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Exploding Yeast Bottles!


  1. Can you top this HORROR story? Probably not...
    by "David W. Webb" <> (21 Apr 1995)
  2. DIY CO2 generator tip #48....
    by "Patrick S. McClintick" <> (Sun, 9 Jul 1995)
  3. Yeast Explosion
    by "David Huie" <David.Huie-at-Bentley.COM> (Mon, 17 Jul 95)
  4. Exploding diy Co2 containers
    by (Douglas Bardell) (Sun, 6 Aug 1995)
  5. Perils of Plastic CO2 Containers
    by Paul Chapman <chapman/> (Mon, 27 Oct 1997)
  6. CO2 in Glass vs Plastic
    by Stephen Pushak <teban/> (Thu, 13 Nov 1997)
  7. Yeast in Tank
    by ajreed/ (Andrea Reed) (Wed, 06 Jan 1999)
  8. RE: Has anybody had "exploding" 2-liter pop bottles?
    by KAnderson/ (Tue, 1 Jun 1999)
  9. DIY CO2 Yeast in Tank Story
    by ajreed/home.comBAT (Andrea Reed) (Wed, 24 Mar 1999)
  10. Exploding 2L bottle
    by "Susan A." <snotabby/> (Sun, 23 Jan 2000)

Can you top this HORROR story? Probably not...

by "David W. Webb" <>
Date: 21 Apr 1995
Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

No, but I have an interesting one that happened just yesterday.

DIY - CO2 disaster.

I help teach a Boy Scout-like club at my church on Wednesday nights.  
One of the activities for my group (3rd - 7th grade) is to make
carbon dioxide.  

Since I keep a plant tank, this was just up my alley.  I decided that
I would not only use the vinegar-baking soda method that they suggested,
but would also use vinegar-chalk, seltzer water, and yeast methods
for a richer experience.

A trip to the grocery store netted me a six-pack of 10 oz glass bottles
of Canada Dry sparkling water.  I got home and prepared two of them
for yeast, made a bubble counter with another, and saved the other 
three for wednesday night.

I set up the yeast bottles with 1/4 cup of sugar and 3/4 tsp of yeast
each.  I went ahead and filled one of the yeast bottles with water 
because I knew it would take a while for the reaction to get underway.

This was Tuesday night.

Wednesday night, due to complications, I didn't get to do the demonstration,
so I took everything home to wait for next week.

I released the pressure on the active yeast bottle several times
daily to keep things where I could open it and not have a yeast shower.

Yesterday (Thursday) night, I got home from work.  My dog was barking,
but since I live in an apartment complex, this wasn't unusual.  What
did seem strange was that he continued to bark after I turned on the 
alarm for my car, casuing it to chirp.

I got into the apartment to find a very alarmed, scared dog.  At first
I thought he had had an accident in the apartment because his tail was
down instead of up in the air.  I then looked around the apartment to 
see if I had a present.  Instead, I found little bits of glass everywhere.
My little DIY CO2 generator exploded violently only a few minutes 
before I got home.  I spent yesterday evening cleaning up large and small 
pieces of glass and yeast stains that had been thrown up to ten feet.  

I was under the assumption

Fortunately, my dog was ok and he recovered emotionally almost immediately.
I'm also very glad that I wasn't home when the explosion occurred.  
It probably would have gone off in my hand while I was getting ready to 
release some pressure.

The moral of this story, I guess there are three:  Don't use glass for 
a yeast generator.  Don't expect the cap to be the weak link on a bottle.
Provide for some kind of pressure relief in your CO2 generators if you
aren't using them at the time.

Now, my apartment smells like Shiner Boch.  (It's Lysol time.)

No this doesn't deal directly with aquariums, but it does deal with
aquarium pseudo-equipment.  

I hope you enjoyed my latest episode with stupidity.

David W. Webb

Any correlation between my opinions and those of Texas 
Instruments is purely coincidental.  (I don't speak for

DIY CO2 generator tip #48....

by "Patrick S. McClintick" <>
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 1995

Just a little note.  DO NOT LEAVE DIY (yeast in the 1 liter bottle ) 
CO2 Generators shut off completely without a vent!  I did this 
(wanted to check water chem. and pH was a little low, so I turned it 
off at the gang valve).  Needless to say, I just came home from work 
to find my walls, and everything within 6 feet sprayed down with 
Yeast enriched simple syrup.  What a mess. About 1/2 a liter sprayed 
out when the pressure uncuppled the hose from the gang valve.  Oh 
well, live and learn.  


