Pressurized CO2 - Need some setup advice
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Old 02-03-2004, 01:15 AM   #1
AJ_Wave
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Iíve found someone local to be selling the JBJ Solenoid Regulator for around $95 so I am going to pick one up. Also found a 5 lb. CO2 tank filled for $50 local.

Iíd really like to add the SMS122 PH monitor, but I figure it can wait as itís another $100. Going to build my own CO2 reactor from PCV and plumb it in my Filstar return.

Am I missing anything? Do I need bubble counter fluid for the JBJ? If so where might I find this item?

Since Iím not adding the PH controller can someone give me advice on how to setup? How many bubbles I need in the bubble counter, etc.

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:47 AM   #2
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Glad you are going to be up and running soon AJ!

You don't need bubble counter fluid at all. I think it is a waste of money. I believe bubble counter fluid is something like mineral oil anyway. I use RO or distilled water in mine. I do check it every so often to make sure it hasn't evaporated away.

As far as amount of CO2, that will depend on the efficiency of your reactor. It is going to be trial and error for you for a while!! !

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Old 02-03-2004, 03:21 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response Mike.

Can I use my Hagen ladder for the time being to defuse the CO2 into my tank or is this not such a good idea?

And can someone give me the formula for determining how many ppm of CO2 I have?

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2004, 04:14 AM   #4
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The Hagen ladder is fine for now.

To determine your CO2 levels:
http://www.csd.net/%7Ecgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

or:
http://www.csd.net/%7Ecgadd/aqua/art_plant_aquacalc.htm

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Old 02-03-2004, 12:39 PM   #5
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You can use the Hagen ladder to diffuse the CO2 and eliminate the need for a bubble counter in your 30 gallon cube. If this is for a different, larger, tank, you might want to go with the inline reactor, which will require a bubble counter. If you switch to the inline reactor and use a bubble counter, you can mix glycerin and water to make a bubble counter fluid. I found glycerin in the baking section of the local grocery store intended as an ingredient for frosting. Water works fine though, you just have to keep an eye on it as it will evaporate slowly.
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Old 02-03-2004, 03:40 PM   #6
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The JBJ Solenoid Regulator I got has the bubble counter, so I already have the bubble counter. Just going to use the Hagen ladder to diffuse for the time being until I have a few hours one weekend to build my own in-line reactor.

In the begining how many bubble per minute should I want to see?

I've got to get a PH/KH test kit so I can monitor my CO2 levels but can't find a LFS with a KH kit... Guess I'll order one online.
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Old 02-04-2004, 02:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ_Wave
In the begining how many bubble per minute should I want to see?
It depends on how much CO2 the plants you grow need, and the basic water chemistry you have to deal with, and how much light you supply. I run my system at 25-30 bubbles a minute for each of my 30 gallon tanks, with 3 watts per gallon, and slightly hard water. I am growing mostly crypts and other rooted plants, not a lot of stem plants.
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Old 02-05-2004, 06:18 PM   #8
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the Hagen ladder will work...i was able to get 30ppm in my 75 gallon tank using pressurized CO2 and a hagen diffuser, while I waited for my reactor to come in the mail.
you'll use a little more CO2 with the hagen than a 'better' diffuser, but only 10-15% by my estimation (and I absolutely suck at math)
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