This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

CO2 for 17gal

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by RobotDeathSquad, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. RobotDeathSquad

    RobotDeathSquad Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    I have a 17 Gal rimless tank that I've been DSM for the past 4 months. It's pretty ready to be filled and I'm not looking into CO2 systems.

    The tank is a mixture of hairgrass and HC.
    [​IMG]

    I'm wondering if I really need a Victor 2-stage regular and a 10lb CO2 tank as I've seen suggested on the forum. That setup would atleast double the cost of the tank so far. Are there cheaper alternatives (but more than DIY yeast based solutions) that I could look into? I do already have a drop checker and plan to use it in the tank.


    Also, as a side question, does anyone know what size lily pipe and outlet pipe I should buy (tank is appox 14in deep)? 13mm? My filter is oversized for the tank and uses 5/8th size tubing. How could I step this down fit a 13mm inlet/outlet?


    Cheers!
     
  2. csmith

    csmith Guest

    Local Time:
    8:50 AM
    The point behind the two stage regulator is so when you're CO2 tank reaches a certain "minimum" level it won't dump the remaining CO2 into your aquarium. I never personally encountered this issue, as I dove straight into the two stage pool when I finally got over my fear of compressed CO2. It doesn't cost near as much to put the Victor regulator system together as you'd think. It's more about patience, really. If you play it right you can actually build a CO2 regulator for cheaper than the "for aquarium" use regulators run. Ask some questions on the Dual Stage Regulator thread, it may help to change your mind.

    I don't know about your lilly pipe question, but your DSM has quite a bit of standing water.
     
  3. Gbark

    Gbark Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    I would use the 17mm lily pipe, the bigger the better, you can always reduce the flow through your filter if you require.

    If you do want to step down, you can get plastic reducers, ebay is the place :)
     
  4. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    #4 Left C, Apr 28, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2010
  5. RobotDeathSquad

    RobotDeathSquad Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    With parts from ebay or. . . ?
     
  6. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    It was a great deal! The Victor VTS253A-1993 medical use two stage CO2 regulator and Swagelok metering valve came from ebay. I got the solenoid and assembly parts from one of the regulator vendors.


    Here's some ebay parts to get you started thinking about building one:
    Regulator
    NEW Air Products Specialty Gas Regulator high purity two stage that needs a CGA-320 nut and nipple 0 to 60 psi low pressure gauge: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280497884913&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT

    or this one

    NEW VTS250C-580 two stage regulator. Needs a CGA-320 nut and nipple 0 to 100 psi low pressure gauge: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=350315157051&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT


    solenoid
    There is a Parker Part No: 15-200339-003 "D" solenoid that is cheaper than the Clippard and Burkert solenoids on ebay now that I've read good reports on.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/STAINLESS-Parker-120V-Electric-Solenoid-Valves-SS-New-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem439edad6c5QQitemZ290427950789QQptZMotorsQ5fAutomotiveQ5fTools


    bubble counter
    JBJ bubble counter: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250306187549&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT

    or

    several different bubble counters: http://shop.ebay.com/aquaticmagic/m.html?_nkw=bubble+counter&_sacat=0&_trksid=p3911.m270.l1313&_odkw=&_osacat=0&bkBtn=


    tubing
    10 feet of CO2 tubing: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=370096047342&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT

    or

    20 feet of CO2 tubing: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250610170821&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT


    check valve
    2 stainless steel check valves: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260445960200&viewitem=&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT


    There are several Swagelok 1/8" or 1/4" low flow and medium metering valves listed on ebay.


    This is everything but the brass fittings and the non-hardening pipe joint compound needed to build an excellent two stage regulator rather cheaply.

    Rex sells regulators, ferts and regulator parts. His Ideal valve is excellent! This is another option. You can get all the parts from Rex to build a regulator too: http://www.bestaquariumregulator.com/index.htm
     
  7. argnom

    argnom Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    Hi RobotDeathSquad,

    If I would have fond this forum before purchasing my CO2 kit, I would have gone for a dual stage regulator and a 10lbs (or more) cylinder instead of my current single stage Victor regulator and 5lbs cylinder.

    Ok, yes, it will cost you more. Depending on where you purchase your stuff, maybe even double, but trust me, it's worth it. You may have a 17 gal tank, but by looking at your good results, I give you about 6-12 months before you'll want bigger tank :p and you'll need more gas. A dual stage regulator will be less trouble. I have to check my cylinder pressure every day 5 months after a refill to make sure I do not get a "CO2 deluge" when my cylinder pressure drops below 400psi and that's a pain. I also have to let my cylinder sit for several hours after a refill to let the pressure stabilize at around 900psi, if I do not, I'll have to fiddle with the regulator for hours to get a good stable bubble rate and that's no fun.