Yeast Explosion

by "David Huie" <David.Huie-at-Bentley.COM>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 95

     Yes. I had this happen once before, except the problem was because 
     some weird gelatin formed over the airstone and blocked the air flow.  
     The place where the airline was siliconed to the cap of the 2 liter 
     broke, and a fountain of foam covered my ceiling 6 feet above 
     it...just a little pressure buildup.

Exploding diy Co2 containers

by (Douglas Bardell)
Date: Sun, 6 Aug 1995

   After reading the posts about diy Co2 bottles exploding because of
blocked air 
stones. I have started using a blow off valve. I have spliced a tee into the
line from the Co2 bottle to the air stone. A tube is connected to the tee
and with a weight connected on the other end I placed it in the corner of
the aquarium right on the top of the gravel. Now if the air stone is fouled
the excess pressure in the bottle will escape by the blow off tube. The
ammount of pressure is determined by the depth of the tank, in my
application that is about 16" of water column (.57 psi)

Doug Bardell (
Subury Ont. Can.

Perils of Plastic CO2 Containers

by Paul Chapman <chapman/>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997
To: Aquatic Plants List

I just read Roger Miller's post about DIY CO2 containers, including the 
reference to David Webb's problem with glass containers.  Plastic is not 
without its troubles, as I recently found out.

I use a power head with a sponge filter in my planted tank.  I had been 
running DIY CO2 into the venturi without trouble for quite a while but was 
unsatisfied with the large size of the discharged CO2 bubbles.  I routed 
the CO2 airline under the sponge to the input of the power head and got 
much tinier (almost invisible) bubbles.  I was delighted.

This worked well until my sponge clogged.  I was horrified one morning to 
see that the power head had produced sufficient suction to collapse my 2L 
bottle and suck the yeast/sugar solution into the tank.

The result was very cloudy tank water and fish gasping at the surface.  
Many of the fish appeared near death.  I did 3 massive water changes 
(about 50% each) which temporarily reduced the cloudiness.  After a few 
hours, the cloudiness was back(!) and the fish were again gasping at the 
surface.  Using lots of airstones and churning the water with the power 
head allowed all of the fish to survive until the filter cleared the tank 
(about 10 days).  No apparent damage to any of the plants, and once the O2
situation was taken care of, the fish didn't seem bothered by the yeast.


CO2 in Glass vs Plastic

by Stephen Pushak <teban/>
Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997
To: Erik Olson <eriko/>

do you have any stories of yeast mixture being sucked into the tank and
killing fish? A friend of mine has done that twice. it happens if the
bottle tips over or if the suction from a powerhead device causes the
plastic bottle to collapse. one vote for glass bottles.


Yeast in Tank

by ajreed/ (Andrea Reed)
Date: Wed, 06 Jan 1999

Greetings all,

On Monday at some point my cats, being the minions of Satan that they are,
knocked over my CO2 injector and about 1 liter of the yeast liquid
apparently was sucked into my moderately 75-gallon tank. When I got home,
the tank was cloudy, and I ended up changing nearly all of the water out.
The water is clear now and there aren't any weird fungus-y patches  in the
tank, but the water parameters seem to be out of whack. I have seen my fish
gulping at the top for air (which they never did before), and my farlowella
has fungus on his tail. I lost at least one fish to this problem (1 oto was
dead when I got home), but the rest of the fish are hanging in there if not
particularly happy right now: some have lost color and seem listless
(Kribs, both sets of which had fry at the time of the tragedy -- no longer!
:(  ). I have set the spray bar to agitate the surface if the water, since
it seems my plants are more affected than I thought they were, in order to
solve the oxygen problem. I believe that part of the oxygen problem is
caused by the fact that I pruned the plants in the tank very heavily a
couple of days before the yeast-liquid was spewed into the tank -- there
simply aren't as many plants as there used to be.

OK, here's what I am asking. Should I do more water changes, even though
the fish appear very stressed right now? To cure the fungus on the
Farlowella's tail, should I use clout or some other substance? Is there
still yeast in the water that is still affecting things? I am strongly
tempted to use some sort of fungicide in the tank in an effort to take care
of the farlowella's problem and to nuke any residual yeast in the tank.
Would doing this harm my plants?  Any suggestions? I guess it all boils
down to -- what else should I do?

- -Andrea
             A.J. Reed                * 
      e-mail:         *      "I may be Love's bitch,
 Disclaimer: I *definitely* do not    *   but at least *I'm* man enough 
        speak for the group.          *           to admit it."

RE: Has anybody had "exploding" 2-liter pop bottles?

by KAnderson/
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999

	Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 11:39:03 -0700
	From: "David Robinson" <>
	Subject: Has anybody had "exploding" 2-liter pop bottles?

	Several digests ago (1054) while discussing DIY yeast reactors,
	Tom Barr wrote:
	> Be sure to use a ridged bottle !!!!!!!!!! Not a flimsy 2 liter
	> pop bottle. You'll be very sorry if ya don't! Noncollapsable
	> bottles are the way to go using yeast.

	I had a problem with a 2 liter bottle.  I ran the air line to a
sponge filter with a power head.  For some reason the power head
collapsed the 2 liter bottle and filled the tank with yeast.  About half
of the plants and fish died.  I'm still using 2 liter bottles but I'm
making sure that the CO2 outlet is not too close to the inlet of the
power head.

DIY CO2 Yeast in Tank Story

by ajreed/home.comBAT (Andrea Reed)
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 1999
To: erik/


I just saw that my yeast in tank horror story is immortalized forever :) I
don't know if it fits with the purpose of that particular page, but if it
would be helpful to people who have the same accident (unfortunately, I
don't think it is particularly uncommon), here's what happened, and what I
did to get my tank back to "normal:"

1. Fish die-off (I lost more fish over the course of the next couple of
days), with the survivors swimming at the top for air. Steve Pushak
suggested to me that this was because there was still a lot of sugar in the
tank that the yeast were using to compete for oxygen.

2. Foul-smelling water, despite water changes. I surmise some sort of
bacteria were growing at this point, perhaps stimulated by the sugar in the
water and the nutrients from the fish. 

3. Weird fungus-y threads, growing concurrently with strands of algae.
Canister filter is completely clogged with DISGUSTING, foul-smelling
bacteria and other organic matter. The only time changing a filter has made
me literally gag.

4. Fungus-y threads disappear, to be replaced entirely with algae.

5. Massive, nigh-uncontrollable algae blooms.

6. Water smell returns to more or less normal. (it still has a bit of whang
to it, but very faint).

7. Fish spawn again.

8. Algae use up most of the nutrients in the water, which allows mechanical
removal of most of the offending plant material.

Here's what I did to cope:
MASSIVE water changes. I estimate I changed nearly all of the tank water
every two days or so for a couple of weeks. This did not ultimately stop
the fungus from growing in the tank, but I believe it helped my fish cope
better. As mentioned in the story itself, the spray bar agitated the
surface of the water for quite some time.

I gave up on trying to control the algae for quite some time (a month or
so). It was kind of gross, but the fish didn't mind, and actually the Krib
babies had a good time eating it. I partially credit the fish with eating
the yeast strands up also: they seemed to like it just fine.  I waited
until the algae stopped expanding, and then just scooped it out it. I had
enough of it to make a good meal, were one so inclined :) Up until this
point, I had not fertilized the tank, wither with CO2 or PMDD, but after I
cleared out the algae, I resumed the fertilization. I trimmed back a lot of
the plants also, as they were pretty much heavily slimed. I tried to
salvage some of the cuttings, but some of them were too far gone. However,
with the resumption of the fertilization, the addition of a new group of
otos, and the new fish babies, any encroaching algae is kept in check, and
the plants currently appear very jungle-like. In fact, I have started
having to trim every couple of days. So things are pretty much back to
normal (total elapsed time, circa two months).

I believe the major key to this mess is simply time. I would like to say
that I took a hands-off approach to this mess because I knew if I kept
changing the water and so on things would eventually work out, but the
reality is that my spirit was temporarily crushed (I feel pretty bad about
the fish that died), which translated into inaction on my part (except for
water changes). There's no miracle cure, unfortunately (or at least, I
didn't find one -- I didn't try any pharmaceuticals), but if one hangs in
there and is patient, things can be restored eventually to more or less
their proper state.

Hope this helps,

          A.J. Reed            * You see, in this world there's two 
   e-mail:     * kinds of people, my friend: Those 
 Disclaimer: I *definitely*    * with loaded guns and those who dig.
 do not speak for the group.   *            You dig.       

Exploding 2L bottle

by "Susan A." <snotabby/>
Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2000

Chuck Gadd writes:
> Only thru anecdotal evidence.    I believe there was a message about such
> an explosion on the krib.  I remember the description of the walls being
> covered in a Zima like mixture.

I remember that thread as well Chuck. But, unfortunately for me it was
posted after I tried putting an air valve on the bottle.

Yep, Zima like mixture all over the wall, the tank, the carpet. The living
room smelled like a brewery for a few days. What an awful sticky mess too.


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