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etgregoire 12-09-2012 04:34 PM

Best way to install/refill inline bubble counter
So I got a glass inline bubble counter a few weeks ago and after fighting with it a little to get it installed I decided to hold off.

It's going to take a bit of work, patience and care to get in fitted on the tubing securely without breaking it. Once its fitted together its not going to be easy to take it apart and refill every time I need to add more water to it.

Has anyone come up with a good way or extra pieces that will make it easier to get in and out of the glass bubble counter safely?

brohawk 12-09-2012 05:27 PM

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You just add water to the airline. When you turn on your CO2, it'll flow down the line and fill your BC.

Bettatail 12-09-2012 06:00 PM

if use mineral oil, fill the bubble counter with blunt tip long needle syringe .

if use water, dip the bubble counter in a coup/bottle of water to fill it, then re-attach to air hose.

etgregoire 12-09-2012 07:14 PM

Maybe I want very I wasn't very clear... I have no problem actually filling it. I understand what i need to do.

What I'm wondering is how to safely add more water as it evaporates. This means you will have to somewhat often pull the tubing apart risking breaking the glass counter every time it needs more. Getting it together once seems doable but repeatedly every couple weeks makes me nervous.

Mineral oil would prevent it from evaporating but does that affect the bubble count? If it is thicker then the bubbles move through more slowly and change the way that you count them.

brohawk 12-09-2012 07:46 PM

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No, I meant put water in the line on the regulator side. No need to touch or disconnect the bubble counter from your airline.

etgregoire 12-09-2012 11:53 PM

Can you explain a little more in depth? I don't really understand how you're suggesting to set this up.

Also... I still don't get what you recommend to do when the water eventually evaporates? Pull apart at the check valve??

Right now I have my regulator set up under the tank, the tubing comes up over the top of the tank and I had intended on putting the bubble counter on the outside of the aquarium glass where I have suction cups to hold it in place.

Are you suggesting just adding water above the check valve and that will blow back into the bubble counter?


brohawk 12-10-2012 12:13 AM

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I don't know where your check valve is, but I assume it's between your regulator and your bubble counter. In any case, pour some water into your airline somewhere before the bubble counter--check valve or regulator, whatever is easiest for you to pull apart--until you've got 6" or so of water in the airline. Reconnect airline, turn on CO2, watch the water in the line travel to your BC and fill it completely, and any excess water continue on into your diffuser or reactor.

kevmo911 12-10-2012 01:03 AM

Brohawk's solution is pretty cool - I'd never thought of blowing it in via the cylinder. I have reactors, with the check valves below the bc's (simple HK glass jobbies). During lights off, water from the reactor creeps back down into the bc (which isn't far below the reactor input), so I never have to worry about the cv emptying.

Anyway, assuming your tubing isn't horribly difficult to pull off a metal barb (and it will get easier the more you remove it), this sounds like a pretty good solution. And if you ever feel like the tubing is sliding off too easily, cut an inch off and start again.

etgregoire 12-10-2012 01:04 AM

Okay I'm with you...

But I still don't know what is the best way to do this without risking breaking the bubble counter every time something line is pulled apart. LOL

Sorry I'm really not trying to beat a dead horse here, but my whole dilemma is trying to think of a safe way to get in there every time the water needs to be refilled without touching the tubing to glass connection. It's a very very tight connection and it would be easy to break the glass - and not to mention its just difficult.

oldpunk78 12-10-2012 01:22 AM

If you run a check valve before and after the bubble counter, you will be able to remove the section of tubing the bubble counter resides in. From that point, I just remove the check valve under the bubble counter (which probably isn't necessary) and suck some more water up through the tubing. I never have to touch the bubble counter when filling.

brohawk 12-10-2012 01:30 AM

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I'm not sure what, but you've got to be overthinking something here. Check valve is soon after the reg, w/ say 3' of tubing then going to the counter. Pull apart check valve and fill line w/ water, reconnect. Don't touch counter. At all.

oldpunk78 12-10-2012 02:11 AM


Originally Posted by brohawk (Post 2104833)
I'm not sure what, but you've got to be overthinking something here. Check valve is soon after the reg, w/ say 3' of tubing then going to the counter. Pull apart check valve and fill line w/ water, reconnect. Don't touch counter. At all.

I've just been doing that way because I haven't really had anything to fill the line with up until a few months ago. (Creature of habit I guess...) I guess the simplest way to do it would be to just unhook the check valve under the bubble counter and just fill it right there like brohawk suggests. (with a syringe or something)

etgregoire 12-10-2012 02:12 AM

I guess I'm with you now. I was probably over thinking it but I felt like you were just kind of glazing over it ... I think its easy for stuff to get lost in translation online! Sorry for being dumb! I'm going to give this a whirl tomorrow. Thanks!

brohawk 12-10-2012 04:10 AM

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It can be a tough thing to wrap your head around, until you actually do it. Then it clicks and you face palm (from experience).

etgregoire 12-10-2012 02:30 PM

Oh I have had plenty of face palm moments.....

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