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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, Mr Noob here.

I made the plunge and bought a paintball CO2 system. Got the tank filled (SIZE = 20 oz) , brought 'er home, screwed on my adapter to my regular, screwed the two onto the paintball tank...

HISS!!!!!!!!!!:surprise:

I unscrewed it, realized it needs to be VERY tight, and screwed it down with all my might. Hissing stopped, no more frostbite on my fingers. Everything working well, I got the gauge adjusted and solenoid plugged in, diffuser working properly.

Then I hear a faint hissing, put my ear to my CO2 tank, and I can hear gas escaping. So stupid me accidentally twists the thing in the wrong direction and it starts hissing, only this time there's ice forming and I can't touch it with my hands.

So I run down to my basement to get a wrench to screw it tightly back on, but it takes 30 sec - 1 minute to get back and tighten it. No more hiss, but my pressure has dropped from 600 PSI to 400 PSI.

Do I need to fill my tank again? I just paid $5 and an inconvenient drive to the store.

tl;dr I'm an idiot and let out a bunch of my CO2. Pressure drop 600 PSI originally to ~400 PSI after my f*** up. Do I need to fill the tank again?
 

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Yikes!

On a paintball adapter, there is an internal pin that needs to be adjusted. You screw it in/out so that the tank opens only when it is almost completely tight. This way you don't lose all your CO2 when you screw it on.

Hopefully you didn't break anything.

I would back out the internal screw so that when you fully tighten the threads, there isn't any CO2 pressure. Then take off the regulator, adjust the internal screw a turn, then tighten again. If it's adjusted right, you will only hear a tiny bit of CO2 escaping right before it is fully tight.

If there is a leak even when it's all tightened up, check to make sure the gasket is ok.

On my PB tank, I can tighten it by hand, but I give it a little extra with a small wrench. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yikes!

On a paintball adapter, there is an internal pin that needs to be adjusted. You screw it in/out so that the tank opens only when it is almost completely tight. This way you don't lose all your CO2 when you screw it on.

Hopefully you didn't break anything.

I would back out the internal screw so that when you fully tighten the threads, there isn't any CO2 pressure. Then take off the regulator, adjust the internal screw a turn, then tighten again. If it's adjusted right, you will only hear a tiny bit of CO2 escaping right before it is fully tight.

If there is a leak even when it's all tightened up, check to make sure the gasket is ok.

On my PB tank, I can tighten it by hand, but I give it a little extra with a small wrench. Good luck.
@ChrisX

Thanks for the reply! I managed to screw it on enough so that the small leak is gone, and have tested it again with the diffuser (it all works, thankfully nothing broken).

If you were me, would you go back to the store to top-off the tank? I'm not sure how "much" 20 oz of CO2 is in relation to how much is lost in ~1 minute of loud hissing.

Edit: obviously it is impossible to say how much was really lost, but it's such a hassle to get to the store that does refills that I'm debating whether it is worth it to go back tomorrow or just shrug my shoulders and keep using what's left in the tank.
 

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Since you've seen a PSI drop, you probably have only a few days worth of gas left. I know on my 5# tanks, I don't see ANY movement in PSI until I'm within a week or so of running out. Just check on it every 24hrs. If you see the PSI continue to drop, you know it's in need of a refill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Since you've seen a PSI drop, you probably have only a few days worth of gas left. I know on my 5# tanks, I don't see ANY movement in PSI until I'm within a week or so of running out. Just check on it every 24hrs. If you see the PSI continue to drop, you know it's in need of a refill.
@mgeorges

Ah, that's good to know. I think I will just fill it up tomorrow to be on the safe side.

Cheers!
 

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Since you've seen a PSI drop, you probably have only a few days worth of gas left. I know on my 5# tanks, I don't see ANY movement in PSI until I'm within a week or so of running out. Just check on it every 24hrs. If you see the PSI continue to drop, you know it's in need of a refill.
This is a point that is often missed when first doing it. The gauge doesn't work like a gas gauge and tell you how much is left but only the pressure. An that means the pressure will stay very close to the same, with just small changes due to temperature , until ALL the liquid portion is used and then the remaining liquid will not be able to fill the inside with enough gas to keep the pressure up. So when the reading is going down, it means almost all the liquid is gone. Sorry, but that often means time to refill.
A point to also know is that it really is worth the time and trouble to test for leaks with a soap solution--even when it feels good.
 

