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RE: yeast CO2 and heater rant

Hey y'all,

>There's the jello recipe:  
>http://www.actwin.com/fish/aquatic-plants/current/msg00379.html.  The
>doesn't specify what flavor tho :-)) Someone suggested using mollasses 
>instead of refined sugar on, IIRC, rec.aquiria.freshwater.plants. Then 
>there are the suggestions to use champagne yeast and winemaking yeast >of 
>various kinds etc.  These are the ones that I can recall.
>Portland, OR

I use the jello recipe and I've found it works better than anything else. It
also works with straight gelatine if you don't want to end up with awful
alcoholic jello mush. (Although you still end up with awful alcoholic
gelatine mush.) It gives lots of CO2 and lasts for a very long time.
A couple things I've also found - one, if you're going for yeast don't mess
around with little 1 litre bottles, go for 2 litre containers or more.  
Two - Vaseline and Superglue form an effective sealing system. No, really,
try it, it works good. Glue in the airline with super glue then pile on the
Vaseline (or grease) to seal up the gaps.
Three - Activate your yeast beforehand especially of it isn't special
add-straight-to-dry-mix bread yeast. Put in in a jug with warm water and a
little sugar and wait until it's really frothy before putting it in the
bottles. It means you get CO2 right away and it helps the yeast to cope with
possibly unfavourable conditions inside the bottles if there's more of it to
start with.

BTW, I think I have found something interesting re trickle filters and CO2.
Yesterday I finally got sick of my homemade trickle tower leaking like hell
despite my best efforts with the silicone, and ditched it in favour of two
powerhead cartridges in the tank. I removed it mid-afternoon and set up the
cartridges straight away (while I was out getting the cartridges a trivial
mistake in the plumbing of the CO2 system led to the transfer of several
gallons of water over my fishroom floor - it's amazing how fast water moves
thru an airline...)
This morning, all my fish were gasping at the surface of the water which has
*never* happened before, while the trickle tower was running. The pH had
dropped from 7.4 to 6.8 overnight. I aerated the water for a half hour and
the fish all returned to normal, and the pH rose to 6.9. This seems to
suggest that the plants saturated the water with CO2 overnight, an effect
which would have normally been countered by the trickle tower. And my
trickle tower was *sealed* - never in the field of human endeavour has so
much duct tape been used by one man on one project - so I thought no CO2
could escape. Obviously I was wrong. So, now I will monitor the tank
carefully. I think I will find I need to add far less CO2 than before to
maintain the right level. And maybe I'll need to fiddle with the powerhead
flows to get more surface turnover. Has anyone else experienced oxygen
depletion overnight in their planted tank?

>The Rant:  I bought a Visi-therm heater thinking it was "completely 
>submersible" as it said on the box.  But when I opened the package and
>the instruction, the heater is not, in fact, "completely 
>submersible." The 
>dial has to be above water.  What gives!!!  Shouldn't "completely 
>submersible" mean like the Hagen heaters that can be placed anywhere 
>in the 
>aquarium?  Am I crazy to be complaining?
>Chin See Ming
>Portland, OR

Erk! mine is totally submerged and has been for a good while. Although...I
think the Visi-therms are more or less the same as the Eco-therms in
construction, and the Ecotherms certainly have o-ring seals around the
adjustment knob. I know, I've taken a couple apart in the past. Maybe they
mean the dial/temperature gauge has to be above water for you to be able to
see it. I have a Hagen Tronic on my other tank, and it's been submerged for
18 months now and is still keeping the fish warm. Covered in BBA it is, too.