Jump to content

Building A Diy Pressurized Co2 System-A Guide On How To

Aquazone Team

Recommended Posts

Building a DIY Pressurized Co2 System-A guide on how to!
by Dimitris Lysikatos

This article has been originally published on Piranha Fury

Since the proper Plant keeping in an aquarium requires the installation of a Co2 system,many different types of Co2 systems where used by hobbyists around the world.
The most easy (but not so efficient) method for producing Co2 is the "Yeast-Sugar" method which is also (in short term period) the most economical one.This method can be applied in small aquariums up to 50 gallons because it requires a great ammount of "Yeast-Sugar" mixture for bigger tanks.
The best solution for Co2 is to buy a complete pressurized Co2 kit (there are many by different brands in the market),which contains also PH meter with magnetic valve,bubble counter,Co2 reactor and more....
But this has also great disadvantages.
It is a very expensive solution and usually the Co2 bottle that the kit contains is small so it requires many refillings according to it's use.

That's why many hobbyists develop their own "DIY Pressurized Co2 System" which is by far the best solution for your plants and your pocket.:laugh:
Here is a guide on how to build your own!

First of all you need a bottle filled with Co2 with the appropriate pressure meters and tuning valves.You can find a cheap solution in the stores that sell Medical Gas.A 4-littre bottle is a good size which will last at least 6 months before it requires a refilling.
You will also need the following:

1.Needle Valve (low pressure tuning valve).You can find this in industrial equipment stores.
2.Irreversible Valve.Same valve like the one we use on our air pumps.You can find it on your lfs.
3.Bubble Counter.You can make one with serum equipment.You can find one on drugstores.
And last,
4.Air Tube.You can use the same tube you use on your air pums but a silicone-based one is preffered.You can find it on your lfs.


Once you get the Co2 system, you have to adjust the Needle Valve on the output of the Co2 bottle after the Pressure Meters and put teflon tape in all the unions and the fittings in order to prevent any possible leak.
Then you put a 2-3 inch piece of Ait tube in the output of the Needle Valve and then you have to install the Irreversible Valve on the other side of the tube.
At the end of the Irreversible Valve you put the nessecary Air Tube (the lenght varies according to your space) and connect it with the Bubble Counter after filling it with 3/4 of water.
After the Bubble Counter you have to put the last piece of Air Tube in order to be installed in your tank.
I personally don't use a Co2 reactor and in order to diffuse the Co2 bubbles i have put the Co2 output Tube in my canister's filter intake which i think is the best way of dissolving Co2 in your tank's water.

The following pics will help you understand the entire setup.

Here is a pic that displays the Co2 Bottle with the Pressure Meters and the Needle Valve.

Δημοσιευμένη  εικόνα

(A) Bottle's Output Valve,(B ) Bottle's Pressure Meter,(.C) Output Pressure Meter,(D) Main Output Regulation Valve,(E) Second Output Regulation Valve,(F) Needle Valve.

Δημοσιευμένη  εικόνα

(A) Needle Valve,(B ) Irreversible Valve

Δημοσιευμένη  εικόνα

Bubble Counter

Δημοσιευμένη  εικόνα

Tuning-How to:

First of all turn all the Regulation Valves to 'close' position.Then fully open the "Bottle's Output Valve" (Pic2-A).You will now see the Bottle's pressure indication in the "Bottle's Pressure Meter" (Pic2- B ).
Now turn carefully 'ON' the "Main Output Regulation Valve" (Pic2-D) until the indication on the "Output Pressure Meter" (Pic2-C) reaches 1 to 1,5 bar.It is preffered to have low output pressure in order to have a more 'stable' airflow and regulation.
Now fully open the "Second Output Regulation Valve" (Pic2-E) and the "Needle Valve" (Pic2-F).You will see a lot of bubbles in your "Bubble Counter" (Pic4) don't worry about it.Now close carefully the "Second Output Regulation Valve" (Pic2-E) until it reaches the 3-8 bubbles per second.
Now you are able to tune the rest of your bubbles with the "Needle Valve" (Pic2-F).Close it carefully untill you have a stable indication of 1 bubble per second in your bubble counter.
Then observe the bubble rate for the next days and make extra adjustments if needed.

I also suggest you do several PH and KH tests in order to see the effects of Co2 in your tank's chemistry,cause big amounts of Co2 makes an increase of the Carbonate Hardness (KH) and more than 10dKH could harm your fish.
I suggest you to try to achieve a PH between 6,8 to 7,2 and KH 6 to 7.I believe that PH 7 with KH 7 is the optimum.
Always have in mind that this is a DIY solution without an electronic PH regulator (you could add one but it is very expensive) so be very aware of your tank's chemistry all the time.
Adjust the Co2 bubble rate in order to have the best water chemistry.

I believe that the maximum time of the proper Co2 adjustment will be no more than 3-5 days.

The above system cost me no more than 160 Euros and 2 days to set it up.The Bottle's refilling cost 10-15 Euros and it lasts 6-12 month according to your Co2 consumption.

I wish you Goodluck and enjoy your Plants!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Create New...