CO2 regulator question. Where did all my co2 go?
Planted Tank Forums
Your Tanks Image Hosting *Tank Tracker * Plant Profiles Fish Profiles Planted Tank Guide Photo Gallery Articles

Go Back   The Planted Tank Forum > Specific Aspects of a Planted Tank > Equipment


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-14-2013, 06:46 PM   #1
NorthMan77
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: British columbia, Canada
Posts: 56
Default

CO2 regulator question. Where did all my co2 go?


I started a 55gallon planted tank about 2 months ago, not my first planted tank, but first time using pressurized CO2. I got a regulator off a guy who had been using it on a paint ball cylinder, it had a needle valve and a bubble counter and he had swapped out one CFM gauge for a psi one.. I didn't want to use a paintball cylinder so I got a 20lb cylinder(smallest I could get). I have been running it for 2 months now at around 20psi, all of a sudden the tank seems empty, it was at 15psi this morning and I cannot increase the pressure. The main gauge reads 0. None of my fish are dead and the level in the fish tank appears safe. I leak tested it the first couple weeks I had it and again just now for what good it would do. I am really confused, because I know a 20lbs tank should have lasted much longer. I suspect it's leaking, but why wouldn't the leak bubble? I soaped it up all the way to the reactor.


Last edited by NorthMan77; 07-14-2013 at 06:49 PM.. Reason: Picture issue
NorthMan77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-14-2013, 07:24 PM   #2
Ach1Ll3sH33L
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
Ach1Ll3sH33L's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Socal
Posts: 338
Default

If there are no leaks, then it probably wasn't filled properly or all the way. make sure you take it to an airgas or similar location that fills the tanks by weight as opposed to equalizing pressures like most liquor stores or small shops do.
__________________
Ach1Ll3sH33L is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2013, 09:21 PM   #3
niko
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (25/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Dallas,TX
Posts: 229
Default

Underfilling is common. You can't really be sure how much CO2 they give you when you exchange the tank. One way to double check is to weigh the bottle when it is empty and weigh it again when it is full. Except you need to do that at the store to avoid a trip back if it is underfilled. You will certainly look like a picky bastard.

Best advice was already given - find a place that you are always happy with. Stick with it.

Also, in case you do not know, the high pressure gauge of the CO2 tank does not show a gradual decrease as the CO2 runs out. It will stay at say 800 forever then within a day or within a week will go down to 0. It basically tells you "I am full" and "I am empty" with very little room to react. Some folk have reported a sudden dump of the remaining CO2 - when it gets very low it messes up the regulator and it does not escape gradually but at once. That does not happen every time but it could happen.
niko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2013, 03:48 AM   #4
NorthMan77
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: British columbia, Canada
Posts: 56
Default

Well thanks for the replies and info niko and ach. I will go get it refilled tomorrow and I will make sure it is full. My main concern is something is leaking and I missed it somehow, so I took the regulator off and tightened the fittings and I will be getting a new gasket for the tank. I will also be more thorough with my soapy water tests in the future.

Just wondering if the gas line Teflon tape is adequate for co2 fittings?
NorthMan77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2013, 01:57 PM   #5
Darkblade48
Moderator
 
Darkblade48's Avatar
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 9,188
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthMan77 View Post
Just wondering if the gas line Teflon tape is adequate for co2 fittings?
I think it is overkill for our purposes, and can actually be difficult to work with due to its slightly thicker width.
__________________
Anthony

A Primer to Pressurized CO2 and A Primer to Planted Tanks
Eheim Pimp #362 - Eheim 2213 x2, Eheim 2028, Eheim 2217, Eheim surface skimmer and Eheim autofeeder.
Victor Pimp #33 - HPT272-125-350-4M
Darkblade48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2013, 02:14 PM   #6
exv152
Wannabe Guru
 
exv152's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,283
Default

I would suspect a leak like you said. When you do your soap test I would spray everything from the main tank connection, all the way to the last check valve in the hose (including the regulator, solenoid, NV, BBC etc). Also, pay particular attention to the right side safety valve in the pic below. It has been a source of leaks for some folks.



The next time you get your tank filled make sure you weigh it too. A 20 lbs alluminum is 25 lbs empty or 45 full, and a steel is about 32lbs empty vs 52 lbs full approximately.
__________________
Eheim Pimp Club,# 496
25g 60-H iwagumi
125g high tech
7g cube
33g iwagumi cube
75g low tech angelfish tank
exv152 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2013, 02:54 PM   #7
xiaoxiy
Planted Member
 
PTrader: (4/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Iowa
Posts: 172
Default

I know this may sound stupid, but did you make sure to tighten the CGA nut completely and use a permaseal or teflon washer?

I had this stupid leak that I couldn't find, and it turned out to be me not tightening the CGA nut enough.
xiaoxiy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 12:01 AM   #8
talontsiawd
Planted Tank Guru
 
talontsiawd's Avatar
 
PTrader: (1/100%)
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Concord, CA
Posts: 4,213
Send a message via AIM to talontsiawd
Default

It would have to be seriously under filled for it to have no leaks on a 20lb and only last 2 months. I understand it is your first tank so it may have been under filled but I suspect a leak.
talontsiawd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2013, 12:08 AM   #9
OVT
Suspended
 
PTrader: (142/100%)
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: SF East Bay Area
Posts: 5,183
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by talontsiawd View Post
It would have to be seriously under filled for it to have no leaks on a 20lb and only last 2 months. I understand it is your first tank so it may have been under filled but I suspect a leak.
+1 agree

via Droid DNA Tapatalk 2
__________________
Courtesy * Integrity * Perseverance * Indominable Spirit * and Self Control
Tenets of TKD
OVT is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright Planted Tank LLC 2012