Solenoide valve question... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 05:12 AM Thread Starter
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Solenoide valve question...

So I'm finnaly upgrading to pressurised co2... I was wondering if I absolutely have to buy a solenoid valve or not? Could I get away without it??

I'm not to sure about what i"m ordering, but this is what I'm going to order. Everything is from J&L aquatics...


- (10lb) aluminum c02 tank. = 159$
- Pressure regulator. = 75$
- Needle valve. = 25$
- Solenoid valve. = 85$
- bubble counter. = free.

Is this everything I need to buy?? Is there anything I'm missing?

75 gallon, fillstar xp2 with inline reactor, 12 Lb pressurised co2, 4.2 WPG-corallife 3x96 watt PC-, fluorite/silica-sand substright.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 05:36 AM
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I'm assuming you are quoting in Canadian dollars, so the prices seem OK. The two things that are missing from your list, though, are diffuser/reactor and CO2 proof airline.
Solenoid is optional, some use it to turn CO2 flow off at night, some run it 24/7.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 05:53 AM Thread Starter
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aahhhh... I see. Thanks for enlightening me Tino. So the solenoid valve is like a timer for your c02 tank.

I'm a bit confused about what kind of "co2 proof" hose I'm supposed to buy, and how do I connect the c02 tank to an inline reactor? It looks to me that the hose running from the bubble counter is very small in diamater to the big hose that runs from the water pump/reactor. (you have to have a canister filter to have an inline reactor right?)

75 gallon, fillstar xp2 with inline reactor, 12 Lb pressurised co2, 4.2 WPG-corallife 3x96 watt PC-, fluorite/silica-sand substright.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 06:25 AM
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Yes, reactor is usually installed in the output hose of a cannister filter, there's a small input hole in the reactor for CO2 airline.
CO2 proof airline is available from our sponsors - scroll down to the bottom of the main forum page.

PS. You don't nessecerily need a canister filter to use a reactor, as shown here http://a1272.g.akamai.net/7/1272/112...713_23958P.jpg
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 07:12 AM Thread Starter
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that link was extreamly helpfull. I can clearly see how everythihng works now. Using a power head is a great idea if you have no canister.

75 gallon, fillstar xp2 with inline reactor, 12 Lb pressurised co2, 4.2 WPG-corallife 3x96 watt PC-, fluorite/silica-sand substright.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
So the solenoid valve is like a timer for your c02 tank.
Without a solenoid, your Co2 source is always "on" unless you go through the trouble of turning the main valve to shut it off at the cylinder source.

With a solenoid, your Co2 source acts like an electrical appliance. Your Co2 cylinder is always open and running but the solenoid acts as a gate. You plug the solenoid cord into a wall socket and the gate stays open as long as it is getting power. When the gate is open, your Co2 system runs as usual. When the solenoid loses power, it closes the gate and your Co2 source is held behind this gate until the solenoid receives power again and opens.

The solenoid is not in itself a timer, but it allows you to essentially plug your Co2 regulator into a timer to run your Co2 just like your lights or anything else electrical. It gives you an added level of control over the system and allows you to automate your Co2 delivery to a certain extent but it is not necessary, just like a timer for your lights is not necessary.

For the record, it didn't take me long to decide to put my lights on a timer and my solenoid on a timer too.

Just wanted to make sure that was clear.

"Insanity: doing [or asking] the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 04:57 PM
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ph meter

A word should be spoken about ph meters and where they fit it. Many people purchase an electronic, continous read-style pH meter (like THIS one) and hook it up to the solenoid valve. Effectively, this allows you to shut off your co2 automatically when the pH drops to a certain level, like 6.8 or something. then as the pH begins to rise again, the co2 will turn back on via solenoid valve, etc etc.

Just something to think about in the future. . .
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-14-2005, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for yall's help... I am going to get the solenoid valve now. It comes in a package deal from J&L aquatics. Pressure reg, needle valve, solenoid valve, and bubble counter for $123.45 CDN

75 gallon, fillstar xp2 with inline reactor, 12 Lb pressurised co2, 4.2 WPG-corallife 3x96 watt PC-, fluorite/silica-sand substright.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 08:18 PM
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Shuks I am currently looking at such a package deal from JL. Could you let me know if you are pleased with it?
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-17-2005, 08:50 PM
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Shuks, just a word of caution... if you're considering the all in one Milwaukee regulator, bubble counter, solenoid, and needle valve, myself and a number of people have had major problems with the needle valve and getting a consistent bubble rate. I had a major disaster in my tank because of it.

Consider going for a higher end regulator or at least a better needle valve.
The bubble counter can be easily made. I used a DIY bubble counter to calibrate my pressurized system.

You may also want to get a pH controller to hook up to the solenoid. This way you won't have to worry about the pH crashing or changing too much. Standard silicon tubing also works, but is slightly less efficient than neoprene.

By the way Big Al's will match any price and beat it by 5%. Good luck!!
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2005, 07:09 AM
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Most people who have had trouble with the Milwaukee reg are able to ajust the problem by increasing the pressure. Also, Milwaukee has some steps to follow that they are happy to explain to people over the phone if someone is willing to listen and follow their directions. It is not a major problem, but an annoyance that some people do not want to deal with. The problem with silicone tubing is it leaks. It is a porus material and it also gets brittle and hard as it ages, which makes it even more prone to leaks. The leaks are micro fracture, barely noticable, but leaks none the less.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2005, 11:56 AM
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FYI the tubing size is 1/8 ID, 1/4 OD

Re-boot!
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2005, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Darn, you guys are getting me worried...

I dont want to buy a crap regulator and needle valve just to have it not work. What should I do? I dont know if the regulator or other c02 equipment is made by Milwaukee or not? Here is a link to exactly what I'm buying--->http://www.jlaquatics.com/phpstore/s...ID=cr-ppmilreg

Can somebody please tell me if this stuff is made by Milwaukee company, and if it is, Should I still buy it?

75 gallon, fillstar xp2 with inline reactor, 12 Lb pressurised co2, 4.2 WPG-corallife 3x96 watt PC-, fluorite/silica-sand substright.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2005, 06:32 PM
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That looks exactly like the Milwakee set up I bought a couple months ago.
(color of the dials, and non-descript high pressure knob).

But, I have not had a problem with setting mine up. I followed Momotaro's instructions here:
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ilwaukee+MA957, and thankfully I haven't had to touch it since then.

Walter

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-18-2005, 06:41 PM
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Another item that may be of use is a CO2 check valve to protect your investment from the tank water rushing back due to lack of pressure when the system is off.
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