max head for DIY CO2
Alright people, I have a query for you all. I just set up my DIY CO2 last week. After 2 bad batches I learned how to get the damn yeasty-beasties gassing. Now I get about 1 bubble per 3 seconds (20/minute). NO problem, right? Well, I use a DIY bell diffuser (tupperware-style) that catches the bubbles and holds them in contact with the water for a longer duration. I know it is not the most sophistacated solution, but I did say this was a DIY setup, right? Anyway, I did my first water change since installing the CO2 today and I figured I should try to move the bell lower in the tank before I remove the water and free up all that lovely CO2. This way it will still be submerged when I remove the water. However, when I moved the bell deeper, the bubbles stopped. I could see the gas/water interface in the tubing and it was not moving at all. So I did my water change and once the water level got low enough, the bubbles started up again. I filled my tank and the bubbles stopped. So I moved the bell up higher (and closer to the output of my powerfilter). Once again, the bubbles started flowing.
My question is this: has anybody elsebody else seen this problem? Is it normal to only be allowed 2 inches of head before the CO2 stops? Short of going to a pressurized system, is there any way I can increase the depth I can mount the bell?
I have had the same problem with my glass plate diffusor. All you have to do when you lower the reactor is to wait for the gas to bubble again. It should shortly bubble, but in your system it might take longer since it's going at 1 buble every 3 secs. I am not sure of the exact reason for this but I think its due to increased water pressure. Just wait for the CO2 to build up pressure enough to counter the water pressure pushing against the tubing.
You bet, the deeper it is in the tank, the more pressure it'll take to get the bubbles out. I ran into kinda the same problem - changed batches, and it quit working (Hagen ladder mounted with the outlet about sixteen inches under water). The danged gas/water interface (meniscus) in the tube hung right at the water's surface - move the tube, and the meniscus followed. I found out that the Tee I was using to connect the two 2-liter bottles together was a bit small for the tubing I have, and it was leaking slowly. Replaced the Tee, gave the bottles a good shake, and it's been cranking out 35+ bpm since. Check your connections - if everything is tight, give your yeast reactor vessel (isn't that an impressive phrase?) a bit of a shake to wake things up. It was tough finding the leak in my system - I did it by sniffing all the connections!
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