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Are there different grades of CO2 gas?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Singtoh, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Singtoh

    Singtoh Prolific Poster

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    Hello all,

    I just purchased a new CO2 cylinder from a different place that I normally have the old one re-filled. I hooked the new one up, and going by the drop in the PH and my bubble counter and the amount of pearling I'm getting, it seems the new bottle is a different grade of gas or something. I'm putting half the bubble rate into my tank to get the same PH drop, and as I said, the plants are going crazy with pearling. No other parameters have changed, and I do my water changes on Saturdays, so it's been 5 days since the water change. The guy at the other place pissed me off so maybe I'll just get my cylinders re-filled where I got the new cylinder?? Just wondering??:confused:

    Cheers,

    Singtoh
     
  2. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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  3. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Working solely by pH is kind of a hard way of determining things. You may have tightened something in your line when re-connecting your co2 that got rid of a leak, a trim of plants, a filter cleaning, changing the angle of a powerhead or filter outflow, etc. can all impact co2 retention.

    The only way I know of that a different co2 source can change how plants behave is in the event of contamination. If the CO2 has an abnormally high level of impurities, it may not be the best thing for the plants or fish.

    *edit* given what Tom said below, I should probably clarify that the impurity levels I'm talking about require a malfunction in CO2 production or transfer; it would be far below industrial standards.

    -Philosophos
     
  4. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    CO2 Grades

    Hi Singtoh,

    Here in the US of A there are grades I have yet to find actual definitions.:confused:

    I use a food/beverage grade; there is a more expensive medical grade and a cheaper industrial grade.

    I have been told the major difference is ‘cleanliness’, if you use an industrial grade, you must accept that it may have some particulates that may damage low pressure devices, most notably, needle valves. Same goes for oil contaminates which could have similar problems.

    I have never, knowingly anyway used ‘industrial’ grade, I have used medical grade and can’t say I noticed any difference. Once upon a time I had a fire extinguisher outfit fill my tanks, I was told at the time it was ‘fire extinguisher’ grade, and the individual has since told me it was ‘food’ grade.

    I know people use the industrial stuff and claim no problem.

    I must say I have wondered at some of the problems with pressurized CO2 systems if there might be some relationship between the equipment problems and grade of gas.;)

    Biollante
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    There's no real difference.
    Some blow hard years ago tried to argue with me on the lab vs food grade issue with CO2.

    I get a blow hard about once every 3-4 years about agriculture ferts vs lab grade and the "need" to change. More like the need to belly ache about something non significant:cool:

    Food grade means we eat and drink the stuff, if you go to a bar and ask for on tap beer, you are eating and drinking and belching it up;)

    If it's good enough for your beer, it's good enough for the plants.
    CO2 is a by product of other industrial processing and they grab it and reuse it. Lab grade is generally a certified product, but food grade is extremely close in purity.

    We waste about 95% of the CO2 we add anyway, only 1-5% at most gets to the plants.

    Maybe even less.

    BTW, that blow hard had one aquarium and was a newbie, to make matters worse, he would not even buy the lab grade CO2, apparently it's 10-20X more than the food grade. So at 200$ a refill, he was unwilling to test his own hypothesis. Not having tested it, he assured everyone he was right and I was patently wrong. No sense in arguing with such a mental giant :p
    We have lab grade at the lab I work at.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    CO2 is already cheap. But if it is possible to cheat consumer by adding other gas into
    the mix to lower the cost?
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Biggest issue is the folks that do the refills, they sometimes under fill your tanks.
    They need to blow out the tank first, then allow the CO2 to run a bit first, then refill the tank. Some overfill it.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. Singtoh

    Singtoh Prolific Poster

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    Thanks for all the replys,

    I was just wondering, since nothing else has changed that I know of. That and I'm pissed off at the shop cause he didn't want to help me with a tank I didn't purchase from him, so I may be a bit biased. Nipat knows what it's like because he lives here in Thailand as well. I was just curious if it could be a better grade of gas, but obviously not. Who knows then, but I am still going to go get my empty tank from the shop and take it to the other one. This all stems from me having to purchase this new cylinder because the shop said it was going to take 2 weeks to refill my tank(TIT This Is Thailand). That and the old shop charges double to refill, mind you it is only $10 US, but 2 weeks, get real. The other place only cost $6 US to refill a 3kg tank. Only bad thing is it cost me about $6 US to get to the new place, not a big issue, its just a hassel with Bangkok traffic. The Underground or Skytrain won't allow me to carry a tank on the trains. But piss on em.:D

    Cheers,

    Singtoh
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Gas tanks on the train?
    My, how restrictive they are there:)

    I'd suggest buying two gas tanks, so that way you can always have a back up and 2 weeks is not an issue or the gas drive over to the other place is 1/2 the cost for two bottles.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Even here in the US some of us have to wait two weeks. I'm currently waiting for my 10lb (says 6.6kg but has 10lb printed below it >.< ) to come back. I keep a 5lb backup that I can exchange immediately for a new, full tank when I want a refill for it.

