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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a continuing effort to bring consistency to my co2 game, I have aquired a flowmeter for my 68g tank.

Long story short, the needle valve on my regulator was, uh... Not very good. It seemed to creep from day to day, getting - I suspect- jossled by the action of the solenoid. Since my bubble rate is so high, it has been impossible to regain what was lost and keep a constant infusion rate.

With a little help from @Bettatail and his metering valve thread, I was able to snag a nice used flowmeter for $36 (!). Installation was pretty simple, with the hardest part being extracting the old valve from the solenoid.

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I briefly connected the old valve (wide open) and bubble counter to get a rough idea of where I should target on the flowmeter starting tomorrow.

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I'm going to drop a pH monitor in the tank tommorow so I can dial things in. Once I know which rate yields my target drop, I'm all set. No more trying to eyeball my rate from a stream of bubbles. Amazing!

In the cabinet. Tight fit!
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Just thought I'd share in case anyone wants to test the bubble-free co2 calibration waters and isn't sure what's involved.
 

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you can put the original needle valve at the outlet of the key instruments, as a secondary valve.
open the valve on the flowmeter all the way and dial in the secondary valve for max allowable co2 flow rate on the flow meter, then come back to set the valve on the flow meter, you will see it is really easy to adjust the flow rate(floating ball).

I will get the co2 calibration data at 20 psig for this particular flow meter soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've made some changes...

Installed a lower flow tube (50ccm air vs. 106ccm), traded out the OG flowmeter valve for a precision model, and - like @Bettatail suggested - put the original needle valve on the outlet of the flowmeter to induce higher pressure in the tube, allowing the flowmeter valve to be on the input side.

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The original flowmeter valve was good (light-years better than the one that came with the regulator), but this one is crazy precise. That ball just sits there like it's frozen in amber.

After a few days of monitoring the ph, I now know the exact number on the flowmeter scale that gets me the drop I want.

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Since this tank is rimless and sump-less, it's not practical to keep a pH controller on it, but it's also not really necessary now that I can monitor and set the flow so precisely. I have even been able to set up two half hour co2 off periods in the afternoon to prevent too much buildup since this is a canister filtered tank without super high offgassing. I've got a 1.3 drop by lights on, and a max of 1.4 in the afternoon.

For less than $50 on *bay. I feel like this hobby can be a bit of a money pit, so I'm pretty jazzed over how much of a bargain this has turned out to be. Definitely one of the biggest bang for my buck aquarium expenditures. For anyone with a big enough tank that the bubbles are impossible to count, I highly recommend it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That is a really nice setup. I'm looking forward to getting mine installed! I'll put a thread here also, not polluting yours, since I know I'll have some issues.
i've polluted your threads plenty ;)

it's just such a useful piece of equipment, especially when paired with a ph monitor. looking forward to hearing about your experience.
 

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"The original flowmeter valve was good (light-years better than the one that came with the regulator), but this one is crazy precise. That ball just sits there like it's frozen in amber. "
Really is amazing at just how stable the flow of CO2 can be with the right equipment. In my case, on a 1-15 scale, my ball sits at 8. If I push to 8.5 the bows spend a lot more time at the surface. I adjust it back to 8 and everyone is fine. With the metering valve on the output of the flow meter, the ball is in a constant pressurized area (what ever pressure your regulator is set to). With the metering valve before the flow meter, the ball is subject to what ever pressure variances are generated by the canister filter and passed thru the reactor (you honestly can see the ball bounce around - that sensitive).

So much better than trying to count - guess at how many bubbles per second you have, LOL.
 
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