Can I just shut off my CO2 canister at night? - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 03:12 AM Thread Starter
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Can I just shut off my CO2 canister at night?

Would I have to readjust the needle valve every morning? Any other potential downsides?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 03:20 AM
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If you have pressurized CO2 (a canister), which means you have a regulator, and you said you have a needle valve, then you should just have it on a timer. A solenoid is usually a black rectangular piece attached to the regulator before the needle valve, and it has a cord. When it has power, it opens the circuit, and CO2 will flow. With no power, no CO2 will flow.

So, if you have your lights on a timer (8 hours on, or so), put your solenoid on the same timer (via a power strip), and you're set. No, you shouldn't have to adjust your needle valve at all, assuming you have the correct amount of CO2 entering the tank. And as long as your fish don't spend the later hours of the lighting/CO2 period at the surface, gasping for breath (yes, I'm serious), you're golden.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 03:21 AM
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Shutting down the main valve, then releasing all that pressure is hard on your seals over time.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by chad320 View Post
Shutting down the main valve, then releasing all that pressure is hard on your seals over time.
Just like chad320 said
It will be a matter of time that you will get tired of doing this or forget to shut it off at night or not be home on time and kill every thing in your tank.
It's easy to add the solenoid valve and attach it to a timer or controller .
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 03:41 AM Thread Starter
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How much would I have to spend to get a reliable solenoid? Any recommendations? If it saves me $ in the long run I'd be fine with it....I actually just got my 5# canister filled for $8. That seems really cheap.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 03:48 AM
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How much would I have to spend to get a reliable solenoid? Any recommendations? If it saves me $ in the long run I'd be fine with it....I actually just got my 5# canister filled for $8. That seems really cheap.
What you really mean to say is you just got your 5lb cylinder filled for $8. Right now freshwatersystems.com currently has Burket solenoids, with the Buna-N seal. They also sell the cable plug to din. Best of the best.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 04:00 AM
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I got a clippard and havent had any problems.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 04:41 AM
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Many people use Clippard, Parker and Burkert solenoids with good results.

Anthony

A Primer to Pressurized CO2 and A Primer to Planted Tanks
Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
Victor Pimp #33 - HPT272-125-350-4M
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 05:06 AM
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Don't even try shutting off the CO2 with the CO2 tank valve, then opening it again in the morning. Some regulators will be ruined the first time you do that - specifically the Milwaukee regulators. You would need to back off the regulator pressure setting to zero, then shut down the tank valve. Then open the tank valve in the morning and readjust the regulator pressure. With cheap regulators that adjustment can take hours each time.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 06:15 PM
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Not only would it be hard on your regulator but don't expect to get the same results if you put everything back to the same place after you shut it off. On a higher end system, you may get the same results, after you disconnect the lines and let some out, probably neglecting any co2 you would save by shutting it off.

Buy a solenoid. It will be much easier to deal with which is the main perk and why they are so widely used, outside of potential damage you can end up doing.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. I see that aquariumplants.com has a burket solenoid with the power supply already installed. So would I need any additional parts to get it working? Here's what I have right now.



It's a Norgren regulator with a fabco needle valve down at the bottom of the picture.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 01:32 AM
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A timer would be helpful to plug the solenoid into

Anthony

A Primer to Pressurized CO2 and A Primer to Planted Tanks
Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
Victor Pimp #33 - HPT272-125-350-4M
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Darkblade. As incompetant as I am, I'd gotten that far.

Would that black fitting on the regulator have to be removed? Would any kind of adapter be necessary?
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 03:44 AM
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The black fitting appears to be (most likely a 1/4") NPT to hose barb fitting. It will need to be removed and placed on the output side of your solenoid.

If the solenoid has 1/8" ports, then you will need a reducer to go from the output side of the solenoid to the 1/4" NPT to hose barb adapter. In addition, to go from the regulator to the solenoid, you will also need a reducer.

Anthony

A Primer to Pressurized CO2 and A Primer to Planted Tanks
Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
Victor Pimp #33 - HPT272-125-350-4M
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 12-23-2010, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Here's where my incompetance comes in. What does NPT stand for? Apart from that it sounds as if I need two reducers, both from 1/8 to 1/4". Correct?
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