The Planted Tank Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
927 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Concerning co2 tubing. I found some tubing at petsmart. It's light blue in color , soft and is kinda like what I call surgical tubing. It grips the fittings better than the harder feeling tubing. Is this OK to use with pressurized co2 ? I ordered actual co2 tubing from GLA when I ordered my regulator and pH controller. Just wandering about other tubing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
I say stick with the more rigid co2 tubing since your setup is pressurized. A ruptured tube could cost you a refill of co2 at the minimum, or if it ruptures between the check valve and tank, you could be looking at dead livestock, cracked heaters, and water damage to your home. I have used a bit of cheap water conditioner as a lube on the barb and the smooth part of needle nose pliers to hold the tubing while wiggling it on. Dip the tubing end in very hot water for 30 seconds or so to soften it a bit before you have a try getting it on there. I use a small zip tie once I get it connected to secure the tubing in place. I pull it taut with the pliers. A tiny clamp works also, if you can find one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
Maybe I am missing something here...
On my setup nothing is "pressurized" on the downstream side of the needle valves.
CO2 tank>regulator>solenoid valve>needle valve. This is all hard piping.
If not, it should be.
The standard clear vinyl airline tubing is suitable to use, and is LESS permeable
than the silicone and most other types of tubing hyped "for CO2 use".
My setup has been running 3+ years now, with vinyl. The tubing is still soft and pliable,
and one aquarium has a 25 foot run of tubing to it. No problems to date.
There was a lengthy discussion on tubing for CO2, on one of these forums, a couple of years ago.:smile2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,916 Posts
Any tubing will work. But there is specific tubing made for use with co2. typical airline tubing is actually a bit porous and the co2 can theoretically leak. This is apparently something that gets worse with age. Co2 is also known to make tubing get brittle and hard over time.

And what you found at the store is silicone tubing as opposed to the vinyl tubing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Everything that I have read both here, and on reputable sites like the The Green Spot, has said that standard aquarium air tubing will break down due to pressure and the nature of the gas. CO2, will eat away at the plastic tubing and seep through the porous plastic, eventually destroying the tubing. I say play it safe and stick with the more rigid CO2 tubing. You can find it on Amazon pretty cheap.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,411 Posts
I asked to speak to the tech department when ordering from US Plastics as I wanted to know which type plastic 10-32 fitting was best. While talking we fell into discussing what tubing was also better. After asking what pressure, temperature and material (CO2) was handled he told me that there was no reason to question any of the plastics we normally find. He was familiar with airline tubing sold for aquariums even though he did not keep tanks. He did state that there was a theoretical difference in leakage and some were better than others at high pressures. But at 50 PSI or less, the difference was not worth mention. I asked a bout degrading the plastic and he admitted that plastics as a whole do degrade over time. This degradation is in the form of discoloring so that it is no longer clear or given time, it can become brittle. But then he also went on to say that it was not the gas carried in the case of normal air, co2, and the other gases he called by some technical name. He told me that the main problem with plastic degradation is UV light from things like the sun. Most of us have discovered how badly plastic items fair when we leave them in the sun. After a bit more discussion, I asked what he recommended for my use.
His answer was to go with any that seemed right and for him that would be the cheap stuff and when it looked bad or felt brittle, change it. Since I can run down to any store and buy what I need for under $5, I no longer put much time or effort into the decision. We're not talking rocket science, are we?

I buy what holds on the fittings best. For that major decision, I take the fitting to the store and stick it in the tubing. If I have a hard time getting it off, I like it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,942 Posts
The soft light blue silicone stuff is fine. As mentioned, it's easier to attach with. I've used the soft stuff and the hard black vinyl and it's all worked good. A good tip to attach the hard stuff is to simply to heat the end of it with a lighter an then attach to the diffuser, check valve etc, makes a good seal when it hardens back up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,012 Posts
I did an experiment several years ago, to check how much CO2 leaks from silicone tubing, which had been said to be unsuitable for CO2. I bought a cheap roll of silicone (blue) tubing from PertSmart. I connected the whole roll of tubing to the CO2 regulator, placed it in a 2 quart container of water, and measured the pH of that water for an hour or two, for increasingly high CO2 pressures. Any CO2 leaking through the tube walls would dissolve in the water and the pH would drop at least a little due to that CO2. I had no pH change at all. I also watched for bubbles from the tubing, and saw none. I shut off the CO2 and watched for a pressure drop, and got none. My conclusion was that silicone tubing works fine for our CO2 systems, but would not work as a CO2 diffuser, which I was really hoping to demonstrate.

I always found that my vinyl tubing would slowly harden, while the silicone tubing didn't. That, plus the difficulty in connecting special vinyl CO2 tubing, convinced me to use only silicone tubing.
 

·
Planted Tanker
Joined
·
5,996 Posts
Interesting stuff Hoppy, good to know.

I also use the blue silicone tubing, like the flexibility and ease of connecting, the transparency, plus I think the color looks nice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,411 Posts
Lots of questions in the hobby are just part of folks thinking and there is really no reason to dwell on it too much. Several things that it doesn't pay much to try to discuss are religion, politics, and what tubing is best!
It becomes part of their basic belief system and you are not going to change it. At the price of airline tubing, maybe we all should agree to buy a few feet of each type and try them until we find what we each like? I can't say which I like best until I see how it works on the fittings I use at the time.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top