20# CO2 tank lasted 2 years on my 75 Gal.
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Old 12-21-2004, 02:16 AM   #1
m.lemay
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20# CO2 tank lasted 2 years on my 75 Gal.


My 20# tank of co2 lasted me 2 years on my 75 gal tank. That's unbelievable. I thought it was gonna last maybe a year. This is using a SMS122 milwaukee controller and a Milwaukee regulator/solenoid/needle valve setup. Surface agitition is minimal with just a slightly noticeable surface circulation. Anyone else have a similar experience?
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Old 12-21-2004, 03:06 AM   #2
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Well, my 5lb bottle lasted 9 months, so I guess a 20lb bottle would last me 3 years.

Sounds like you got shortchanged, Marcel!

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Old 12-21-2004, 12:39 PM   #3
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This is my first tank with CO2, so let me ask you guys sumpn. I've read that just before a tank goes empty that it can dump the remaining CO2 and maybe kill all of your fish if you tank is covered tightly (mine is), true or false. Also do you let your tanks run out or at what pressure do you get a refill? My tank pressue gauge reads in bars (1 bar = about 14.6 psi) and my lower pressure side has no gauge but is a fixed pressure of no more than one bar, that is controlled by a needle valve. I don't see how it could dump any more than the needle valve allows.
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Old 12-21-2004, 03:06 PM   #4
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2 Years! Brilliant!

I'm definitely going for more girth next time around. A 5lb bottle lasts 6 months on my 46 gal. You two mods care to mention your bubble count ?

150,
[as I understand] The 'dump' can happen only if you try to squeeze every drop out of the tank, and even then, there's no guarantee you would experience this. What happens is that the liquid CO2 is reduced to a small enough quantity that there is enough 'space' (ie, lack of pressure) inside the bottle for the small amount of liquid to quickly change into gas form. This, in-turn, creates a sudden surge of pressure on the regulator. Regs and needle valves are designed to allow a certain amount of gas to pass through with respect to a given pressure (there are upper and lower limits, of course). Increase the pressure in the bottle and air will escape faster. What makes the whole thing function so smoothly is the constant pressure of the bottle. But as I said, all bets (for constant pressure) are off when the bottle gets low.

You can tell when your getting low by keeping an eye on the HIGH pressure guage. When it starts to drop, you have a few weeks left. I never procrastinate once I see this (so, I've never given my CO2 bottle a chance to 'dump'). CO2 is dirt cheap.
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Old 12-21-2004, 03:47 PM   #5
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From what i've heard, only the cheaper CO2 regulators will allow a dump. The JBJ's and Milwaukee units are designed for our use...but a beveridge grade regulator without a needle valve (or a cheap needle valve) will most assuradly 'dump' at the end.
I know my milwaukee didn't dump when my 5lb tank finally was empty.
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Old 12-21-2004, 08:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momotaro
Well, my 5lb bottle lasted 9 months, so I guess a 20lb bottle would last me 3 years.

Sounds like you got shortchanged, Marcel!

Mike
Actually I did get shortchanged, I discovered a leak near the bubble counter that I suspect has been there for quite some time. The bubble counter had a crack near the bottom where it threads into the needle valve I probably lost about a third of the co2 from there I guestimate.

As far as CO2 dumping at the end of the tank, it never happened. Even if the regulator did dump CO2, the solenoid won't allow it to go into the tank till the Controller calls for more CO2,then it would simply allow some CO2 into the water until it reached the setpoint and click off again. To that end , I'm not sure that the regulator didn't dump, but I know that the solenoid won't allow it to get into the reactor until the controller calls for more CO2. This reason alone is a good reason to get a controller and a solenoid.

Bubble count.... who knows, I don't pay that much attention to it ,I set it so that its on for 5-10 minutes and shuts off when the controller tells it to.

Marcel
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Old 12-21-2004, 08:32 PM   #7
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I have a 25lb tank on my 75 with a sms 122 , my dad had it before me for weilding purposes but it's still got 900psi in a 60 degree basement.. i think i still have time left on it
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Old 12-21-2004, 08:53 PM   #8
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I need to get a new bubble counter for my Milwaukee setup, does anyone know if I can get a new one from Milwaukee? Does anyone have contact info for Milwaukee?

I thought I saw some contact info somewhere but I can't seem to find it now.

Marcel
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Old 12-22-2004, 02:12 AM   #9
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Milwaukee:

877.283.7837 (Toll free)
milwaukee@vol.com

Mike
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Old 12-22-2004, 03:40 AM   #10
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Thanks, I guess according to that info and the original post I'll keep a close eye on mine after 6 months or so.
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