Nano Co2 With ADA Style Regulator - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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Nano Co2 With ADA Style Regulator

So I was getting tired of mixing sugar and yeast every few weeks and having inconsistent and low Co2 in my 10 gallon tank. I wanted the convenience of pressurized, but just didn't have the room for even a 5lbs co2 tank and regulator, but even if I did I didn't want the eyesore of all this large equipment next to my small little aquarium. I was looking for something to sit next to the tank that wasn't too intrusive and looked nice.

I found this regulator for $100 at Austin homebrew. It has an adjustable pressure output and gage.



The regulator accepts threaded disposable cartridges like the ones below. I get them in two packs at my local Sportsmart for $10
The Co2 Cartridge (88gram):


There is also many other sizes of tanks available that can be used


The setup is very similar to the ADA style regulator and it is my belief that they come from the same manufacturer
A pic of the regulator:


One thing I don't like about the ADA version is that there is no solenoid valve. I figure not having a solenoid valve I would be wasting a lot of Co2 at night and it didn't have the luxury of lots of co2 reserve with the smaller canisters so I went about adding a solenoid, but not just any solenoid. I wanted something that was going to blend in with the regulator and not be too bulky. I found this sub-miniature regulator from Asco scientific. It was about $50


The valve runs off of 24v DC, 12vDC version is also available, but there was no 110/120 V AC version so a transformer was needed to adapt it. I had a 24v dc transformer laying around from a broken appliance so I went for that one.

I also got these small clippard parts through Rex Grigg here on the planted tank- Thanks Rex!
-4CQF 1/4" NPT to #10/32 bushing
-11999-NP male 10-32 connector

-15002-2-NP "L" fittting

-MNV-4K1 Needle Valve


So I put it all together and this is what I got:


The whole assembly hangs from a custom hanger I made out of a piece of plastic from Tap plastics. I also used a Lee's heater holder to secure the bottom of the CO2 tank to the side of the aquarium. It is very secure.

I have had the system running since the beginning of the year without the solenoid at about one bubble a second. I have a Barr style venturi reactor so I can count the bubbles from there. I was using a diffuser with built in bubble counter also, but I liked the reactor better so went back to that. At this bubble rate I get about 4 weeks on a 95g cartridge. Now that I have added the solenoid I think I can double that.

When a tank runs out end of tank dumb is virtually non-existent. There is a slight 2 psi jump on the gage that usually tells me that in the next 24hrs. it will run out. I like to always keep extra cannisters on hand, but they are everywhere- Walmart, Kmart, Sportmart, Hardware store, Cycling shop etc.. so getting one quickly is usually easy. Swapping them out is as easy as unscrewing the old one and screwing in a new one. Takes less then a minute.

Total cost of the system was around $180-200 give or take. Much less than the ADA version plus it has the functionality of the solenoid and larger Co2 capacity. I realize that this is not the bang for your buck that you'd get off of a 5lb tank and traditional regulator, but for me it was worth the price not to have this large tank sitting on the floor next to my aquarium.
If anyone has any questions let me know.

Jeff
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 08:20 AM
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SWEET!! now thats some great improvisation
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 08:38 AM
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This so beautifully captures the spirit of DIY... I'm speechless!
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks,

I invested a lot of time and money into this. I like doing things myself if I can because then it is how I want it.

If anyone wants one of these systems I can help you out. Shoot me a PM if you are serious and I can get all the parts for you assemble it/ test it and mail it off to you. I really enjoy working with this kind of stuff it's really cool.

Jeff

BTW I'm gonna post some links in the comming days. They are on another computer that I don't have access to right now.
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 05:00 AM
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Wow that is the [email protected]#t!!!

If I had the money laying around I'd be asking you to build me one right now but alas the mountains are still dumping and my money goes to lift tickets these days... will you still be taking orders a couple of months down the road?

anyways, very nice - I was hoping someone would *really* put all this nano-co2 thing together.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 05:49 AM
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wow!! way cool, I want to build me one of those
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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 12:59 PM
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i would be careful with those air source cartridges. crosman puts oil in those things to help lub parts of the co2 guns that use them. just a word of caution.

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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 04:05 PM
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Any other companies that we should stay away from?


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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 04:59 PM
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I was under the impression that all Co2 tanks contained oil. Wether or
not Co2 tanks for paintball guns contain more, I don't know. That is
one of the sales pitches with the ADA mini Co2 kits, they don't have the
oil so that you don't get surface scum on your tanks. I think you see
that scum layer on planted tanks with Co2 and not with regular fresh
water tanks in general.
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 05:06 PM
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CO2 tanks are used for the beverage industry, wouldn't we taste the oil?

-Craig
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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 11:58 PM
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The disposable cartridges used in some CO2 powered air guns contain oil.

The larger cylinders do not.
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-14-2006, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the heads up.

I have been using these type of cannisters since last year and have not seen any problems. The tank is full of breeding cherry shrimp and amano shrimp as well as several fish and they show no signs of distress. Perhaps there is oil in there, but based on my experience it's not a problem. Perhaps the oil is only dispersed at greater velocity ie. 100 psi shots out of a bb gun? Not sure, but I can't say I've ever had a problem.

If folks are concerned though there are beverage grade cylinders available which the manufacturer says is 99.97% pure Co2.

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...ducts_id=10142
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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-14-2006, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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So here are some links for anyone that is interrested in building a system on there own.

Regulator:
http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...9da41a1fa0c967

Asco Solenoid:
http://www.valvestore.com/43assova12vd.html

Clippard mouse solenoid (less expensive, but larger alternative to above):
PM Rex Grigg

Adapter for larger refillable paintball canisters and stuff (scroll down a bit)
http://www.airgraver.com/index1.htm

Clippard Hardware/ fittings/ needle valve
PM Rex Grigg

Clippard stuff is also available here, but they only sell in bulk and also add a surcharge to your order :-(
http://www.clippard.com/store/

Last edited by magicmagni; 03-15-2006 at 11:40 PM.
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-14-2006, 08:32 PM
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Now thats a cool little regulator..
Good job

dylan...

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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 07:11 PM
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Very well done!!! I assume your solenoid is hooked up to a timer with your lights?
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