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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've been dosing API Co2 Booster but know I should probably go to Pressurized on 2 of my tanks.

I stumbled across a listing for 1 x 20lb and 1 x 5lb Full Co2 Tanks on Craigslist w/ 3 regulators total.

The guy was using them for brewing.

What would I need to do to convert these regulators to use in aquarium stuff?

I have a PM-1 Bashsea reactor that I was thinking of modding for a reactor on the 75 gallon (inline w/ a rena filstar xp3).
 

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For sure you will need to find a solenoid and a timer. I got mine with a regular 2 stage regulator and I have it working like a charm. Did a diy bubble counter and a serger


RD♊CL
 

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You may need new needle valves. A good needle valve makes the whole CO2 regulator setup work well, and I don't think brewing regulators need that quality needle valves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You may need new needle valves. A good needle valve makes the whole CO2 regulator setup work well, and I don't think brewing regulators need that quality needle valves.
Ok, had to go back and do some reading to refresh myself.

I don't need a solenoid yet, I can do without it and add one later.

I suspect homebrew doesn't use needle valves. I will need a needle valve, just wondering if anyone local might sell one.

I have 2 brand new drop checkers, so I can run one tank in the house on the 75 and the other in the garage for the rest of my tanks is my thoughts.

This is the setup I'm looking at.

The biggest reason I'm looking at this is I know what those tanks would cost me alone.
 

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I would advise not waiting if the price is right. things that are a bargain don't last too long at times. What I see is all workable stuff and the added items are all somewhat cheap from there.
Careful trying to buy needle valves or solenoids that are easy and local to find. What we find working well are somewhat special and many of the easy to find are not good. Cheap solenoids are easy to find but don't work worth a flip as what we need is totally different than many solenoids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I meet up Monday to get them. It's just too good of a deal to pass up, especially with them full.

5lb will get handled first on the 75 inside. The 20lb is going to the garage. I have 2 tanks setup in the garage right now and I'm planning to add some more so I can split that and run all the tanks. :) Plus maybe a plant bucket. ;)
 

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I'm picking up both tanks with all the Regulators later today. :) I'll take pictures and post them so I can figure out what else I still need to get.

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That's what the Brewing regulator look like. But one of the regulator's looks like a Hydroponics regulator with a solenoid but no needle valve.

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That is more common for brewing but not much use to us. It is a cutoff to shut gas flow. So you have a couple ways to go depending much on what you want and can find works for you. I buy single stage reg of that general type, remove the cutoff and add the solenoid in the opening. Then I go either with the needle valve plumbed directly to the solenoid or I now find I like putting a barb fitting there and running tubing out to the needle valve.
Lots of personal choices to make so some reasons why I like to add the needle valve on tubing. One is that I find it too easy to break the small (expensive?) parts when they are all hard plumbed together. The reg is tight fitting on the CO2 tank and when the other two parts are added, I find it easy to knock something off when I'm changing out and moving the tank. My tank is under the stand and it is heavy and awkward to move in/out. So I like to mount the needle valve on the stand so that I can reach it to adjust and then let the rest be on tubing long enough to disconnect it and lay it back out of harms way before I move the CO2 tank. Looking at the picture, it might be noted that I turn things in such a way that it is easy for the way I use them rather than worry about "normal".
I need to adjust the needle valve far more than the pressure but I do look at both the working pressure and tank pressure often. That makes me put the needle valve out front, the working pressure knob so that I reach under with my right hand and have the gauges where I can see them. Normal doesn't bother me a bit!
I advise looking/thinking how you might best use what you have as it can make life just a bit easier if you don't have to fight the equipment on a daily basis.
The regs look okay but just need some quality needle valves and solenoids added. My bubble counter is inline down on the tubing but out of the picture.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you Rich that explained a lot that was confusing me. :)

One of these, the 5lb, is going under my 75. The 20lb is going into the garage to run multiple tanks eventually, and I know that is a whole different game. I'm already researching it. :)

I like your idea of the needle valve and bubbler. It's definitely more convenient and it gives a lot of ways to put the bubble counter outside the stand somewhere so you can easily check on it.

Now, he had this other regulator that I think is more up my alley for now and close to what I need. I believe with this one I will just need to locate a need valve and a couple barbs.

There is only one of these, other 2 are as above.

And yes my garage is a mess, it's a work in progress. lol
 

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I stumbled across a listing for 1 x 20lb and 1 x 5lb Full Co2 Tanks on Craigslist w/ 3 regulators total.

The guy was using them for brewing.

What would I need to do to convert these regulators to use in aquarium stuff?
Good stuff,
You can use it for beer kegs at 20 psi and aquariums at the same time. Aquariums need needle valves and bubble counters, other than that the infrastructure is the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We are trying to start an aquarium society in this Valley. Guess I might bl become the designated host since I can run the Kegs. ;-)

Aside from that my next step is a Co2 reactor. It seems things have changed since I was last involved.

I have a Bashsea PM-1 reactor that I would like to modify into a Co2 reactor. My original thought was to fill it with Bio balls and plumb the Co2 into it.

After reading and investigating others I'm not sure if the bio balls are necessary. From what I have seen lately it appears I should be able to run an AirStone in the reactor and that may be enough, but that's why I'm asking. :)

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The black item is the solenoid. think of it as a gate operated by electricity? Many do this with a timer so it can turn on/off by itself at the same times. These can work fine for many years- - or be duds! I might guess it would have a label that shows power like in watts? If it uses 7 watts, it may be something to watch closer than if it uses less power like 4 watts. More power used means more heat generated just like regular incandescent bulbs. A 60 makes more heat than a 25. The way we use solenoids, we turn them on and leave them for 6-8+ hours at a time and that lets all that heat collect and at some point the heat burns up any lube or it can make the metal swell/distort and then the little metal moving parts stick. That can leave the CO2 on full time and get too much and any fish may get gassed. The tricky part is that we can't really tell if we have the bad guy that will stick or one that runs fine for years!!!

I've let heaters kill three tanks full of really nice fish over the years and don't want to that ever again. That has moved me to the Clippard solenoids as they have a totally different method and also only use .67 watts. With less than a tenth of a watt, they make no heat to notice.

You may have a good one or not but if you reach a point where you are changing solenoids, I recommend giving the Clippard solenoids a look. Lots of info to learn about model numbers, etc. on them but I feel they are worth the study.

I use the Rex Grigg's style reactor with no complaints but in either style, I don't see value in bio-balls in the reactor as it adds a complication I like to avoid. KISS is my favorite way. What is important is that the CO2 and water stay in contact long enough for any bubbles to disappear BEFORE they go in the tank. No 7-UP look and it makes the CO2 stay in the tank longer. Teeny tiny bubbles don't float to the top and leave as quick as larger bubbles you can see.
 

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I did realize it's a solenoid. :) Whether it's the right one or not I've yet to test, but it makes a solid click when plugged in.

So my thinking on the PM-1 seems right. I will drill a hole in the bottom to run a line in and put an AirStone inside on the bottom.

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I'm not 100% sure but I believe it is a Victor Reinz CF 153. The solenoid does work, but I will be using it at a low dosage to start anyways because I can't find my drop checkers (I've seen then in the last two months but can't find them) and don't have a bubble counter yet.

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A click is usually a good sign on solenoids. It can be misleading on some as there are sometimes two parts. Most likely it is working but we can get our minds messed with when there is a metal part to close and a metal spring to return it. Sometimes we can hear a click but it is just the spring moving. Kind of weird but have heard it happens. Don't let me make you paranoid though!!
One sure way to test the solenoid is to just adjust the pressure down low and then open and close the solenoid so that you can feel the pressure come/go or stick the tubing in water and watch for bubbles. No adjustments, etc. in the solenoid, just a gate open or closed? Lots of times you can just blow through them as you plug/ unplug and tell if they are opening and closing.
Looks like you got a good start on a bunch of equipment.
 
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