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Old 08-16-2003, 01:30 PM   #1
PlantumOfTheOpera
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I ahve been using a home-made HP CO2 system for several months now. Unfortunately, it has become quirky, and not behaving properly. I have a solenoid controlled by the light timer, and a "needle valve" from home depot, and a check valve to allow bubbles into the tank.

For the past month or so, the gas was impeded by something. I opened and lubed the needle valve, bought a new check valve, and still, it seems that the bubbles work fine once they are going, but if the unit has been of for a while, it can't seem to get started again w/o me opening and then turning down the n-valve. I tried turning the secondary pressure up, and down on the gas regulator, but still the same issue: the gas does not get going again unless the valve is opened and then turned down.

any thoughts?

I have a poll question for all of you using : how many use CO2
a- no
b- yeast method
c- HP bottle
--- and is it...
1- always on
2- timer on/off
3- pH meter on/off

I am going to try #1 for a while

Poo
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125 gal; walmart-K/L covered in PlaySand;
Rena Filstar XP3
6x85watt HO flu. 4.08 Watts/gallon
3x 6500K + 3x 5000k 8hrs/day
HP CO2 ~50 bub/min into Rena canister
My Tap H2O = 0% NO3; 2 Gh; 6.8 pH; 0.3 ppm Fe
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Old 08-16-2003, 02:20 PM   #2
GulfCoastAquarian
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Unless you're using a properly set-up pH monitor with a good solenoid, then I prefer #1, always on. I tried turning my CO2 off at night but the pH would go from a low of 7.0 at the end of the day to a high of 7.4-7.6 in the morning. There would be virtually no CO2 available to the plants in the morning and then it would creep back to 7.0 at the end of the day. (I lost a few fish during this time, including the oxygen-loving Hatchetfish)

Now, with leaving it on all the time, CO2 drops to 6.8 by morning and comes back up to 7.0 by evening. I haven't lost any fish. It takes a while to achieve the balance, but once it is there, I haven't had to touch the Clippard Needle valve in several months.
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Old 08-16-2003, 03:12 PM   #3
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I really am a fan of the always on theory.....Yes the plants wont be utilizing the CO2 at night BUT my pH stays in the 6.8 to 6.9 range. That is in the day and in the night. My pH controller turns the solenoid on and off to maintain that stability.

I think the key for the fish anyhow is to keep a stable (as much as possible) environ. I have found that keeping the CO2 on all the time and letting the pH controller manage it is the best way.

BTW....I also run like 2 bubbles per sec....this may seem high but is what does the trick to keep the pH low. Solenoid turns it on and off if necessary.

Good Luck

Mike
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Old 08-16-2003, 06:26 PM   #4
Rex Grigg
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Always on here. And get a good needle valve.
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Old 08-18-2003, 03:34 PM   #5
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Mine is HP always on.
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Old 08-18-2003, 08:04 PM   #6
m.lemay
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Mine's HP with a PH controller. Its completely hassle free.

Marcel
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Old 08-18-2003, 08:25 PM   #7
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Mine is yeast. Obviously always on. I run two bottles that are staggered by about a week. I keep an eye on pH levels (sampled at the same time each day), and refill the oldest bottle when the pH starts to trend upwards. So far, I have been able to keep the pH within a range of a few tenths of a unit using this method.
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Old 08-20-2003, 12:34 PM   #8
PlantumOfTheOpera
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When I initially started using CO2, I had come home a few times to gasping fish and twitching shrimp. Needless to say, i though on/off was the way to go. My LFS has a pH controlled unit, and the display tank looks pretty darn good. Myself, I opted for a diy solenoid, and have been pleased with it's cost and performance. It's the quirky performance of the "needle valve" that has been a thorn in my side.

Thanks for all of your replies. now i need to get a valve for cheap.! suggestions welcome


btw, this informal poll shows "always on" and HP the most polular method.

I am now doing ~ 100bub/min
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125 gal; walmart-K/L covered in PlaySand;
Rena Filstar XP3
6x85watt HO flu. 4.08 Watts/gallon
3x 6500K + 3x 5000k 8hrs/day
HP CO2 ~50 bub/min into Rena canister
My Tap H2O = 0% NO3; 2 Gh; 6.8 pH; 0.3 ppm Fe
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