So, Today all the bits arrived for me to start pressurized CO2 in my 20 long.
I have a few questions that I'm hoping to get some input on.
I had DIY going, but after doing some maths and seeing how much I was going to be spending on sugar alone, I decided to step up to the standard.
I have a MA957 reg on a 20# tank running to a Cerges' style reactor. A lot of the questions I have will probably only be answerable by those with experience with this regulator.
So, first question. There's a thread here ( https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/pl...stuctions.html
) which addresses this unit. As per the instructions on the box and the mentioned customer service rep advice, I attempted to regulate my bubble rate with the needle valve completely open and using the main reg adjust. I found, when attempting this, that I could use some fine motor control to get the bubble rate where I wanted it, but when I looked ten minutes later, it was decreasing. I.E. I would set a 1 BPS rate, walk away, come back 5-10 minutes later, and the BPS would drop to one bubble every 5-10 seconds. I adjusted, came back, adjusted, came back, on and on. When testing out my solenoid control, I found that if I closed the solenoid and reopened it, the BPS would jump to about a gajllion per second, (solid stream of gas). I then attempted to set a high bubble rate, 5-10 bps, and adjust down to the rate I'm shooting for (around 1 bps to start) with the needle valve. I haven't been able to see the difference in this method, as it was around the lights/co2 off time. My question is, the bubble rate will be dependent on the pressure difference between the bubble counter and the reactor, the higher the difference, the more bubbles. Is that a generally correct statement? So if the gas pressure in the reactor is variable, as it probably is with all the turbulence, is it even possible to get a stabilized bubble rate? Should I set the working pressure on the "right side" gauge and use the needle valve to regulate the bubble rate? Would that lead to the dreaded EOTD? There're are a lot of opinions out there, it's tough to sift the valid insight from the generalized comments based on sheer personal experience.
I'm also curious about the accuracy of the KH/pH relationship using water from the tank. According to the charts and my found readings, (3 dKH, 6.4 pH,) my CO2 concentration is around 24 ppm, which is good. However, while making the switch from the DIY stuff, I had no CO2 running for about three hours (had to drive through traffic to get the tank filled.) I took the reading just before starting the pressurized CO2. This doesn't seem right to me. I suppose the next step would be to get/make a drop checker.
Finally, anyone with experience have any input on what bubble rate I should be shooting for. I'd say 100% of the CO2 is being dissolved, as no bubbles come out my spray bar. Unless it's teleporting out of the reactor/canister, it has to be in the water.