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re: CO2 with baking soda

>Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 11:20:56 PDT
>From: "Joe Anderson" <wja70 at hotmail_com>
>Bob and Chlayne were discussing 
>the proper DIY recipe for CO2 production.
>The recipe I've been using comes from Jim Kelly's article
>"Great aquarium plants, real cheap"
>It called for 2 cups of sugar and 1/4 tsp yeast.
>I've been using this for a little over a year now
>with decent results,(not phenomenal-probably because my tanks lack 
>the additions of proper minerals)but good enough overall.
>Baking soda was not mentioned.
>Should I be adding baking soda as well?
>Does this simply act as a catalyst?

Baking soda acts as a pH buffer.  In a yeast CO2 generator, the carbonic
acid generated by the yeast tends to drop the pH to a point where the yeast
don't produce as well.  Many stop producing at this point, and CO2
production drops.  Adding baking soda prevents the pH from dropping so far,
allowing a more steady CO2 production.
David W. Webb 
Live-Foods-Digest administrator <live-foods at actwin_com>