    -Philosophos
     
  11. Singtoh

    Singtoh Prolific Poster

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    That's why I purchased the new tank. Wow, I didn't realize you guys had to wait for the refills as well. Ok, insert foot in mouth, I thought this was a Thailand thing, i know they wait till they have a few tanks to send in for refill. To be quite honest Tom, I didn't try takng it on the trains(I nearly fought tooth and nail though), above or below ground, but I have a nagging Thai woman that said they would not allow it. They do have security metal detectors and all that here, so instead of hearing her yap! yap! I decided to go the other way and avoid another night out on the piss. That's what I do when her yap! yap! starts going. Needless to say, I am nearly borderline alchoholic from the never ending yap! of a Thai woman scorned.:rolleyes:

    Cheers,:D

    Singtoh
     
  12. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    If that place is LFS, then it's understandable. Because sometime they run out
    of their supplies. So most of them only sell to ones who've purchased from them.
    Don't know the system of welding supplies shops though. :)

    It can be overnight or shorter if you go to a refilling shop yourself.
    Most shops don't do refill themselves. They just send to refilling shops.

    They won't allow even a small can of aerosol armpit spray in grocery bag. :mad:
     
  13. Singtoh

    Singtoh Prolific Poster

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    Ya, been looking on the internet for a place, but it looks like "boots on the ground" to find a place. I got the new tank at JatjuJak market 3kg for 1800 baht, $50 US, then an hour in the taxi home. The underground and overhead trains are 200m from there, but then the yap! yap! started, so I just said "Taxi". (TIT This Is Thailand):rolleyes: But having said that, the lady at the shop in JatjuJak said, i bring my empty tank in and pick it up the next day. Oh, joy, an hour there in a taxi, then more than an hour back, depending on time of day, but as Tom said, it's only once in a few months, so it's not too bad. Best to leave the yapper at home though next time.:D

    Cheers, gotta go to bed.

    Singtoh
     
  14. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    I recently had concern about this, since I moved to industrial gas to get bigger and cheaper tanks

    Usually, gases are defined by their purity. There are many classes, from
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The nagging is intense for my students from their Asian parents(You'd better become a doctor!). I'd take a good old fashion beating personally, at least that's over and done with and those wounds can heal :eek:
    Least that is what they say to me:cool:


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Delivery?

    Thanks Jonny, I have always wondered about the grades thing, no one ever produced anything I could make heads or tails of anyway.

    I don’t know, but I have an commercial beverage company that delivers my gas, even prior to my installing the new system, there really wasn’t much of an extra charge for the delivery service. Now what I get is liquid CO2, which is funny because to be usable it always had to be a liquid. These days they pump it from a truck into a connection outside.;)

    Here in the US of A, I have never had any problems getting CO2 gas or refilling the tanks, I guess I would have fewer qualms about using ‘industrial grade’ CO2, but I have never seen much of a price difference, part of the reason I kind of assumed the grading might be a scam of sorts.

    I have owned and operated a number of restaurants over the years and can’t say I ever recall an inspector at any level of government inquiring about my CO2 supply or requiring me to document the source or purity.

    I dad-gummed sure had to document every other thing I served or used.:eek:

    Enough ranting, after all, it is all a conspiracy and just because you are paranoid, does not mean they are not out to get you!:)

    Biollante
     
  17. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    A few folks have mentioned 'waiting' a decent interval for the tank to be filled.

    Maybe I am just fortunate (most likely), but the one place I go will do it while I wait (or within 30 mins) and the other place is at most an overnight dropoff.

    I assume it is industrial grade as I know they both service fire extinguishers.

    Best part is that the overnight place gets DOUBLE the price of a refill, but is down the block, where the other place is 15 mins away :) go figure

    That is too bad to those that replied they waited a long time for it. That is bad service IMO.

    I would also suggest an extra tank. I have both a 5 and 10 lb and just swap them out. I refill the empty right away so I don't go without...
     
  18. Singtoh

    Singtoh Prolific Poster

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    I got a new tank the other day and needed the brass adapter that allows the fitting of the Regulator to the cylinder, so i took it off from my old tank. Now the guy at the shop that I used for refills before says that without that brass adapter on the cylinder he can't get it re-filled. Funny one that is, as the tanks come full without that brass adapter, then you have to get the brass fitting to adapt the regulator to the bottle. The guy is an "Ai! Toi!" . That's what everyone calls "Hancock" in the movie, and he does bad things to them. I have found a place at the weekend market that sells not the adapter, but the brass nut and nipple part on the Regulator that unscrews from the Regulator, attach the new fitting to the Regulator, and it fits directly to the Thai cylinders, no adapter required. $4 US. I think that old shop just lost my buiseness, but maybe I'll eat some "humble pie" because his shop is only a 5 min. walk away.:( :rolleyes:

    Cheers,

    Singtoh
     
  19. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

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    Here, no direct refills. All cylinders are exchanged directly, no waiting.

    kk and 3.0 quality refills are same price, but... 10kg (22lb) for kk and 7.5kg (16lb) for 3.0

    The grades are true and normally, if the company is trustful, are mentioned on the cylinder with a special marking. Regulators (brass vs stainless steel, quality and compound of the membrane) influence the choice of gas purity too. People needing extra pure CO2 (labs, medical) will need extra cost regulators that won't let the gas be contaminated by air
     
  20. nipat

    nipat Guru Class Expert

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    I don't get it. Isn't CO2 cylinder opening universal? Mine needs no adapter.
    In fact it (the cylinder) comes with nothing I can take apart. And my Azoo
    regulator seems to have standard fitting, they ship the same worldwide.:confused:
     
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