Filling a DSM tank

RobotDeathSquad

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Dec 3, 2009
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I've finally procured all the pieces for my pressurized CO2 system and sufficient plant growth (4 months DSM), so I'm going to be filling my tank this evening.

What do I need to know?

CO2 is set up and tested. I have fish in another tank that I'll be transferring with some of the water from that tank and a "seasoned" filter.


I assume it's a simple as:
* Fill up tank.
* Put in heater.
* Set up CO2.
* Lights and CO2 solenoid on timer.
* Dose with excel
* Wait for water temp to come up to 78F.
* Transfer fish and filter.


Anything I'm missing?
 

Philosophos

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You may want to get a couple good water changes in before introducing the fauna. I find a lot of crap can build up over a long running DSM, and the substrate doesn't always cycle enough to get rid of the NH4 if you're using something like ADA AS.

Full specs, stock, pics, etc. is always nice. The more you post here the more everyone can help you out.
 

RobotDeathSquad

Junior Poster
Dec 3, 2009
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The board has ate my post twice!

4617448044_8c27a44211.jpg

4617447822_972e66dbc5.jpg


GLA 17 Gal rimless
Victor dual stage HPT-270D
Clippard Solenoid and Fabco Ideal valve from Rex Griggs
ADA Amazonia
55w 7800 CF, 8 hours a day, 1 hour break
Glass bubble counter, ceramic difuser
Fluval 305
ADA Glass lilly/outflow pipes on the way.
Drop checker
 

Left C

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RobotDeathSquad;50714 said:
The board has ate my post twice!

4617448044_8c27a44211.jpg
You have a couple of changes that needs to be made.

Did you change the stock CGA fitting to a CGA-320. What is showing in that picture won't fit a CO2 cylinder.

Also, you mounted your solenoid/needle valve assembly to the pressure release port. That's wrong. It goes to the exhaust port which is the smaller black knob cutoff valve directly across from the intake. You can leave this part on and attach your solenoid/ needle valve assembly to it or you can take it off and attach the solenoid assembly directly to the regulator.
 

Philosophos

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Nice full growth there; long DSM's really pay off. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns people on to terrariums somewhat as you could rotate easily enough between DSM and terrarium with a couple of tanks.

Anyhow, as I said careful with the ADA AS/NH4 thing. I got a good spike even after a 6 month DSM, and would've rather not moved the fauna in so quickly as it made every day/every other day water changes a strict demand for the first week or two rather than an ideal. It can make you a slave to the tank fast.

Watch the HC, give it a check before you fill. I found that it got away from me in some corners, and grew thicker than I had thought so it started to uproot. Prod around, make sure you don't have any over-thickness patches hiding in little forgotten depressions or any parts that've gone necrotic underneath. Having some HC rooted into dead old growth is never a fun thing to discover a couple days after filling.

I've always found the ceramic diffusers frustrating; never quite got the CO2 distribution I wanted for low growing plants. That's just me though, plenty of others get them working fine.

55w over 17 gal is pretty demanding to keep up with, especially given how much work HC tends to be and how little light it requires with good CO2. You've got a pretty ADA heavy system so I'm guessing you can adjust the fixture height to compensate as needed? Either way, it's not anything hard to compensate for if it becomes a problem.
 

RobotDeathSquad

Junior Poster
Dec 3, 2009
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Left C;50719 said:
You have a couple of changes that needs to be made.

Did you change the stock CGA fitting to a CGA-320. What is showing in that picture won't fit a CO2 cylinder.

Also, you mounted your solenoid/needle valve assembly to the pressure release port. That's wrong. It goes to the exhaust port which is the smaller black knob cutoff valve directly across from the intake. You can leave this part on and attach your solenoid/ needle valve assembly to it or you can take it off and attach the solenoid assembly directly to the regulator.

Yes, in my fight with the forum software I forgot to put that I wasn't sure where to mount the fitting. Thanks for that. I've already got it changed out.

I don't have a CGA-320, going to head back to the brewers supply place I got the tank from (it's a hell of a lot closer than the closest AirGas) to find a CGA-320 in the morning.
 

