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Thread: DIY CO2 Sourdough Starter - 5gl new setup

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted erbs's Avatar
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    DIY CO2 Sourdough Starter - 5gl new setup

    After looking at various examples online, created a two jar sourdough starter ferment CO2 for a 5 gl tank I'm trying again. I feed the starter a couple tablespoons of flour every day or two, and take some out when it gets too full (about past half, as have had it bubble over and needed to clean tube). I save that overflow and then make delicious sourdough pancakes on the weekends
    starter co2.jpg
    To diffuse, I'm just using a airstone set beneath the filter intake currently, which then breaks up and sends the bubbles everywhere. I'm not sure if that's good for the moss to be covered in CO2 bubbles by end of day or if it matters?
    Considering a bell or ceramic diffuser instead, would be nice to only see the bubbles from plants pearling. I unscrew the middle jar at night after lights out to release and stop the CO2. Considered getting a drop checker because this starter method varies in output, but my LFS person was just like check the PH at different times of day. Haven't been super diligent about checking, but last time it was about 6.8 after a day of light and ferment bubbles going at full blast, and then back up to around usual 7.2 in the morning before lights again. Hoping to experiment with starter feeding schedule and amounts to figure out a good medium.
    5gl new 2019.jpg
    Tank has been going for 7 weeks. Peacock moss on the stump and then two plants below I forget names but they aren't doing the greatest. Wondering if it's the eco-complete I used, without any soil underneath? Substrate was used for set-up last year, when plants all melted in heatwave and I tore it all down. Tank was sitting in garage since then and thought to give it another shot. Added 3 blue velvet shrimp two weeks ago and then seem to be doing well, or at least they haven't died yet!
    blue band.jpg
    Using the sourdough starter for CO2 has made me think of other fermenting options (like my 5L fermenting crock for sauerkraut) to try, and how that gas make-up may differ and be more or less beneficial for the plants? I'm approaching it all very un-scientifically, but it's interesting to experiment and curious what others have tried or learned.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Jawaeater's Avatar
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    Rad! I always wanted to try this. Do you have a link to a good how to page? Last time I looked I couldn't find any very helpful. CO2 bubbles never seem to hurt any of my plants, and I've read that they can utilize some of it directly. This is a good link for PH https://dennerle.com/en/guides/aquar...ration-correct

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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr SCas's Avatar
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    A good way to chexk co2 if you dont have a drop checker is to just check the bubbles per second, or check if any of your fish are hyperventilating. If they hyperventilate that means its too much and you should turn it down until they stop

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted erbs's Avatar
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    Unfortunately I don't, but I followed this pic as a general guide:https://www.reddit.com/r/Aquariums/c..._co2_diffuser/ which seems similar to other 2 bottle kits or set-ups I've seen in google searches. Though I'm now finding my connections weren't the tightest as the usual flow has slowed way down. Planning to swap in different jars, with more heavily siliconed connections

    For these I just drilled tubing size holes on the jar lids, and then applied silicone sealant on both sides of the hole after putting tubes through. Then connect out going CO2 to check valve, which then connects to air stone in tank.

    Will keep experimenting and thanks for the encouragement!

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted erbs's Avatar
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    I don't have any fish in the tank, but is there any shrimp behavior you're aware of when there's two much CO2? I haven't noticed them trying to leap out, but sometimes they do intense loops around the perimeter and I wonder about that.

    What is generally good rate of bubbles per second? I know there's so many variables with the sourdough starter that's it hard to keep it constant.

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted erbs's Avatar
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    DIY CO2 Sourdough & Light Shade

    Realized the tubing wasn't totally secure, either undone by pressure or bad silicone job by me, so tried different jars. Using I believe 48 oz, angled jar (was holding 3lbs honey that I ate) for the starter, and 13 oz old jam jar for the bubble checker / starter guard 2nd step. Guard because the starter can be unpredictable and bubble as high as the tubing.
    IMG_20191026_093801329.jpg
    Try to feed every other day, but had no time last week and left it till yesterday, it just peters out but then is super sour smelling and potent, ready to be "fed." When I remember, I will release the pressure at night after the timer shuts off, but the timer is for lights and filter, so when I forget and the CO2 keeps flowing -but without getting pushed everywhere by the filter current - I hope that means not as CO2-y in the tank overnight?
    IMG_20191026_211214129.jpg
    Previously had the CO2 just going thru airstone underneath filter intake. Which worked but wondered about efficiency / worried about big bubbles bursting in the filter (noisy). So got the only CO2 diffuser my LFS sold. Working okay but think it's maybe too large for the tank, thinking I want a smaller option. Plants seem to be doing good though, or at least handling the not-exactly-regular doses of CO2.
    I think like a lot of people here I enjoy staring at my tank, especially after getting home from a long day, it's peaceful watching their little green world. But the led light was kinda blinding/annoying, so made up a simple shade from heavier weight drawing paper. Works pretty well to shield my eyes and as ambient lighting.
    IMG_20191026_211308953.jpg

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Betta_Builds's Avatar
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    That’s so cool, keep us posted

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