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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

Well I'm one step closer to setting up my first planted tank. Just need to figure out my hardscape and I can order my plants....finally.

Anyway, I bought a pressurized co2 system off a guy on craigslist for just about dirt cheap...150.00 for everything. Although I don't know if this regulator is very good, I figured the tanks alone are worth the price I paid. All in all it seems ok, but I'm new and have no idea what's good and what isn't. LOL. No leaks though, can't be horrible right?? :)

Came with the following items...

1. 20lb tank and a 60lb tank
2. UL dual stage regulator w/ 2 berkert solenoids.
3. 4 lines hooked up w/ needle valves, brass bubble counters, and check valves. (One bubble counter is cracked though.)
4. Timer
5. Milwaukee SMS 122 ph meter

I don't think I'm going to use the ph meter in my setup. I'm planning to have the co2 turn off about an hour before the lights turn off....and turn on about an hour before the lights turn back on. Any feedback on that is welcome.

So I have a 75 gallon tank. Here are my questions....

1. Should I use just one line or two?

2. I have a Marineland Emperor 400 HOB filter, where should I place my diffusers/reactors?

3. I want a simple and inexpensive diffuser/reactor for each line to start out. There's a few on amazon in the $15.00 range that have fairly descent reviews. Any recommendations? I'm not particularly interested in making one at this time, although once I'm all setup and don't have so much on my plate I'd consider making a rex griggs style reactor for sure. I'm not terribly worried about efficiency because I have large tanks anyway....or should I be concerned about that

4. How long will 20lbs of co2 typically last on a 75 gallon. I'm debating on whether or not I want to use the 60lb tank at all.....

5. Use vegetable oil about 3/4 full in the bubble counters?

Thanks for your help!! :smile2:
 

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Plant Clown
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Congratulations on entering the wonderful world of pressurized CO2!

1. I'd probably use two reactors unless I made one monster and made some tweaks to help with CO2 absorption. If I went with Atomic-style diffusers, I'd use two.
2. Reactor usually goes inline with a canister filter, after the filter. You can use a pump and create a loop just for the reactor if you like. If not, stick with diffusers or buy a can.
3. People talk about the Ista Mix Max sometimes. But mostly they build their own. But, again, you'll need another pump or a can for a reactor.
4. Really rough estimate, 8 months.
5. Most people that don't use water, use mineral oil. I prefer water, on the grounds that on those occasions when, for whatever reason, there's a burst of air that splashes stuff up into the outflow, I'd prefer that stuff to not be oil that can gunk up any number of formerly useful components down the line.

Two other things - one, check the cylinders for hydrotest dates. You need one every 5 years, and nobody will fill them without a current date stamp. And you might have to leave the tank with a place that will test for a day or so.

The other thing is the unused lines. I don't know what those needle valves are, or if they are shutoff valves. If so, you're fine. If not, you'll probably want to remove them and use plugs in their place.

Oh, and a third thing. for one tank, you definitely only need one solenoid.
 

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That 60b tank definitely seems overkill! Maybe try calling your local air/gas place and see if they will buy it from you?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Congratulations on entering the wonderful world of pressurized CO2!

1. I'd probably use two reactors unless I made one monster and made some tweaks to help with CO2 absorption. If I went with Atomic-style diffusers, I'd use two.
2. Reactor usually goes inline with a canister filter, after the filter. You can use a pump and create a loop just for the reactor if you like. If not, stick with diffusers or buy a can.
3. People talk about the Ista Mix Max sometimes. But mostly they build their own. But, again, you'll need another pump or a can for a reactor.
4. Really rough estimate, 8 months.
5. Most people that don't use water, use mineral oil. I prefer water, on the grounds that on those occasions when, for whatever reason, there's a burst of air that splashes stuff up into the outflow, I'd prefer that stuff to not be oil that can gunk up any number of formerly useful components down the line.

Two other things - one, check the cylinders for hydrotest dates. You need one every 5 years, and nobody will fill them without a current date stamp. And you might have to leave the tank with a place that will test for a day or so.

The other thing is the unused lines. I don't know what those needle valves are, or if they are shutoff valves. If so, you're fine. If not, you'll probably want to remove them and use plugs in their place.

Oh, and a third thing. for one tank, you definitely only need one solenoid.
Very helpful. Thank you..

I looked both of the tanks over and took pictures to show.

The first picture is from the 20lb tank and it's the only label. Pretty safe to say that it was last filled may 2008 and needs inspected as it's past the 5 year mark???

The second picture is from the 60lb tank. It doesn't appear to have a date. It DOES have a label similar to the label on the 20lb....but there is no date at all???????????

I'm confused because this guy said he just recently tore down his setup. He was growing live rocks/coral for his saltwater setup with it. I just can't believe it hasn't been filled in the last year to 18 months.

In reference to your statement that I only need the one solenoid per tank....that's good to know. He did have 2 saltwater tanks set up, must have used it for that.

I'll have to put the hoses in water and check on those needle valves to be sure that they fully close, but I did do a hand check when I first bought the setup, and when I closed the valves I didn't feel any co2 pressure. Hopefully they are fully shut so I don't have to mess around with it at all.

Bump:
That 60b tank definitely seems overkill! Maybe try calling your local air/gas place and see if they will buy it from you?
I thought so too. When he told me one of the tanks was a 60lb'er I told him I didn't need it, but he's moving out of state and didn't want to piece out the setup he was selling.

I'm going to mention it when I fill my 20lb tank and see if they want to buy it....or I'll post it here in the for sale section. :)
 

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The first picture is from the 20lb tank and it's the only label. Pretty safe to say that it was last filled may 2008 and needs inspected as it's past the 5 year mark???

The second picture is from the 60lb tank. It doesn't appear to have a date. It DOES have a label similar to the label on the 20lb....but there is no date at all???????????
I am not an expert, but the hydrostatic testing marks I've seen on metal cylinders are stamped into the bottle. On metal bottles, they will use stickers for refills and such, but the important dates are stamped. I believe they use stickers only for composite bottles.
 
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