co2 and vacation - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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co2 and vacation

I'm leaving for a week tomorrow morning and noticed during cleaning my main tank that the pressure on my co2 tank is ~600 psi. I know that pressure stays constant (~800 psi) until the tank really starts to run low, so it appears that I'm on the precipice.

I'm running ~3 bps on a 54 gallon corner tank and wondering what my best option here is. I don't really have time to run to the welding supply store to refill tank and even if i could, I'd be very leery about setting up a brand new tank and then leaving for a week.

So, it seems that my best option is to let things ride and hope I don't run out of co2 (I have a dual stage reg so even if I did, I don't think it's possible to have EOTD). Or, given that I only really have low tech plants (crypts, anubias, buce, moss) in the tank, I could just shut down the co2 before I leave and have no worries at all.

What say y'all??

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 03:37 PM
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I don't run co2 but if it were me I would shut it down and go on vacation with no worries.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by reddhawkk View Post
I don't run co2 but if it were me I would shut it down and go on vacation with no worries.
Are you sure about this? From my knowledge this will cause dis-balance in the tank, by the time he comes back his tank will be packed with algae most likely.

Injection of CO2 in a non CO2 tank should be gradual, and the other way around when stopping CO2 injection.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by aubie98 View Post

So, it seems that my best option is to let things ride and hope I don't run out of co2 (I have a dual stage reg so even if I did, I don't think it's possible to have EOTD). Or, given that I only really have low tech plants (crypts, anubias, buce, moss) in the tank, I could just shut down the co2 before I leave and have no worries at all.



What say y'all??
Shutting it off does seem the safer route. But remember to lessen your light! I usually go with half strength on the whole schedule but in this case, maybe even half the duration as well? Heck, like you said, with your plants, u could probably get away with 2 hrs of light a day.

U probably would want to lessen your light anyway because who is dosing while you are away? Unless you've fattened them up or are front loading, you'll run out of ferts.

If I was really comfortable with my co2 setup and have let it run down to 0 before, sure, I'd let it ride. But I'd still reduce light in some form for the insurance.

Good luck and enjoy your trip! And stay safe!


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 12:56 PM
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I get at least two weeks after the pressure starts to fall on a 20lb tank, my co2 is on and off for 8 hrs (co2 controller) and is a steady stream.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 02:10 PM
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Why wouldn’t you just replace with a full tank before you leave? New to all this and I travel for work so curious.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 02:50 PM
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Why wouldn’t you just replace with a full tank before you leave? New to all this and I travel for work so curious.
Read OP 1st post


I don't think you have to worry about running out of co2 especially with the dual-stage. If the system has been solid and you trust the needle valve while your away then just leave it. That would be the biggest risk. I let my cylinders go bone dry with just a single-stage and never had a problem in 10+ years. I would bet most don't check the falling pressure.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 03:49 PM
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I don't think you have to worry about running out of co2 especially with the dual-stage.
2 stages replenish co2 magically? what brand? I need in! just messin with ya.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 05:15 PM
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2 stages replenish co2 magically? what brand? I need in! just messin with ya.
Very funny! Did I say that? I guess it looks like it could mean that, just meant if it runs dry - no problem.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 02:25 AM
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If you decide to run the tank until it's empty, prop the tank up on something so the regulator is above the water level of the tank. That way if you do run out of pressure you're not relying on a check valve only to keep the line from siphoning water into the reg and trashing it
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 12:17 PM
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Whichever you do, make sure you verify the bps was stable for at least two days, meaning your observation ought to begin earlier so you have time to make adjustment. When I was new in CO2, I made the fatal mistake of making a last minute adjustment before I left for vacation.

I replaced with a new cylinder for fear that it would run out. But I didn't spend enough time to verify the bps was stable. The final nails in the coffin was I made one final needle valve adjustment just before I left because I wasn't happy with the bps. When I returned home 2 week later, there was a foul smell when I entered the home. 10 lb of CO2 was dumped in 2 week, all fish dead, and algae was all over. The tank had turned into a green, foul smelling fish soup as all dead bodies had disintegrated. After a complete clean up, and dosing of Excel daily for two weeks, all plants had recovered. I lost all the fish, but not a single plant which was over fed with CO2 and NH3 during my absence.

When the first gauge pressure drops to near zero, the cylinder can still last 2 to 3 weeks before running out depending on the size. Even if the cyclinder empties out during your absence, it won't kill your fish. The plants may suffer, but recoverable with remedial measures after you return home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by theatermusic87 View Post
If you decide to run the tank until it's empty, prop the tank up on something so the regulator is above the water level of the tank. That way if you do run out of pressure you're not relying on a check valve only to keep the line from siphoning water into the reg and trashing it

The check valve is to prevent back siphoning. If you can't trust your check valve, why install it. To check your check valve, install it submerged inside your tank, so you can observe it.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 06-30-2019 at 11:55 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 04:46 PM
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Unless you have someone that can monitor this while you're gone, safe to turn it off.


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Ultimately decided to keep the system running as normal and trust that the 2-stage regulator would prevent EOTD. Didn't want to cut the co2 off for a week b/c I didn't want to risk an algae outbreak (took me ~3 months of the tank running to get the initial algae issues resolved, did NOT want to go through that again!)

Everything was running normally when I got home and the tank pressure dropped from just over to just under 500 psi.
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There was only one catch and that was Catch-22.
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