DIY CO2 Generator


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DIY CO2 Generator

A new DIY option exists that is gaining more popularity and works on the chemical reaction between citric acid and baking soda.  

What you will need 

2 x 2 litre soda bottles (A & B)
Bottle A – Mix 200g Citric Acid in 600ml of water till disolved
Bottle B – Mix 200g Baking Soda in 200ml of water till disolved

How it works

The pressure in the bottles will want to form an equilibrium because they are connected by tubing. So when the pressure is higher in bottle A than in bottle B gas will want to flow from A to B. A consequence of this is that citric acid is injected into bottle B when the pressure in bottle A becomes higher than that in bottle B, which in turn creates more CO2. This additional gas is pushed into bottle A (as well as your diffuser), again making an equilibrium but in reverse to before. When the pressure in B falls below A, citric acid is again pushed from A to B, and so the cycle continues.

Assembly and Installation

  1. Add the reactive materials to bottle A and B as above
  2. Ensure all tubes are secure and locked
  3. Screw bottle A and B to the Generator Body (3)
  4. Close valve (6)
  5. Squeeze bottle B to force the air into bottle A until the increased pressure in bottle A pumps citric acid across to the baking soda bottle B. The citric acid and baking soda react to create CO2 which bubbles up through the tube with pendant (7) in bottle A.
  6. Open valve (6) to release pressure in bottle B which causes the increased pressure in bottle A to push citric acid across to the baking soda bottle B. Close immediately once the citric acid flows across to capture the CO2 released from the reaction. CO2 again bubbles through into bottle A.
  7. Monitor the pressure gauge needle (1) which now starts to rise.
  8. Repeat step 7 until the pressure gauge needle (1) is within the green zone
  9. Attach a diffuser and install in the aquarium
  10. Open valve (6) and regulate to the desired bubble count (4)

This CO2 system contains the following:

(1) Pressure gauge
(2) Exhaust valve
(3) Generator body
(4) Bubble counter
(5) Solenoid Valve (not included in this kit)
(6) Control valve
(7) Citric acid pendant
(8) Baking soda pendant
(9) Check valve (allow acid through)
(10) Check valve (allow CO2 out)
(11) Oblique tee