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co2 questions, for a zero mechanic

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by sherry, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    If I were to get a good regulator, needlevalve bubble counter, solenoid. exactly what type, victor what, what size sokeect needlevalve. how do you use the ada ruby thing as a bubble counter, what about the aquatic magic version .. they look similar .. do they work? do I need any attachment pieces to make it all stick together.. what brand solenoid?...

    I need it spelled out, as I've never tried to do anything like putting together a set up like this before.

    is it worth while to get rex grigg's set up?

    Refilling tanks are a total pain in nyc when everything involves a taxi or bus (in my case racing before work at 8 am since they are not open weekends) .. I would much rather have a great system where leaks just aren't an issue.

    I am coming off a 2 month sojourn for my last full tank and an algae nightmare I am only now recovering from.

    so can I have the idiot's version of what I need please? Thanks!!
     
  2. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    help me spend my money on a good co2 system.. please.:)
     
  3. Pockets

    Pockets Prolific Poster

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    well thats easy! I thought about posting earlier what I am getting but rather thought to wait on a more experienced reply for someone to give you.

    This is what I am going to be spending my money on:
    Freshwater Planted Aquarium Plant Care: Drs. Foster & Smith Deluxe Fully-Automatic CO2 System

    I am going to put the Reactor 1000 inline on my canisters return to a doubled up eheim spray bar pointing down the back of the tank. Also the PH probe will be placed in one of the two rear corner overflows thus out of sight and everything else will be under the cabinet.

    Anyway I think its a good investment/plan and you seem to want someone to share ideas ..... so ... there :)
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

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    The advantage of buying Rex Grigg's regulator build-up is that he does the work himself, on only a few of these at a time, rather than having a factory that does a hundred at a time with semi-skilled workers. He also makes a point of using good parts instead of the cheapest. He believes that we can build our own assembly, but I think that is only for those with the tools and experience to tackle such a job. Otherwise, leaks will be something you always have to concern yourself with. I didn't get mine from Rex, chosing a cheap Milwaukee version instead, but only because I had the experience and knowledge to figure out how to make it stop leakng.
     
  5. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    pockets I love that you answered but wait for one of the longevity stars to weigh in before you order. I am pretty sure you don't need the controller and if you do co2 mist, you don't need the reactor.. Tom has been talking up the victor regulator (not sure which one) but 2 just went on ebay for about $35. Not sure which solenoid he likes.. and I am not entirely sure which needlevalve and I am confused by his bubble counter recommendation as it seems to be a check valve.. but I am intrigued :)

    I have a controller and really I use it as an expensive ph measurement system for a ph that almost never changes on my soft water tank.

    so maybe Tom or Vaughn can advise us both :)
     
  6. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    ah Hoppy thanks!!! we were typing at the same time. If you like Rex's parts, that's great. I have the milwaukee system too, and no experience or knowledge. I am pretty sure I had terrible leaks on my last tank (tho I was hoping I just set it up badly and the refill would last longer..) given how just physically difficult it is for me to race to get a tank change it is worth a little cash outlay to avoid the trip..
    I am a single mom wrangling a more than full time job, a separate book contract, and the stars of my existance a 5 year old son and 2 year old son -- my major miracles who inspired the tank as a gift to them (lol of course now I'm obsessed). the extra trips in a cab to the fire extinguisher place before an 8:30 am work start are not easy.
    I need the system to be idiot proof. I am only sorry i bought the milwaukee gear and the controller .. Rex would have added up to less.
     
  7. Pockets

    Pockets Prolific Poster

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    do you have any pics or links to this "Rex" system ? I have no idea what it is.

    and is it fully automatic ?
     
  8. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    google rex grigg co2 or search it here for a link.

    it is automatic in that you can set it to turn on and off with or before the lights... you ultimately set your own levels of co2, rather than ask a controller to aim for a specific ph. A much better method, as it requires you use plant health, tank health and maybe a drop checker to inform you.
     
