CO2 and Fish Loss Today :( - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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CO2 and Fish Loss Today :(

This morning I saw 2 of my Neon Tetras floating (I"ve had these guys for years and they've moved with me so many times) - I believe it's from me injecting too much CO2 - I monitor the rate per second before I called it a night and all looked well. As in the past, I"ve had no issues with CO2 injection before. My CO2 drop checker was at pale yellow this morning. This seem all regular routine and I"ve never had this issue before. So yes, I'm feeling an overwhelming amount of guilt, anger, sad, neglect and stupidity at the same time.....I know we've all loss fish before, but I feel more responsible for this incident because it's more direct and sudden and shouldn't have happened. What a horrible Monday.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 12:06 PM
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Sorry about the loss, we have all done it so don't beat yourself up over it, you're not alone! May I ask why you were monitoring the CO2 before you went to sleep? (assuming you aren't on a night shift and sleep through the night).
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 12:08 PM
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CO2 and Fish Loss Today 😞

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua07 View Post
This morning I saw 2 of my Neon Tetras floating (I"ve had these guys for years and they've moved with me so many times) - I believe it's from me injecting too much CO2 - I monitor the rate per second before I called it a night and all looked well. As in the past, I"ve had no issues with CO2 injection before. My CO2 drop checker was at pale yellow this morning. This seem all regular routine and I"ve never had this issue before. So yes, I'm feeling an overwhelming amount of guilt, anger, sad, neglect and stupidity at the same time.....I know we've all loss fish before, but I feel more responsible for this incident because it's more direct and sudden and shouldn't have happened. What a horrible Monday.


I am so sorry to hear this. I have had it happen in the past myself. I tend to err on the side of caution now, one to two bubbles per second. My drop checker is always green. I'm sure at some point the regulator will misfire.

Was this at the end of your canister? I've heard of them dumping sometimes unexpectedly.

I hope your day improves.


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks - it'll take some time to get over this incident. Some who are not in this hobby or have had been likely will think that it's just fish, and that's what makes me angry, so I don't tell anyone if I can today. I'll just say it's the Monday blues.

I was monitoring the CO2 because I had refilled my CO2 tank and reinstalled the regulator yesterday afternoon, so wanted to make sure all was in order, and then for the night turned it back on, watched it a bit, and saw it was all okay and called it a night.

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Originally Posted by Quagulator View Post
Sorry about the loss, we have all done it so don't beat yourself up over it, you're not alone! May I ask why you were monitoring the CO2 before you went to sleep? (assuming you aren't on a night shift and sleep through the night).
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 12:14 PM
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Try not to beat yourself up about it.
I know how hard it can be but setting the regulator can be really finicky. ☹️
I do understand how special our fish are.



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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 12:15 PM
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Is there a reason you left it on all night? That is likely the culprit right there.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks as well - yes, hard lesson in this is I'll run CO2 at a lesser rate - never had a drop checker turn yellow like that before. I wonder if the regulator is flaky......come to think of it one of the gauge (pressure to tank side) I just notice is not showing a 0 psi but I know it's not dispensing because I don't see any bubbles or any hissing when I remove the tube from the canister.

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Originally Posted by Chickinpic View Post
I am so sorry to hear this. I have had it happen in the past myself. I tend to err on the side of caution now, one to two bubbles per second. My drop checker is always green. I'm sure at some point the regulator will misfire.

Was this at the end of your canister? I've heard of them dumping sometimes unexpectedly.

I hope your day improves.


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Bump: I have in the past left it on for 8 hours or so at 3 bubbles per second....so didn't think it would be an issue in this case. I'll have to check on the CO2 regulator. See my other post...something might not be right.

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Is there a reason you left it on all night? That is likely the culprit right there.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 12:51 PM
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Were the lights on all night while the CO2 was running?

If not....

You need to turn it off at night (lights out). Plants don't use CO2 without light so the CO2 concentration builds instead of being used which will gas your fish. At night run an airstone or make sure there's surface disruption to gas off the CO2 to prevent fish from dying overnight.


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 01:06 PM
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Sorry for your loss. It's always sad when we lose them as (many don't seem to understand) they're more than 'just fish'.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 01:38 PM
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I agree that it’s better to shut off the CO2 at night for reasons mentioned (I do), but others do successfully run it 24/7 and, apparently, the OP has been doing it all along without incident. This sounds like some kind of hardware failure.

Please describe your setup: regulator brand, single or dual stage (not gauge), solenoid and needle valve.

