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. Dismiss Notice
  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

Simple co2 question

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by filipem, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. filipem

    filipem Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    5:05 PM
    I just hooked up my first presurized system a few days ago.. It's a simple little system. Aquamedic regulator and a clippard needle valve. I am using a aquamedic diffusor with a powerhead for co2 absorbtion. Trouble is that I do not have a solenoid. In fear of killing my fish at night I decided plug the powerhead into the same timer used for my lights. When the lights go off so does the powerhead. It seems to work so far.

    My question is, am I doing any damage to the powerhead by doing this?
     
  2. jeremy v

    jeremy v Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    5:05 PM
    Filipem,

    You don't have anything to worry about. Powerheads are used in saltwater "wavemaker" applications all the time. They are often turned on and off many times an hour in order to simulate the wave action of the ocean and they still last a long time.

    Have a good one, Jeremy
     
  3. filipem

    filipem Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    5:05 PM
    Thanks that's good to know. This seems like a much better option the purchasing a solenoid from a cost perspective. I have a 20lb tank that I filled for 20 dollars this tank should last a long time in a 46 gallon tank. The cheapest solenoid I found online was 100 dollars shipped. Should I bother with a solenoid? What would be the advantage of having one?
     
  4. jeremy v

    jeremy v Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    5:05 PM
    Filipem,

    I think you have a pretty good setup just the way it is. I like doing things as simply as possible too. Having a powerhead driven reactor that just shuts off at night is actually my preferred way to run a pressurized CO2 system, because I always think that simple is better, and also more reliable. I could see you possibly using a solenoid instead if you think that you need the circulation the powerhead provides in the tank at night. I don't think that circulation is that critical at night though, because the plants aren't absorbing anything from the water to need the excellent nutrient and CO2 dispersion in the tank.

    Another thing is that with a solenoid the CO2 actually shuts off completely at night instead of still going to the reactor and just not being added to the tank. That means that you will go through more CO2 in a day with your setup, but using a 20 pound tank on a 46 gallon aquarium should last a very long time anyways, and CO2 is cheap. It would take you a very long time to spend in extra CO2 what it would cost you for a solenoid.

    Using the same timer that the lights use will work, but you might find that your plants grow better (and algae is less of an issue if you have algae issues) if you put your CO2 powerhead on a second timer that turns the CO2 on an hour or two before the lights. That way the CO2 has time to rise to a good level before the lights come on. That ensures the plants are never starved for CO2 when the lights first come on in the morning. That in my mind would be a better investment (and better for your plants) than upgrading to a solenoid, since timers are only $5-7 at any hardware store.

    Have a good one, Jeremy
     
  5. jeremy v

    jeremy v Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    5:05 PM
    Filipem,

    I think you have a pretty good setup just the way it is. I like doing things as simply as possible too. Having a powerhead driven reactor that just shuts off at night is actually my preferred way to run a pressurized CO2 system, because I always think that simple is better, and also more reliable. I could see you possibly using a solenoid instead if you think that you need the circulation the powerhead provides in the tank at night. I don't think that circulation is that critical at night though, because the plants aren't absorbing anything from the water to need the excellent nutrient and CO2 dispersion in the tank.

    Another thing is that with a solenoid the CO2 actually shuts off completely at night instead of still going to the reactor and just not being added to the tank. That means that you will go through more CO2 in a day with your setup, but using a 20 pound tank on a 46 gallon aquarium should last a very long time anyways, and CO2 is cheap. It would take you a very long time to spend in extra CO2 what it would cost you for a solenoid.

    Using the same timer that the lights use will work, but you might find that your plants grow better (and algae is less of an issue if you have algae issues) if you put your CO2 powerhead on a second timer that turns the powerhead on an hour or two before the lights instead of at the same time. That will ensure there is sufficient CO2 dissolved in the tank water before the lights first come on so that the plants are not starved for CO2 temporarily at the beginning of each light cycle. That in my mind would be a better investment (and better for your plants) than upgrading to a solenoid, since timers are only $5-7 at any hardware store.

    Have a good one, Jeremy
     
  6. filipem

    filipem Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    5:05 PM
    good idea.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  7. tinkerman

    tinkerman Subscriber

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    126
    Likes Received:
    2
    Local Time:
    5:05 PM
    I have run co 24/7 on my tank with powerheads with no ill effects. I did find a place in my town that I got a solenoid for 70 and cost of a couple barbs. I might worry about the powerhead not starting up cause of gas build up around the magnet.
     
  8. jeremy v

    jeremy v Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2008
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    5:05 PM
    Tinkerman,

    A CO2 gas build-up around the magnet would cause the powerhead to turn on in the morning and the impeller to just spin in a bubble of CO2 and not pump any water. That could damage the powerhead over time, but most powerheads can even take dry running like that without too much problem. Since Filipem said that his particular setup already works, and the powerhead does begin to pump water when it turns on, that tells us that air locking is not an issue for him.

    It is something that can begin happening if he changes the angle of his reactor setup, increases the bubble count, etc. Just watch and make sure everything still works okay after a change, and if it does he is fine, and if it doesn't change it back, haha. Just imagine how the CO2 bubbles flow through the reactor and build up over time when the reactor is turned off. Try to set it up so that the bubbles can't make a huge bubble of CO2 within the powerhead and you will have nothing to worry about. I have never seen a store bought or DIY reactor that can't be changed a little bit to eliminate that issue altogether if air locking is an issue.

    It is a good tip though, so others can understand what is going on if their powerhead reactor isn't pumping any water and the powerhead is vibrating to indicate the impeller is spinning.

    Have a good one, Jeremy
     
  9. filipem

    filipem Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    5:05 PM
    thanks for the warning. So far it's worked without any problems . If that starts to happen I will know why.

    Thanks Again,
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice