Saturday, January 7, 2017

A Complete DIY CO2 Setup for Aquarium: Step by Step Procedures

diy co2 aquarium

Making your own CO2 setup is easy, cheap and rewarding. It doesn’t need much time too. Before making your DIY CO2 setup, it is important first to figure out the size and number of bottles you’ll need. For a 55 gallon aquarium, two 2L coke bottles are enough for producing two bubbles every second.  You should keep in mind that unlike pressurized CO2 system, DIY setup can’t be switched on and off at precise times. Thus, it is recommended to choose a slightly lower co2 rate than needed for your aquarium to avoid huge pH change.

Required equipment for DIY co2:


2.Sodium Bicarbonate

3.Yeast (Brewers yeast is preferable)


5.3/16” bit drill

6. Rubber tubing (3/16”)

7.Bubble Counter

8.Valve (One way)

9.Diffuser (Glass diffuser recommended)

10.Silicone glue

Step 1:

Use 1 cup of sugar or each 1L of bottles. So, a 2L bottle will require two cups of sugar. It is recommended to use raw sugar as it is less costly and holds more complex carbohydrates. Now, take a funnel. If you don’t have a funnel nearby, then take a piece of paper and roll it into a cone. Then use it to pour the sugar into the bottle. You shouldn’t make a mess in this way.

Now, fill the bottle with warm water up to the neck (Leave some room). Keep in mind that hot or boiling water will kill the yeast, we only need warm water. Now add half teaspoon of Sodium Bicarbonate to the bottle. It will act as a buffer and keep the pH stable for a long time.

Step 2:

At this stage, you need to add the yeast. Brewers yeast is more preferable than baking yeast because brewers yeast will continue to produce CO2 for a longer period of time.
Add a 1/3rd teaspoon of yeast per 2L bottle. Keep in mind that adding more will only shorten the time of CO2 production and adding less will reduce the output rate of CO2.


Step 4:

After adding yeast, not it’s time to recap the bottle and shake. Shake well until the solution is well mixed. If you have mixed the solution well, you should see slight foam on the surface of the solution. Now open the cap and let the bottle sit for about half a day. Be sure that the bottle is unsealed in this period. If you have completed all the above steps successfully, you should see bubbles rising from the bottom to the surface. These are the bubbles of CO2.
If you don’t see any CO2 bubbles, re-check the above steps again and see if you have missed something.


Step 5:

Now take the cap of the bottle and make a hole using the 3/16” drill bit. Now, feed one end of the rubber tube up to one inch through the hole and ensure a tight fit. Use the silicone glue to make an airtight seal around the tube both inside and outside of the cap. Creating an airtight seal is extremely important, otherwise, all the precious CO2 will just leak away. Use a T connector if you have multiple bottles. We need to connect all the bottles into a single output line.

Now take the other end of the rubber tubing and connect it with a one-way valve. You may need to use a 3/16” connector.

Then, take a bubble counter and fill it with water as per the instructions say. Now take another rubber tubing and push one end to the other side of the valve and the other end to the bubble counter. Then place the bubble counter on your aquarium stand or stick it on the glass.

The last step is to take a diffuser (Glass diffuser preferable) and connect it with the CO2 setup. Now all is done! Your DIY CO2 Setup is ready to go!!

Now, if all these steps seem too complex to you, don't worry! Click here to check out a pre-made DIY CO2 system for planted aquarium!

Comment below if you have any question and I’ll try to answer as soon as I can!