Solenoid is causing Bubble Counter to empty
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
Stitchwod
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Solenoid is causing Bubble Counter to empty


Hi,

I've recently purchased and setup my pressurised CO2 system.

Everything seems to be working well except 1 issue. When the Solenoid starts (based on timer) it appears make a click sound and then fire a small burst of CO2 through the tubing which is emptying the Bubble Counter.

To better show the problem i've created the following video. Here I have filled the bubble counter and started recording a few seconds before the solenoid starts to show what is happening. After a couple of seconds everything returns to normal and the CO2 is injected as required.

http://youtu.be/ZfdZPYj8bvg


Any ideas on what could be the issue or how I can fix this? I'm having to refill the bubble counter every day at the moment.

I have a metal check valve about 2 inches below the bubble counter.

By the way, I purchased the Aqua Media Regulator and Aqua Medic M-Ventil Standard Solenoid Valve through TheGreenMachine UK.
Working Pressure is 1.5 Bar
Tank Pressure is around 62 Bar

Thanks.
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:47 PM   #2
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The co2 pressure is driving the water from the bubble counter into the tank. I would try reducing the working pressure and increasing the bubble count until you get the desired results. If that does not work, a bigger bubble counter might be the solution.
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Old 08-05-2012, 02:52 PM   #3
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22 psi (1.5 bar) isnt that high of a working pressure, but you can try lowering it. I have a feeling it has something to do with the tiny bubble counter, though.
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. Sorry i'm still pretty new to this.

How do you lower the working pressure? From what I can tell you just connect and open the tank then alter the speed via the little knob on the regulator while looking at the bubble counter, there isn't anything else to alter the pressure?

I have a 100g (450 litre) tank. I went for this bubble counter so I would be able to monitor a wider range of bubbles should I need too:
http://www.calaqualabs.com/Bubble_counters.html

I don't think it's that small.

Would appreciate any further feedback.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
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OK, I've just seen this on their website:
http://www.aqua-medic.com/product/co2-regulator/

Quote:
For precise control of CO2 dosing into the aquarium. Our regular is chrome plated and features a fixed working pressure of approx. 1.5 bar, a needle valve for very fine adjustment, and two pressure gauges to show both the cylinder and working pressures. It fits industry standard CO2 cylinders with an external valve.
I'm using the needle valve to control the bubbles.

Is a bigger bubble counter the only option?
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:38 PM   #6
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Does it still occur if you don't fill the counter up all the way? I only keep mine half full, as long as you can see bubbles it doesn't matter if it's full or not
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Old 08-05-2012, 05:41 PM   #7
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Oh... You have it upside down. The way you have it isn't for high bubble counts. Flip it around
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:05 PM   #8
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Hi,

Currently my pH and KH are low so I don't think I need a high bubble count.

At present my drop check is a nice lime green colour based on the 2 to 3 bubbles per second you see towards the end of the video.

Due to this do you think I have it the correct way around?

I'm going to experiment with half, or part, filling the counter to see if that will work as a temporary solution.

Do you think a different check valve would help? I'm currently using one like this:

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Old 08-05-2012, 06:12 PM   #9
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Could I use a check value either side of the bubble counter to keep the water there or is this a stupid idea?
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trickerie View Post
Oh... You have it upside down. The way you have it isn't for high bubble counts. Flip it around
Did you do this? This is the solution to your problem.

It doesn't matter whether you think you need a high bubble count or not. What matters is that the way you have it turned isn't working for you. Flip it around. The direction in which it's flipped won't change the bubble count. It will just change how the bubbles go through the bubble counter. Since the way you have it now isn't working, then flip it around so it will work.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:06 PM   #11
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1, don't fill it all the way. Leave it as it is when it pushes the liquid out. You're fine like that. Leave it alone. Either way if you fill it all the way you're going to lose some every start.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitchwod View Post
Hi,

Currently my pH and KH are low so I don't think I need a high bubble count.

At present my drop check is a nice lime green colour based on the 2 to 3 bubbles per second you see towards the end of the video.

Due to this do you think I have it the correct way around?

I'm going to experiment with half, or part, filling the counter to see if that will work as a temporary solution.

Do you think a different check valve would help? I'm currently using one like this:

Your KH/PH does not effect how much co2 you need. If you start with a low kh/ph it doesn't mean you have more co2 in your water than if you had a high kh.

Quit trying to fill it all the way and it will be just fine....
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:20 AM   #12
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I'm not too keen on the design of that bubble counter. It's pretty, but IMO not very well thought out. I also suggest putting the large end of the bubble counter at the exit end & not filling it all the way up. You have to leave space above the water to allow the gas bubble to move into the tubing without carrying the water out. That's how the majority of bubble counters are designed. Also, adding a check valve will not accomplish anything in terms of keeping water in the counter, but you should have one to prevent siphoning tank water back to your regulator during the CO2 "off" cycle.

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Old 08-06-2012, 06:29 AM   #13
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Hey,

Thanks for replies, I really appreciate it. It's always good talking to experts that have been using these things for a long time and probably come across all issues. I will indeed try inverting the bubble counter later tonight and also leave some air space.

I am very new to aquariums and CO2. Could I please just ask your advice on a couple of points?

1) Above OverStocked wrote "Your KH/PH does not effect how much co2 you need". I have seen a pH/KH chart mentioning CO2 levels. Does this chart only work if you are injecting CO2? Or can you use it if you have no CO2 injection?

2) Assuming I am injecting CO2 and 24 hours later my pH is 6.4 with a KH of 2 does this mean I am injecting 24 ppm (based on chart)? I'm just a bit unsure how the chart works.

3) My KH was 1 around 4 days ago, based on information I found on the internet, I put in 6 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda. It appears to have increased to 2 KH now. Should I not have done this?

4) Would Bicarbonate of Soda give me a false reading in my drop checker? My drop checker is a nice lime green colour so i'm assuming everything is ok. If there isn't enough CO2 being injected would the drop checker return back to Blue?

Note:
I have 4 x 54w T5 DayLight bulbs running for 7 hours:
2 bulbs 2.00pm - 4.20pm
4 bulbs 4.20pm - 6.40pm
2 bulbs 6.40pm - 9.00pm
My CO2 also runs for 7 hours but comes on 2 hours before lights ON and shuts off 2 hours before lights OFF.

Sorry for all the questions.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:10 AM   #14
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Bingo! Cheers guys, turning the bubble counter around seems to have made a big difference.

Here is a new video, I have also left some space at the top as recommended:
http://youtu.be/lN5FVXqGmQI

I found out that 1 bubble per second in this new high flow configuration is equivalent to 4 bps in the normal flow configuration. So that's why this video shows slower, but larger, bubbles.

I've also emptied and reset my drop checker to a fresh blue colour and will continue to monitor it's colour change over the next couple of days.
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