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CO2 advice?

758 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  PlantedRich
I bought some new plants a few weeks back knowing that I'd want to put them in my new ada 45p when I got it set up but I had some extra clippings so I stuck them into my 1 gallon shrimp tank which was previously housing Java fern (got rid of those).

The new plants: (small amounts)
Mini pellia
Staurogyne repens
Monte carlo

I wasn't entirely sure if those plants absolutely needed CO2 but I had a fluval mini disposable canister kit laying around so I hooked that up and started dosing some light fertilizers from the other tank. The plants seem to be doing fine. I'm mostly just experimenting on this tank but I think I want to keep CO2.

The 1 gallon isn't sucking up that much CO2; I'm doing 1 bubble every 8 seconds which keeps my drop checker at a nice green and I'm also keeping it on 24/7. The problem I have is that the stupid fluval regulator doesn't have a pressure gauge, therefore I have to tweak the knob constantly when the canister gets low and the CO2 doesn't come out as well.

I was poking around online last night just looking for a small CO2 regulator replacement, really just one with a gauge on it, I think. I'm not interested in a paintball setup like I already have on the new tank. Mainly because it would be bigger than the 1 gallon. I'm not opposed to building a regulator but it does make me a bit nervous. I also don't want to do diy CO2 because it's messy.

Does anyone have any experience with CO2 for such a tiny tank? Or with any of the small regulators on eBay or co2art, etc? I also know the disposables get more expensive than paintball but I prefer them for now.

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(Edited my response because I think I missed the point after reading the question

Everything I've tried that was small/mini resulted in headaches and problems. These included small setups using various gram sizes of disposable co2 cartridges.

My nano tank might not be as "nano" as some, but my final (headache free) co2 setup ended up being the same full size regulator I use on my other aquariums, except with a smaller cylinder. The most important component for me was a needle valve capable of the extremely low flow I wanted (I like the swagelok 21/22RS valves).
I'll take a look at that needle valve, thanks for that. I agree that I might just be creating more headache for myself but I'm still sort of surprised that these smaller regulators aren't more available or reliable. I saw a comment in another thread here that smaller things usually end up costing more (to manufacture, maintain, etc) and I agree, just curious why it hasn't ever gained any new headway.

Anyway, I ended up buying some little thing from Aqua Labs on ebay so who knows if it'll work better or worse than the mini fluval. I'm interested in experimenting with it though. It seems like it might have a more precise controller knob and also has a pressure gauge. We'll see. Maybe I'll do a writeup about it.

I might someday purchase the same setup I have on my 10g (Aquatek with 10oz paintball) but the shelf I have the 1gal nano on is so small that I would have to do some clever hiding of equipment..

I did read that beer-making regulators are sometimes an option and nicely made, but they're fairly bulky too.
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Just to keep some options in mind?
If the new needle valve is funky or doesn't do the fine tuning as needed for a really small tank, there may be an easy alternate.
I might look at something like cranking the funky open full bore and letting it feed a truly good needle valve next in line. I don't find I need a really good reg and do use a beer reg but for the fine tuning, I put my money into better solenoids and needle valves and string them out on simple tubing to arrange them where and how I want.
I find the layout has some advantages over hard plumbing as it is very flexible and easy to rearrange if I move to another tank and it also cuts the odds of breaking a fitting when it is all on tubing.
Just a thought to keep in mind if you get into a funky valve.
Oh that's interesting. I hadn't even considered adding an additional (better) valve right after to take over the flow. I assume that would need some sort of male/female connector? Not airline tubing?

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All depends on how one wants to use/ mount them as well as what fittings one finds easy.
If one is using a fitting that requires 1/8 inch pipe, those are pretty easy for most of us to find at a big box like Lowe's Home Depot or a hardware. We can often find a 1/8 or 1/4 fitting for the hole and then it has a barb on the other end to stick tubing on. Where it really gets complex is that there are hundreds of different fittings and tube sizes to match up.
This is one setup that I used. It has a number of different fittings from the reg to get down to the size of the Clippard solenoid and then I wanted the needle valve and bubble counter out in front. This particular Fabco (NV-55) uses the small 10-32 fitting. I like this fitting for small size but I also have to go somewhere special like a RC airplane/car hobby shop as they have the 10-32 to barb fittings. The bubble counter is the cheap plastic from Fluval and is hanging on the tubing down out of sight.

Older bodies require concessions. Like seeing the bubble count and being able to adjust the needle valve without bending, stooping or kneeling!!

It's the old game of 2+2 equals 4 but so does 2+1+1 so we have to figure which works for us on each game.

A different way to get the same done. Tubing from the reg to the Clippard solenoid with hard pipe to the Fabco NV-55-18 which uses 1/8" pipes and then tubing to the bubble counter. Kind of an old soldier with signs of rust and tarnish but it still serves very well and I just put it back on a tank today.
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This is fantastic, thanks for all the detail!

I had done some light reading on diy regulators/setup but kind of assumed that there might be some sort of pressure buildup somewhere in tubes that would prevent me from doing something like this – having components of various sizes and locations along the line. But seeing your build makes me understand it a bit better. Glad I hadn't bought the regulator with solenoid on ebay then, since I can always add one later. I assume this is also the case with adaptors for co2 canisters, I'll just need to find the right fittings for the ones I want to use on the regulator.

I hear you though, I'd love to stop trying to dial in the co2 without getting on a chair so frequently as this tank is above my head! :p
Once you look at it for a few, it gets much more clear.
Reg with fittings to fit the tank of whatever type, solenoid as a gate, needle valve to fine tune, check valve to help keep any liquid from backing into the high dollar stuff and then to bubble counter and whatever to diffuse it into the tank water.
In between those important points, we need to figure out which widget to screw or clamp on to fit the next widget! Some like hard pipe, some like tubing but as long as we can get it all attached without leaks, they work the same.
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