Tinker Tank Sessions: 20 the Long Way
20 the Long Way
Co2 Regulator Build
Taking apart a 10w Chinese LED Floodlight
Running $$$ Total: $74
Tank - Traded some disc golf equipment for it
MGCOPM - $10
Pool filter sand - $6
Pressurized co2 system $58
The goal of this journal is to keep track of progress on my 20g long DIY project I am starting. This is my first time trying to set up a planted aquarium but I have been keeping fish since I was a child. My nature is to try and build things myself so that I can learn how they work(or don't) and educate myself through hands-on projects.
I would like to discuss these projects with anyone interested in following along and will openly brainstorm in the thread prior to each part of the build. I plan on taking massive amounts of pictures(with help from my wife) and showing others how I built each project.
Here it is, sitting patiently in the corner. It is not the tanks turn to be featured in this project yet. Soon.
DIY Canister Filter Cerges' Reactor style
DIY Pressurized Co2 fed through the filter
Living planted DIY background/sump wall to hide tank equipment and help filter
DIY CFL light hood with an upgrade to LEDs when I learn more about building them
Sand/gravel capped MGOCPM
Driftwood and Rocks
???:help:??? I am really new to this aspect. I have a little bit of Java Moss and some Java Fern I traded some guppies for at my LFS (thanks Mike!) I am kind of hoping if I do a good enough job documenting the DIY projects I might make some RAOK friends. If not, I will need to build up some trade bait.
I have a dozen Gold Tetras that are currently sharing a 46g tank with a pair of juvenile angel fish. After I setup and cycle the tank I will introduce them slowly and add some support fish such as otos and corys.
First Project - Co2 Regulator Build
Time for my first project, the co2 regulator. A little background about myself may better reveal where some of my parts and experience come from. I used to build co2 onboard air systems for my jeep club buddies a couple years ago. We used them for airing up tires out on the trail and running air tools in remote locations. During this time I built a lot of 10 pound tank setups and even tried making smaller systems made out of 2.5 pound and paintball tanks which I still have lying around.
What I am building here is a simple pressurized system utilizing a paintball tank and some used parts I already own.
On to the parts:
This is my paintball tank ASA valve I had lying around. It has an 1/8"fpt output and a knob on top I can turn on and off the tank with.
I will use an 1/8"mpt - 1/4"mpt hex nipple to connect the ASA valve to the co2 regulator. I could also use a cga-320 nipple connection if I wanted to run a bigger co2 tank.
Next is my fixed pressure co2 regulator(previously used by myself). The place I bought it from has been out of business for a couple years (William's Balloon out of CA) so I doubt you will be able to find one similar. This regulator takes the high pressure co2 gas (800psi^) and lowers the pressure on the output side to a set pressure of 100psi I believe (but not more than 150psi as I didn't order those). In order to adjust this down low enough for my purposes I will use a Husky Mini Regulator from Home Depot after the co2 reg.
The Husky Mini Pressure Regulator (sku#401-931) was the next piece to the puzzle. It has a 300psi input limit and an adjustable output of 0-125psi.
This will allow me to run very low pressures into the needle valve so I can get a precise flow.
Next is my cheap needle valve with 1/4 mpt input and 1/4 compression output. I will use a ss 1/4 insert to keep the co2 line from being crushed in the compression fitting when I attach it. I know this is not a good needle valve but it was $4 and I wanted to try and make this rig run while I do the research on which quality parts to use.
The first step in making this all flow was to clean up all the threads on the used parts. I removed the hex nipple from the regulator and cleaned all the threads very well taking care not to get any down in the regulator. I actually replaced the 1/4" hex nipple that I show in the picture with a new one because I had one on hand.
Then I prepared the thread connections with teflon tape. I made sure I did not get any tape down past the end of the threads as it could come loose and clog the regulator.
After the prep work was finished I just started twisting parts together to make sure all the connections were nice and snug and where I wanted them. The order in which the parts go together is paintball tank > ASA valve > 1/8"-1/4" nipple > co2 regulator > 1/4" hex nipple > mini regulator > needle valve.
The next picture is the after final assembly.
I wish I could have tested this out tonight but my old paintball tank needs to be hydro-tested. I was quoted $40 for getting the tank re-certified or I could get a new, full tank for $30. I am now stuck with a fancy black paperweight that I can't get filled. The paintball store will be open tomorrow and I plan on stopping in to get what I need.
I plan on injecting the co2 from this system into the filter/reactor I will be building for the next project (stay tuned). I only need tubing to go from the tank into the filter/reactor to finish this.
I have not seen anyone using a regulator setup like this on these boards and I am aware it is experimental at this point. I am worried about the phenomenon known as "end of tank dump" as it is something I had never experienced when using co2 previously. If it doesn't work for my tank I will just take the needle valve off and install an air tool coupling on it and use it to run air tools and air up tires in my jeep. Thanks for browsing my journal and feel free to comment, criticize or point out anything you think I may have left out.
Total cost for the project: $58
Used co2 regulator from the garage - Free
Two hex nipples from the garage - Free
Husky Mini Regulator - $22
Needle Valve $4
Co2 line $2
Full paintball tank - Est. $30
I am a BIG DIYer myself, so I am Subscribed! It is great to reuse parts, isn't it. Nothing better than free!!! ;) Man, I didn't realize that retesting a tank is so high! I wonder what is involved in retesting a CO2 tank?
Anyway Welcome, and I can't wait to see what Ya do next!
Looking for some advice on a water pump. I plan on using it externally so it will need inlet/outlet fittings. Hoping to get something between 150-200gph. My original thought was a danner magdrive 2, but I wanted to seek advice from the forum first. I will be pushing through a cerges style reactor with filter floss in it for the biological bacteria. I don't want to spend a bunch of money but I'm not cheap either. I would gladly drop extra coins if quality and function warrant it.
Picked up the full paintball tank today for $30. I hooked it up to the system and it seems to run great. I have it running in my 10g guppy fry tank to see if I can make my java fern start pearling. I picked up one of the $13 10w led floodlights from ebay and have that sitting over the fern as well as the cheap 15w t8 that came with the tank.
If you were at paintball place for the recert, try going to a welding supply shop, they might be able to re-certify it for cheaper, then you will have a backup tank, instead of a paperweight.
I checked at the local carbonic gas shop today and was quoted $22 per tank for the hydro testing. I have a 10 pound and a 2.5 pound out in the garage that will also need this done. It takes 2-3 weeks to get them back so I will probably send in the 10 pounder shortly. I don't really need the 2.5 anytime soon so I will let it sit and collect dust at this time.
I pulled apart my 10w chinese led flood light tonight. I am thinking about using the components from these to build my own led hood. Maybe a couple 10w floods with some separate blues and reds mounted on a heat sink across the tank.
The post I made in the LED Floodlight thread.
I think I might shut this journal down due to lack of interest. Thanks to everyone that has looked in.
I wouldn't confuse "lack of responses" with "lack of interest." Just a thought.
I understand that pictures of products and their packaging is part of the process, but for me, I look at tank journals to see aquarium photos. Get to that part and you will get responses.
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