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Thread: DIY CO2 generator

  1. #1
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    DIY CO2 generator

    How to make a CO2 generator for your greenhouse/grow room plants

    If you have a greenhouse or grow room and have wanted to put in a CO2 system but couldn't afford the expense or had difficulty with how technical one can be to set up and run, have I got the solution for you! Well it is easy for anyone to set up and use this simple CO2 generator for healthy and vibrant plants. As you know plants take in CO2 during the day and expel Oxygen, at night they do the reverse but to a lesser degree. In order for your plants to thrive they need CO2. You could leave the door open for fresh air, but in the winter your plants could freeze and opening the doors invites all sorts of plant eating pests. Making a simple generator to use solves those problems.

    Things You'll Need:
    empty gallon water bottle or well washed milk jug.
    1 Cup Sugar
    1 heaping teaspoon of Activated Yeast.
    craft iron
    airline tubing or other such tubing to direct CO2 to your plants
    twist ties to attach tubing to uprights
    coat hanger, garden stakes or some other thing to act as a holder for your CO2 curtain
    pocket knife or punch to make holes into tubing.
    1 "T" connector for your tubing.


    Step 1plug in craft iron, when it is hot enough you will use it to burn a hole into the lid of your gallon water bottle. The hole must be just large enough to force the tubing into it. Force end of tubing into the lid from the outside to the inside entering the jug about 1/4 inch.

    Step 2Fill water jug 1/3 with lukewarm water then using a funnel add 1 cup of sugar. Shake well to dissolve as much sugar as possible.

    Step 3Using 1 cup measure fill about 1/3 full with lukewarm water. Add dry activated yeast and stir till dissolved. Using funnel add this to your water jug then fill to just over 1/2 way with more lukewarm but not hot water. Hot water will kill your yeast.

    Step 4place lid onto container which is now your generator. Place generator in your greenhouse or grow room as close to your plants as possible.

    Step 5take your coat hanger pieces or wooden stakes and stake 4 around the perimeter of your plants, you can put stakes in planters with the plants. These will be the uprights your airline tubing will attach to.

    Step 6Cut enough airline tubing to go completely around your plants and attach both ends of the tubing to the "T". Using plant tape or twist ties you will attach this tubing to the uprights you just made. Use the piece of airline attached to your water bottle lid to attach to the final end of your "T"

    Step 7using your pocket knife or tubing punch you will poke some holes into the tubing surrounding your plants on the sides of the tubing that is directly facing the plants.

  2. #2
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    Just a bit more info to make this generator work more efficiently. I made virtually the same thing a couple weeks ago and my ladies are very happy that I did.
    Warm your yeast water to 80 degrees F. A candy thermometer from Walmart works perfect for this. Yeast dies at higher temps and may not fully activate at lower temps. Shake the %&$@ out of both your sugar solution and your yeast solution. The oxygen will only help to activate the yeast to eat the sugars. This will generate CO2 for almost a week. If the solution is kept warm (80 degrees F), it will create CO2 constantly for about a week. I go and say "Hi" to the girls everyday so I check the active fermintation each day. When it starts to slow down a bit, I give it a good shake to add more oxygen and stir up any inactive yeast/sugars. After everything dies down and you have no more bubbles, it is time to dump the whole mix and start again.

    Hope this helps. Any questions? Please don't hesitate to ask.

    PS: The by product of all this fermintation is ETOH or ethyl alcohol. The stuff in beer, wine, liquor. You can drink it and get a buzz, but it will probably taste pretty nasty.

  3. #3
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    One little point about the fermenting process. The reason wine and beer primary fermenters have air locks is to exclude mold, fruit flies and oxygen. When O2 is present in the mash the yeast will produce more MeOH, aka methyl alcohol aka wood alcohol.

    If you shake your jug around without opening it first there will be no O2 present and you're just stirring it up with the CO2 in the jug. Try adding a couple of tablespoons of sugar and see if it perks up. If it does that means the yeast hasn't made enough alcohol to poison itself yet and can go a while longer. If it doesn't perk up then the yeast is dead and you need to start over. To make it easier to drink without distilling, freeze the jug solid then invert it over a bowl and let it thaw for a while dripping into a bowl. Once you have a quart from a gallon jug you should have all the alcohol. Bread yeast will make up to 14%, wine yeast 16%, while champagne or distillers yeast can produce up to 22% alcohol before it dies off from alcohol poisoning. I have a 5 gal version perking in my grow room that is about done and I'm going to triple distill and carbon filter that sucker for 95% alcohol for tinctures and a few good piss-ups. I use 11.5 lbs. of sugar, 2 packs of wine yeast and a Tbsp. of yeast energizer and it perks away for 3-4 weeks. The next one I'll measure the amount of CO2 it produces and get a rough estimate of the CO2 ppm in my room with the exhaust fan off.

