CO2 useage. Is this normal ?
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Old 09-17-2003, 11:07 PM   #1
Doomer
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Just got my 20 # tank refilled today. It feeds a heavily planted 75 gal. and only lasted about 6 months. I was expecting it to last a little longer than that. Could I have a leak or did the tank use it all ?

Thanks
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Old 09-17-2003, 11:37 PM   #2
JLudwig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doomer
Just got my 20 # tank refilled today. It feeds a heavily planted 75 gal. and only lasted about 6 months. I was expecting it to last a little longer than that. Could I have a leak or did the tank use it all ?

Thanks
Hey Doomer....

I usually go through a 5lb tank in 6 months for a 30 gallon, you might be a little high but I keep the levels a little low in that tank ~ 15-20ppm... really cranking it you might go through that much...
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Old 09-17-2003, 11:50 PM   #3
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What kind of bubble rate are you running? And have you checked for leaks?
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Old 09-17-2003, 11:50 PM   #4
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20#... 6 months ? :shock:

Check for leaks bro....
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Old 09-17-2003, 11:56 PM   #5
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I'm using a solenoid/controller and a Reactor 1000. I checked for leaks using soapy water and Windex. Neither one works very well but it didn't show any leaks. I'm also running an Aquaclear 500 filter in addition to an Eheim 2028. I know the Aquaclear is causing some co2 loss but I didn't think it would be this much but maybe it is.
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Old 09-18-2003, 12:03 AM   #6
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whats the bubble rate to keep it at your desired setting ?
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Old 09-18-2003, 12:05 AM   #7
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I just dipped the bubble counter in a pitcher of water and no leaks there. This is the only thing I can dip. The tubing is the black Clippard stuff and it fits very very tight at all connections.

Is it possible for a regulator to have a have an internal leak ? How about a solenoid ?

btw: I use a new washer when I change tanks.
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Old 09-18-2003, 12:12 AM   #8
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Doomer,

you might want to see how many bubbles are going through the bubble counter per second. There comes a point with diminishing returns on the CO2 injection.....you may have so much CO2 coming out of the tank that it all cant become saturated in the water and you are losing it.

I run my bubble count in the counter at 2-3 bubbles per second. It is on an automatic pH with solenoid so when the pH gets to 6.8 it shuts off.

This is working for me and may not work for others.

I got a partial fill on my CO2 tank 5# one. They had to fill off an existing tank because they werent pumping that day and I didnt want to wait. So far the tank PSI has not budged. I have been running this for about 2 months now.

To go through 20# tank in 6 months is in my opinion excessive. Either you have that bubble count insane....or you have a leak. I would suspect some sort of a leak.

The only way to be sure of the leak in my opinion is to submerge the setup and check. This wont work because you will mess up your solenoid. Try looking at the obvious place...if your bubble count is not too high...aka a constant stream so much you cant count the bubbles...then work back towards the tank. Try putting the soapy water where there are connections to see. Also, over the period of 6 months the leak can be very small....so much so you wont see the bubbles either.

My 2.5 cents...

Good Luck.

Mike
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Old 09-18-2003, 12:42 AM   #9
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THE THREE STOOGES STRIKES AGAIN !!!!!!!

OK, I almost have to laugh (or cry)

I decided to tighten my Clippard needle valve. It screws directly into the regulator. It must have been fully tight already. I promptly rung it off. Luckily, I have a Noshok valve for a backup so I gathered all the fittings together to hook it up. I took the regulator out to the garage so I could put it in the vise while I tightend all the connections. When I put it in the vise I noticed that the body (the part that the adjustment screw fits in) was totally loose. Dunno if it would have leaked CO2 from there but it's nice and tight now.

My 6 year old asked me if she could play with the now broken Clippard valve and I said sure, why not. A few minutes later I looked over at here and she had manged to unscrew the valve from the body and it was now in 2 pieces. She did this without any tools so it had to be super loose to begin with.

Anyway, it's all back together now and I made sure everything was good and tight. Hopefully, if the problem was in this area, it's fixed now.

This all sounds like a Rube Goldberg fix.
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Old 09-18-2003, 11:27 AM   #10
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The Aquaclear could also be responsible for a lot of CO2 loss. You could easily be using twice as much as compared to a canister with no surface agitation.

Marcel
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Old 09-18-2003, 11:38 AM   #11
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Thanks Marcel. I've been thinking of removing it. It's a real PITA to clean and if I don't clean the tube once a week it will clog up completely.
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