Keating1's 55G - Water Changes - Page 32 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #466 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 04:47 AM
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@Ken Keating1, good to know as most of my equipment is mostly Eheim too. I've been using Al's Pets but they don't always have everything in stock.
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post #467 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 06:23 PM
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Wonder why Eheim parts are so hard to get? Is it online sales or just Eheim isnít as popular as in the past. I know many hobbyist like buying cheap equipment that can never be repaired.
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post #468 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 07:14 PM
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Drop me a PM if there's anything specific you're looking for. I doubt I even have as much in my catalog than you can find online, but I do have an Eheim sales rep I can pester. Might be worth a shot...

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post #469 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-12-2020, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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My chemo treatments are in San Francisco, so last Saturday I went in early so I could visit Aqua Forest Aquarium (AFA). It's a fun little store, not very big, but it has a lot packed into it. It's one those stores you want to spend some time when it's raining outside and one just wants to look at what they have. If you're ever in SF, I highly recommend stopping by and visiting AFA.

One thing I find interesting is they have some great looking display tanks, but their approach to dosing, CO2 and maintenance is very simple. They don't deal in ppm, bubble counting or detailed analysis. Say for dosing, when I ask them what they do they always say "we dose a few pumps with this product, and a few pumps with another product and then the next week we dose ....etc. Now I know they're trying to push products, but I truly believe they do have a very simple approach. CO2 injection seems to be at a minimum. Now almost all of their plants are not fast growing plants, instead they're easy to grow and slow growing plants. Sometimes I think we may me overthinking what we do, but for me half the fun is looking and analyzing the details.

Here's some photos of their display tanks.











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Last edited by Ken Keating1; 03-12-2020 at 11:00 PM. Reason: Grammar
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post #470 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-12-2020, 10:58 PM
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Very impressive for store tanks!
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post #471 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-12-2020, 11:07 PM
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Aquaforest is the distributor of ADA.
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post #472 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-13-2020, 03:08 AM
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Beautiful tanks!
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post #473 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-14-2020, 02:33 AM
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You think Ken's tank looks beautiful in pictures-- you should see it in person. Wow!!
I was overwhelmed at not only how amazing his tank looked, but his automation, set-up for R/O, and sump system.
A step above, my friends.

Thanks for having me Ken- It was spectacular!


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post #474 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-19-2020, 02:17 AM
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Hi Ken, I've logged on to the forum for the first time in a long time (other than looking at a couple of very specific threads) and saw your news. I am very sorry to hear it. I am also wishing you the best. I know folks who have beaten this particular kind of cancer, so I am crossing my fingers and keeping my hopes up for you. Thanks for posting the pictures from the ADA store. When I took Nicole out to SF last April we tried to visit the store but couldn't find parking. The whole neighborhood was so busy. Turned out it was the Cherry Blossom Festival and we hadn't even known it. It is a beautiful place. When visiting sometime after they opened (after I'd already moved back east) I saw my first chocolate gouramis in one of their tanks. I was taken by how still they seemed even in moving current. I found some back here, and kept them for a while.

Thinking of you. Take good care of yourself, have some fun, and keep your spirits up. And your tank continues to be beautiful and inspiring.

29 gallon, pH controlled CO2, Current USA + Pro LED, Eco-complete, Eheim Classic.

20L gallon, same configuration with HOB filter, suffering from tank size envy.


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Last edited by dang; 03-20-2020 at 01:40 AM. Reason: added text
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post #475 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-21-2020, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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I was never happy with my Dwyer flow meters. The first one I purchased was used, it was inconsistent, and while adjusting the flow the float would jump around. So, I splurged and purchased a new one, but for the flow I needed it registered a low reading that was not helpful. So I learned to adjust CO2 based on the plants(as much CO2 as possible) and fish(as much CO2 as possible before it really affects them). Really this approach is how it should be done, as numbers are just numbers, the important part is how the fish and plants react.

But I’m an engineer and I like building items and making them way to complex. Heck, that half the fun of this hobby! So when @Bettatail posted about the Porter FM, I jumped on the bandwagon and purchased two flowmeters! I like the Porter FM quite a bit more than the Dwyer FM. The Porter FM has a scale length of 6.5 inches long, whereas the Dwyer FM has a scale length of only 2 inches. Plus the valve is much smoother that either of the two Dwyer FMs I own.

Not content with just hooking it up, I decided it’d be fun to add pressure gauges on the incoming and outgoing lines. Of course, I’d have to have an appropriate mounting panel. I used a piece of 1” x 4” premium pine to mount the gauges and flow meter, drilled the appropriate holes, painted it black and attached the items. For mounting the gauges and flow meters I used Velcro. I find Velcro easy to use, plus it allows fast access for removing and adjusting equipment. I also used Velcro to attach the 1”x4” mounting panel to the aquarium stand.

Ideally I should be able to take the outgoing pressure and knowing the flow I should be able calculate the actual flow of CO2 with respect to Standard Temperature and Pressure(70į F at 14.7 psi atmospheric pressure)(STP). The reality is the accuracy of the gauges and flow meters are fair, plus temperature of the gas has an affect on flow rates. A better way of determining actual flow is measuring the weight of CO2 used by weighing one’s tank over a period of time and calculating the amount of CO2 used at STP. One can calculate the volume of CO2 at STP manually or use an online calculator such as the Air Products calculator .

After coming up with various ways of using a fish scale to determine the CO2 tank weight, I figured it was going to cost about $20 to $30 to implement. But then I thought why not do a search on Amazon and if I could find a accurate floor scale to accomplish this. Fortunately, I found one for less that $35, the Smart Weigh Digital Shipping and Postal Scale, 110lbs x 0.1oz. It’s nice unit, and seems to be working fine. The floor scale works out much nicer that looking at the low-pressure port pressure gauge and trying to guess when my tank will be empty. Since I know my tank weighs 20lbs-1oz pounds when empty with the regulator attached, if I know what the daily consumption is, I should know within a day or two when my tank will run out of gas.

The interesting part about measuring CO2 is I don’t see where there’s a standard in the planted tank community regarding the measurement of CO2. I’ve only seen bubbles per second or CC/Min. Both of these really can’t be used as there’s no accuracy because the size of bubbles is dependent on pressure and temperature. The same applies towards using CC/Min; most folks are just reading what’s on the scale and not adjusting appropriately for temperature and pressure. I’m thinking grams/hour or grams/day may be more appropriate. Anyone have thoughts on the item?

The following are photos of the installation.

Panel Front:


Panel Back:


The backside of the panel with tubing connected.


Mounted within the aquarium stand:


CO2 tank with Scale:

Closeup of Scale:
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post #476 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-21-2020, 09:46 PM
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Awesome project Ken, keep up posted on your trials!
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post #477 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-21-2020, 11:41 PM
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Yes a scale for the Co2 bottle is the best way to measure the amount of Co2 in a tank as that is how they do it at the Co2 suppliers.
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post #478 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-21-2020, 11:42 PM
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Great project Ken.

Since I may be relying more on my flow meter, might have to mess with this before long.

Well done!
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post #479 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-22-2020, 01:24 AM
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Even though most of that went over my head that's the nicest flow meter set up Ive ever seen! Impressive
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post #480 of 605 (permalink) Old 03-22-2020, 01:40 AM
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Great write up Ken ! Gotta love a little quality engineering :-)
Like the addition of the pressure gauges. Will be curious what numbers you get.
Something that @Bettatail posted awhile ago was a discussion about flow control valve placement. As you have the valve at the inlet, the metering tube will be under the same pressure as the tube going into the reactor (i.e., not a lot of pressure). Now, if you put the flow control valve on the output end, then the metering tube will be under a greater pressure (i.e., the same as your regulator pressure).
With the greater pressure in the metering tube, a given flow reading will have a greater CO2 volume.
For my setup, I am at the upper end of the scale with the valve at the flowmeter exit.
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