    Oh yeah. Check the pH as it won't perk if it's too low. 5-6.5 seems to work good. Also check out homedistiller(dot)org for lots more info and recipes.


  4. #4
    420 Member crypiter's Avatar
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    Great info as usual Labrat. Thnks.

  5. #5
    420 Member bluntbro's Avatar
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    will try thanx for info

  6. #6
    420 Member SciFi's Avatar
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    Umm.. I don't want to be the purveyor of FUD, but this will barely do anything to raise the usable CO2 for the plants, even if you have a weeee tiny space (like two cubed feet of area).

    I'll dig up the numbers and post them back here.

    The design for these came from the DIY aquarium community, which.. does work for feeding tiny, small underwater plants.. in water.
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    I'll say this: I set this up to see what affect it would have. I put it in with some Connecticut Shade Leaf seedlings that haven't grown much in the last three weeks. In 48 hours of having this setup near them, they have doubled in size!

    Now time to try it with some "real" plants.

  8. #8
    420 Member Trunk5's Avatar
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    it will work except you need to shake the bottle everyday and make sure you have line that runs above the plants since c02 drops to the ground..

    the recipe is 3 parts water 1 part sugar and a package of yeast.. i use 3 cups water one cup sugar and a package of dry activated yeast in a 2 liter.
    If a man is guilty for what goes on in his mind, then give me the electric chair for all my future crimes.

  9. #9
    420 Member highteck's Avatar
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    I followed this guide and a few others but this one makes the most sense out of the little info given here is a few pics of my DIY c02 setup



  10. #10
    420 Member SourSkunkD's Avatar
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    you cant just mix the sugar, water and yeast together?
    WINNING!!!!! :

  11. #11
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    and need to shake it time to time and maybe add some sugar as well

  12. #12
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    A few things about this, I've just been doing a lot of research on this and there is some miss(ing) information. In the air outdoors, CO2 comprises about .038% of the total gas (380ppm). If you have a closet growspace with the door open and a fan running, this allows for gas to equalize so you will have ~380ppm. 380ppm is on the low end of the continuum of most plants ability to use it as fuel for photosynthesis (which stops completely at 200ppm), plants getting sufficient light grow much heavier and faster if supplied with 1500ppm (.15%, more than 4 times atmospheric levels). CO2 is only used in the presence of light and the amount of light available directly effects how much CO2 your plant can photosynthesize: at 4600fc a plant can use up to 600ppm CO2, if you increase the light to 5500fc it can use between 1200-1300ppm of CO2, if you go over 7500fc they can use up to 1500ppm.

    To do calculations of how much CO2 will be generated:
    1lb of CO2 (.45kg) = 8.7 cubic feet (.246 cubic m)
    1cubic foot of gas increases the percentage of gas in a 1000 cubic foot room (10x10x10) by 1,000ppm
    -during fermentation about half of the sugars weight is CO2, so if you want 1lb CO2, use 2lb sugar
    -To determine how much weight you need, first figure out how much light you have and find the appropriate ppm CO2. Then find cubic area of growspace. Use these: 600ppm is 1:666(if you want 600ppm, multiply cubic area by .0006, so a 1000 cubic food room requires .6 cubic feet, or .0168 cubic meters or CO2) -- for 1000ppm it's 1:1000, so multiply area by .001 -- 1200 ppm is 1:1,000,000, multiply by .0012.

    -When you make your hose, puncture it up and down the length of the hose (like for a drip irrigation system) and place it above your plants (CO2 sinks).
    -if you want to use CO2 outdoors (which you should!!) a large compost pile in the middle of the garden works, or in a smaller garden putting a small compost pile under every plant. This is a super easy + effective way to enrich CO2 outdoors.

    -CO2 generators are VERY effective under certain conditions and at least somewhat effective in nearly all conditions.



    Hope this is useful. If I can clear anything up let me know! Happy growing.
    -you cannot have too much really,
    Last edited by Spitinthacool; 12-06-2011 at 10:50 AM. Reason: My phone decided to post before I was done. >.< + typos

  13. #13
    New Member dank937's Avatar
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    I did this just today except I placed an airstone on the grog. Bubble baby bubble!

  14. #14
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    How would you this setup compares rot those co2 bickers.

  15. #15
    420 Member Kush Killer's Avatar
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    Re: DIY CO2 generator

    Quote Originally Posted by JAFO View Post
    How would you this setup compares rot those co2 bickers.
    thats how i do it as well, i dont use a air stone tho, i jsut sealed off the end of the air tube, then made a few little slites in it, gurgle gurgle bubble bubble, i think the air also help push the c02 out

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