co2 24/7?? - The Planted Tank Forum
View Poll Results: how long does your co2 stay on?
co2 24/7 20 48.78%
co2 until lights out 21 51.22%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
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co2 24/7??

Was wondering how many of you run co2 24 hours a day?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 08:39 AM
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I run a hagen ladder so havn't really got a choice, can't stop nature/biological functions . I am curious however.....been thinking but a valved T fitting. CO2 goes to tank during daylight/lights-on and to ambient lights out. Anyone tried this?? Is it even necessary/worth the trouble?????
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzobluefuzz
I run a hagen ladder so havn't really got a choice, can't stop nature/biological functions . I am curious however.....been thinking but a valved T fitting. CO2 goes to tank during daylight/lights-on and to ambient lights out. Anyone tried this?? Is it even necessary/worth the trouble?????
i have a setup like you describe (diy CO2, hagen ladder, T fitting, solenoid). if you have an extra solenoid laying around, you can use a 'T' and vent the CO2 to atmosphere. i would say, it's NOT really worth it unless you happen to have a spare solenoid and want to experiment.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 12:46 PM
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Considering that a solenoid is not cheap I don't think it's worth it.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 12:52 PM
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Would be kind of nice to know how many of the people have a choice in the matter... if you don't have a solenoid on your CO2 rig, or if you have DIY, the likelihood is very, very high that you are going to say "24/7".

What I would love to know is how many people that run a rig that gives them a "until lights out" option still run it 24/7.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 01:38 PM
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I have a solenoid and use it to bring CO2 on 1 hour before lights come on. It goes off 30 mins before the lighting cycle finishes.

Why waste CO2? The bottle lasts twice as long this way.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy
I have a solenoid and use it to bring CO2 on 1 hour before lights come on. It goes off 30 mins before the lighting cycle finishes.

Why waste CO2? The bottle lasts twice as long this way.
Ditto for me.

Steve - 33g reef and a 180g planted in need of a re-scape.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scolley
Would be kind of nice to know how many of the people have a choice in the matter... if you don't have a solenoid on your CO2 rig, or if you have DIY, the likelihood is very, very high that you are going to say "24/7".

What I would love to know is how many people that run a rig that gives them a "until lights out" option still run it 24/7.
I have the option, but is isnt bein used at the moment. I even have it plugged in.

If things stay quiet with the algae, I will start shuttin it off at night.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 04:47 PM
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24/7, but on the Milwaukee pH controller. Not sure where that would fit in this poll.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 05:10 PM
eds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy
Why waste CO2? The bottle lasts twice as long this way.
How much CO2 could you buy for the price of the solenoid and timer?
And do they draw any electricity?

24/7 CO2 works for the KISS crowd.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibn
24/7, but on the Milwaukee pH controller. Not sure where that would fit in this poll.
I comepletly forgot about you ph controller guys an gals!

I guess right in the middle somewhere...
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eds
How much CO2 could you buy for the price of the solenoid and timer?
And do they draw any electricity?
Assuming you could pick up a cheap solenoid from aquabuy.com or equivalent online retailer...
solenoid ~ $20-$30 (ref. aquabuys.com)
timer ~ $10 (ref. homedepot.com)
power ~ 10W x (1kW/1000W) x 12hr x 365days x $0.1/kWhr = $4.38/yr
(ref. DOE residential electricity rates 2006 http://www.eia.doe.gov/mer/pdf/pages/sec9_14.pdf)

Non-recurring costs ~ $35
Recurring electricity costs / yr ~ $5

you could probably buy two or so tanks worth of CO2 (~$15 per refill). assuming you have to refill twice a year, the solenoid might pay for itself after a couple years (minus the hassle of lugging a 10/15# tank to the beverage/welding shop and time spent waiting for the guy to fill it up each time).
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-08-2006, 09:14 PM
eds
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Cool.
I had no question that it would eventually pay for itself, but as your figures suggest, it would take 2 years or so (minus your time and effort for refills). So in terms of $ spent on your setup, I think the extra CO2 from running it 24/7 is pretty negligible.

The other incalculable "cost" is - I don't know - resistance by the technologically inept?
Making the jump to pressurize can intimidate some folk. Eliminating the solenoid/timer/ph controller can make it a little more understandable.

Along the same lines, just lighting, filtration, and heater generate several plugs/and a timer or two - quite a nest of snakes. Adding another couple may require repositioning the powerstrip or somesuch.

Final variable - different folk tend towards different ends of the hightech - lowtech continuum. Doesn't make either better or worse than the other.

No question where I lie on that continuum - I bought my set up used, and immediately turned around and resold the ph probe!
And I assume the guy who bought it from me is happy as well!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 12:20 AM
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I just put it on the same timer as the lights. I imagine it takes the plants a bit of time to 'wake up' metabolically anyway. That reduces the cost above by $10.

I was debating this with another guy at our local industrial surplus place. I reccomended getting a solenoid since they were only $5, and then he could use it or not, be able to upgrade to a ph controller, and when he sold it eventually he could add the solenoid and get $20 more on ebay or whatever. He thought it'd hurt the fish/plants if the ph swung too much though and passed. There were about 50 solenoids in the bin so he can always go back for one. That place is a DIY geeks dream...
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibn
24/7, but on the Milwaukee pH controller. Not sure where that would fit in this poll.
Me too! I'm this way largely because my all-in-one regulator (and I won't mention the brand that reminds me of Wisconsin ), wasn't consistent.

Based on Rex's DIY regulator/solenoid/needle value thread, I'll soon be replacing the regulator to see if I get any different results.

As to CO2 off with the lights, if you have a controller, and not much is used in the evening, how much do you really waste? (Just trying to fan the debate with that statement!)
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