I have been reading APD for a couple of months now and periodically
the discussion of co2 comes up. I have now decided to share my
experience on building a really cheap co2 system.
I was always looking for a way to inject co2 and one day came across
and old carbonated water machine in garage. These antiques use co2
canisters that I can get refilled for R5 a month (about $1.20)
I constructed the machine by yanking out the old shaft that goes into
the bottle when making carbonated water. I replaced this with some
normal fishtank tubing.
Now the main problem was trying to control the flow of co2. When I
pushed the button on the top it would look like there was a blender
in the fish tank. Way to much flow. The solution was to drill a
hole right through the top of the button and into the machine. I
then attached a very long fine threaded rod through the holes with a
nut on either end. I put a drop of superglue on the nut that is in
the machine. Now when I turn the nut at the top it slowly pushes the
button down and you start to see a bubble or two coming out the pipe.
Depending on how much you turn the nut depends on the outflow.
I then led the output pipe to the pipe going into my aquaclear. A
problem that arose was that you must not put the output pipe directly in the
tube as it tends to suck the co2 out resulting in less control.
Rather put the pipe beneath the input into the aquaclear so that it
floats up and into the filter.
The aquaclear does a really neat job of dicing every little bubble.
This set up cost absolute nothing and has resulted in a really neat
change in the quality of my plants. Apart from this it has brought my
ph from 8.5!! down to about 7.2. And I am sure I could still lower it
more. I have also got a bubble curtain that does not really seem to
remove the co2 as fast as it is injected.
Of course, you need to have the old carbonate water machine. But I
have seen these at fleamarkets and garage salls for really cheap.
I just though that this would introduce a new way of looking at co2
Any questions don't hesitate to e-mail me.
Cheers for now