My burkert solenoid arrived today that I purchased from AquariumPlants.com Very excited as now I can prepare the setup for fish. Unfortunately, my regulator didn't have the proper fittings for the device, so I had to make a trip to home depot. Picked up the Watts A-738 Pipe Hex Bushing 1/4" MIP x 1/8" FIP to hook up directly to the regulator. I also got the Watts A-715 Brass pipe nipple 1/8" MIP x Close. Spent about $3.65 total. Unfortunately, Home Depot did not carry a swagelock male 1/8" to metering valve fitting to connect the solenoid to the needle valve. But when I got home I was able to salvage this fitting from the original setup that I had attached to the regulator. I was lucky to discover the following link
to a post here on TPT that diagram said pieces above. It's important to note that the 1/4" to 1/8" fitting that connects the regulator connects at P on the Solenoid. You can better see in the picture what I'm talking about.
Plugged the solenoid and light into a power strip that is connected to a wall timer. This device works like a charm and so far no leaks. Before I received this solenoid, I realized that I had been experiencing a lot of additional co2 being diffused into the aquarium after I turned the co2 tank off. In fact, after shutting the tank off, co2 would continue to diffuse for nearly 3 hours. Which meant bad news if you were a fish or invertebrate. I think it would be safe to deduce that the the additional co2 diffusing into the aquarium after the tank was shut off was a bleed off from the co2 stored in the regulator. Now, however, with the solenoid, once the valve closes, the co2 diffusing into the tank ceases almost immediately. Once I can stabilize my co2 levels I think it'll be safe to add the white clouds. I added an otocinclus today. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he will make a good dent in the developing diatoms. Kept the light off for a while when I first introduced the fish to lower its stress level. He seems to have adapted very well to the new environment. Nitrates were zero this morning. Did a 50% water change before adding the otto. Didn't add any additional nitrogen. I will measure tomorrow morning to see what affect that oto is having on the levels. Probably not that much of a change at first. But once the white clouds get in there I'm sure the nitrate level will change. All in all, two nice additions to the tank today.
New equipment shot: