The Planted Tank Forum banner

Help needed with new tank and CO2 system

1547 Views 20 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  timobxsci
I have been looking at getting a Fluval Ebi after Christmas, if I don't get it before but then I started thinking.... I'm trying to figure out a way to get CO2 to that tank. I can use a manifold and hook the line up to the line going to the big 72 but the big tank it pH controlled. Therefore, when the 72 is at the right pH it's going to shut off everything. This could also be a problem since the Ebi is so small it's going to need to be off before the 72 is.

I'm looking at going with a CRS tank with low light plants for now, but I don't want to depend on Excel/glut. to battle algae.

This is what I'm thinking right now; please tell me what you think:

I'm looking at getting the Milwaukee Co2 MA957 Regulator Set from I have seen really bad reviews on these regs. and most people say that they are had to fine tune for small tanks with the needle valve they have in them currently. Therefore, I'm thinking about swapping this reg. for the electronic CO2 reg. on the 72. Then the Milwaukee will be on the large tank and be pH controlled just incase something goes wrong. My electronic CO2 reg. will have to go on a 5lb and go on the Ebi. This is where I run into problems.

I have never had to worry about gassing my fish because of the controller. How do I run this electronic reg. on a small tank but not gas the shrimp? Like I said this may be a simple question but I have never had to deal with it before. I'm looking at putting the Reg. on a timer so it's on only during the day but I'm not sure what to do and how to control the CO2 levels when I'm not home.

If someone can answer that question I would be grateful and I will most likely have more to come.

1 - 20 of 21 Posts
The easiest way would be to run it on a timer so you don't have to worry about it at night. You can use a drop checker to help you get dialed in on the right bubble count.
I have a DC but how do you know that when it's green it's not going to turn yellow during the day? Do you just spend all day playing with it until it just turns green and stays green? If I do put it on a timer wont the CO2 off gas at night and therefore never get back to green when the timer turns on during the day, unless I play with the bubble count to get it back there? Or is the goal to have it slowly get to green throughout the day, then turn off and repeat? I guess I'm just confused on how you compensate for the off gas at night the next day when it turn on.

Thanks for your help!
Ok so then how do you prevent them from raising to much over the course of the day? I also found this:

It seems expensive but if someone could think of a way to hook it to my existing setup in the long run it would be cheeper.
The co2 level doesn't really increase in a linear manner like that. Most people don't use a ph controller. We find the correct bubble rate and use a solenoid.

If you do use the electronic regulator you don't need a solenoid, just put the whole regulator on a timer. But if you want a traditional regulator with solenoid, you can get it for a lot less than that ADA solenoid. I can get you one with fittings to connect it to the regulator for around $30.
I think my problem is that I'm trying to figure a way to run both tanks (Ebi & 72) off the same 10lb tank. The issue is that the 72 is pH controlled. I could splice the line and put in a manifold however, the regulator is going to turn off cutting the flow to both tanks when the pH is reached in the 72 gallon.

Is there a connector that would allow me to put a traditional regulator with solenoid first on the tank then hook the electronic pH controled regulator to the traditional one? If there is I have no clue where to look. Can you provide a URL to where I can get one. If this works when the timer is cut to the traditional regulator will the CO2 flow be cut to the electronic reg. as well?

You have been a great help!!
You can split the line before the solenoids, that would be fine. You could even get any of the fittings you would need at any local hardware store in the brass fittings. Just add a "t" right after the regulator body and hook up the original solenoid and needle valve on one side with the controller and the electronic regulator with timer on the other side.
Ok I think the easiest way would be to go the Tee route. What do you mean when you say "regulator body"? I understand the "t" and how to hook it up on reg on one side and the electronic on the other. I'm not following with the reg. body. :?

This is the reg. I'm looking at. If I'm understanding correctly I would connect the Gauges from this setup to the tank, disconnect the soleniod and bubble counter from the gauges, place a tee into the gauge and branch the soleniod and bubble counter on one side and the other set up on the other.

???? I think I just confused myself. I'll shut up now. :p
The regulator body is what the gauges are attached to.

You probably do not need to remove the gauges that are attached to the regulator body to remove the bubble counter and the solenoid, unless they get in the way.

After you remove the solenoid and the bubble counter, you can insert a T (or a manifold) into the regulator, not the gauge.

You then put the solenoid and bubble counter back onto one side of the manifold (this would be for your Ebi, which would just be timer controlled), and do the same for the other side (this would go to your pH controller). With the Milwaukee MA957, there is also a needle valve that comes after the solenoid. You will need another needle valve after the split as well, to control flow.
Just a note, the OP may be referring to the regulator as "gauge" or "gauges". I noticed several people familiar with welding use the name "gauges" to describe the regulator, not the actual gauges themselves. (my brother is one of them) =)
So if I understand you correctly darkblade the area circled picture attached comes apart, is that correct? What do I need to tell the people at the hardware to get the right "t"?

I'm following so far but not this part: "With the Milwaukee MA957, there is also a needle valve that comes after the solenoid. You will need another needle valve after the split as well, to control flow"
See less See more
I think I understand now but it doesn't look like there's a needle valve in the picture. Can you post a pic/url of the one I would need? I found some but I think both ends need to have threads on them and I can only find the ones with one threaded end and a barbed end for CO2 tubing.
The part between the solenoid and the bubble counter is the needle valve.

If you get the electronic box from, you don't need another solenoid and needle valve. It takes the place of both of them.
If you are going to the hardware store and looking for a T, I would just bring the regulator in and go to the plumbing section and look for parts yourself. Most big-box hardware store staff are not very helpful. If you go to a more specialized store, you may be able to find someone to help.

Also, there is some confusion on my end; for your second regulator, are you getting the electronic regulator from, or are you getting a normal regulator, but with a pH controller?
I have an electric reg. all ready with a pH controller. I'm looking at getting the normal regulator. I plan on hooking up the normal regulator w/ the aid of the pH controller on the 72 gallon b/c I have heard that it's hard to adjust the bubble count sometimes. The electronic reg. is going on the Ebi mainly b/c I know how to fine tune it already and understand it more. Both are going to be ran off the same 10lb tank if I can figure it out. :p
So this is what I'm thing right now...

I think I understand what you're talking about with removing the bubble counter, etc. However, I'm not sure what needle valve I would need. Next question is that on one branch of the "T" will be the electronic reg. how do you find a "T" with a CGA 320 (think that's what it's called) fitting. I looked at how I could remove the fitting from the electronic reg. and it appears to be secured with lock tight which could be a real issue if that needs to come apart. Does this make since?
This is the setup, as far as I understand it:

CO2 cylinder -> "normal" regulator -> Tee -> 1) solenoid, needle valve, bubble counter (from the Milwaukee MA957), to your aquarium/diffuser, and 2) solenoid (plugged into a pH controller), needle valve, to your aquarium/diffuser.

You will not need a T with a CGA320 connection, as the Tee goes after the CO2 cylinder/regulator connection. You will only need one regulator, not two, as you will be running two aquariums off one CO2 cylinder.

In terms of needle valves, there are a wide variety to choose from. The Fabco NV-55 is a cheap, reliable one that is usually used. You can also check the Swap and Shop forums as well as eBay; you may be lucky and be able to find a cheaper Swagelok metering valve (higher quality, with a higher retail price, but if you are lucky, they can be found cheaply).

As for the fittings on the electronic regulator that you currently have, you may simply need a large wrench and a vise.
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.