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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator
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What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator
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brojo
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:29 pm Post subject: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 Hi  All
 Last  evening  I  tried  my  luck  for  the  first  time  with  a  DIY  yeast  and  sugar  based  CO2  generation  system.  Nothing  much  happened  until  just  now.  I  shook  the  bottle  and  a  rush  of  bubbles  came  out  from  the  other  end  of  the  pipe  inside  the  aquarium.  But  when  I  stop  shaking  the  bottle  the  bubbles  stop.  Could  someone  please  tell  me  what  is  wrong  with  the  system?  Did  something  go  wrong  with  the  solution?  That  seems  like  the  only  thing  that  CAN  go  wrong.  What  could  have  gone  wrong  with  the  solution  and  how  do  I  get  the  recipe?  
 
 Otherwise  the  system  is  fine  (with  very  minor  leakage  from  the  gap  between  the  cap  and  the  pipe  that  can  be  fixed  once  the  basic  system  is  up  and  running).  Actually  this  system  is  so  simple  there  is  nothing  else  that  can  go  wrong.  Is  there?
 
 I  used  the  following  -  
 
 2  litre  Pepsi  bottle
 1  litre  water
 1  cup  of  sugar
 1  spoon  of  yeast  (dry  granular  type,  is  the  quality/packaging/storage  etc  the  culprit?)
 3  meter  long  2  mm  dia  silicone  pipe  (is  that  too  narrow  or  too  long?)
 
 Also,  when  the  bubbles  do  come  out  they  come  out  in  a  rush.  Is  there  any  way  this  can  be  controlled?
 
 Sudipto
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:34 pm Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 Hai  Sudipto,
 
 Why  do  you  want  such  a  long  tubing  -  3m  is  awfully  long,  might  be  losing  pressure.  Use  baker's  yeast,  the  one  used  for  cooking  or  baking  cakes.
 
 It  is  better  not  to  try  and  control  the  pressure  of  the  bubbles.  If  you  find  it  too  high,  you  might  have  to  reduce  the  quantity  of  yeast  you  add.
 
 Haven't  tried  it  yet,  but  plan  to  soon.
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brojo
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:51 pm Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 Suraj
 I  bought  the  3  meter  tubing  so  that  the  bottle  could  be  kept  well  away  from  the  tank  and  above.  The  depth  of  the  tank  itself  is  2  feet  add  two  more  feet  for  the  nearest  high  shelf  six  feet  or  so  away.  i  have  a  hunch  the  yeast  is  of  poor  quality  because  that's  the  only  thing  that  could  possibly  go  wrong.  but  since  the  vigorous  shake  is  yielding  result  i  am  wondering  if  there  is  still  some  hope  left.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:27 pm Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 Suraj
 Took  your  advice  and  changed  the  tubing  to  something  wider  in  dia  and  much  shorter  (a  spare  aeration  tube).  Things  have  improved  a  bit,  in  the  sense  instead  of  shaking  like  earlier,  if  I  gently  squeeze  the  bottle  a  nice  bubble  comes  up.  Smile  If  the  choice  is  between  shaking  a  bottle  or  squeezing  it,  I  will  go  with  the  later  -  it's  still  better  than  blowing  air  (CO2)  from  my  mouth  into  a  pipe.  
 But  more  seriously,  I  guess  the  problem  is  that  not  enough  pressure  is  being  created  inside  the  bottle  to  push  up  the  CO2  -  either  there  is  too  much  empty  space  inside  the  bottle  or  too  little  CO2  is  being  generated.  Either  way  I  am  the  loser.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:40 pm Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 Hi  Sudipto,  well  you  have  to  take  about  2.5  cups  of  sugar  and  about  1  tablespoon  of  yeast  and  mix  in  warm  water,  this  hepls  in  the  fermentataion  gets  a  head  start  with  the  hot  water,  when  i  used  it  i  had  bubbles  running  like  a  stream.  If  buble  generation  is  low  put  in  more  yeast,  but  that  will  mean  frequent  replacing,  so  if  your  tank  is  big  enough,  hook  up  2  bottles.  Keep  a  gap  of  about  4  days  when  your  start  one  from  the  other.  that  way  you  will  have  one  running  well  even  though  the  other  will  be  going  down.  Never  try  and  control  a  yeast  reactor,  this  can  lead  to  the  bottle  bursting  which  will  make  your  house  smell  like  one  hell  of  a  place.
 
 Nikhil
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:55 pm Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 Nikhil,  Suraj
 It's  working.  Yahooooooooo.  My  second  successful  DIY  project  in  life  (first  was  my  daughter).  I  shook  the  bottle  gently  and  it  started.  About  8-10  bubbles  a  minute.  
 Thanks  for  your  suggestions  both.  The  shorter  tube  did  it  I  think.
 Sudipto
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2007 11:01 pm Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 Sudipto,
 
 Things  doesnt  seem  to  match!  I  assume  you  are  keeping  your  bottle  much  lower  than  the  tank.  
 
 To  push  the  CO2  all  the  way  to  the  bottom  of  the  tank,  the  gas  will  build  up  pressure.  If  you  have  any  leaks,  pressure  will  not  build  up.  So,  there  should  not  be  absolutely  no  leaks!
 
 By  what  you  are  saying,  if  you  are  getting  bubbles  inside  the  tank,  either  by  squeezing  or  shaking,  you  have  no  leaks.  
 
 Try  fixing  up  the  leak,  and  that  might  hold  the  key.  
 
