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Thread: 'Natural' CO2

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr stormvisions's Avatar
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    'Natural' CO2

    i saw a post on The Planted Tank forum with a guy trying to build a natural CO2 producer using rotting leaves, lime (the mineral) and a bucket and then passing some of the water through the filter into the tank. I actually had an idea on this which I haven't been able to try because with only one tank in the living room, and no storage to hide the hoses and buckets the wife would go crazy with the mad science crap sitting next to the sofa.

    I was thinking of using a mycelium based product like ExHale https://amzn.to/33XD2zF My thought was that you would have an air pump push air through a container with a lid and some water with an airstone in water, but the 'out' port is above the water -basically a humidity chamber - then this air passes into a bucket with a lid and the mycelium mix where it picks up some CO2 then send it out into a gang valve along with your 'regular' air supply. If you have a gang valve on the air pump going in to the bucket you could adjust how much air is pushed through the CO2 bucket.

    On the humidity chamber I'm guessing you need the moisture to keep the moving air from drying out the mycelium fungus (a CPAP machine has a simple water tray to moisturize the air you breathe as it passes through). Also need some check valves to ensure one way flow.

    Something like this.


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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    Why not just use a yeast/sugar mix? That's a 'natural' process too, and it's cheaper and simpler.

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr stormvisions's Avatar
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    Yes, but in theory, the mycelium could run unattended for a very long time. The small bag I linked to says it can provide 128 cubic foot space with CO2 for at least 6 months. As long as the mycelium has enough material to feed on I'm thinking that for all practical purposes this would be a set it and forget solution that could last a year or more - plus is just seems like a cool solution.

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr jayo's Avatar
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    Yeah, six months of stable CO2 would be a nice! If you do this, I'll definitely be interested in hearing how it works.

    For the moist air part, it might be easier to get a mister and mist for a minute a couple times a day.

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr stormvisions's Avatar
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    Yeah but I like the unattended idea. I was even wondering about floating a small sealed tray in the tank with one way valves to 'burp' into the tank when the pressure built up, or even underwater in a sealed jar with check valve with a tiny bit of the mycelium mix that would burp as pressure built but I assume that the amount of CO2 produced is directly proportional to the amount of 'stuff' in the bag (in other words the more mycelia passing gas, the more CO2 production). Now that I dredged up the idea again I am tempted to try. I have a vacation (finally) coming up in September and since I'll be home I may work on it and test it outside - I have another somewhat failed experiment outdoors with aquatic moss growing in four jars in a sort of soupy spaghnum moss mix. It has grown very slowly over the past 3 months so if I can hook up something and it suddenly grows wild that would be a good sign. Hmmm....

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr stormvisions's Avatar
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    One more thought on this then I'll leave it alone for now. If the bucket wasn't too big, and had a tight seal then you might not need an air pump. If you had a check valve on intake with a lower cracking pressure (pressure at which valve opens) and a higher cracking pressure check valve at the exit then the pressure from the build-up of CO2 would cause the out flow to 'burp' CO2 into the tank, which should (?) then cause the check valve at the intake to suck in air. Have to test that but in theory I'd guess that if the intake check valve had a lower 'cracking' pressure the pressure would build up and the CO2 valve which requires more pressure would burp, then the intake which requires less pressure could 'suck' so breathing automatically. Works in my head anyway.

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