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Foster and Smith Semi-Auti Co2

3550 Views 23 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Left C
Has anyone had success with this system. I know I'd have to replace the tubing but is the rest of it good.
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I just ordered it yesterday!

ya, i've been told the silicone tubing is bad, but I will use it for atleast a month.
the only good thing is the regulator. The bubble counter is crap, the diffuser you'll probable get it broken ( I order it twice and twice it came broken), the timer ?, and you already know about the tubing.
IMO get the regulator from them, build a pvc reactor or get it from rex or somebody, get the rex's bubble counter or make your own.
I have been using that same tubing for over a year.. Works fine..
I've had my semi-automatic systems (2 of them) for a year now. I plant to use Rex's tubing and check valve but everything else is perfect. The C02 levels are right on and no problem. Some day I would like to replace the regulator and tank with bigger ones. Maybe a 5 lb cylinder and regulator for it, but for now the paintball system works fine.

I did notice that the regulator can be touchy. Be careful when you change out the bottle for a fresh one, turn the air on SLOWLY or the dials on the gage will "warp" sort of. My mistake, really.
I've had my semi-automatic systems (2 of them) for a year now. I plant to use Rex's tubing and check valve but everything else is perfect. The C02 levels are right on and no problem. Some day I would like to replace the regulator and tank with bigger ones. Maybe a 5 lb cylinder and regulator for it, but for now the paintball system works fine.

I did notice that the regulator can be touchy. Be careful when you change out the bottle for a fresh one, turn the air on SLOWLY or the dials on the gage will "warp" sort of. My mistake, really.
you are confused, he is not talking about the kit for paintball bottles. He is talking about the regular CO2 equipment, they have a package called semi-automatic system.

The azoo regulator is good.
I just got one a couple of weeks ago as well. The needle valve on mine will not stay at a constant rate? Have you seen that on yours ( if you have it set up yet)?
Foster Smith Co2 kit

....So it looks like the "Semi-automatic co2 system/kit" for $107.99 has the same AZOO regulator sold seperately for $89.99....?

Difference being, for $18.00 more on the kit you get a timer, bubble counter, glass diffuser and some tubing.... even if all those pieces are not the greatest, it's probably worth it for me as I want a glass diffuser anyway and the timer can go on my lunar light.

EDIT:I ordered the kit today...............I'm only a month and a half into DIY and tho it's working OK, I'm not convinced of stability nor do I think I can maintain the yeast method long term.
I also bought the system last year. The tubing is good. I have it running from the basement through the floor with no issues.

As for the glass diffuser, I had issues with it clogging all the time and ended up making a reactor from Rex's guide.

The bubble counter broke when I tried to open it. I replaced it with a DIY syringe counter.

Had I know this I would just had ordered the regulator. As for the timer, it works good and since I have bought 2 additional ones. One for the Co2 regulator, another for the air pump at night and a third for the lights.

Talk about a project. With a planted tank you are NEVER done where most projects actually end at some point. As soon as you like your tank and think it is perfect, you see someone else's and you get inspired!
Silicone tubing is extremely permeable to CO2, working fine and being good aren't something that you'll be able to actually see in this case. Plain old vinyl air line is better from a permeability standpoint; though silicone is more durable over time. This is why folks purchase things like norprene or the polyurethane "co2" tubing, as they combine durability with low permeability. It isn't that important, just know that you're losing CO2 through the tubing if you use silicone.
i have had the system for about 3 or 4 weeks, now, and can confirm a lot of what has been said: glass diffuser came broken (they replaced), and bubble counter sucks (sprung a leak around one of the seals and was bubbling C02.. used a bunch of silicone to plug it).

but otherwise has been working great. my 1st planted tank is doing very well with it. the diffuser hasn't plugged on me, seems to be working well. i've got consistent 30ppm in my tank.
For those that have this system:

Does it come with a washer for the tank connection ?

I forgot to ask for a washer when I picked up my Co2 tank today and I'm expecting the Foster kit regulator tomorrow.
For those that have this system:

Does it come with a washer for the tank connection ?

I forgot to ask for a washer when I picked up my Co2 tank today and I'm expecting the Foster kit regulator tomorrow.
Yes it comes with 2 washers.

I have two of these systems one has been setup for a year. ROCK SOLID. The other has been setup since last November. ROCK SOLID. Both my difussors came in unscathed. I haven't had a single problem with any of the components in the semi-auto system. I would highly recommend this system for ease of setup and pricing. I don't know where you can get a better deal.
Yes it comes with 2 washers.

I have two of these systems one has been setup for a year. ROCK SOLID. The other has been setup since last November. ROCK SOLID. Both my difussors came in unscathed. I haven't had a single problem with any of the components in the semi-auto system. I would highly recommend this system for ease of setup and pricing. I don't know where you can get a better deal.
Thanks, that saves me a return trip to pick up a washer.
Ok... my kit came in today.

A few observations so far:

The Azoo regulator looks substantial not cheap and hooked up easily with the washer that came with it.

Bubble counter: I thought the bubble counter was broken or something but it turns out the tubing attached to the bubble counter is not sealing properly. EDIT: I've tried 2 tubings so far but none seem to fit snuggly on the black stub on top of the bubble counter and this is causing a small leak... I removed the bubble counter completely until I find a solution.

Currently I'm getting about 50 BPM, I'll check that to make sure I'm stable than its just a matter of putting it on a timer with my lights.

Speaking of timers - the timer that came with this system had me scratching my head, I gave up and bypassed it for now.
Just to clarify about the bubble counter/tubing leak.

The leak is where the tubing attaches to the black barb to direct CO2 into the counter.

Seems this barb just does not have a good grip for the tubing.

Not sure if anyone has come up with a fix for this.....smaller inner diameter tubing perhaps ? or a thin wrap of plumbers tape ?

Right now I'm running straight to the diffuser without the bubble counter.
For very low co2 permeable tubing this might be ideal ;-)

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/pr...SPlastic&category_name=30155&product_id=29366

Cheap per foot, second best (best is over $12/foot for 1/4") tygon offers.

Heres the permeability study they sent me when I asked for it:

http://raeky.com/PermeabilitySummary.pdf

It doesn't have the tubing I bought though, unfortunately (Laboratory Tubing R-3603).
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Just to clarify about the bubble counter/tubing leak.

The leak is where the tubing attaches to the black barb to direct CO2 into the counter.

Seems this barb just does not have a good grip for the tubing.

Not sure if anyone has come up with a fix for this.....smaller inner diameter tubing perhaps ? or a thin wrap of plumbers tape ?

Right now I'm running straight to the diffuser without the bubble counter.
Zip ties..
Zip ties..
Funny you mention that, right after I posted my question, I found some zip ties in my desk draw.........

Right now I'm running without the bubble counter... since I had established a nice flow, I'm leaving it off for now.

I'll be ordering a Drop Checker at some point.....

PH dropped from 7.0/7.2 to 6.6 since going from DIY to pressurized Co2 and I'm getting more pearling and no gasping fish.
Be careful with the zip ties, sometimes they fold the tubing over and create another leak, just soap test it to make sure. Plumber's Goop if that's the case.
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