CO2 atomizer not working? - what am I doing wrong?
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:01 AM   #1
l8nite
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CO2 atomizer not working? - what am I doing wrong?


A tank I recently bought came with one of these Up Aqua CO2 inline atomizers:


http://upaqua.net/products/co2-syste...nch-connector/


Except, I haven't seen my drop checker change color no matter how high I crank the bubbles per second. I also have steadily been increasing the working pressure, in case that was the problem, but I have it pretty high now (as you can see below).

I thoroughly cleaned/soaked it with bleach (injecting bleach into the CO2 area with a syringe even) and still nothing on the drop checker after a day of letting it run...

A week later, I ordered a new one thinking the old one was just broken or damaged.

I've had that hooked up for a few days now and still nothing.

Here is what my regulator settings are at:



I moved the drop checker into my big tank to make sure it was still working - within an hour it was turning yellow, so I'm pretty sure that's fine.

I also removed the CO2 tube from the atomizer and stuck it directly into the water, and I can see the bubbles coming out - so I am fairly certain they are at least reaching the atomizer...

What am I doing wrong?

Shaun

Last edited by l8nite; 02-15-2013 at 01:05 AM.. Reason: more info.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:19 AM   #2
Texex
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Hi Shaun. I've found that with these Atomizers, the pressure on the outlet needs to be much higher than normal conditions. Based on what I'm seeing on the low pressure gauge, you need to be between 10-15 psi minimum. I have to go as high as 25 psi on my Atomizer. Is the Atomizer currently hooked up on the output of the filter? If it is, you should see a fine mist coming out of the output pipe. If you're not see it, then you're not likely see CO2 get into the tank.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:47 AM   #3
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Ok thanks, I've been a little hesitant to really crank the low pressure side up, but I just did, and I'm now seeing some small bubbles floating around in the tank!

Will check back on the drop checker again in an hour or so.
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Old 02-15-2013, 07:16 AM   #4
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Atomizers may require working pressures as high as 40 PSI before they start misting properly.

From your image of the low pressure gauge, your regulator may only be capable of delivery a rather low delivery pressure (I would not attempt to turn it past, say, 10 PSI, without know the exact working pressure range of that regulator).

There were also some past threads about the "electronic control" that your particular regulator model has...
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:14 PM   #5
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Yea, it came with the tank. I might sell the regulator and put a "normal" one on it soon anyway, as I can't stand the clicking from the relay turning on and off.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:17 PM   #6
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Well, you should be able to remove the electronic box (it's basically just a plastic box with the dial connected to a solenoid) and use the regulator without it. You can continue to use the regulator with a new solenoid and needle valve.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:57 PM   #7
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Can you add a "Y" joint to the inlet of this atomizer and connect the bubbler line? So you can run CO2 during daytime and bubbler at night? I'm not sure if the bubbler machine can create enough psi to push through the ceramic.
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanLe View Post
Can you add a "Y" joint to the inlet of this atomizer and connect the bubbler line? So you can run CO2 during daytime and bubbler at night? I'm not sure if the bubbler machine can create enough psi to push through the ceramic.
Most likely not; an air pump usually cannot generate sufficient pressure to push through atomic diffusers.

You probably do not need an airpump at night, however.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
Most likely not; an air pump usually cannot generate sufficient pressure to push through atomic diffusers.

You probably do not need an airpump at night, however.
Some people said you need surface agitation and o2 for plants to burn down sugar.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanLe View Post
Some people said you need surface agitation and o2 for plants to burn down sugar.
Well, at night when plants are not performing photosynthesis, cellular respiration occurs, so they will be consuming oxygen.

Some degree of surface agitation is always good in a planted aquarium, but I would say that an airstone at night is not needed, despite the fact that the plants are also consuming oxygen.

With reasonable surface agitation (from your filter return, powerheads, etc), atmospheric oxygen can still diffuse into the water.
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Old 02-17-2013, 04:42 AM   #11
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Is your working pressure gauge showing the actual psi? Like, 7+ psi???

If so, I don't think any atomizer will work at 7 psi. You need 30 psi of working pressure at least. But for this specific atomizer you need 38-40 psi of working pressure.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:21 PM   #12
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Default CO2 atomizer not working? - what am I doing wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndreyT View Post
Is your working pressure gauge showing the actual psi? Like, 7+ psi???

If so, I don't think any atomizer will work at 7 psi. You need 30 psi of working pressure at least. But for this specific atomizer you need 38-40 psi of working pressure.
Yea exactly. I'm going to put a little inline reactor on it soon.
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