Setting Up Co2 for the first time - The Planted Tank Forum
 6Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
TDSapp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Frisco, Tx
Posts: 152
Setting Up Co2 for the first time

So I have started collecting the parts to put CO2 on my 150 gallon tall tank.

I bought a new 5lb Aluminum tank, a Regulator and a Nilocg CO2 drop checker from Amazon. Now I need to buy the CO2 safe air lines and build my Reactor.

I bought this regulator to give it a try https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07M7FFNYV. It is a regulator that includes the standard two gauges, a needle valve, a solenoid, and a bubble counter. It's sold as an aquarium regulator and has a price of $24.99. I will give it a review at a later time.


For the reactor I am going to build one using PVC. There are several examples that I am going to combine in mine. I will be working on that this weekend.


Tim
sagarjoshi likes this.
TDSapp is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 03:52 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Seattle
Posts: 35
I am also planning to start CO2 on my 75. I am interested to know how your project is going. Please keep us posted.

The regulator doesn’t have any reviews on Amazon. I am definitely looking forward hearing from you about it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
sagarjoshi is offline  
post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
TDSapp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Frisco, Tx
Posts: 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by sagarjoshi View Post
I am also planning to start CO2 on my 75. I am interested to know how your project is going. Please keep us posted.

The regulator doesn’t have any reviews on Amazon. I am definitely looking forward hearing from you about it.
Yeah I knew it was going to be a chance buying a regulator with no reviews but I figured with Amazon I can always return it. If there are issues after the return date I am only out $25.00... Cheaper than anything else I have on this tank.


So here is my topic of discussion now. A reactor works by routing water and the CO2 bubbles through a chamber that has an impeller or a bunch of bio-balls to allow more contact time between the CO2 and water. That's easy enough and I even have a T between the pump and the tank. When I was running saltwater this is what I used to push water over to the refugium.

But in thinking about my current set up I am starting to wonder if I have another solution. An easier one...

My tank has a 60 gallon sump in the stand. The bean animal overflow spills the water from the tank to the sump where I have filter floss around the overflow outlets, and then a mesh bag of bio-balls. Then I have a Mag 7 (or maybe 5) that takes the water from the sump and back up to the top of the display tank.

Here is the mag 7 pump I am talking about.

Name:  41TNPTPRMlL.jpg
Views: 203
Size:  25.4 KB

See the impeller cover with the input collar on the side. I was just thinking... What would happen if I drilled a hole in that collar and put in an air line barb and connected the CO2 line to it there. That way the CO2 would be mixed with the water as soon as it enters the pump, goes through the impeller and then up the line to the tank. So besides being mixed with the impeller the remaining bubbles in the water would remain in contact with the water up to the tank. The return line is a hard 3/4" PVC with a couple bends in it and the is around 5' of line to the tank. Seems like it would have more contact time versus just going through a 12" reactor.


I also have the option, for testing at least, to use the "pre-filter".

Name:  41qysw0M0EL.jpg
Views: 198
Size:  27.2 KB

I could drill a hole in the back of the pre-filter and put the air line barb there. That way I would not be drilling the impeller cover and taking a chance of getting metal into the pump. I would make sure the CO2 enters at the bottom of the pre-filter and then it would have no choice but for the bubbles to pass in front of the pump input.



So how does this sound to everyone? Anyone done their CO2 this way?


Tim
TDSapp is offline  
 
post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 05:46 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (3/100%)
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 29
Depends on what you are going for with your reactor. Are you going for 100% dissolution, or are you ok with micro-bubbles and a "Sprite" look in the tank? For complete dissolution and no bubbles, the idea is to maximize contact time between the co2 injected bubble and water flowing through the reactor so that the bubbles can complete dissolve. I suspect that injecting the co2 into the impeller and straight up the tube into the tank will leave you with lots of co2 bubbles in the tank. Mind you, that is not necessarily a bad thing as even submerged plants can absorb gaseous co2 from the bubbles, and more efficiently than fully dissolved co2.

ETA: Just noticed as well, that something like a Rex Griggs reactor is a much larger tube than the flow tube, thus slowing flow down considerably, so actual bubble contact time in an 18"x2" tube is far longer than even in five feet of 3/4" constant flow.
straha20 is offline  
post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 06:39 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1,646
What is cavitation? Simply defined, cavitation is the formation of bubbles or cavities in liquid, developed in areas of relatively low pressure around an impeller. The imploding or collapsing of these bubbles trigger intense shockwaves inside the pump, causing significant damage to the impeller and/or the pump housing. (stolen from a pump web site)


I don't think injecting gas into you impeller area is a great idea.
Kubla is offline  
post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
TDSapp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Frisco, Tx
Posts: 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
What is cavitation? Simply defined, cavitation is the formation of bubbles or cavities in liquid, developed in areas of relatively low pressure around an impeller. The imploding or collapsing of these bubbles trigger intense shockwaves inside the pump, causing significant damage to the impeller and/or the pump housing. (stolen from a pump web site)


I don't think injecting gas into you impeller area is a great idea.
Don't know if it would be a problem with the Mag pumps.

