Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
HOW TO: $2 DIY Aquarium oxygen TUTORIAL

HOW TO: $2 DIY Aquarium oxygen TUTORIAL

Hi every body, Joey here again and welcome
back. You know, one of my favourite things to do
for you guys is show you how you can turn common house hold items and other easy to
find supplies into useful aquarium projects. For example, we have often taken water bottles
and turn them into filters, skimmers, auto top offs and many other things. Or the time we took an old smoke alarm and
turned it into a water detector. That was definitely fun project… and loud! A couple of times we even created different
ways to make our own Co2. Once using sugar and yeast and another using citric acid and
baking soda. There was even a time where we made our own
emergency heater using calcium chloride and a water bottle, which actually doubled as
a dehumidifier. In today’s video, I’m going to show you
how to create pure oxygen for your aquarium… a bit of a back-story first though so you
fully understand it. When I was a kid, and even now. If I got a
cut or scrap, one of the first things I would do is pour peroxide on it to disinfect the
wound. I used to always wonder why the peroxide would
foam when it came in contact with it. It turns out there is an enzyme within our
cells called catalase. This catalase is a catalyst. (Catalyst=A substance that increases the
rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.) So when this comes in contact with the hydrogen
peroxide, it helps break down the peroxide into water and pure oxygen. So that foam is
actually oxygen gassing off. This is actually a process that takes place
in our bodies all the time, so its nothing out of the ordinary. To put this all into layman’s terms, I will
start with an example. When you purchase hydrogen peroxide, you will notice it has an expiry
date. A big reason for this is that when opened, it starts to go through decomposition. Turning
into water and air. Eventually, just being a bottle of water. If you look at the ingredients
you can see that it is just water and peroxide to begin with. If we add a catalase to the peroxide, it simply
speeds up the process at a much more extreme rate. Now this Catalase enzyme is found in many
organic things… like a potato for example. So if we drop this potatoe into some peroxide,
it will decompose the peroxide into pure oxygen and water. So fast in fact that we can capture
that pure oxygen and use it. So what does any of this mean for an aquarist? In an emergency situation, you might lose
power to your aquarium. You might not have a back up plan or equipment to deal with a
power outage and before you know it your fish are gasping at the surface. Now there are
many ways to deal with this, but at the end of the day… they just need more oxygen in
the water that they can quickly deplete. However, if we inject pure oxygen into the
aquarium, even at a slow rate… this can make all the difference in your fish’s survival. Why add pure oxygen? Well, for example, when
we use an air stone and pump for our aquariums, we are actually pumping in air. Not oxygen.
These are not the same thing. In fact, the air we breathe is really only about 21% oxygen.
The rest is nitrogen and other small traces of gases. So i guess it makes more sense why one is
called air and the other is called oxygen. What I want to show you is an true emergency
situation, where you can grab a potato and some peroxide and use it knowing what will
happen if you combine the two that will lead to saving your fish’s life. You will need some hydrogen peroxide 3%. A
liter costs me $2. It will be anywhere you can find Band-Aids, medicine and that sort
of thing. I got this at Wal-Mart. The 3% simply means that the mixture is 3%
peroxide and the rest is water. You will also need a potato. Skin the potato
to expose the enzymes and cut it into cubes. Studies have shown that by increasing the
surface area of the potato, you will speed the rate of decomposition. I use half a potato to a cup of peroxide in
a 500ml water bottle. Drill a small hole in the water bottle cap.
5mm is the best fit, as this will create a tight seal around your 6mm airline hose that
you will insert into it. Run the hose about an inch into the bottle. Attach an air stone to the other end and put
it in your tank. Immediately the decomposition of turning the
peroxide into water and oxygen will begin. Within a few minutes, oxygen will fill the
bottle up and pressure will begin to build. Forcing the oxygen out of the bottle and into
your aquarium. This will continue on for at least 4 hours
at the same rate. It can take up to a full day for the peroxide to finish decomposing,
at which time you will be left with a bottle of potatoes flavoured water with a handful
of potatoes at the bottom. If your worried about the foam getting into the aquarium,
or even the peroxide itself which is not really possible of happening, but if it makes you
feel better, grab an extra water bottle and create a gas separator like you would for
the Co2 projects I have shown in the past. Also, adding on a diffuser like on a co2 system
would also be a valuable asset. So this is truly a very simple yet valuable
project that will come in handy for many of you. However, if you didn’t notice, I spent most
of the time here helping you understand how it truly works. Which is essentially exactly
how my book was written the ultimate DIY handbook, for the DIY aquarist. You can pick your copy
up at and even get a signed copy. Your purchase directly supports this
channel and everything that I do for you guys. So it’s certainly appreciated and even needed. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed todays video,
I also wanted to thank you for watching and I will see you next week for a new do it yourself

100 comments on “HOW TO: $2 DIY Aquarium oxygen TUTORIAL

  1. is there a video on how to store those gases?
    like for later use or whatever.
    maybe even compress them into a good bottle that can handle the pressure

  2. Just so everyone understands, this isn't practical for every day Oxygen but emergency use, yes live plants in heavy planted aquarium works well but what about bare breeding tanks or someone who just doesn't want or use live plants. It's an easy 'band-aid' fix until regular Oxygen methods can be restarted. Great advice👍👍

  3. Omggggg sooooo freaking cool. Power went out. But is back on. Thanks abunch. My tank is 55 gallons so I would need like 10 bottles lol

  4. So if my fish are lightly gasping could I use this until I can get a hold of some live plants? Maybe once every other day?

  5. White vinegar and baking soda in a drip system works quite well too, produces 100% CO2. You can also get 100% O2 from hydrogen peroxide and carbon from old dead batteries with a drip system as well.

  6. Dear please tell me how can I make my fish be larger in fast time and how I get oxygen Ion ??

  7. Question
    Can this oxygen be used for humans incase of emergency.
    Excellent tip for power outage.
    Thanks Joey.

  8. Is there anything else that can be used in place of the air stone as shown in your video? I'm in need of quick oxygen in my tank ASAP & I DO NOT have one of these stones you mention. I have everything but the stone

  9. Question: If you were trying to pack and ship some fish and did not have access to a tank of pure oxygen, but you wanted to optimize the chances of your fish surviving a long trip, would this method be feasible for adding more oxygen into the bag(s)?

  10. I know this is an old video but question could I do this and run the airline to my skimmer on my reef tank to raise the ph?

  11. Do i put the peroxide by itself without diluting it with water? Also am i supposed to put the hose in the peroxide directly or above/below (under the tots)

  12. Great work joey you've proven over countless times why you are truely the king OF DIY …AND THANK KEEP DOING WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY I AND THE WORLD APPRECIATE YOU …TANK ON


  14. Could you save resources by reusing potato cubes because the hydrogen peroxide is the limiting reactant? Also will any bubbles be produced if the potato’s aren’t used just at a slower rate?

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