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What should I try now?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by scottward, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Guys,

    For the last 2.5 months I have been running an AM1000 + DIY needle wheel connected to spray bar. I maxed out the AM1000 (i.e. pumped as much CO2 into it as I could without setting up a constant cycle through the dual venturi line) and also continously upped the needle wheel until I obtained good results. All plants generally doing well.

    But - my 6.8kg bottle (15lbs?) has just run out. 2.5 months is ridiculous though; what a horrendous waste of gas (probably mainly due to the DIY needle which was really cranking it out). At least I gave it a decent go though.

    Now I'm not sure what to do next. ;-)

    I know I should be able to get good results using much less gas. Surely I should be able to get 6 months+, my tank isn't that big, and the lighting is low.

    For the moment, I am going to go back to using the AM1000 exclusively. I have pushed everything down as low as possible in the tank, as close to the substrate as I can get, so as to absolutely minimize surface movement. The fish are fine.

    The details of my tank are:
    Tank: 72" x 18" x 15" (a little under 100g I think)
    Lighting: Only 120w of T8
    Fert: EI for 100g

    Any suggestions most welcome!

    Scott.
     
  2. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    So much for me being a 'Guru Class Expert'.

    Bah! :)
     
  3. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    And, testament to me challenging my 'Guru Class Expert' status above, I put in the wrong tank specs!

    My tank is 72" x 18" x 20" - so that's a total volume of about 110 gallons?

    Scott.
     
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I'm just using AM1000's on my tank at 40 ppm of CO2 and I'm doing fine. I tried it for some time, but I went back to just using the AM1000's. I just use half the amount of CO2 as before and I haven't seen any difference.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  5. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    ....and your tank looks awesome dutchy. Based on your experience with the external reactors, do you think I could get away with a single one on my size tank? I have tried in the past and it sort-of worked - maybe I just wasn't doing it right?
     
  6. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I think a setup like mine would be better. There's not that much difference in tank size (72 x 22 x 24) Of course AM says their reactor is sufficient until 250 gallons, but that's only with average CO2 levels like maybe 20 ppm.

    (You can't run two AM1000's on one CO2 regulator valve, you need a dual valve)

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  7. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Do you use the 'dual venturi' mod on both the AM's or do you just leave the bleed value closed?

    I think you said you are getting about 3 months per bottle of CO2? I can't remember the size of the bottles?

    I just have a single 15lb.
     
  8. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    I have the bleed valves closed. I have two 2 kg. bottles that together last me around 3 months now.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  9. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Ok, so your gas economy is 4kg per 3 months (i.e. a single 4kg bottle with appropriate regulator would acheive the same thing).

    My tank is smaller and using the misting method in conjunction with a single AM1000, my economy was 6.8kg per 2.5 months (I know I already said that at the start of the thread). ;-)

    The economy is more important for me than the simplicity, so I think in the reactor vs misting debate, I am shaping up to be a reactor person. ;-)

    I will give the single AM1000 another go, say for 1 month on my spare 2kg bottle. There is only so much CO2 I can crank into the AM1000, as you will probably know, before the gas starts building up (or churning through the venturi line constantly if it is in that mode). If I max it out and don't get the result I want, I suppose there is no doubt about it, I will need a second AM1000?

    What's your typical water temperature?

    P.S. If you use the dual venturi mode, i.e. open the bleed valve and feed it back through the input of the pump, could you slightly improve your gas economy?
     
  10. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    ... I forgot to mention that it would seem almost pointless to try the AM1000 on it's own again when I ran it with the DIY needle wheel; but what I have done this time is moved the AM1000 outlet right down to a substrate level spray bar and have reduced the surface movement so that the surface is almost dead still. I am watching the fish carefully of course.

    I am going to try to squeeze the absolute best possible performance out of the single AM1000.

    Do you think I could sling a second one on an Eheim 2217 if need be?
     
