DIY CO2 System For Aquarium

How to DIY CO2 System For Fish Tank:

Health and growth of plants inside an aquarium can be immensely boosted by the introduction of a CO2 system. Aquatic plants use carbon dioxide in the presence of aquarium light to grow and release oxygen which is useful for the aquarium fish. There are quite a few CO2 kits available for planted aquarium on the internet. They are all good but cost bit of money and in my opinion should only be purchased for larger planted aquariums. If you own a small aquarium with beautiful aquascape then i would suggest building a Do It Yourself CO2 system for your fish tank.

In my previous article, i have discussed how to aquascape a nano tank and today i will show you how to build a CO2 system for the aquarium plants. Please continue to read this article and also watch this video, How to build a CO2 diffuser for planted aquarium on my youtube channel.

DIY CO2 System For Aquarium

Build CO2 Diffuser at Home:

Lets go through this tutorial and learn how to build a CO2 diffuser for aquarium plants with a method using yeast, baking soda and sugar. You will also need below supplies to build the CO2 system at home;

  • 2 bottles (ml depends on the size of tank)
  • Several feet of airline tubing
  • Aquarium safe super glue gel or silicone
  • An air stone or air diffuser
  • A suction cup to fit your tubing
  • A check valve
  • Scissors

Step 1 - Prepare Bottles:

Prepare Bottles

After finding 2 bottles of the same size, it is time to start drilling holes in the bottle cap. Drill 1 hole in the cap of one bottle and 2 holes side by side in the cap of the second bottle. Push air tube through the holes and seal them using super glue or silicone so no air or liquid can pass through them. I would suggest using super glue gel as it dries faster and doesn't stick to fingers as much as other glues. However, any aquarium safe glue would do the job.

Step 2 - Prepare CO2 Solution:

Prepare CO2 Solution

Dry yeast, baking soda and sugar are the main ingredients in preparing a solution that will release CO2 in the aquarium.  Boil water and pour it in a jar and then keep adding sugar till it can't further dissolved. Sugar can be easily dissolved in hot water compare to warm and cold water. Add a tea spoon of dry yeast to the water when it has cool down and feels just warm. Add a pinch of baking soda to this solution and stir it well. Pour this mixture in the first bottle and fill the other bottle with normal tap water. Cover both bottles with the caps that have been fitted with air tubing. Best way is to spin the bottles till caps are tight rather then spinning the lids which can potentially break the seal.

Step 3 - Check Valve & Air Stone:

Check Valve & Air Stone

It is important to connect a check valve to the air tube that enters the aquarium from the home made CO2 system so water from the fish tank doesn't flow back into the bottles. Once all the connections are finalised then attach an air stone to the end of air tube that will be suspended in the fish tank. An air stone will increase the circulation and will also ensure that higher percentage of CO2 can be absorbed in the tank water. Adding an air stone will also increase the surface area of water compare to the CO2 feed into the aquarium from the CO2 diffuser.


CO2 Diffuser - Important Hints:

When making a mixture for DIY CO2 diffuser, keep in mind that more sugar will ensure that CO2 is generated for longer time. If you decide to add more yeast then CO2 will be produced at faster rate but the generation of CO2 will be for shorter amount of time. Adding baking powder is not a requirement but adding a pinch to the solution will ensure steady production of CO2. So, play around with the quantities till you achieve the desired results.

CO2 Diffuser Operating

DIY CO2 system for the aquarium should start producing CO2 in the first couple of hours. Some times it may take longer if the mixture is not balanced, so don't stress and leave it for bit longer as CO2 will be eventually generated.

If you are a type of person who can learn quicker from watching videos then take some time and visit my Youtube channel as i have uploaded quite a few videos on similar content. I wish you good luck in creating your own DIY CO2 system for aquarium and let me know how you go. I will be more than happy to assist with any questions and looking forward to your feedback or suggestions in the comment section below. 

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