    A heavy duty dual stage regulator will last you years and years (perhaps even decades). A large capacity cylinder will allow you to be able to get refills once or twice a year instead of every other month and if you get a bigger tank one day (and I think you will :p ), you won't have to purchase new kit.

    The investment in a dual stage regulator and a large capacity cylinder is really worth it just for the peace of mind and stability it will provide you for years to come. And if you one day decide to stop using it, the resale value is really good.
     
  8. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    Excellent points!
     
  9. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    Check with were you will be refilling your cylinder. Some places will refill 5lb tanks, but not 10lb sizes. Other places will only use their cylinders, not yours.
     
  10. RobotDeathSquad

    RobotDeathSquad Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    Thanks everyone for all the info. I've tried to go through the Dual Stage thread but it's soooooo much information. :)

    Just to be clear, there's really only 3 main pieces one needs for the actual regulator (I have co2 tubing, and a combo bubble counter/ceramic diffuser i've used with DIY co2 in other tanks).

    Those pieces are: Regulator, Solenoid, needle valve and check valve?

    What am I specifically looking for in a Regulator? How do I know if it works with CO2 or not? I see tons on ebay but how do I know if it's ok for CO2?

    Is there a reason I couldn't buy a setup from bestaquariumregulator.com and then replace just the regulator with a dual stage victor (or similar)?

    Honestly, I don't have much experience doing plumbing or pipe fitting, but I'm pretty handy so I'd like to figure this out. :)
     
  11. argnom

    argnom Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    Indeed Tug, but generally if you have a "legal" cylinder, most places will fill it up. Just make sure that you have the proper crown markings on the cylinder, and everything will be ok. Some places (with reason) will refuse to refill a cylinder that does not have the proper crown markings. After all, at room temperature, the pressure inside is around 900psi. If the cylinder is not up to par, it could potentially go big badaboom.

    Here's a link to some info on crown markings for US and Canada (DOT and TC).

    link

    Oh yeah, do not forget the hydrostatic test when the cylinder is due. Again to prevent a big badaboom.

    [​IMG]
    /like leeloo, image is hot
    /big, big baadaboom.
     
  12. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    You have some very good questions. Let me see if I can help.

    There is a ton of good info in the Victor thread at TPT. :D

    Darkblade48 (Anthony) just wrote a regulator summary at TPT that condenses things a bit. It's well done. It's worth a read.

    Also, you can ask your questions in the dual stage regulator thread here. There's quite a few very knowledgeable people here that can help you. http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/6470-Dual-Stage-Regulators

    That's correct.

    The term needle valve is a bit misleading at times. Swagelok's metering valves are what we use. They have a needle valve, but it is too coarse for our use. On the other hand, Ideal makes a needle valve that is terrific and not priced very high ether. Clippard's needle valve is bad. Don't get it. Parker's metering valves are good too. You'll see Nupro and Whitey metering valves. These are other parts of Swagelok's company. We use some of them too.

    If it is a Swagelok metering valve, I like to use a medium flow metering valve with:
    either 1/8" or 1/4" male or female NPT threads (1/8" is the most common)
    either brass or stainless steel construction
    with a Vernier handle if I can

    Those two regulators that I linked for you are new. I'd buy them. The other parts that I linked are good too.

    You can post ebaY links here unlike some other forums.

    CGA-320 is the fitting used for CO2 use. It's easier if they have this already, but it doesn't cost much to get the correct nut and nipple. Besides CO2 regulators, you can use regulators for inert gas, air, oxygen and a few more. I don't use a regulator designed for use with a flammable gas.

    I like regulators that have 0 to 30 psi and 0 to 60 psi low pressure gauges the best, but those with 0 to 100 and 0 to 200 psi will work too.

    Chrome regulators look better and are easier to keep clean than brass ones.

    High purity regulators have stainless steel diaphragms.

    These are some of the common models of two stage regulators that I look for:
    Victor
    VTS253A-320 or -580 (CGA-580 is for inert gas)
    VTS253B-320 or -580
    VTS253C-320 or 580
    VTS253D-320 or 580
    HPT270
    HPT500
    SGT500

    Matheson
    8-320
    3102

    Concoa
    212 series
    412 series

    You can tell Rex that you have a regulator and he can supply you with the rest of the parts. His Fabco and Ideal are very good needle valves. I've used the Ideal, but I've never tried the Fabco because it is best to mount it inline. It has tiny #10-32 threads that require tiny #10-32 male parts than are real easy to break.

    SuMo also offers a post regulator kit. You can see it on their site. It comes with everything that you need ... Ideal needle valve, Clippard solenoid, etc.

    It is really quite easy to build one. Having access to a vice is mighty handy. I use a non-hardening pipe joint compound instead of Teflon tape for assembly. Sometimes pieces from the Teflon tape break off and lodge in the solenoid which keeps it from closing. This can be deadly for your critters.

