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Re: [APD] Hagen CO2 Natural

I am a long-time DIY yeast CO2 user, and have tried the Hagen CO2 thing. 
While it does work I found that the whole system wasn't worth the price.  The
canister is VERY small (holds perhaps 16 oz?) and getting people to pay
through the nose for small packets of baker's yeast and baking soda
("Activator" and "Stabilizer") is the best scam I've seen in a long time. 
Wish I'd thought of it.  The reactor that comes with it however, is a super
product and I've ordered a couple of them (you can buy them separately) for my
2 liter CO2 bottles.  

If you want to do yeast CO2, then just use a 2-liter soda bottle and use one
of Hagen's reactors (or really do it right with the mini-reactor from
Aquabotanic.com).  Usually the difficult part is attaching the tubing to the
bottle cap so it doesn't leak CO2.  You can buy a bottlecap with CO2 tubing
for $5.00 at www.plantguild.com - they'll even include a year's supply of
champagne yeast.  That's the real trick, DO NOT use baker's yeast - you will
get MUCH MUCH MUCH better results using Champagne yeast.  Baker's yeast will
give you a huge spike the first couple of days then rapidly slow down until
they're completely dead with 2-3 weeks.  Adding 1/4 tsp of Baking Soda helps a
little but doesn't solve the problem that baker's yeast rapidly dies as the
solution inevitably turns acidic.  Baker's yeast also causes problems because
it foams at the top and can get into the tank if you fill the 2-liter too
full.  Champagne yeast can survive MUCH longer in an acidic environment (a
solution will typically last a month to six weeks for me), and does not foam
at the top.  You will also notice that the CO2 is produced at a very steady
rate until the solution starts to die several weeks later.  Champagne yeast is
more expensive and isn't as easy to find, but you can get it through
mail-order or at your local wine/beer making shop and freeze the extra.  I
only use ~1/8 teaspoon of Champagne yeast so a small amount goes a long way. 

Use the Hagen reactor (~$11.00 at www.drsfostersmith.com) but save your money
and use your own canister and yeast.

My recipe:
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp Champagne yeast
tepid water (fill to 2-3" from top)

Sorry if this was too rambling, but hopefully it was of use to someone wanting
to start DIY CO2.

Christine Bennett
christine_bennett at usa.net

> Message: 2
> Date: Fri, 02 Jan 2004 08:49:51 -0800
> From: "Rachel Sandage" <rachelsor at hotmail_com>
> Subject: [APD] Hagen CO2 Natural
> To: aquatic-plants at actwin_com
> Chung,
> lots of other people use this thing - when Karen Randall, noted plant guru,

> came out to Oregon talk about planted tanks last September, she recommended

> it too.
> It is basically just a DIY system, with a fun diffusor. You can use Hagen's

> special "activator" and "stabilizer" in it, but I have started to just use 
> my own yeast and baking soda - 1 tsp baking soda, 1/8 teaspoon yeast, sugar

> and water per the instructions on the packet. You need to change it about 
> every month or so. The difference in plant growth with vs without made even

> my skeptical husband (he has one in his 10) a true CO2 believer.
> Yes, you absolutely can do the same thing without spending the money (under

> $20) for this commercial product, but it will not be as simple to set up or

> easy to get started with, I guarantee. Not to mention the fun of watching 
> the bubbles shrink as they go up the little ramps.
> I'm not affiliated with this company in any way, just really fond of this 
> product.
> -Rachel

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