"All sizes of T-Mag pumps come standard with double-end supported shafts to prevent shaft or bushing damage during cavitation. This double-end support prevents the axial forces from breaking the pump shaft that is a common failure for many other manufacturers."

But it is something to consider.


Tim
TDSapp is offline  
post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:34 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 146
I have a DIY CO2 system on my 36 gal and run the CO2 outlet directly into the HOB filter inlet. I've had it running this way for a couple years with no impeller problems, and I'm guessing that the diffusion rate is pretty high since most of my plants are pearling. Supposedly, reactors allow for the highest diffusion rate, but the question is whether the cost is worth the slight difference.
Quicksilver2299 is offline  
post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-11-2019, 08:58 PM
Wannabe Guru
 
PTrader: (6/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 1,646
Quote:
Originally Posted by TDSapp View Post
Don't know if it would be a problem with the Mag pumps.

"All sizes of T-Mag pumps come standard with double-end supported shafts to prevent shaft or bushing damage during cavitation. This double-end support prevents the axial forces from breaking the pump shaft that is a common failure for many other manufacturers."

But it is something to consider.


Tim
You don't want cavitation. Especially when the alternative is inexpensive and will work.
Kubla is offline  
post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
TDSapp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Frisco, Tx
Posts: 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
You don't want cavitation. Especially when the alternative is inexpensive and will work.

You are correct... And yesterday on the way home from work I stopped at Lowes and picked up a few PVC parts so I can make my reactor.


On the pressurized CO2 front, I received the tank and regulator yesterday. Gotta love the Amazon next day delivery.

I was both surprised and disappointed at the same time.

First I was surprised by the size of the regulator. I guess I am just used to regulators for Scuba and welding. This is small! I added the dime to the picture for a bit of scale.

Click image for larger version

Name:	20190411_171358.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	134.9 KB
ID:	880447

It appears to be complete and everything advertised was in the box. Speaking of the box. It was just a plain white box with a couple printed labels stuck onto it. It looked like it was going to be in a Manatee box but it is a white label box with none of the vendor details on it.

Click image for larger version

Name:	20190411_171534.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	136.0 KB
ID:	880449

Name:  20190411_171542.jpg
Views: 176
Size:  75.8 KB

The disappointment of the delivery came from the tank. It was packed ok and it is pretty. It had a nylon sleeve around it and then wrapped in bubble wrap. But then it was put into a box that was too big with a single piece of paper. But no damage.

Click image for larger version

Name:	20190411_171647.jpg
Views:	21
Size:	107.8 KB
ID:	880453

When I was searching for the tank it was listed as a Luxfer tank. However when ordered and received it somehow got replaced with a generic tank. According to the tanks manufacture stamp this tank was made by a Chinese company.

Click image for larger version

Name:	20190412_075224.jpg
Views:	22
Size:	85.9 KB
ID:	880455

Another disappointment was the manufacture date. November of 2017... So with a tank that requires a 5 year inspection I have already lost almost a year and a half. I started the process to return it but I may end up keeping it. It's a good price and if I fill it soon I still have until May 11th to return it.

Tim
TDSapp is offline  
post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 05:50 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PlantedRich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 11,709
Whoa! Warning! This is an area where it is very easy to waste a bunch of time and money if we are not extremely careful! And Amazon is one of those places where we do find a lot of that potential, so be very careful when you go there.
Step one for me when judging a product is looking at the ads to see how I feel about trusting them. Do they give me info or just lots of hype? Is their info accurate or blowing smoke?
A couple things jump out when I look at this reg as it is way too low priced to fit most of what we know about good reg sets. I first noticed that they are not really familiar/ careful with reg descriptions when they ID the low pressure gauge reading to 2000 PSI and the high reading to 150 PSI . Second is the way they state that it fits "standard US tanks" without mention of WHAT standard like CGA 320. That leaves me to wonder if it actually fits your tank or does it fit paintball tanks?
A small but important point may be the power used as the written description mentioned 110AC but the pictures clearly show 220 AC needed.
Sometimes "way too cheap " is just that and not the bargain it seems. It may work fine and be a good cheap alternate but do check before trusting it fully.
Quesenek and benshrimp like this.
PlantedRich is offline  
post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 06:12 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Portland, Or
Posts: 18
Tim,

I wouldn’t worry about the tank, in my experience I trade my empty tank for a filled one every time I “refill “ my c02. Some of the tanks I get back are beat up and strange colors. If the tank is going to visible, I would get a tank sock to cover it up.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
erie is offline  
post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
 
