  Karla  Booth  in  an  online  article.  I'm  just  using  it  as  a  guideline.  Further  proof  that  enough  CO2  is  being  generated,  yesterday  evening  I  could  see  a  consistent  bubbling  from  Valisneria  leaves,  which  proves  that  enough  CO2  is  being  dissolved  in  the  water  throughout  the  day.  
 
 Safety  First
 
 Please  understand  that  this  creates  a  chemical  reaction  and  the  pressure  build  up  inside  the  bottle  is  significant  and  therefore,  please  take  care  and  handle  everything  properly.  The  citric  acid,  Sodium  bicarbonate  and  sodium  citrate  solns  are  not  harmful  to  touch  but  avoid  eye  contact.
 
 Please  revert  with  your  suggestions  and  I'll  keep  posting  updated  pics  of  my  tank  so  that  we  may  be  able  to  monitor  the  changes  in  plants  with  this  method  of  CO2  generation
 
 Regards
 
 Sandeep
 
 Update  on  07/06/2010  -  
 
 In  the  coke  bottle  (  I  doubt  the  airtightness  of  my  bottle  ),  take  300ml  of  tap  water
 Add  50ml  of  citric  acid  soln   (  We  will  try  to  increase  the  concentration  of  one  reactant  )
 Add  5ml  of  Sodium  bicarbonate  soln  every  4-5  hours.
 Place  the  cap  tightly  and  shake  the  bottle  gently  to  create  initial  pressure.  Once  the  bubbles  appear  in  the  airstone,  stop  shaking,  and  place  it  gently  on  the  floor.  Intermittent  bubbling  should  be  consistent  for  4-5  hrs.
 
 Add  5ml  of  citric  acid  soln   on  a  daily  basis  to  keep  the  concentration  high


Last edited by S_Nayak on Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:44 am; edited 2 times in total
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S_Nayak
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:19 pm Post subject: Re: 2 ft Aquascape and DIY CO2 reactor Reply with quote

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S_Nayak
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 4:24 pm Post subject: Re: 2 ft Aquascape and DIY CO2 reactor Reply with quote

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drug
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:19 pm Post subject: Re: 2 ft Aquascape and DIY CO2 reactor Reply with quote

 Interesting  idea  for  CO2
 
 Just  a  few  queries

 
 
                                                 
S_Nayak  wrote  (View  Post):                

 Add  5ml  of  citric  acid  soln
 Add  5ml  of  Sodium  bicarbonate  soln  every  4-5  hours.
                 

 
 1,  Do  you  mean  to  say  that  you  add  NaHCO3  every  four  to  five  hours?  Wouldn't  this  be  quite  cumbersome  in  the  long  run?
 2,  How  long  does  the  citric  acid  in  the  bottle  last?  Or  is  that  also  replenished  every  4-5  hours?
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hrishi007
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:38 pm Post subject: Re: 2 ft Aquascape and DIY CO2 reactor Reply with quote

 i  like  our  setup  Thumb Up
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S_Nayak
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:09 pm Post subject: Re: 2 ft Aquascape and DIY CO2 reactor Reply with quote

 @drug..  You  need  to  add  NaHCO3  every  4-5  hours  i.e  twice  a  day  as  per  your  requirement.  Citric  Acid  lasts  throughout  the  day.  One  gm  of  Citric  Acid  is  equivalent  to  2  gms  of  NaHCO3  in  M.W  terms.  I'm  trying  to  get  the  right  combination  and  will  keep  you  updated.  In  the  long  run,  even  if  it  is  cumbersome,  for  those  who  cannot  afford  a  CO2  injection  system,  this  system  may  turn  out  to  be  better  than  the  yeast  method  due  to  the  control  over  the  reaction  parameters.
 
 @hrishi007..  Thanks.  I'll  keep  this  post  updated  with  the  latest  pics,  and  let  you  know  how  the  plants  turn  out.
 
 Please  note  that  I  have  not  yet  got  the  right  parameters  since  I  have  been  doing  this  for  the  last  two  days.  I  need  a  lot  of  people  with  different  combinations  and  tank  sizes  to  check  this  system.  I'm  merely  suggesting  an  alternative  to  the  yeast  method  and  hope  that  it  benefits  other  hobbyists.
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Mortis
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:24 pm Post subject: Re: 2 ft Aquascape and DIY CO2 reactor Reply with quote

 Could  you  maybe  try  some  way  of  dripping  NaHCO3  instead  of  adding  it  manually  ?  Maybe  that  way  you  will  get  better  consistency  ?
 
 Anyways  good  start.  It  is  best  to  initially  learn  how  too  grow  plants  properly  before  attempting  a  complex  scape.  This  is  a  mistake  that  I  made  when  I  started  and  have  learned  from  since.  What  you  can  do  once  your  plants  grow  to  the  top  of  water  surface,  cut  the  healthiest  top  portion  (4-5  inches)  and  replant  those  and  chuck  the  bottoms.  Thereafter,  just  repeat  or  trim  only  the  top  bit  to  get  bushier  growth.  Soon,  you  will  have  a  great  jungle  scape.  Dont  forget  to  leave  some  open  space  for  fishes  to  swim.
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S_Nayak
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:50 am Post subject: Re: 2 ft Aquascape and DIY CO2 reactor Reply with quote

 @Mortis..  Thanks  for  the  reply.  In  my  Lab,  I  have  already  used  a  3  Neck  flask  filled  with  100  ml  of  water,  with  two  dropping  funnels  adding  the  two  solns  to  the  flask  at  a  slow  rate.  The  stirring  causes  a  steady  reaction.  This  cannot  be  used  at  home.  Therefore  I  am  trying  another  soln..
 
 In  the  coke  bottle  take  300ml  of  tap  water  
 Add  50ml  of  citric  acid  soln   (  We  will  try  to  increase  the  concentration  of  one  reactant  )  
 Add  5ml  of  Sodium  bicarbonate  soln  every  4-5  hours.  
 Place  the  cap  tightly  and  shake  the  bottle  gently  to  create  initial  pressure.  Once  the  bubbles  appear  in  the  airstone,  stop  shaking,  and  place  it  gently  on  the  floor.  Intermittent  bubbling  should  be  consistent  for  4-5  hrs.  
 
 Add  5ml  of  citric  acid  soln  on  a  daily  basis  to  keep  the  concentration  high
 
 This  should  take  care  of  the  consistency.  Please  try  it  out  and  let  me  know  your  suggestions.
 
 I'll  definitely  take  your  advice  and  replant  the  top  of  the  plants,  once  they  grow  tall  enough.  I'll  keep  this  post  updated  with  latest  pics.
 
 Suggestions  are  welcome.
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pavan_nel
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:34 am Post subject: Re: 2 ft Aquascape and DIY CO2 reactor Reply with quote

 Hi  Sandeep
 
 Great  Idea,   I  should  try  this  soon.
 
 Mortis@  Thanks  for  you  valuable  advice.
 
 Thanks
 Pavan
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borneosucker
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 10:56 am Post subject: Re: 2 ft Aquascape and DIY CO2 reactor Reply with quote

 If  alcohol  is  your  concern  in  a  yeast  +  sugar  DIY  CO2  reactor,  well  it's  my  main  concern  as  well,  as  I  have  experience  alcohol  in  the  tank,  it's  a  disaster,  then  here's  my  simple  solution...check  it  out  here:
 http://borneosucker.blogspot.com/2010/01/diy-co2.html
 
 Anyway  your  CO2  reactor  is  a  great  idea  Very Happy
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S_Nayak
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:10 pm Post subject: Re: 2 ft Aquascape and DIY CO2 reactor Reply with quote

 @pavan_nel..  Thanks  for  replying.  Please  try  it  out  and  let  me  know  the  results.
 @borneosucker..  Good  idea.  Try  out  my  method.  It  is  a  lot  cheaper  and  more  controllable.
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