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Yeast-based CO2 DIY mix using Nutrafin kit

nayr88

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4 Feb 2010
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2,130
natural-plant-system-1.jpg


The text that's quoted was originally written by George Farmer for another forum, a few years ago.

Here's the original link - http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/to ... ser-guide/

I'll find out what volume of water the Nutrafin bottle holds so the mixture can be used on other containers. It may be worth getting just the Nutrafin bottle of ebay as it has the right size fitting on the screw lid for the co2 hose.
I'll also find how much sugar will fill the Nutrafin bottle to 'the first line'

Anyway on with the mixture. :D

Here's a basic guide to using the popular Nutrafin yeast-based CO2 units, based on my own experience.

1. Fill canister with regular granulated sugar to the first line.

2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried yeast (available from supermarket).

3. No need for "Stabiliser" unless you have v. soft tap water.

4. Top up to second line with tepid (approx 30C) tap water.

5. Stir.

6. Fix lid tightly.

7. Attach tubing tightly.

8. Watch the bubbles appear after 10 to 30 minutes.

Ambient temp. affects bubble rate, cold = less output, warm = more output.

More yeast = more CO2 for shorter time.
Less yeast = less CO2 for longer time.

1 teaspoon of yeast will give you around 30 bubbles per min. for about 7 days. This should be good for up to a 100 l. / 30 gal. tank.

Aim for 30ppm CO2. Change mixture regularly to avoid unstable/low CO2, this causes algae. Test for CO2 using 4dKH drop checker.

Clean ladders may clog bubbles up for a while. The bubbles will run up smooth after a few hours or so.

Use multiple units for larger tanks. Change mixtures alternately for stable CO2.

Also I'll add myself that I've used ladders, air stones and normal ceramic deffusers. I found the ceramic to be best but bare in mind I do use a stong mix( 1 teaspoon of yeast ) but as George stated this last a shorter amount of time but will have more pressure.

Another question I have seen is people having issues with using soft water in the Nutrafin canister.

This is overcome by adding 1 teaspoon of bi-carb of soda per 1/2 teaspoon of yeast.
 

whatok

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16 Feb 2011
Messages
67
Sorry for dredging up an old thread, but i thought this might be worth mentioning:
Never, ever, over-fill the nutrafin system.

I accidentally did this, and the mixture flowed up, through the check valve, and into the tank. Even with a layer of floss in the lid.

After maybe 6 hours, the bottle was maybe half empty, and the water was milky white. I had lost a bunch of tetra, and nearly all my shrimp. I did a 50% water change, and will probably do another this evening.

My labyrinth fish (Cories and Gourami) seem unaffected, so i assume it's just an oxygen shortage and not some kind of caustic or toxic reaction that killed them. I have yet to see what the effect on the plants will be.

Just a headsup! :thumbdown: :rolleyes:
 

willow-puss

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2 Apr 2011
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29
Location
Leicester
hi there, :wave:

Hope I'm not hijacking- would like to ask a question regarding this kit-

Was hoping to use a canister but seems may end up costing to much at present as not lasting to long; so would this be suitable for a 2ft tank (holding approx 47l), going to house cherry shrimp, and how long would you think it may last.

thanks for any help.


beccy
 

nayr88

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hello

Not hijacking at all :)

How do you mean you was hoping to use a canister? As in the nutrafin cannister?
You can always use a old drinks bottle.

Or do yo mean a co2 cannister, in which cay yeah the initial set up can be pricey but it last a whole lot longer and is
Is better overalln as it can be turned on and off over night and is more stable than the yeast method.

For a 50L you'll be fine with one of these. Just always keep an eye on the bubble count as when your bottle connected to the tank drops a little yourll need to have another bottle set up ready to replace it to keep the co2 consistent and stable :)

Sorry to ramble on. Haha
 

willow-puss

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2 Apr 2011
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Location
Leicester
hi nayr88

thanks for the reply, was hoping to use this canister system at first
http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk/c ... p?sid=3573

but advised that 20g won't last long at all,

have since rang LFS and he says the simple tetra canister
http://www.123aquatics.co.uk/products/a ... at-40.aspx
should last about 3mths, any views on this type? just wanted to see the difference in having co2 and none for myself before investing...
(have tried diy/pop bottle never seems to work for me)

beccy
Ps you didn't ramble ;)
 

nayr88

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Yeh those 20g bottles are going to bankrupt you!

And as for the tetra canister, I don't think there going to work on such size a tank, especially in comparison to yeast method.
If you would be willing to shell out 50-65quid for a nano set up like the 20g ones, your better of buying a proper co2 set.

The fire extinguisher route is the most popular and there's a sticky similar to this a couple of posts down. I think at 25posts yourll also get access to the 'for sale/wanted' thread, so you can stick a wanted add up and possible get a 2nd hand reg from there.

Cheap enough brought new. A regs around 50 quid, then things like stop valve, co2 tubing, deffuser and bubble counter around another 10-20 and a 2kg fire extinguisher 20-28quid deliverd.

The initial outlay is a little bit more, but the bottles last months and months!

:)
 

willow-puss

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Location
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many thanks for the reply nayr88, :thumbup:

Will save my money til have enough to buy a more efficent kit, and will re-read the FE route- brother works at pub so he may be able to get me a bottle cheap.


beccy
 

Packers

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2 Sep 2011
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Hi, hope this isn't hijacking the thread. I've used this set up for a while and had no problems. Now I've started using standard yeast rather than the nutrafin bank busting stuff :lol: and I've noticed that I am getting white stuff floating around the diffuser. Anyone know what this is and what I can do to stop it?

