Disposable fluval CO2.. nervous.. what else do I need? - Page 4 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #46 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 08:10 PM
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I don’t think you did! FWIW


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Ha, I was kidding. I know that I am a jerk.
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post #47 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 09:12 PM
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I think OP knows he will upgrade long-term. Just trying to help with what he has now to make it usable and safe for the fish. Disposable systems are not at all cost-effective long term and are usually not very precise.

They do sometimes work in certain situations. I did have an 88 gram one on a 2 Gal tank that didn't have fish and each cylinder lasted around 3 months. I just left it on 24/7 and it held. Used it for well over a year.
It can also make it more tolerable if you purchase the bicycle tire refills rather than the Fluval branded stuff. The former is much, much less expensive.
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post #48 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 09:37 PM
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It can also make it more tolerable if you purchase the bicycle tire refills rather than the Fluval branded stuff. The former is much, much less expensive.
Yep, good point. I was purchasing refills that are normally used for air guns which I got on the cheap compared to the ones that came with my Macro Aqua one. Didn't even think about bicycle tire refills.
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post #49 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Bunsen Honeydew View Post
I can't attest to how useful the chart itself is but I do have some questions about your explanations. I look forward to digging through it
Knock yourself out, once you have studied it to your satisfaction feel free to @ mention me if you still have questions.

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I can leave it on 24/7
Then why not do that?
It works well in small tanks with good gas exchange.
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post #50 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 11:29 AM Thread Starter
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That's another way to go with the airstone, but still somewhat risky since the co2 will only drop based on how much surface agitation is created. It should be pretty simple to remove a small diffuser from an aquarium and put it back in. Your lost me with "remove medication from my hands"
I have a medical condition. The chemicals on my hands (which allow me to move my fingers) are extremely toxic to fish. So I would be scrubbing down like a surgeon twice a day. I put the difuser towards the top, ill see how it works to put it in, and then take it out.

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post #51 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:38 PM
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I have a medical condition. The chemicals on my hands (which allow me to move my fingers) are extremely toxic to fish. So I would be scrubbing down like a surgeon twice a day. I put the difuser towards the top, ill see how it works to put it in, and then take it out.

Something I'm doing with my CBS 20 high: Running a sugar/yeast DIY CO2 generator in a 1.5 liter soda bottle.


Approximately 1 bubble every 3 seconds when warm.


The output from the bottle, after going through a counter is fed into a squarish DIY sponge block pseudo MattenFilter's open space near the inlet of a suction cup mounted powerhead. The impeller draws the CO2 into a long undulating bubble that pretty much disperses before being drawn into the impeller itself, although it does a tiny amount of burping.


This is a Crystal Black Shrimp tank and the GH is about 1~2, so I have to keep the CO2 levels low, probably less than 10 ppm at present.


At night I pull the CO2 'pipe' ( airline tubing..) out of the Mattenfilter block and rest it a couple inches below the surface where it just bubbles to the water's surface without diffusing, much. Then open the air inlet on the powerhead's outlet that streams a little air directly into the flow to oxygenate during the night. And before the lights come on reverse the process.


I don't have to touch any of the water with my hands with this system just move the very low pressure CO2 outlet to 2 different places.



It's pretty simple despite the lengthy description. I was setting up 24/7 CO2 generators way back in the past, ( I was doing planted tanks back in the early 1990's... My 29 gallon. This tank had an ancient Lee's HOB powerfilter with 2 giant J-tube siphons, and a shaded pole 110 volt AC motor that sat above the filter box, definitely not UL approved to today's use.



Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #52 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 02:09 PM
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I think you fundamentally don't understand that chart, I was in your shoes 3 months ago so I'll try one more time to explain it. In my opinion(and many others) more people have been misled by that chart than it helped.

First as an approximation the chart assumes your starting pH degassed of your tank water has 3ppm CO2 in it and nothing else. Your water must nothing in it Carbonates for hardness which is difficult to know unless you use RODI. (This is the approximation that fails and makes the chart unuseable for most)

To give you some typical theoretical values for what your degassed pH (from your tap/tank before CO2 injection) should be in order for the chart to be accurate here are some:

kh=1 ph=7
kh=5 ph=7.7
kh=10 ph=8

Now lets look on that chart at each kH value for what your final pH(after CO2 injection) should be for exactly 30ppm of CO2.

kh=1 ph=6
kh=5 ph=6.7
kh=10 ph=7

Exactly a one point drop gives you 30ppm at all Kh values in the chart(which isn't accurate at low Kh but I won't get into that now).

The chart is calculated using the following formula 3*kh*10^(7-ph)=[Co2]ppm

I will reiterate again that the chart does not take into consideration your starting pH it assumes it based on 3ppm CO2 dissolved in water and no other hardness but Carbonates.


Now I will ask you a question based on the chart:

1) If you have kh=5 water and your pH is 7.2(not 7.7) and your pH drop is to 6.7 how much CO2 can you estimate you injected using the chart? (Do you think it is the same as a tank with starting ph of 7.7?).

2) How about my tank which has a degassed pH of 8.0 and a kh=5 and my pH drop is to 6.5 how much CO2 should I assume I injected into my tank from the chart?

If you can answer those two questions you have gone far beyond the simple calculations used to construct that chart.

You don't have to take my word for it perhaps @plantbrain (Tom Barr here) might explain or you can go on barrreport.com and he might reply.

I have had a chance to look at the methodology a bit this morning. Sorry for the delay, I have been sequestered to the lab for a few days (I love when that happens). I don't understand why Barr would use such a simplistic methodology, especially since he was putting the outputs into a chart and there are several well established methodologies in the literature already. All he needed to do was cut and paste different formulas into his excel file.

There are a few things from your explanation that I either do not agree with or understand. The first is why you are putting so much weight on missing initial pH and GH. Since the amount of CO2 is a function of kH and pH, if you input the initial pH and kH you can find your initial CO2 concentrations, but you only need that if you are looking for how much needs to be injected. I don't find that terribly useful, what is more important is what parameters (pH) need to be met to take your CO2 concentrations to your desired levels.

Could you expand on the logic of why the GH is important? Since you KH measurement already captured your dissolve carbonate and bicarbonate, wouldn't any contribution be relatively negligible? Certainly temperature would be a larger factor, but that hasn't seemed to raise any concern.

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post #53 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 02:14 PM
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I have a medical condition. The chemicals on my hands (which allow me to move my fingers) are extremely toxic to fish. So I would be scrubbing down like a surgeon twice a day. I put the difuser towards the top, ill see how it works to put it in, and then take it out.
Sorry to hear that. Is it possible to wear a type of thin glove over year hand. You would need to do other maintenance as well. Anyway, whatever you do don't leave on 24/7. IMO it's risky if you care about your fish. No one given you advise knows how precise that needle valve is or how much co2 is being released at this point.


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post #54 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 02:22 PM
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Another solution that would not involve removing the diffuser, putting your hands in the tank or messing with your control valve would be to put a T on the CO2 line with a valve. When the valve is open, the CO2 would bled into the room because of the pressure on the diffuser from the water. Close the bleed valve and it would operate as normal.

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Last edited by Bunsen Honeydew; 05-16-2019 at 02:22 PM. Reason: typo
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post #55 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 02:30 PM
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Sorry to hear that. Is it possible to wear a type of thin glove over year hand. You would need to do other maintenance as well. Anyway, whatever you do don't leave on 24/7. IMO it's risky if you care about your fish. No one given you advise knows how precise that needle valve is or how much co2 is being released at this point.

Wasn't it explained earlier in this thread that the needle valve is very touchy for adjustment? The OP wasn't wanting to have to painstakingly have to reset the flow every morning. This is a simple inexpensive flow regulator IIRC and cannot be put on a solenoid and timer.


If one adjusts their CO2 flow to very slow bubble counts, yes, in fact you can run a CO2 system 24/7.


I did it for 3 years back in the 1990's with sugar yeast systems, on a couple plant tanks that I was trimming monthly and bringing in the trimmings to our club's meeting's auctions.
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20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #56 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 02:40 PM
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Wasn't it explained earlier in this thread that the needle valve is very touchy for adjustment? The OP wasn't wanting to have to painstakingly have to reset the flow every morning. This is a simple inexpensive flow regulator IIRC and cannot be put on a solenoid and timer.
Exactly, that's why I'm telling him to take it out so he doesn't have to turn it on/off or adjust. Not sure why your quoting me.


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post #57 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 02:44 PM
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Exactly, that's why I'm telling him to take it out so he doesn't have to turn it on/off or adjust. Not sure why your quoting me.

Because the OP doesn't want to. Because toxic hand cream issues.


I think Bunsen's idea has merit, although finding a decent diverter valve at the hobbyist/LFS level that has CO2 resistant seals might be an issue.

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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post #58 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 02:52 PM
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Because the OP doesn't want to. Because toxic hand cream issues.
What does that have to do with your comment below. That is exactly why I was having him remove at night without turning on/off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrampsGrunge View Post
Wasn't it explained earlier in this thread that the needle valve is very touchy for adjustment? The OP wasn't wanting to have to painstakingly have to reset the flow every morning. This is a simple inexpensive flow regulator IIRC and cannot be put on a solenoid and timer.

.
Good luck with the diverter, etc. He'll get rid of this system soon enough anyway, I was trying to make it usable RIGHT now in the most simple way. (since I've used one of these in the past, have you?) Why would I assume someone with a fish tank can't put his hands in the tank?


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post #59 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bunsen Honeydew View Post
Another solution that would not involve removing the diffuser, putting your hands in the tank or messing with your control valve would be to put a T on the CO2 line with a valve. When the valve is open, the CO2 would bled into the room because of the pressure on the diffuser from the water. Close the bleed valve and it would operate as normal.

Im not sure why I didnt think of that... I suppose many things were overwhelming outside of this tank, and that gave me tunnel vision. Now to find the worlds smallest valve, haha

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Sorry to hear that. Is it possible to wear a type of thin glove over year hand. You would need to do other maintenance as well. Anyway, whatever you do don't leave on 24/7. IMO it's risky if you care about your fish. No one given you advise knows how precise that needle valve is or how much co2 is being released at this point.
I do very detailed maintenance- just not twice a day... I basically trim/scape twice a week. I believe the fish would also appreciate me not digging into their habitat twice a day either. There is a line between planted care and fish care. I love my plants aesthetic and the design/growing process.... but at the same time breeding these guys to compliment the tank is ridiculously rewarding.



I think that valve is a good idea... I just have to find one that is small enough. I spend time with all my tanks throughout the day, so if I can find something suitable it has to be hella easier than when I was hooking up the bear of a canister filter/lily pipes.



Im going to look into the yeast idea as well... if nothing more it seems like a great experiment/project.

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post #60 of 101 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 03:32 PM
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Im not sure why I didnt think of that... I suppose many things were overwhelming outside of this tank, and that gave me tunnel vision. Now to find the worlds smallest valve, haha
It might be easier than you think. What size is your tubing, I can probably point you at something quickly.

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Assuming that it is 3/16", I'd start with a simple aquarium airline T and valve.

https://fishlab.com/bleed-valve/

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Last edited by Bunsen Honeydew; 05-16-2019 at 03:42 PM. Reason: added
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