TDSapp's Avatar
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Frisco, Tx
Posts: 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
Whoa! Warning! This is an area where it is very easy to waste a bunch of time and money if we are not extremely careful! And Amazon is one of those places where we do find a lot of that potential, so be very careful when you go there.
Step one for me when judging a product is looking at the ads to see how I feel about trusting them. Do they give me info or just lots of hype? Is their info accurate or blowing smoke?
A couple things jump out when I look at this reg as it is way too low priced to fit most of what we know about good reg sets. I first noticed that they are not really familiar/ careful with reg descriptions when they ID the low pressure gauge reading to 2000 PSI and the high reading to 150 PSI . Second is the way they state that it fits "standard US tanks" without mention of WHAT standard like CGA 320. That leaves me to wonder if it actually fits your tank or does it fit paintball tanks?
A small but important point may be the power used as the written description mentioned 110AC but the pictures clearly show 220 AC needed.
Sometimes "way too cheap " is just that and not the bargain it seems. It may work fine and be a good cheap alternate but do check before trusting it fully.
So I knew that I could be taking a chance. But the nice thing about Amazon is I can easily return it and have around a month to test it. I am also not worried about the mislabeling the two gauges as long as I know the difference between 2000 psi and 150 psi.

As for the power overseas 220v is a common voltage so I am not surprised to see 220v on there. I also noticed on one of the other pictures the 110v label. Just as long as I get the american version I think I will be OK.

I got it knowing there may be issues but I might as well at least try it.


Tim
TDSapp is offline  
post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 08:15 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PlantedRich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 11,709
As long as one is aware of the risks going in and willing to spend the time, etc. that mistakes involve, it works.
The gauge issue is not one of the gauges being wrong, so much as a general "attitude" thing that often shows up in small points that the relate to the equipment over the long term. Careless or sloppy advertisements often also means careless and sloppy products, so I like to look very closely before getting into trying to use and enjoy something that is a general cheap item that takes all the fun out of the game.
Not meaning to be critical but just wanted to make you aware that CO2 rarely comes cheap and it is a minefield full of bad equipment. When I see the signs of ESL in the ads and they are running under such generic names as David Wilson but shipping obvious Chinese made, it just gives me a bad feel for the whole thing. Perhaps there is a real David Wilson, selling a reg that really does fit a CGA 320 and sells for under $50 but then I don't know of anybody here on the forum who has found that deal!
Quesenek likes this.
PlantedRich is offline  
post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 08:31 PM
Algae Grower
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 10
I started with that very regulator, it fits CGA 320, and it's 110v compatible. It worked fine, was a little finicky to adjust but would hold where it's set. The only BAD thing about this regulator even though it has 2 gauges it's a SINGLE stage regulator. This means that "End of Tank Dump" is possible as the tank gets low. Be careful if you have fish as EOTD can kill them. Basically the single stage fails to regulate the pressure when the tank is low and will release more c02 than it's set for.

Another thing is most places will swap your tank unless you have a home brew store in your area willing to fill it. In my area I paid $67 + $13 for the first tank, and each swap is only $13.
kest874 is offline  
post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 02:55 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PlantedRich's Avatar
 
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 11,709
Do you ever get the feeling your posts may just "disappear" at times?
I thought that I had posted a reply last night but it now doesn't show??
I have to admit that I'm most likely wrong in my guesses! If there is a person with hands on experience, that is certain to be better info than my quesses. I still will always advise caution when using new equipment as we do all have that old "learning curve" thing and it can jump up to bite us when we are not fully aware yet.
The fitting on this reg did not look to be the normal CGA320 but it may fit, so I would want to take some extra care when using the wrench supplied on a different looking fitting as it may be one of those cases where they provide a wrench which is not really good for the job. I recommend doing a soap test on any fitting/part of the CO2 supply that I've moved or changed as the meters will not tell us when we leave a leak until ALL the liquid portion has been lost and only the gas is left.
Another guess? I might guess that a large percentage of us lose a tank of gas through leaks before we get it down right.
Quesenek likes this.
PlantedRich is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
CSM+B Toxicity Experiment aclaar877 Fertilizers and Water Parameters 656 10-08-2018 12:12 AM
Paintball Co2 Injection DIY Setup with Tons of Photos Jaggedfury DIY 2413 02-18-2017 06:54 AM
Im so confused please Help partobe Low Tech Forum 2 09-10-2011 04:26 PM
Is nightime the right time for CO2? houstonhobby Fertilizers and Water Parameters 3 01-12-2009 08:31 PM
Thinking about getting pressurized Co2 system wyeto General Planted Tank Discussion 17 07-29-2008 07:35 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome