Setting Up Co2 for the first time - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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PlantedRich,

I am not being critical of your post at all. I understand that you are trying to help and I actually do appreciate it. I always appreciate it when someone is trying to help. I am taking all of your advice and considering it during my testing.

I am also glad that kest874 has tried it and given me some real time experience with the regulator.

As kest874 said this regulator does fit the tank.

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I have not gotten my tank filled yet so I can't so any testing yet. It looks like my LFS (Dallas North Aquarium) does CO2 fills and it is not an exchange. So I will be dropping by there in the next couple of days to get it filled.


I also bought everything I need for my reactor. It was less than $20 for everything I am going to need. Well, somethings I had, like the PVC glue.


So next question for everyone... I am building a reactor that will be either in my sump or right beside it. Since I am not running a refugium in the sump I am leaning towards having it in the sump. Do I really need to route the water from the reactor directly to the display tank, or can I just release the "infused" water into the sump, somewhere in front of the return pump?



Tim
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-16-2019, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by TDSapp View Post
So next question for everyone... I am building a reactor that will be either in my sump or right beside it. Since I am not running a refugium in the sump I am leaning towards having it in the sump. Do I really need to route the water from the reactor directly to the display tank, or can I just release the "infused" water into the sump, somewhere in front of the return pump?
I don't have any first hand experience, but I can't see a reason why it would make much difference if it was pumped directly to the tank or the sump.
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 06:47 AM
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@TDSapp A complete reactor for an irresistible price. @OVT posted this in another thread and I just had to buy two at this price point.

I may come across as a know-it-all. In reality, I have no idea.
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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@TDSapp A complete reactor for an irresistible price. @OVT posted this in another thread and I just had to buy two at this price point.

That is a great price. I am such a DIYer that I would still have to build my own. I actually completed it yesterday and even turned on the CO2 for a while to watch everything work. I have it being fed by the same pump that returns the water and it has reduced the circulation quite a bit. I may have to get a second pump just to run the water through the reactor.

I will probably run it manually tonight but that will be it until Monday of next week. The wife and I are heading to Mexico to an all-inclusive resort to celebrate her 50th birthday. So it will be five days of beaches, food and drinks.

I bought a "TP-Link - Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug" at BestBuy the other day. I am going to use it for the solenoid power to run it just before and after the lights come on and off.


So right now I have it set up for about eight bubbles a second. Man, is it hard to count eight bubbles in one second so I am close but it may be off a couple. I have seen many folks running two bubbles a second on their nano tanks so I figured that eight would be a good start for a 150 gallon display and 50 gallons in the sump.

I do have a CO2 drop checker but it is still dark blue because I have only ran the CO2 for a couple hours so far. Question on it though... Should there be any water up in the "cone" of the checker? It's up there a little but not close enough to get close to the solution.

Tim Sapp
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 06:41 PM
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I recently built my regulator (2-stage off ebay and the post reg set from diyco2) and reactor (rex griggs). I set it up over the weekend to the outflow from one of my Fluval 306. I have it low for now, but need to calibrate the flow.

I am also a DIY person and loved doing the research and getting everything built.

75 gallon
140lbs of CarbiSea Eco-Complete, Black
Finnex FugeRay Planted+ - 9 hours/day
2X Fluval 306s w/ Seachem Purigen
2X Fluval E 300-watt heaters
Pressurized CO2 - 5lb tank, HPT500 regulator, Clippard Mouse Solenoid, Fabco NV-55-18, CO2 dropper
1 Jumbo Mopani
1 Med driftwood
Plants - lots
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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 11:02 PM
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That is a great price. I am such a DIYer that I would still have to build my own. I actually completed it yesterday and even turned on the CO2 for a while to watch everything work. I have it being fed by the same pump that returns the water and it has reduced the circulation quite a bit. I may have to get a second pump just to run the water through the reactor.

I will probably run it manually tonight but that will be it until Monday of next week. The wife and I are heading to Mexico to an all-inclusive resort to celebrate her 50th birthday. So it will be five days of beaches, food and drinks.

I bought a "TP-Link - Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug" at BestBuy the other day. I am going to use it for the solenoid power to run it just before and after the lights come on and off.


So right now I have it set up for about eight bubbles a second. Man, is it hard to count eight bubbles in one second so I am close but it may be off a couple. I have seen many folks running two bubbles a second on their nano tanks so I figured that eight would be a good start for a 150 gallon display and 50 gallons in the sump.

I do have a CO2 drop checker but it is still dark blue because I have only ran the CO2 for a couple hours so far. Question on it though... Should there be any water up in the "cone" of the checker? It's up there a little but not close enough to get close to the solution.
Are there any fish in the tank?
If not, with a tank this big I would ignore the BPS and just turn it up until it gets to the correct level which depending on the KH should be around a 1.0 PH drop.
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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDSapp View Post
That is a great price. I am such a DIYer that I would still have to build my own. I actually completed it yesterday and even turned on the CO2 for a while to watch everything work. I have it being fed by the same pump that returns the water and it has reduced the circulation quite a bit. I may have to get a second pump just to run the water through the reactor.

