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

What can I use to keep CO2 levels constant?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by RlxdN10sity, May 11, 2009.

  1. RlxdN10sity

    RlxdN10sity Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    Every day, if not every other day I have to adjust my needle valve to get flow correct. What can I do to eliminate this problem?
    Tanks.
     
  2. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    I had this problem for a while. You will find that the ambient room temp changes the bps. First of all, your main CO2 tank valve should be open all the way, i.e. that first guage should show a lot of pressure (at least when the tank is full). Then, you need to get that second pressure valve up to about 20psi (slowly and carefully). After this, if you adjust the bps with the needle valve, your bps will remain constant. That was my experience anyway.

    Be careful not to overload that second guage. Some of the cheaper units are designed in a way that if you send too much pressure to the second guage, you damage it beyond repair.
     
  3. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Messages:
    503
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    It can also be due to the diffuser/reactor

    Using disc diffusers without cleaning this can happen as the back pressure holds it back as the disc becomes more clogged.


    Another thing can be poor non return valves. I found with the glass ones (ADA copies) that some days they would let Co2 through more easily and others they would not. Since I changed to quality brass NRVs this problem disappeared. With the glass ones the bps was pretty irregular in that it would be 1 bubble, then 2 together, then a gap, then 3 bubbles, then 1 bubble etc. lol


    AC
     
  4. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    What needle valve are you using? Regulator?

    With some poor quality regulators you may just end up fiddling with it. If you up the pressure as Ted suggests, temperature changes around the tank are less likely to mess with your settings. The downside is that your valve adjustments are now going to have to be larger to get any given change in your bubble rate. i.e. at 10 PSI one turn of your valve may equal 1 bps. With 20 PSI you may now need to turn the valve more turns to adjust your bubble rate. Depending on your valve you may run out of turns before you get the bps you want. It will all depend on your setup.

    -
    S
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,648
    Likes Received:
    562
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    A really good Regulator and needle valve.

    Worth their weight in gold IMO.
    Well, maybe silver.......gold is pretty $$ these days.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    If you can swing it, the SuMo regulators are nice. I hear good thing about the Rex Grigg models as well.

    -
    S
     
  7. RlxdN10sity

    RlxdN10sity Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    Thanks for the advice guys. I'm inclined to think its the cheapy needle valve I'm using. I run the load side of my regulator at about 30 PSI. I never really notice any fluctuation in pressure except when the solenoid energizes and de-energizes. I have not looked at the regulators you mention, but I did come across a new one from ADA, it is called the "CO2 Speed Regulator". Looks pretty sharp, but the place I found it shows out of stock.
    CO2 Speed Regulator
    Then again, I run more than one aquarium on the same regulator so I need flow control local to each corresponding reactor. What is the best needle valve you can recommend?
    I'm currently running CO2 1 hour ahead of my light cycle. Is there any reason to consider a controller or should I just keep it as is? Thanks again.
     
  8. RlxdN10sity

    RlxdN10sity Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
  9. RlxdN10sity

    RlxdN10sity Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    Holy smokes...
    I think I am going to spend an inordinant amount of money on the most awesome flow control I've ever seen. It is a flow meter with a propotionally modulated valve to control flow at desired setting. The only thing is that I need to know what maximum flow I should select for configuration. Check it out.
    GFC mass flow controller : Aalborg, Manufacturer of High Quality Flow Instrumentation

    What is the best alternative short of this lab grade instrument? Thanks.
     
  10. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,623
    Likes Received:
    18
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    Hi,

    I purchased my setup from Sumo last May and has worked perfectly so far....

    Very solid and well built.....

    Home - SuMo CO2 Regulators for Planted and Reef Aquariums

    I agree with Tom that this is one of those investments where you should buy as much quality as you can afford. C02 is critical to plant growth and if you will use pressurized c02, a nice reg setup is a critical bit of hardware.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    Try something like this....

    Premier Line - SuMo CO2 Regulators for Planted and Reef Aquariums

    I got the one with the bubble counter and actually took it apart to put the knob on the needle valve downward. Someone ( I think on this site ) had them build him one with dual solenoids and needle valves to control two different tanks. The single regulator worked just find for him.

    The only minor issue I found with them. They're heavy. When they say to secure the tank, DO IT. I was lazy and was tweaking something and put the tank on the carpet and the whole thing fell over. No way does this reflect on them, it's just good practice to secure the tank. The really good needle valves cost money, you don't want to replace them because you were too lazy to secure the tank.

    Pay the money up front and be done with it. The cost of a quality tool is soon forgotten. You will always be reminded of the cost of a cheap tool every time you use it. Unless you REALLY like LCD displays I'd suggest just going with a more conventional CO2 regulator combo.

    Rex Grigg's model is similar and the cost comes out ~ the same once you put in the same upgrades. Again, if you want all the blinky lights and such, these probably aren't for you.

    The Best Aquarium Regulator & CO2 Parts

    Given how CO2 delivery and flow in the tank affects the distribution so much, I don't think having the ability to deliver CO2 with picoliter precision will get you much. There is a point of diminishing returns and your probably far better off giving something a trim in the tank that's blocking the flow than dialing in another .038 grams of CO2. :)

    -
    S
     
  12. RlxdN10sity

    RlxdN10sity Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    Thanks guys.
    I have a 200lb CO2 cylinder so I doubt the regulator will be tipping it over any time soon, lol, thanks for the warning though.
    As far as picoliter adjustability and flashy lights go, I'm not so concerned about having them as I am about not having to worry about whether my CO2 output is different from one cycle to the next.
    Because of the size of my cylinder it is located remotely from my aquariums and so is the regulator. I have flow control local to each aquarium at their respective reactors. It seems more sensible to have the ability to adjust CO2 flow whilst observing bubble rate at the aquarium rather than have a manifold and flow valves in one assy. connected to the regulator in the remote location with the cylinder.
    That being said, I have an upper mid-grade regulator, Gentec 190CD45,
    Welcome to Genstar Technologies Company, Inc.
    If you guys think this regulator is not suitable for my application I'll gladly replace it, but I'm more inclined to suspect my Clippard needle valve of being the culprit.
    What is the best flow control valve? Ideal 52-1-12?
    Thanks.
     
  13. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    200lbs??? Well, you probably won't need to refill any time soon I guess. :)

    If you've already got a quality regulator then you're good on that side. Just wanted to make sure you weren't running something notoriously fiddly like a Milwaukee combo first. I've got one of the Ideal valves and I'm happy with it. You have lots of turns for adjusting so if you want precision, that'd be the one to go with. Clippard also makes a few different valves so you could probably get one of their better valves. If you just want to get something good and be done with it you may just want the Ideal valve. I've heard you can get needle valves from Carr-McMaster but I couldn't find the right part numbers. If you don't have a source for it, the links posted earlier should be able to get just the valve for you.

    -
    S
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,648
    Likes Received:
    562
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    I'd go with a set of really good needle valves.
    the other issue is those long CO2 lines, when the CO2 comes on/off, it has a delay and the pressure takes a while to build up/down.

    If you also use disc diffusers, then you will have even more such issues.
    Clean them often(Tilex and dechlor every 2-4 weeks as needed).

    The Old Nu pro valves where great, the 1/8" MPT swagelok valves are nice. There's some others also that are good.

    30-60$ range should get you something pretty decent.

    The issue with longer CO2 lines seemed to cause a lot of issues in the past for me with 8 tanks and single CO2 reg/gas tank. The start up times and variations between each tank was rather high and harder to control.

    I opted for smaller 5-20lb tanks and multiple systems.
    Short CO2 lines and good cleaning routines for the disc.

    This reduced all the issues, but required more $/expense and more labor.
    $ is spent, so now I'm refocused back to reducing the labor and improving efficacy for the CO2.

    So I'm looking at Needle wheel mesh for 2 tanks where the needle wheels can be easily hid. The other tanks are easier to use and clean the disc and those tanks are doing well/acceptable with CO2. The others can use improvement.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    Is there any way of applying this to small tanks (20 gal)? I've been wanting to try one of these out since I first heard you mention them. Keeping the mist but getting the hardware outside the tank sounds great. Little tanks are always a pain this way because of proportionate equipment size:available area issues. In-line heaters have overlooked this as well (minimum 200W).

    -Philosophos
     
  16. inkslinger

    inkslinger Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    3
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    Well here it is some pic's of my new Swagelok B-2MA2 needle valve with a JBJ bubble counter , It's on a 5lb tank witch I should get a bigger tank and a pic of my Clippard Needle next to my new B-2MA2 Needle Valve.

    RlxdN10sity I would not bother with the Clippard Needle Valve I paid $61. for my Swagelok

    Gerryd are you using the Micro Matic Regulator if so how do you like it?

    023.JPG

    020.JPG

    019.JPG
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,648
    Likes Received:
    562
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    The bubble counter is the weak link there.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. RlxdN10sity

    RlxdN10sity Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    I always thought the CO2 feed line into a bubble counter should enter from the top of the cylinder, into a tube that would extend below water fill level and as the bubble rolled out it would then rise out of the water.
    Seems bubble size and feed rate are more consistent when forced into counter, oriented against the bubbles will to rise out of the water.
     
  19. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    5:15 PM
    I've had pretty good results with the MicroMatic. Quality bit of kit. The lock ring is pretty elegent. I've set the pressure with it ONCE and haven't had to mess with it yet in the months I've been using it.

    -
    S
     
Loading...

Share This Page