  11. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    This is just my personal experience, but I've actually gone from needlewheel to reactor. One benefit that I've noticed off the bat is with the needlewheel I was running 5-6 bubbles per second to get a lime green drop checker, and with this reactor I'm running 1 bubble every two seconds and have a yellow DC. My CO2 tank just got a seriously extended life.

    112.2 gallons.
     
  12. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Exactly!

    I'm going to keep my DIY needle wheel handy though. In the event that my reactor leaks, reactor pump conks out, or something along those lines, at least I can stick the needle wheel back in and use it for 'emergencies'.
     
  13. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Thanks.

    Dutchy - don't miss my earlier questions - about bleed valve etc... ;-)
     
  14. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    If you max it out you will need a second AM1000. I never max them out, logical, because the working load is divided by two.

    In the dual venturi mode the gas economy was worse. The mist flowing into the rector was already so fine that the reactor could not make the bubbles smaller. They passed like if the reactor was not there.

    Connecting another AM1000 to an Eheim 2217 won't give you al lot of flow, maybe no more than 400 liters per minute (100 GPH). Anyway a setup like that was enough for my previous 50 gallon tank. That's almost half of yours. So maybe it's enough. Try. You can always change it later.
     
  15. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    My understanding is that that is the intention; misting later in the day when the CO2 will no longer disolve as readily. Are you sure the gas economy would be worse? Using the dual venturi mode would help dissolve bubbles faster earlier on, would it not? Have you tried it with your current setup? Perhaps try the pH controlled on in dual-venturi mode?
     
  16. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Well, I don't really have a reason to do it. With my two AM1000's and two 475 GPH pumps to drive it I never get more gas build up as half an inch max, and that's just in the morning when both are working hard to get CO2 to the desired level. After that, I never see any build up.

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  17. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I use about 10lb of gas on my 180 every 4-5 months using needle wheeling and very high current.
    Reactors, DIY dual venturi's, will do better.....than needle wheeling.........as far as CO2 economy.

    A simple DIY reactor should be able to handle any size of tank for little $$$.
    Maybe 10-15$ tops.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Another issue is that many have serious problems gassing their fish with reactors when used impatiently.
    So when you switch back, make certain you are really careful, smaller changes in flow rates= bigger changes.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  19. yme

    yme Lifetime Charter Member
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    this little??? I use 10 kilogram of CO2 every 1.5 month in 90 gallon.

    greets,

    yme
     
  20. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Really?

    My results with regards to CO2 economy using the DIY needlewheeling method correlate with others that have tried it, whereby the CO2 economy is dreadful!

    Either,

    a) You are pulling my leg
    b) You made a typo above (although you have made similar claims in other posts)
    c) There is some 'secret' that you are keeping up your sleeve and not sharing with us
    d) We are doing it wrong

    Can you please provide more detail on exactly how you are getting such good economy? This way we can attempt to figure out why we can't acheive the same...

    Tom's magical high CO2 economy tank:
    - 180 gallon (dimensions? surface area?)
    - Using a DIY (snipped) needle wheel (RIO 1000). This is placed down in the lower back corner spraying along the back glass. No spray bars etc. This is the only CO2 mechanism in place. Connected to a 10lb CO2 tank.

    Lighting? Very low I expect - just above the LCP for the chosen species?
    Plant species - perhaps the reason for your economy is that the species you have chosen don't actually need much CO2?
    Temperature? Can you maintain a relatively low temperature and hence reduce CO2 de-gassing?
    Minimal CO2 degassing - this can only occur at the surface of the water and perhaps the surface is hardly moving?
    Sedentary fish that don't have high O2 requirements such that you can minimzie water surface movement and therefore retain maximum CO2?

    Perhaps it is simply the case that your tank has very low CO2 requirements in conjunction with the perfect conditions in which to maintain maximal CO2 in the water and that's all there is to it?

    I will give the DIY needle wheel another go if I can see why my CO2 economy was nowhere near as good as yours...
     
    #20 scottward, Sep 9, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2010
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