Quote:
I wonder if the regulator is flaky......come to think of it one of the gauge (pressure to tank side) I just notice is not showing a 0 psi but I know it's not dispensing because I don't see any bubbles or any hissing when I remove the tube from the canister.
What is your high pressure gauge reading? It should be in the 600-800 psi area if just filled.

Did you follow correct startup procedure? This involves making sure the needle valve is open and low pressure gauge is off, then SLOWLY opening the CO2 cylinder valve until the high pressure gauge climbs to 600-800 PSI. Then SLOWLY open the low pressure gauge and, lastly, adjusting the needle valve. If too much pressure is suddenly introduced at any stage the valves can be damaged.

To test for damage (or leaks), do the startup procedure but, at each step, hold the pressure for about 6 hours before moving on to see if the valve at each step is functioning. Example, with the high pressure valve closed, open the CO2 cylinder then shut it off and see if the initial 600-800 psi holds. If it doesn’t, the valve at that point may be damaged. If it works, move on and do the same thing at the next step. Before deciding if a valve is damaged (if pressure doesn’t hold at a given step), use the soapy water leak test on the involved connections and around the gauges to make sure any pressure drop isn’t due to a leak at those places. This includes testing the solenoid by shutting it on and off and watching to see if pressure holds at stages before it and between it and the needle valve.

BTW: bps is not a good way to judge CO2 levels, but that’s a lesson for a later time, after you solve the hardware issue.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Pressure reading on the regulator is stuck on the "to tank" gauge, but I"m controlling it via the output valve. I'm using an Aquatek basic regulator with the 2 gauges with electronic solenoid.

Pressure is reading 700 psi - just filled it Saturday. On the tank side gauge it's stuck at 15psi. I might take the regulator out of commission...I can't afford an incident such as what has happened.


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Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
I agree that itís better to shut off the CO2 at night for reasons mentioned (I do), but others do successfully run it 24/7 and, apparently, the OP has been doing it all along without incident. This sounds like some kind of hardware failure.

Please describe your setup: regulator brand, single or dual stage (not gauge), solenoid and needle valve.



What is your high pressure gauge reading? It should be in the 600-800 psi area if just filled.

Did you follow correct startup procedure? This involves making sure the needle valve is open and low pressure gauge is off, then SLOWLY opening the CO2 cylinder valve until the high pressure gauge climbs to 600-800 PSI. Then SLOWLY open the low pressure gauge and, lastly, adjusting the needle valve. If too much pressure is suddenly introduced at any stage the valves can be damaged.

To test for damage (or leaks), do the startup procedure but, at each step, hold the pressure for about 6 hours before moving on to see if the valve at each step is functioning. Example, with the high pressure valve closed, open the CO2 cylinder then shut it off and see if the initial 600-800 psi holds. If it doesnít, the valve at that point may be damaged. If it works, move on and do the same thing at the next step. Before deciding if a valve is damaged (if pressure doesnít hold at a given step), use the soapy water leak test on the involved connections and around the gauges to make sure any pressure drop isnít due to a leak at those places. This includes testing the solenoid by shutting it on and off and watching to see if pressure holds at stages before it and between it and the needle valve.

BTW: bps is not a good way to judge CO2 levels, but thatís a lesson for a later time, after you solve the hardware issue.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 02:40 PM
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So were you running CO2 24/7?
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, the lights were on. I will reconsider this leaving on at night, since better if I"m home in the afternoon and into evening for me to monitor things.

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Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
Were the lights on all night while the CO2 was running?

If not....

You need to turn it off at night (lights out). Plants don't use CO2 without light so the CO2 concentration builds instead of being used which will gas your fish. At night run an airstone or make sure there's surface disruption to gas off the CO2 to prevent fish from dying overnight.
Bump: No 24/7 - usually 7 to 8 hours at at time. I sometimes skip every other day as well.

Sigh...still feeling the guilt. it'll be awhile before I think I go back in using CO2 until I"m confident again.

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So were you running CO2 24/7?
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Pressure reading on the regulator is stuck on the "to tank" gauge, but I"m controlling it via the output valve. I'm using an Aquatek basic regulator with the 2 gauges with electronic solenoid.

Pressure is reading 700 psi - just filled it Saturday. On the tank side gauge it's stuck at 15psi. I might take the regulator out of commission...I can't afford an incident such as what has happened.
Based upon this, I'm assuming that your working pressure gauge is what you call the "to tank" gauge? If so, sounds like it has been blown out and that you are trying to adjust pressure going into the needle valve with the knob on the CO2 cylinder or is what you call the "output valve" the needle valve? Please clarify.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-11-2017, 03:41 PM
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Sorry to hear about your fish. All things being equal never run your co2 at night. There is no upside to it and your fish are at much greater risk.
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