 As  you  said,  the  system  is  so  simple  that  there  is  hardly  anything  that  could  go  wrong.  
 
 It  might  be  better  to  premix  the  yeast  in  lukewarm  water  before  you  mix  it  into  the  solution.  
 
 Nikhil:  
 1  Tablespoon  of  yeast  is  way  too  much.  As  yeast  ferments  the  sugar  solution,  the  alcohol  levels  rise.  As  my  reading  suggests,  this  is  the  cause  that  the  yeast  cannot  continue.  
 
 The  more  the  sugar,  the  longer  the  solution  will  last.  The  more  the  yeast,  the  faster  it  will  ferment,  and  quicker  the  solution  will  die.  
 
 Uday
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:08 pm Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 If  you  are  using  granulated  yeast,  you  are  using  zygotes  they  need  to  'germinate',  induce  that  in  luke  warm  milk,  15-20  minutes  depending  upon  the  season.
 
 The  delay  in  production  was  because  the  lack  of  'germination'.
 
 Some  yeast  seemed  to  have  been  activated,  but  too  few  to  produce  bubbles  of  CO2  for  your  aquarium,  initially  till  the  yeast  multiplied.  
 
 The  initial  CO2  produced  goes  into  solution  of  the  yeast  mixture.  By  agitating  the  bottle  you  got  the  solution  to  release  some  of  the  CO2  dissolved  in  it,  that  is  what  you  observed.
 
 Silicone  pipes  lose  CO2,  longer=greater  loss.  Use  6mm  pvc  pipes  available  for  RO  filters.
 
 Amount  of  sugar  in  water  controls  the  period  of  production  as  does  the  lowering  of  ph.  The  rate  of  production  is  controlled  by  the  quantity  of  yeast.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:47 pm Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 What  exactly  did  you  change  for  it  to  start  working,  Sudipto?
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 12:11 am Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

                                                   
psimhan  wrote  (View  Post):                
What  exactly  did  you  change  for  it  to  start  working,  Sudipto?                

 The  length  of  the  tubing  was  reduced.  While  reducing  the  tubing  the  leaks  may  have  been  plugged.  Or  was  it  deep  prayer.  Thumb Up
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:13 pm Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 taking  a  guess,  i  would  say  since  he  mixed  the  recipe  in  the  evening  the  temperature  must've  been  low  and  by  the  evening  next  day  the  yeast  must've  started  fermenting  due  to  the  afternoon  rise  in  temperature...
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 5:20 pm Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 I  changed  the  tube  from  a  3  meter  long  2  mm  dia  silicon  tube  to  the  more  common  pipe  used  for  aeration  of  about  four  feet  (dia  not  sure)  -  thanks  to  Suraj.  I  punched  a  hole  in  another  cap  (with  a  bolt  that  was  a  shade  smaller  than  the  pipe  -  lucky  I  had  it)  and  this  particular  tube  fitted  really  really  snug.  Simply  took  off  the  previous  cap  from  the  generator  and  put  the  new  one  on  quickly.  There  was  no  fizz  or  anything  like  that  (really  really  low  pressure  inside  I  think).  
 Initially  the  changed  thing  also  did  not  work  unless  I  shook  the  bottle  gently.  Then  I  realised  a  small  squeeze  on  the  bottle  was  producing  a  single  bubble.  Kept  squeezing  for  a  couple  of  minutes  and  from  there  it  started  working  on  its  own.  Much  like  starting  a  car  with  a  discharged  battery.
 
 By  the  way,  the  bottle  is  kept  on  the  same  table  as  the  aquarium.
 
 Ever  since  I  have  moved  the  bottle  a  few  times  just  to  see  how  it  reacts  and  the  bubble  generation  stops.  You  start  squeezing  a  few  times  and  it  starts  the  process  again.
 
 I  suppose  there  is  too  little  solution  in  this  bottle  and  too  much  of  empty  space  (1  lit  solution  in  a  two  lit  bottle)  resulting  in  low  pressure.  Once  the  process  is  forcibly  started  through  squeeze  it  catches  on.  
 
 Will  keep  you  guys  posted  on  the  fate  of  my  next  bottle.  And   sorry  again  for  not  responding  earlier.
 Regards
 Sudipto
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2007 5:30 pm Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 Try  and  fill  the  bottle  2/3  of  its  capacity.  it  might  help.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:55 pm Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 Hi,
 
 My  reactors  start  bubbling  CO2  in  less  than  an  hour  and  they  are  very  vigorous.  Dissolving  the  yeast  granules  in  lukewarm  water  activates  the  reactor  quickly.  I  am  not  sure  if  I  am  using  more  yeast  (1  tsp  per  bottle).  The  mix  lasts  for  1  week.
 The  bubbling  is  not  constant,  I  am  planning  to  make  a  CO2  bell  for  this  reason.  Maybe  you  should  consider  one  as  well,  that  will  ensure  that  it  diffuses  in  water  as  much  as  possible.
 
 My  equipment  is  same  as  yours,  the  length  of  the  tubing  is  2  meters  and  the  reactor  sits  24  inches  below  the  tank!
 
 Abhishek
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Joined: May 15, 2006
Posts: 376
Location: Calcutta

Status: Offline
PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 11:25 am Post subject: Re: What's wrong with my yeast CO2 generator Reply with quote

 Now  that  my  system  is  going,  the  bubbling  is  pretty  consistent  -  about  one  bubble  every  two  seconds  or  so.  Yes  I  do  intend  to  use  a  home  made  bell  as  well.  
 Regards
 Sudipto
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