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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! It's been a long time since I've posted, but I ran into an issue that I am hoping someone can help me figure out. I've got s UNS mini dual stage regulator and it was running great. Well until my paintball canister ran out and the local Dick's couldn't fill it for about 2 months. So the diffuser sat in the water. I just got my tanks refilled and set everything back up.

Day 1: Everything worked just fine. I set the bubble counter to where I wanted, had CO2 disbursement and all was well.

Day 2: When I looked at the bubble counter it was really slow. So I adjusted the pressure up just a tad to about 30 psi and got bubbles and adjusted.

Day 3: I diffuser disc blew off the diffuser stone, water was missing from the bubble counter, and the paintball tank was covered in ice and spun free. Needless to say every fish perished. :(

It seems like there was a build up of pressure. But I'm not sure where. Could it have been a clogged diffuser stone? I do have a check valve midway, but I blew through it just fine. I did notice when I tried to blow through the bubble counter I couldn't. Is that normal? I've gotta order another diffuser so it'll be a few days before I can get it back up and running, but I'd like to minimize the chance of doing this again.

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Thanks for any insight!
 

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16g rimless cherry shrimp, 20g cube dwarf cichlid, 40g breeder nano community.
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Could it have been a clogged diffuser stone?
Yes, a clogged diffuser would be my guess. Sorry for the loss of all your fish.
 

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Many bubble counters have built in check valves.

You should get some air through a " free flowing" bc afaict.

The only major pressure point is the atomizer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both! I've been looking over everything for the last couple of days and i think it was indeed the diffuser was the problem along with the regulator not being tightly secured. i was able to push the bubble counter's check valve open pretty easy with a paper clip, so I think that worked as it should.

I think the diffuser was clogged enough where the bubble counter's check valve wouldn't let the any more CO2 move through the line, which put pressure on the regulator itself which allowed it to spin (because I didn't tighten the regulator enough to the cannister). It spun it just enough to hit the pin and the flood gates open. Pop goes the diffuser and gas just flowed through.

I've ordered a new diffuser and a new inline check valve that I'm going to install tomorrow. But I'll manually turn it on/off for the next few days so I can monitor it and avoid another gassing.
 

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Quote:
I think the diffuser was clogged enough where the bubble counter's check valve wouldn't let the any more CO2 move through the line, which put pressure on the regulator itself which allowed it to spin (because I didn't tighten the regulator enough to the cannister). It spun it just enough to hit the pin and the flood gates open. Pop goes the diffuser and gas just flowed through

I may be missing what you are saying but as I'm reading it, I do not agree with this idea. When restarting, you did see things working correct? That means CO2 was moving through the system and out the diffuser.
If that part is correct on what you are saying, the reg had to be screwed on the tank well enough to press the pin and let CO2 move, so letting the reg move to hit the pin to open the flow is not correct as flow was already there????
I might be more inclined to think the diffuser was pretty well stopped up and you had adjusted the pressure and flow to compensate for the higher pressure needed to force flow through a restricted diffuser. When the diffuser disk finally became a touch more restricted, with the higher than normal pressure, the disk popped off the diffuser and that left the higher pressure through a much, much, less restricted diffuser blow lots of CO2 into the tank.

Compressed gas tanks will often ice when there is too much flow reducing the tank pressure too fast. Common on propane as well as CO2 tanks.

A small seeming item to avoid this in the future may help?
If you find you are needing to turn the pressure up to get the same flow through a diffuser, remind yourself to check the diffuser for beginning to restrict the flow and clean it before going higher on the pressure.

But this is theory that all needs to be checked on what you actually see at your tank! Review and see if it fits what might have happened?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think you're probably more on the right track than I was @PlantedRich I think it was the clogged diffuser that caused my issues. I did indeed have to bump the pressure up on the regulator to get CO2 and once that diffuser popped off, the floodgates were opened. :( But what you stated about the regulator being tight enough to engage the pin makes total sense. Maybe in my panic, I got a boost of super human strength and twisted it by hand. LOL!

The good news and update is, I bought a new check valve and diffuser and everything is working as it should. I didn't trust it on a timer just in case, so I turned it on and off manually for a few days. It would just fine. No need to regulate the pressure and the regulator is tight as a glove. You live and learn! Thank ya'll for helping me just talk this out. The one thing I do see is I think I will have to upgrade from the paintball cannister to a 5# tank. It's overkill for my setup, but I know I can easily swap that out and not worry about having to wait on Dick's to get their stuff together.
 

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Sometimes we just to to talk it over and then there is the case where we have to "rationize" the expense to get past it???
Thinking of expense of a different tank and reg can be a tough one but then if we look at things in a different way, it may take the sting out a bit.
Lots depesnd on the situation like tank size which changes amount used but there is also the cost in actually price per pound of gas as well as time and effort of going for the tank refill. Lots of variables to make for different answers for different folks.
I found large tanks like 10 and 20 pound made sense for me. One big one was that the expense we are charged is mainly not the gas but the time spent on each tank fill, so a twnety pound is only slightly more than a 10 pound----not double as we might expect. Then there is the paintball tank refill which puts it over into "specialty" pricing. In other words, how much the the market bear?
If selling to a bunch of welding guys, the price better be much lower than for a group doing it for fun on weekends!!
So my best value on refills was going about ten miles up the road, so taking that trip far less often with 20 pound tanks was a winner for me but if a guy is riding a bus to get a refill there is a lot of value in paintball, even if it is more expensive.
So do look at the options and you may find it worth the extra price to not have to spend as much time, effort, and gas money to do the change as often?? One thing I have learned is that tank change time is often when things get broken, leaks get left or something goes wrong! The less often I do the tank change, the smoother things run!

See what I mean about rationize ? I can lie myself into lots of things!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh I'm totally with you on getting that rationalizing just right! Not for me, but for the boss lady who watches over the joint account! LOL I'll take a look at 10# after doing some research I see it's not that much larger than the 5#. I think I can hide that just fine. Plus I've got just a 28 gal, that should last me a lonnngggg time! But then I was thinking that I could use it to fill my paintball canisters that I already have and fill them myself! Butttt of course that's more expenses with getting a filling adapter andddd another regulator. But I can at least dream and do it piece by piece. I told my wife about it and she was more open than I expected. But that might have just been her being nice. I'm so late responding because we had a prolonged power outage this week and I'm pretty sure most, if not all my fish died. :( But I'm holding out hope until we get back home tomorrow!

But one way or another... an upgrade is coming! Thanks for the great ideas and "rationalization". They really help get the ideas churnning.
 
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