One further question, can these yeast-based set-ups be made in-line for better CO2 distribution or is this only suitable for pressurized CO2?
 

Sentral

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28 Jun 2011
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You need a fair amount of pressure to run inline diffusers, which yeast simply cannot do!
 

peaches

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29 Dec 2008
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I have set up this today and am getting some bubbles using the packet contents, but will be using the diy recipe when it runs out. I have been told its not enough for my 200 litre planted tank, but nonetheless I want to try it because I cant afford an expensive system and I dont want to fiddle with fire extinguishers. I have some easy carbo and can use this in conjunction if necessary. I might even get two units and swap them over alternately to keep up a good supply.

My question is, do I need a CO2 tester? I have looked on ebay and found glass bubble drop checkers from asia and I dont know if they are any good or not. I have also seen test kits on sale here by JBL and Aqua medic, but they seem to run about £13 or so. I have also seen a table online whereby you calculate the CO2 by finding out your pH and KH. Which way of testing is best, if I need to do it.

Also, I noticed this kit doesnt have a valve in its assembly. I assume its good practice to add one to stop the tank emptying via the canister? (Just the same as you would include one in an airline). Also, how do you stop the flow of yeast products the other way, into the tank? I noticed someone said about putting some filter wool in the lid, can you explain this a bit better please?
 

whatok

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16 Feb 2011
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The ONLY way to avoid getting the mixture into the tank is to NEVER OVERFILL with DIY solution. I made this mistake myself, even with filter wool in the lid. Only maybe a quarter of the mix got into my tank, but it settled, bloomed, and sucked the life out of everything.

The results can be catastrophic, for shrimp, fish, and plants.
 

peaches

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Oh dear. What is overfilling?

I had this running fine until today when I noticed it slow down. But my plants were doing so well, I even had pearling which I had never had before. This evening I noticed a slight presence of cloudy liquid in the tube. I disconnected it immediately and made up a new mixture. Im a bit worried now as I am going away for half term. I might disconnect it for a week just to be safe.
 

whatok

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16 Feb 2011
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just don't fill it above the top of the 'tabs' on the inside of the cannister, and you'll be fine. That's really good that you're getting pearling!
 

peaches

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I took this down when I went away for half term, then set it up on my return. I still have it running and it has made a real difference to my tank and plants. I know Im not getting as much as in a pressurised system, but the mere fact that it is making a difference to plant growth, and the ingredients cost virtually nothing (I had them in stock anyway) I am keeping it running. This week I found a can of golden syrup past its sell by. I thought it was ideal to use in place of sugar and so far its working well. I would have only thrown it out. I filled the container up with syrup to the level where I would have put sugar, and added water and yeast. It took a bit of time to get going, but it works best when I sit it on the top of my tank where the heat from the lamps helps the yeast grow. I made an overflow safety container using an empty coke bottle, so if the mixture bubbles over it goes into the bottle not the tank. This has changed the rate the bubbles come out a bit, they travel in groups of 10 then there is a few seconds pause, then another group of about 10. I am using a ladder diffuser and by the time one group of 10 bubbles is nearing the top another group is climbing the ladder to join them. I have a drop checker in place and so far have only achieved green with a hint of blue, no limeade colour yet!
 

Manrock

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15 Dec 2007
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Sorry for jumping in on an old thread - just like to add my bit as I ran DIY on a 180 litre for many years. It can be done on medium to large tanks I believe and the usual problems with DIY can be avoided (like fluctuating levels). I have to confess that I now use a pressurised unit (that I could not afford at the time) , mainly because I am far too lazy for the method below now (even though it's a simple, once a week bottle change)!

In the end I settled on 3 big (2 litre) coke bottles all connected 'inline' with shut off valves (air pump type) for each bottle. I'd change one bottle a week and so kept the pressure very high (I was getting a bubble a second no problem) with a lime-green drop checker.

Two top tips; add a little Marmite to the mix, it kept a 2 litre bottle going at max CO2 for 3 weeks easily (don't ask me how - something to do with the nutrients needed for yeast to really thrive rather than just survive): and...(with an external cannister) place the CO2 outflow tube directly into the filter inflow (I slotted it into the intake strainer of the shepherds crook). The CO2 gets maximum 'underwater time' and the bubbles get 'smashed up' by the impeller.

Cheers
 

parotet

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12 Oct 2013
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Sorry to open a this thread again, but when I read this I always have the same doubt:

DIY yeast CO2 systems tutorials always give a recipe for medium tanks... what do you need for larger tanks (yes, probably buy a pressurized system, I know) or smaller tanks (yes, using liquid C)? But what I mean is, adding more bottles will increase the production of CO2 or just stabilize the amount of CO2 delivered to the tank?
 

damrabbit

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20 Jan 2014
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13
Hi all

Just getting into planted tanks and at the moment doing a lot of reading up when I came across this thread
I do a lot of homebrew wine/beer could I combine 2 hobbies into 1 by connecting my demijohns (1 gallon capacity) and brew bins (5 gallon capacity) into the tank or would it produce too much Co2 for the tank (100 litres)

thanks
 

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