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BuckeyeSS 04-23-2013 02:40 PM

CO2 tank in basement?
Due to the tight space in the stand below the tank (about 26in), a 10lb cylinder is all that will fit and even it may be tight. Therefore I was thinking about getting a 20lb and running a line through an existing hole in the wall that goes to the basement a floor below and having it down there.

My question is, I have searched and read that regular tubing loses 6% per foot, and though I was planning on CO2 specific tubing, would there be too much loss even in that in the 20-30ft that I would need from the reactor to the regulator? There is an electrical outlet down there for the solenoid so that isn't a problem. I'm thinking I may also save a little on tank refills/exchanges in the long run also by using a larger tank. Can anyone think of any other reasons that I shouldn't do this? Does anyone else have this setup also?

nofearengineer 04-23-2013 03:50 PM

Loses 6% of what per foot? :confused:

gSTiTcH 04-23-2013 03:52 PM

For a run that long, I would be inclined to run hard copper off the regulator up to a nipple at the tank, then go to your silicone tubing.

alexei 04-23-2013 05:30 PM

Get yourself some Tygon from USPlastic and don't worry about it. The new E-3603 which replaces the R-3603 would do you just fine. Yes, there is some loss, but it is minimal compared to the effort and expense you would put into hard lining co2 with copper. You can opt for less permeable flexible tubing option, but the prices will scare you off $10.61/ft for Fluran F-5500-A. Reinforced beverage co2 line is also an option, but those have permeability issues the same as anything else.

Compare them yourself:

WheeledGoat 04-23-2013 05:35 PM

are you sure that 6% pressure loss per foot isn't referring to liquids? i remember doing the math on installing taps upstairs, running from my keezer in the basement and it quickly got prohibitive - I would have had to overcarb the beer to get it up there, nevermind the sheer volume of beer that would go flat in the lines awaiting dispensing for the diameter of tubing required to make it work.

but I digress - double check what you're looking at is for gas. I have a feeling you'll be totally OK. In fact, I might steal your idea! donno why I didn't think of that!

TwoTacoCombo 04-23-2013 08:15 PM

For all the cost and hassle of plumbing in a 20# tank, why not get two 5# and just swap them as they empty? Unless you're trying to turn your tank into 7-UP, you're not going to be going through so much gas that a 20# is really going to save you that much in the long run.

IWANNAGOFAST 04-23-2013 08:24 PM

A 20# tank costs $30 to refill. A 5# costs $20. I go thru a 5# in like 3 months so the expense would add up quick

oldpunk78 04-23-2013 11:03 PM

For that long of a run, I would think about putting both the solenoid and needle valve at the end of the the run under your tank. I would also consider ridgid tubing for going from the basement to the tank.

BuckeyeSS 04-24-2013 01:34 AM

Even with the flexible CO2 tubing that places like GreenLeafAquariums sell you think I may have a problem with CO2 loss? If I will need to use a hard line it may be more hassle than it is worth right now, especially since I am just learning and assembling the system. I'm thinking realistically the line will be less than 15ft but I was asking in preparation for a "worst case" scenario.

I made some calls to welding shops and fire extinguisher stores and the cheapest I came across is an exchange on a 10lb tank for $14. To initially buy the tank is $70. That doesn't sound bad to me. I didn't ask about a 20lb one yet.

aesthetics808 04-24-2013 01:49 AM

maybe you should tell us what size and how many tanks your gonna run co2 on. if its just one tank I wouldn't bother with more than a 5 lbs tank.

BuckeyeSS 04-24-2013 11:43 AM

one 75 gallon. May as well get the biggest tank that I can within reason though, right? The biggest that will fit under the tank is a 10lb so that is the smallest I would consider getting. My thought was that if it wasn't going to be a problem, just run a CO2 line to the basement and get a bigger tank and save myself time and money by doing less refills.

WheeledGoat 04-24-2013 02:15 PM

I'd vote 10# tank, almost regardless of size/number of aquariums (excepting the extremes). It holds plenty of gas, while still being a manageable size. Don't forget - even though they're common in our circle, co2 tanks are not mainstream enough to be armed with consumer niceties (like the check valves on propane tanks). You're always only one slip away from setting off a bomb.

Respect the tank! :proud:

Wasserpest 04-24-2013 02:44 PM

I would not worry about it too much...

Years ago when the "6%/ft loss" thing came out, someone actually tried to use 20ft of that highly permeable silicone airline as a diffuser. It was a total bust... nothing came through.

I ran about 30ft and used spaghetti drip tubing from HD. Not sure how it ranks in permeability but what bubbled through the bubble counter at the CO2 tank was pretty much what came out on the other end.

So, I think you would be just fine using some fairly thick-walled "CO2 line". I would not put solenoid/needle valve close to the aquarium - that will leave the hose under constant high pressure, sounds like an extremely bad idea. Definitely use a good CO2 check valve close to the aquarium to prevent water creeping back in the line (actually, it is CO2 dissolving in the water, just looks like the water moves back).

On the other hand, using a 10lb tank should work just as great. I use a 10lb tank to inject into a "medium tech" 250gal and 36gal tank. Previously I also fed 10 gal and low tech 135 gal tanks. Right now the CO2 lasts about 10 months. Of course, YMMV.

gSTiTcH 04-24-2013 05:32 PM


Originally Posted by Wasserpest (Post 3209593)
I would not put solenoid/needle valve close to the aquarium - that will leave the hose under constant high pressure, sounds like an extremely bad idea.

That's the exact reason I recommended a copper tubing* as opposed to plastic/silicone. Something with much less potential to blow up under pressure. Also much less likely to get damaged due to pests, or brittle with age.

*I realize I said hard copper line. I was referring more to a more flexible line that can be assembled with compression fittings, but still not subject to expansion.

exv152 04-24-2013 05:41 PM

If your solenoid and regulator are closer to the source (co2 bottle) there's no need to worry about the line bing under pressure when the lights are off, and makes a lot more sense from a practical and safety point of view. Personally I would just buy a 10lbs tank and put it under the cabinet, problem solved. It still lasts a long time on a 75g.

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