My failure to obtain a CO2 tank (see the Hardware forum for more info) caused me to haul out my old DIY yeast last night. I've used 2 Tupperware spaghetti canisters in the system (reaction chamber and gas separator), with 2 holes in each top, with remote control jet bulkhead nipple-thingies in each hole instead of the standard hose attachments (no gue required for a good fit, found out about it on the Internet somewhere). In the reaction chamber, one nipple has a piece of small tubing that is tied off as a seal. The other nipple has small tubing going one nipple on the top of the gas separator. The other nipple goes to an air stone in the tank.
Why the superfluous nipple on the reaction chamber? I had an idea a year ago while I was doing the "daily reaction chamber shake" on a DIY system to get the yeast/sugar water stuff re-mixed on our 44 gallon corner tank. The idea: If I ran a trickle of air into the yeast/sugar water solution, it might act to keep the solution mixed. I added the hole in the lid of the reaction chamber, put the bulkhead nipple in and added small tubing (the small fits more snug. The larger hosing fits too loosely, and tends to leak or come off completely). A broken airstone gave up its plastic attachment, making a perfect bridge from the small tubing to the large tubing, which I attached it to an air pump.
First problem: Too much air! The Tupperware ballooned up and the solution started roiling. I found a pump with an adjustable flow, then set it to the lowest flow I could achieve. After a few hours I noticed that all the fish in the tank were gasping and scratching on the glass with their little fins. Not good. I turned the pump off, knotted the tubing from the air pump and forgot all about it....
....until last night.
Pulling out the system again was my way of keeping my mind occupied until the new CO2 tank will be ready to pick up. DIY is too whimpy to work on a 125 gallon tank, I know this. Still, playing with it was keeping my idle hands from becoming the Devil's playground. I tried running the DIY into the AM Reactor 1000 first. Hmmm...not enough pressure for that. Time to go to bed and sleep on this.
In the morning I sat chewing on the inside of my cheek while I sat on the floor and looked at the system. What about my air pump idea? The original pump was long-gone, but I did have my Tetratec AP200 that was aleady running air into the tank. I moved some hosing around so that I could run one side into the reactor chamber. Stil not enough pressure to get anything into the Reactor 1000. OK, fine. I had an Elite 799 laying around, so I put the Tertratec back onto Air Duty and hooked the Elite up. I redid the DIY output so it was simply feeding an airstone in the tank.
The SMS122 read 8.0 at 12:00 PM (KH should have been 3 ppm). By 12:20 it read 7.8. Hmmm, let's get a timer going. It dropped to 7.7 by 1:00. 1:30, 7.7. It is now 2:00, and the pH is now at 7.6. KH reads 4 ppm according to the est kit. Interesting. I will keep an eye on it for the rest of the day at 1/2 hour intervals.
No pearling, but the pH says that there's enough carbonic acid to affectively drop things down towards neutral.
I imagine that pressurizing the solution like this should have a very adverse effect on the life expectancy of the solution. An empty tank would be needed to see both how low it can go and what the actual longevity of the solution is under these conditions. Since I don't happen to have one, my current tank (such as it is) will have to suffice for this very uncontrolled experiment.
Back to my boredom. The pH just might just jiggle again!!!!!
Oops, it's 2:30. PH is back up to 7.7......
Note: Typically my tank ranges from 7.5 - 8.4 through a 24 hour cycle. Lighting is 2 96 watt 10k JBJ (half of the 4/96 system is running right now), filtration is an Eheim 2128 and a Fluval 404, 125 gallon tank. No CO2 aside from the DIY that was just added.
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