I am having a problem with the CO2 system in my 40 gal freshwater aquarium (36"w x 15"d x 17"h). I am out of ideas about what else to try. Help would be much appreciated (probably something only a newbie would miss).
I am new to CO2--I have only used it since last fall. For a while I had an in-tank diffuser, but didn't get much result. The first week of January I installed an inline CO2 atomizer. It was marvelous for six weeks or so: I could see a very, very fine mist in the tank, the CO2 indicator solution changed appropriately over the day, and all the green guys pearled enthusiastically! On less than 1 bps.
Then I had a solenoid problem
and then a needle valve problem (half my fish died
) and I then had to refill my CO2 tank. It took awhile to get all that fixed.
When I started it all up again a few weeks ago I couldn't seem to get the CO2 to show up in the tank. This is my set up:
CO2 tank with Archaea dual-gauge regulator=>
=>Amano speed controller =>
=>Amano plastic check valve =>
=>inline bubble counter =>
=>stainless steel check valve
(or plastic airline coupler, tried both: see Note just below) =>
=>CO2 atomizer in the output line of Eheim 2215 canister
(on the line out of the canister, on the way to the aquarium).
(Note: the SS check valve is pretending to be a CO2-proof coupler, so that I can have a few inches of the flexible white CO2 tubing at each end of the bubble counter--because that is the only way I can disconnect the bubble counter to re-fill it. The rest of the tubing is the stiff black Co2-resistant type)
--The first gauge of my regulator still reads full. It has not visibly gone down over the last two weeks, so I assume it's not leaking anywhere, or not much. I can't hear any hisses.
--The second gauge indicates a pressure of about 35, as before. Needle valve mostly open; control is by Amano speed controller upline.
--The inline bubble counter responds appropriately, more or fewer bubbles depending on how I tweak the speed controller below it.
When I first had trouble (no indicator change, no mist, no pearling) I took everything apart, including the atomizer. It looked pristine inside but I cleaned it out with peroxide. I cleaned the canister tubing, changed the filter media, impeller. I double-checked all connections as I put it back together. The "Y" branch of the atomizer, which includes the CO2 input line, is on the canister-side of the return water line; the single stem is on the aquarium-side. I changed the CO2 indicator solution.
Even if I increase the bubble rate to a stream of barely-distinguishable bubbles, there is no change in the aquarium--no mist, no indicator change, no pearling. I tried using my old CO2 diffuser inside the aquarium (both bypassing or not bypassing the stainless steel check valve). There were a few streams of bubbles rising but not a heck of a lot, and--again--no sign of significant CO2 in the water. So I don't think the problem is the atomizer. The CO2 reaches the bubble counter just fine, but never makes it to the tank. And it doesn't seem to be the check valve/coupler.
Does anything come to mind that I may be missing?
My plants are getting hungry and the algae are getting way too happy
New to modern aquariums, learning feverishly with delight.
40g, LED + 1-fluor, 2 Eheim 2215s, inline heater, EcoComp 3", 2 airstones, lots rocks, wood. Recently started CO2, Archaea dual reg, inline atomizer.
Plants: Pogo, Anub, Sword, Hydphil, Microsor, Hydcotl.
Livestock: tomasi, buffaloheads, loaches (Kuhli, Mekong Blue, Queen), Pearl + yellow gouramis, m endlers, platies.
Fluval Spec 5.6: 2 f bettas
Fluval Spec 5.6 : no shrimp. I kill them every time...so far.