  9. Signus

    Signus Prolific Poster

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    Sorry to add to the questions, but it feels appropriate here:

    Would a Fisher Sci. Lab regulator with parts from a ferrier's shop work well for someone not familiar with setting up the systems? It needs a selanoid and low pressure regulator.
     
  10. Daud

    Daud Junior Poster

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    Milwaukee to avoid ?

    Hi Sherry,

    I found your replies on this thread and registered just to be able to ask you why do you don't like your setup ? I guess, it is not precisely made with leaks ?

    I am new to the planted tank and spending hours at night on the web soaking info before making decisions and purchases (my 36g BF tank has just driftwood inside for now).

    I have found this complete setup for around $200 which I guess may be the same as yours and was close to press the Buy button but have now doubts..

    Thanks,

    David
     
  11. sherry

    sherry Guru Class Expert

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    can't tell which but if you are paying 200 for the milwaukee you are overpaying. I paid less for rex grigg's set up and if I were less of a wimp, I would have picked up the parts Tom recommends on this site -- search victor regulator -- and put one together my self. Loving the grigg set up and I did end up with some leaking in the milwaukee but that may have beeen because I failed to replace the plastic valve inbetween tank changes... I just decided to go for precision while I was focusing on it.
     
  12. Daud

    Daud Junior Poster

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    Thanks for the hint for the Victor regulator, I will be looking for it.
    Note that the seller offers a complete automatic system incl. Milwaukee regulator, bubble counter, and automatic phmeter shutoff SMS122 with reactor 1000 from Aqua Medic. That was what seemed like a good deal for me for $200
    link
     
  13. Pockets

    Pockets Prolific Poster

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    I have and love the Reactor 1000.

    + it has a "false gas return valve to bleed any built up gas pressure in case the reactor level gets too low.

    + it has a built in bubble counter so you really don't need a separate one

    + clear see-through pvc tubing allows you to see the water level.. I am sure with injecting gas into any DIY reactor that it tends to push the water level down a little bit at a time.

    + the water level usually stays about 2" from the top and falling water from the inlet creates O2 bubbles. thus oxygenating the sealed water container while injecing CO2 at the same time. The CO2 only has one place to go and that is back into the tank so this is a ++ benefit IMO!

    - inlet/outlet are 1/2" OD so using eheim 16/22mm I just had to tighten down the hose clamps just a wee bit more than normal. * you will want to buy some cheap stainless hose clamps for the inlet/outlet.


    *****

    Once you get the regulator just be sure to leak test it before putting it into service or you will be losing alot of CO2. If your regulator doesn't come with this info on proper leak test then just Google it !
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    The only issue I have with the Reactor 1000, it's good etc, but those in/outlets are small.

    You cannot really run more than maybe 300-400gph max through there.
    And that's pushing it. This means to have good mixing/response time, you have a reactor tank capacity of about 150 gallons max.

    So you need two for 180 gal and above in many cases. I'd certain have more rather than less when it comes to more flow and overkill here.

    A simple solution to border line sizing: use the Reactor + disc diffuser.
    So the reactor dissolves the CO2 well, and the most allows you to blast it around inside the tank.

    This works well also.

    The Victor regs can be had on ebay fairly cheap.
    the Aquarium Supplies - Aquarium Supplies for your Tropical Fish, Saltwater Fish, Reef Aquarium, Marine Fish, Saltwater Aquarium needle valves are nice and easy to use/install.
    Rex sells a solenoid+Reg+Valve if you want, the valve is the only issue Id change really, ask and I think he'll sell you the set up without the clippard.

    So get a pair or more of the AC valves, add a brass 1/8" Tee for each needle valve and you are up and running, add the the 1/8" brass Tee directly into the Solenoid and then add the needle valves to this. Teflon tape everything good and screw on tight.

    Use some Tygon tubing thereafter. Best tubing I've used.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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