I will probably run it manually tonight but that will be it until Monday of next week. The wife and I are heading to Mexico to an all-inclusive resort to celebrate her 50th birthday. So it will be five days of beaches, food and drinks.

I bought a "TP-Link - Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug" at BestBuy the other day. I am going to use it for the solenoid power to run it just before and after the lights come on and off.


So right now I have it set up for about eight bubbles a second. Man, is it hard to count eight bubbles in one second so I am close but it may be off a couple. I have seen many folks running two bubbles a second on their nano tanks so I figured that eight would be a good start for a 150 gallon display and 50 gallons in the sump.

I do have a CO2 drop checker but it is still dark blue because I have only ran the CO2 for a couple hours so far. Question on it though... Should there be any water up in the "cone" of the checker? It's up there a little but not close enough to get close to the solution.
8 BPS seems a little light for 200 gallons total volume, but it is definitely wise to err on the side of caution if you are not going to be there for awhile. I am a huge fan of both smart outlets and pH controllers. A pH controller will control your solenoid based upon pre-selected thresholds and ranges of pH. I feel like that second level of control is a valuable failsafe and allows a lot of leeway in your rate of injection. It will turn on your solenoid when pH rises to your maximum set point and turn off when CO2 injection reduces it to your minimum set point. If you chose to use both smart outlet and pH controller, you would want to have the smart outlet first with the pH controller plugged into it. The other way around will interrupt power to your smart outlet and it will have to reacquire wifi signal every time that power is turned back on by your controller. However, I find that a timer is not even necessary with a pH controller since it is pretty much supply and demand. It will maintain a constant CO2 range and will automatically compensate for gaseous exchange and plant consumption.

I may come across as a know-it-all. In reality, I have no idea.
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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 06:46 AM
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@TDSapp A complete reactor for an irresistible price. @OVT posted this in another thread and I just had to buy two at this price point.
I saw those while back but lots of reports of those leaking scared me off even at that price. Not sure if that's reflecting user error or some more basic design/equipment failure. Be curious to hear how it works out for you since I'm confident that you know what you're doing.
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-27-2019, 07:19 PM
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I saw those while back but lots of reports of those leaking scared me off even at that price. Not sure if that's reflecting user error or some more basic design/equipment failure. Be curious to hear how it works out for you since I'm confident that you know what you're doing.
They arrived. They are pretty cheaply built. They are also smaller than expected.

A couple of observations: I have not experienced the issue that many state of the impellers sticking. They seem to rotate pretty freely. There is a ridge on each side of the top connection tube that will have to be trimmed/sanded to ensure a good seal. The gasket in the removable bottom cap is very thin and could easily pinch or roll out of the contact area compromising the seal (will have to be very careful with that seal). The openings are rather small (Far too small for my 400 series Fluval canister filters). I would have to use an adjustable power head to run it. Because of my concerns about the seal and overall quality of the construction. I would feel safer installing it inside the tank behind a weir or rock hardscape of some kind, or inside a sump. It does come with three robust suction cups so it should stay in place well.

I did not expect much from a $6 reactor. With a bit of trimming and caution it could be serviceable. Probably not ideal for the size tanks that I have, and there is the additional cost of an adjustable power head.

They will probably just sit in my spare parts bin until I find an application for a smaller reactor. For my larger tanks, I feel much more secure using DIY external PVC reactors.
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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 02:30 AM
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They arrived. They are pretty cheaply built. They are also smaller than expected...
Thanks. Pretty much what I expected. They're gone from the site now so that saves me the $6.
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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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I am back from Mexico so now I am working on getting my CO2 up where it needs to be.

I did some tank work last night;

I got the timer on the regulator starting an hour before lights on and off an hour after the lights go out.
I moved the drop checker down closer to the bottom of the tank.
I also adjusted the bubble counter higher than the 8 per second. I can't go much higher than what it is or I start getting big bubbles popping out of the reactor.


I'll be testing my water tonight when I get home from work to see where the PH is sitting.

Tim

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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDSapp View Post
I am back from Mexico so now I am working on getting my CO2 up where it needs to be.

I did some tank work last night;

I got the timer on the regulator starting an hour before lights on and off an hour after the lights go out.
I moved the drop checker down closer to the bottom of the tank.
I also adjusted the bubble counter higher than the 8 per second. I can't go much higher than what it is or I start getting big bubbles popping out of the reactor.


I'll be testing my water tonight when I get home from work to see where the PH is sitting.

Tim
I would suggest your co2 shut off time be an hour BEFORE lights out as your starting point as once the lights go out, the plants stop consuming co2, and your water column should have plenty of co2 to make that last hour.
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