    Do you know about NPT threads? They are tapered so that the more that they are screwed on, the tighter they get. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Pipe_Thread

    I hope this can get you started. Go to Post 1 in the Victor thread at TPT. There is a table of contents. Scroll down until you see one of several parts summaries. The last one of these listed shows all the parts and the order that they can be used on a regulator.
     
    #12 Left C, Apr 29, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2010
  13. RobotDeathSquad

    RobotDeathSquad Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    Wow, awesome Left C, thanks for all the info. Super helpful.

    I'm in contact with Rex and we actually live in the same city, so I'm picking up all the pieces tomorrow from him. Then I'll just keep my eye on ebay to pick up a regulator at a great price. :)
     
  14. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    I hope it helps.

    The new VTS253C-580 is still available if you want it: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=350315157051&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
     
  15. gillt

    gillt Junior Poster

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    Coincidentally, I just started a 27g tank with HC, hair grass and riccia. I did the immersed method for HC for 2 weeks and it worked well. I decided to go with the dual-stage regs because they were about the same cost as buying one of the cheaper single-stage when it's all said and done. The downside is that there may be some trial and error along the way as I'm finding out with solenoids currently. Hopefully soon, someone will compile a thread of all the parts listings for the best and most commonly found items to DIY your own setup.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Left C

    Left C Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,510
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    2:50 PM
    I'm sure that you will be glad that you went with a two stage regulator. It's a Ronco ... Set it and forget it. You can literally run your cylinder until it is empty.

    What solenoid are you using?

    Solenoids just sort of "jumped up and bit us." Many people have been using Clippard solenoids for years with only minor problems from time to time. Now, there are many so complaints. They leak CO2, bad seals, they stick shut, they stick open, etc .... Sticking open once in a while can happen to any of them, I suppose.

    Many have tried the cheap Parker solenoids from ebay (these from sherrodsurplus) with mixed success. Oreo has a post started about them where the "smoke is clearing up a bit," but it isn't over yet.

    The trouble with the sherrodsurplus solenoids is they aren't designed to stay on continuously for hours at a time like many of us use them. If you use them with a pH controller (where they won't be open continuously for 8 to 14 hours), they will be off some of the time and allowed to cool; this may extend their life. I know that pH controllers are falling out of favor, but I wanted to mention them anyway.

    Another option with the sherrodsurplus solenoids and using a timer is to cut it off from time to time. Many of the mechanical timers that we have available have 15 minute increments where the timer can be cut off for 15 minutes and then allowed to run again for a while. Cutting it off for 15 minutes from time to time during its 8 to 14 hour "duty" may extend its life because it is allowed to cool. It's just an idea and I haven't tried it out.

    SuMo and GLA aren't using Clippard solenoids any longer and have gone to a difference source(s). SuMo has their solenoids for sale. You may want to contact them.

    Burkert solenoids are another option. Models with Buna seals for CO2 duty are on the horizon. Most of the ones that we see have EPDM and Viton seals now, which are good but not as good as Buna.

    There are literally thousands of parts out there. A concise list would be very difficult, but a general guide line with specifications of what to look for is definitely doable in the not too distant future. A list of popular parts used is certainly doable too.

    Part of the problem is that we are trying to save some money by buying surplus parts and trying them out. There have been some "teething" problems going this route, but we are all learning from it.

    We have a decent understanding of what to look for in the myriad of two stage regulators on the market. Like:
    • don't get used ones used with a flammable gas
    • CO2 and inert gas regulators are great for our use
    • add a CGA-320 nut and nipple if it doesn't have one already
    • having a low pressure gauge that goes no higher than 200 psi will work with the ones with a 0 to 30 psi and 0 to 60 psi being more preferable.
    • high purity regulators with SS diaphragms are very good
    • chrome plated regulators are easier to keep clean looing

    There is a thread started about metering valves and needle valves for our use that we are working on. Below is some information.

    Some models of Ideal needle valves are great for our use like these:
    • brass angle flow 52-1-12
    • SS angle flow 54-1-12
    • brass straight flow 52-1-11
    • SS straight flow 54-1-11
    • add a V in front of the part number and you have the ones with the Vernier handle

    Swagelok, Whitey and Nupro low pressure low flow metering valves (S series) in either brass or SS are great. There is a Vernier handle option too. Swagelok low pressure medium flow valves (M series) will work, but only a little bit of their adjustment range (the first quarter of a turn) is usable by us. The L series are "plaid."

    Parker metering valves are a little rarer on ebay. There are so many models of them available that if we find some similar to the specs of the Swageloks, we should be OK. A general parts list down the road may be doable too.

    The parts that are available outside the US .... those are more pieces to the puzzle.

    Does this help you some, gillt? I know that there should be a post where everything is in one place. It's coming.
     
Loading...

Share This Page