CO2 trouble help/opinions please. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 03:33 AM Thread Starter
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Question CO2 trouble help/opinions please.

So I am back into the hobby after a long hiatus and am currently cycling my two new nano tanks. This is the first time I am using pressurized co2. My set up is as follows paintball tank to solenoid to splitter with needle valves for each output to bubble counter/check valve combo to in tank diffusers. The problem I am running into is that one of the tanks co2 seems to not flow all the time. It seems like when the timer switches the gas on the one aquarium line just doesn't flow (no bubbles at counter). Anybody have an idea what might be going on? If I open the needle valve to a heavy flow it will kick in bubble like crazy till I close it off back to where it was and then it flows normally. I'm wondering if it could be water in the lines? Bunk check valve? What should I do or check?
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 10:56 AM
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Someone on here was just having the same issue. I think they solved it by making sure the diffuser was the same depth in both aquariums. The water pressure in one was slightly higher and that meant all the co2 went out the other one (path of least resistance and all that).

Let us know if it works.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
Someone on here was just having the same issue. I think they solved it by making sure the diffuser was the same depth in both aquariums. The water pressure in one was slightly higher and that meant all the co2 went out the other one (path of least resistance and all that).

Let us know if it works.
I think the other person was only using a single needle valve and split the line after into the two tanks. If using two different needle valves like @boyago is, I'm not so sure if the depth of the diffuser matters as much. (the depth does matter to begin with, but once you set the flow via the needle valve to compensate it should continue to work the same way the next time it kicks on). What kind of needle valves are being used here? Sounds like it could be an issue with either a less than great needle valve, or perhaps the check valves are too strong. I've never worked with a paintball setup. What kind of working pressure are you running?
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 06:28 PM Thread Starter
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The brand of splitter/needle valve is uxcell $20 off amazon. The check valves were also random possibly lower end off amazon. I have to set the regulator to just under 40 psi to get valve to open. I’ve got it set to 40 now. That seems high to me but I’m a noob so...
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 08:40 PM
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there is a leak.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-28-2020, 10:23 PM
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I agree with @Bettatail.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-29-2020, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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there is a leak.
No bubbles from soap and water solution. Also the stoppage is intermittent. After I open the needle valve allot then turn it back down to a regular rate it acts normal for a while. Do you think the no bubbles till 40PSI is weird? Most of what I read says pressurized system operate between 30 and 40 but it seems like my bubble counter/check valve only pass gas near 40.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-29-2020, 03:17 AM
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I still suspect there is leak, leakage is the most sneaky problem of a co2 system that acting erratically, so looking harder.

what co2 system you use? is there any way that you can turn off the co2 flow from the paintball tank, and lock the pressurized co2 in the system?
if you can turn the co2 flow off, you can also block the end of the air hoses where they are connected to diffusers or reactors, then you will have 40 psi co2 lock in the system. wait for a while or longer, up to about one hour, see if the pressure still at or around 40 psi, if not, there is leak.


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-29-2020, 03:49 PM
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Could be leak but you can also raise your working pressure and see if that helps. I have a manifold feeding two tanks one is in a totally different room and has ~20ft of tubing connecting the co2. I get stable bubble counts @>35psi pressure and bad swinging any less.

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-29-2020, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Unfortunately paintball tanks have no valve to shut off. They have a pin that is depressed when the tank is threaded into that regulator or adapter which releases the gas. The only was to cut off the flow from the tank is to unthread it which will also decompress the gauge.

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Could be leak but you can also raise your working pressure and see if that helps. I have a manifold feeding two tanks one is in a totally different room and has ~20ft of tubing connecting the co2. I get stable bubble counts @>35psi pressure and bad swinging any less.
What are safe operating pressures? I'm already at 40psi. What point do you start blowing off your components?
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2020, 12:06 AM
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Quote:
If I open the needle valve to a heavy flow it will kick in bubble like crazy till I close it off back to where it was and then it flows normally.
Sounds like check valve issue..Also some bubble counters have them built in..
Well a leak is still possible..

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2020, 01:13 AM
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Sounds like check valve issue..Also some bubble counters have them built in..
Well a leak is still possible..
I bought a nice brass check valve a year ago that just plain didn't work. Wouldn't let gas through no matter what. Can you take off the check valve/counter and see if you can blow through it? If not you found your culprit.


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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2020, 03:43 AM Thread Starter
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I bought a nice brass check valve a year ago that just plain didn't work. Wouldn't let gas through no matter what. Can you take off the check valve/counter and see if you can blow through it? If not you found your culprit.



I can not blow through them. They are the check valve and bubble counter combos. I thought I should be able to blow through them so I bout a couple more check valves off amazon (just the check valves not bubble counter) and the one I opened I could not blow through either, so I assumed that was normal. I guess I'll order a couple more from a more reputable source. Thanks.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2020, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyago View Post
I can not blow through them. They are the check valve and bubble counter combos. I thought I should be able to blow through them so I bout a couple more check valves off amazon (just the check valves not bubble counter) and the one I opened I could not blow through either, so I assumed that was normal. I guess I'll order a couple more from a more reputable source. Thanks.
I think you can not blow through most of them, most people can blow out air pressure about 1- 2 psi, but the rubber core check valves are 3 - 5 psi cracking pressure.

once the air/co2 blow through check valve, the holding pressure is lower than the cracking pressure.
if a low quality check valve has a big gap between high and low swing holding pressure, the air/co2 should go through the bubble counter like purging of bubbles once in a while.

check leak, check the hell out of it.

BTW, if you can show a picture or two of your co2 system, it is easier for fellow hobbyists to find the problem.


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 03-01-2020, 11:19 AM
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I can't speak for all check valves but I have been able to blow through the plastic ones I have bought at pet stores and off amazon. Not easily mind you but I didn't have to exhale my liver either. /shrug


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