RobotDeathSquad

Junior Poster
Dec 3, 2009
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Philosophos;50720 said:
Nice full growth there; long DSM's really pay off. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns people on to terrariums somewhat as you could rotate easily enough between DSM and terrarium with a couple of tanks.
Thanks! I've been traveling for work quite a bit so it's been easy to just put some saran wrap over the top and leave it alone for a week here and there.

Philosophos;50720 said:
Anyhow, as I said careful with the ADA AS/NH4 thing. I got a good spike even after a 6 month DSM, and would've rather not moved the fauna in so quickly as it made every day/every other day water changes a strict demand for the first week or two rather than an ideal. It can make you a slave to the tank fast.
Noted. I'll give it a day or two before introducing the fishies. Can't wait to get rid of this other thank though.

Philosophos;50720 said:
Watch the HC, give it a check before you fill. I found that it got away from me in some corners, and grew thicker than I had thought so it started to uproot. Prod around, make sure you don't have any over-thickness patches hiding in little forgotten depressions or any parts that've gone necrotic underneath. Having some HC rooted into dead old growth is never a fun thing to discover a couple days after filling.
This was another question I had. Is it safe to cut the HC back before I fill it up? I definitely have some really thick places.

Philosophos;50720 said:
55w over 17 gal is pretty demanding to keep up with, especially given how much work HC tends to be and how little light it requires with good CO2. You've got a pretty ADA heavy system so I'm guessing you can adjust the fixture height to compensate as needed? Either way, it's not anything hard to compensate for if it becomes a problem.

I'm still in the process of making the fitting out of some plywood I'm going to bend, and it will be suspended over the top of the tank with wires, so I can raise and lower it as needed.
 

Left C

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RobotDeathSquad;50727 said:
Yes, in my fight with the forum software I forgot to put that I wasn't sure where to mount the fitting. Thanks for that. I've already got it changed out.

I don't have a CGA-320, going to head back to the brewers supply place I got the tank from (it's a hell of a lot closer than the closest AirGas) to find a CGA-320 in the morning.
Excellent!!
 

Philosophos

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Trimming and filling are rough on a plant, but HC is pretty resilient when it gets its CO2. I'd say if it's the odd trim here and there it's no big deal. If you're doing the entire carpet, waiting a week would be the safe move. Risk taking never seems to pay off with the stuff. Make sure that you remove trimmed material; work slowly.

I know I'm probably sounding paranoid about now, but I find HC to be the biggest PITA plant to keep in terms of upkeep. Even ones that demand better conditions never seem to require so much of a delicate touch, mulm kept from building up underneath, etc.
 

RobotDeathSquad

Junior Poster
Dec 3, 2009
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Well the guy at the beer supply shop refused to sell me a CGA-320 fitting because I "am trying to use a welding regulator for unintended purposes".

Not going back there ever again.

So I'll have to drive all the way across town to find a welding supply place tomorrow, or maybe wait for the weekend.
 

Left C

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RobotDeathSquad;50770 said:
Well the guy at the beer supply shop refused to sell me a CGA-320 fitting because I "am trying to use a welding regulator for unintended purposes".
That's somewhat normal. He doesn't know that you have an inert gas regulator and that you can use it for CO2 duty.

Sometimes you have to sign some release/liability papers when you order a CGA fitting online. I have to sign one when I swap out my CO2 cylinder and put it in my car to bring it home.

Anyway ... Here's the correct Victor part numbers for their CGA-320 nuts and nipples.
Left C;50151 said:
Victor CGA-320 swivel (nipple) and nut factory part numbers
http://www.thermadyne.com/IM_Upload...lve Outlets & Connections 128-133_65-2007.pdf


CGA 320 CARBON DIOXIDE

Brass Part No. - Description
0985-0004 - swivel (nipple) 2" 50.8mm
0985-0030 - nut
1408-0065 - washer for CGA-320

Chrome Part No. - Description
0985-0008 - swivel (nipple) 2" 50.8mm
0985-0031 - nut
1408-0065 - washer for CGA-320

Also, there are CGA-580 regulator to CGA-320 cylinder adapters.
http://www.bakersgas.com/NAS312-806.html
http://www.welding-direct.com/a8arregtoco2.html
 
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