CO2 set up advice
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:50 PM   #1
steakman
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CO2 set up advice


First of all, a word of thank for advices I received in the past. You guys are a great bunch.

Now I need some advice setting up a CO2 planted tank. This is my first ever so bear with me.

I stumbled onto an auction in which I found this used CO2 set up for a restaurant (for beer brewer?). I didn't know if I can use these thing to start a planted CO2 tank.

If it's good to serve the purpose, what else do I need to complete this task.
- solenoid? (brand suggestion and price)
- needle valve?
- bubble counter ... etc?

Thank you so much. Your help is really appreciated.


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Old 05-08-2013, 09:02 PM   #2
WheeledGoat
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not to be impersonal, but you would do very well to read Darkblade's co2 primer thread. It seems long, but is WELL worth the read. It gave me a great start, and filled in a lot of holes that I didn't even know were there (i.e. saved me from some pitfalls.)

I will say, though, that I adapted my brewing setup for aquarium use without a hitch. What you have will work just fine, with one caveat - check out the expiration of that co2 tank. If you got it for a price too-good-to-be-true, then that's why. No [reputable] place is going to refill an expired tank without you paying to have it recertified. The date is stamped into the side.
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steakman View Post
I stumbled onto an auction in which I found this used CO2 set up for a restaurant (for beer brewer?). I didn't know if I can use these thing to start a planted CO2 tank.
You can use the regulator and the CO2 cylinder. As mentioned by WheeledGoat, you will want to ensure that the CO2 cylinder has been recertified recently, or else you will have to pay for recertification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steakman View Post
If it's good to serve the purpose, what else do I need to complete this task.
- solenoid? (brand suggestion and price)
- needle valve?
- bubble counter ... etc?
Please take a look at my Primer to Pressurized CO2 (linked in my signature below) for some initial reading on recommended parts.

You will need a needle/metering valve and some airline tubing at the very least. A solenoid is useful to have, as is the bubble counter.

A diffuser, a drop checker as well as quality check valves are also recommended.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:49 PM   #4
steakman
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I had read your posts a tew times before i posted the question here. Without it, i wouldn't what i was looking for.
Thank you for your advices, wheeledgoat and darkblake48.
I am still a bit confused about the pipe and thread sizes. It seems the 1/4 inch is the better choice for the solenoid and neddle valves.
I also heard complaints about the heat generated from these valves as well.
There's a particular brand like clippard mouse for the low wattage usage, but i don't think they offer anything but 10_32 ports.
I am not lazy in doing research but the more i read the more i got confused, not for what i understand but for which is better and more reliable ... etc.
My budget is tight. I don't wanna make a mistake that cost me money, so ... i'll ask more ... :-)
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:28 PM   #5
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Lucky for me that the service sticker dated Feb, 20 2013, and it's full. I don't know how big the tank is, but my guess is 5lb.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:20 PM   #6
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in all likelihood, it's 1/4" NPT coming out of that regulator. through various elbows and connection pieces, you're going to need to get down to 1/8" NPT for most solenoids, needle valves and bubble counters.

personally, I went with this Reef Fanatic solenoid
JBJ bubble counter (with backup check valve)
and an Ideal needle valve.

I'd recommend the "cry once" mentality for this stuff. It's gonna suck pretty hard having to re-spend $40-$80 cause you cheaped out the first time around.
Also keep in mind all the ancillaries; drop checker, connection pieces for regulator build, diffusor/reactor... it's gonna add up to more than you originally thought.

not trying to discourage you - going to pressurized co2 is awesome... but it's a commitment. if it's any consolation, the stuff retains its value (for later resell) pretty well.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:49 PM   #7
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Dang, Wheeledgoat
All the parts you recommended are top of the line and too expensive for me. I thought I'd spend the most was about 60 bucks for solenoid, bubble counter, needle valve, and diffuser ...
and check valves I can use those plastic sold at Petsmart 2 for $2.49
I guess who you are based on how you spend, huh.
I think the word cheap is not accurate to describe about me ... :-)
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:45 AM   #8
WheeledGoat
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sorry man, just trying to answer your question and give you specifics. there's lots to choose from out there! granted, i went top notch with the needle valve cause i considered that to be a critical part. the solenoid i went as low as I could (comfortably) - you can easily spend $60-70 on one of those, not to mention the PITA Burkit one that you have to DIY the power cord assembly, or pay an extra $10 for it to be assembled for ya.

instead of "cheap", I think I'd label you as "smart". you're easing into this nice 'n slow, and getting a good feel for what's out there and what others are doing. you're reading lots and doing your homework - I think you're gonna do just fine!

oh, let me stress one point, though - don't waste the $2.49 on the plastic check valves. what you're really getting with a check valve is insurance against damage to all your other components. go ahead and get a single metal check valve for $5, instead of 2 worthless ones for $2.49. /lecture
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:58 AM   #9
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I came across this regulator that looks good. It seems to be an all in one super regulator. Does anyone here have any input on it? It seems like a great option. It costs $250

http://www.aquariumplants.com/Carbon...ator_p/co2.htm
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Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-10-2013 at 10:31 AM.. Reason: Watch the language.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: CO2 set up advice

That reg has been around for a while and opinions differ. There are some threads on the subject worth reading.

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Old 05-10-2013, 10:32 AM   #11
Darkblade48
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It is just a solenoid that controls the flow of CO2.

There are better ways to achieve finer control (i.e. with a good metering valve).
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A Primer to Pressurized CO2 and A Primer to Planted Tanks
Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
Victor Pimp #33 - HPT272-125-350-4M
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