How long does your CO2 last? (Solved) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-10-2016, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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How long does your CO2 last? (Solved)

I'm running a 5# tank with a GLA regulator. I barely get a month out of it running 5bps for 9 hours a day. Do I have a slow leak or is this about right?

I get about 800psi from the refill, it sits there for a couple weeks then suddenly drops to 500 then it's empty a week later. It doesn't seem linear.

Last edited by Camber; 05-07-2016 at 07:46 AM. Reason: solved
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-10-2016, 09:25 PM
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I run a 5# at 2.5-3 BPS and I get 3-4 months out of my tank. 55g tank that needs 2 hours to get the drop checker yellow.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-10-2016, 09:35 PM
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The tank pressure wont start dropping until it is nearly empty. My understanding is the liquid is gone at this point and only gas remains. Somebody correct me if that is wrong.

Regardless, usually will only last a few days after it begins to drop.

That does seem fast to burn through 5 lbs. Should do a thorough leak check with soapy water on every single connection. I like using the bubble stuff made for kids to play with, easier to deal with and shows leaks better.


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 12:08 AM
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Doesn't seem right. I run a 10lb tank on a 120 that is pretty much a constant stream, maybe 8 bubbles a second, and it lasts over 3 months. Like Burr said above, I would checking every connection, as my guess would be you have a leak.


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 12:15 AM
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I've got a 5# on my 50 gal at about 5-7 bubbles a sec. and my tank lasts about 1 1/2 months diffusing through two hob Ac 70's with chop sticks for 8 hrs a day. You may have a leak like the previous posters said.


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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 12:44 AM
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10lb 3 drops per second, 5-6 months. What material tubing are you using? I switched out black silicone for CO2 resistant and used a 24oz paintball tank for nearly 3 months before that ran out after the tubing switch. I have a pH controller so it is not on constantly that makes it hard to compare between users who manually time it on and off. The 10lbs is still running so I don't know if it made a difference yet but assume so based on how long the 24oz lasted.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 01:01 AM
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Also - make sure you're using one of those little nylon washers to seal btwn the regulator and tank.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 03:03 AM
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there is a leak somewhere, you should easily able to get 3-6 months out of 5lb at 3-6 bps. my 20lb last me 12 months even at 6-8+ bps.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 03:39 AM
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I was getting my 5# tank filled at a local liquor store for $5, and it would frequently run out of CO2 within a couple weeks, sometimes less. I went through the same thought process of thinking it was my regulator setup, until I decided to change where I get the tank filled. I now just get my tank swapped out at a local welding supply store. It costs $20 now, however I get an actual full tank and it now lasts 4 months as opposed to 2 weeks.
I run an Aquatek regulator at 2 bps on an ADA 60p for reference.


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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EChord View Post
Also - make sure you're using one of those little nylon washers to seal btwn the regulator and tank.
I'm using a (brass?) seal that screws into the cylinder. I thought that would be more reliable and a better fit than the nylon

Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Should do a thorough leak check with soapy water on every single connection. I like using the bubble stuff made for kids to play with, easier to deal with and shows leaks better.
I think I'll be doing that this afternoon since I'm doing maintenance anyway. We'll see what happens.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 05:47 PM
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It's probably the permaseal. I got those too, and they suck. I went through four in a two year time span (and I was gentle with them) and now I just use the nylon washers. I'd bet the brass permaseal is what's leaking. Did you do the soapy water test?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-11-2016, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Just finished the leak test. While the CO2 was running I checked every single connection I possibly could. I don't know how obvious the bubbles are supposed to show, but I could not see a single spot creating any more bubbles than the ones created from wiping the soapy water on the connection. I even disconnected everything and put it back together to make sure everything was nice and snug. I guess I'll ask for a nylon seal next time I go get a refill and see if that makes a difference.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-12-2016, 05:57 AM
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while co2 is in liquid form, pressure remains constant (800 or so). once liquid is gone andonly gas form is present in cylinder, pressure starts to drop which indicates you will run out soon.

on the leak subject.. i switched from high pressure diffuser(ceramic atomizer) to no pressure one only to avoid leakages. if diffusion happens without pressure(cerges reactor etc.) then you dont lose gas even if there is small leakages because gas takes least resistance path which is into your tank.

edit: be aware that in pressurized diffusion systems one bubble of co2 holds way more gas than in nonpressurized, so you cant simply compare bps of those two
edit2: i suggest always to weight cylinder after refill so you know how much co2 actually is inthere. fisherman weights work well for this
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-13-2016, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiefston View Post
I was getting my 5# tank filled at a local liquor store for $5, and it would frequently run out of CO2 within a couple weeks, sometimes less. I went through the same thought process of thinking it was my regulator setup, until I decided to change where I get the tank filled. I now just get my tank swapped out at a local welding supply store. It costs $20 now, however I get an actual full tank and it now lasts 4 months as opposed to 2 weeks.
I run an Aquatek regulator at 2 bps on an ADA 60p for reference.
Weigh your tank. It should have a marking on the side of it that tells you it's empty weight in kg. They should put 5 lb of co2 into it, so after they fill it it should be (weight on side + 5lb). If it's not that, they're cheating you and I'd take it back and complain until they fixed it.

I have mine filled at a local fire safety supply store and they almost always over fill it a bit.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-15-2016, 03:27 AM
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120 gallon setup with 50lb CO2 tank - lasts a full year.
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