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@ChrisX

Thanks for the reply! I managed to screw it on enough so that the small leak is gone, and have tested it again with the diffuser (it all works, thankfully nothing broken).

If you were me, would you go back to the store to top-off the tank? I'm not sure how "much" 20 oz of CO2 is in relation to how much is lost in ~1 minute of loud hissing.

Edit: obviously it is impossible to say how much was really lost, but it's such a hassle to get to the store that does refills that I'm debating whether it is worth it to go back tomorrow or just shrug my shoulders and keep using what's left in the tank.
When you get the tank filled and you get home, put it on a postage scale so you know its full weight. Then you can weigh it whenever you want... and you can find out how much is left. I have a 24oz tank, they usually put 22ish oz into it.

Also, weigh it when its completely empty. Before you go for the next refil, weigh it, empty whatever is left, then weigh it again. This way you can always find out how much you have, and how much you had remaining.

When pressure starts to drop, I have about a week left. I only run 1bps 24/7 though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@PlantedRich

Thank you. I have just a single gauge regulator, but apparently a double gauge regulator (one of them being a high-pressure gauge) can tell you how much is left in the tank. I might look into investing in one of those instead in the future, but for now I will do a soap test and (if no leaks detected) will fill it up tomorrow.

@ChrisX

How long does your 24oz tank last at 1bps? I am aiming for 0.5bps (so one bubble every 2 seconds) and will move up depending on the reading I get. And do you mean by 24/7 that you don't use a solenoid, or just during photoperiod?
 

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I have just a single gauge regulator, but apparently a double gauge regulator (one of them being a high-pressure gauge) can tell you how much is left in the tank.
Er not exactly.. ONLY tells you at the very end ..

It will stay at one pressure (roughly) alllllllllllllllllllllllll the way to the very end when ALL the liquid CO2 is gone..
You buy liquid, say 20 oz......... gauge will not drop till all that is gone and the only thing left is some gas from the liquid...

no point in running it 24/7.. nightly plant/fish respiration increases CO2 levels and decreases O2 ..............Adding CO2 at this time (dark) is worthless at best, lethal at worst..
 

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@PlantedRich

Thank you. I have just a single gauge regulator, but apparently a double gauge regulator (one of them being a high-pressure gauge) can tell you how much is left in the tank. I might look into investing in one of those instead in the future, but for now I will do a soap test and (if no leaks detected) will fill it up tomorrow.

@ChrisX

How long does your 24oz tank last at 1bps? I am aiming for 0.5bps (so one bubble every 2 seconds) and will move up depending on the reading I get. And do you mean by 24/7 that you don't use a solenoid, or just during photoperiod?
1 bps constantly lasts me 7 weeks with 24oz tank. Figure 6 weeks with a 20oz tank.

You could also run 3 bps 8hrs/day and it will last as long.

Bump:
Er not exactly.. ONLY tells you at the very end ..

It will stay at one pressure (roughly) alllllllllllllllllllllllll the way to the very end when ALL the liquid CO2 is gone..
You buy liquid, say 20 oz......... gauge will not drop till all that is gone and the oly thing left is some gas from the liquid...

no point in running it 24/7.. nightly plant/fish respiration increases CO2 levels and decreases O2 ..............Adding CO2 at this time (dark) is worthless at best, lethal at worst..
CO2 doesn't decrease oxygen in the water. At night, the plants AND fish are using oxygen. As long is there is a good, constant source of aeration through the night, one can keep it on all the time... if careful.
 

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CO2 doesn't decrease oxygen in the water. At night, the plants AND fish are using oxygen. As long is there is a good, constant source of aeration through the night, one can keep it on all the time... if careful.
well that was what I was implying respiration uses O2
and plants grow the most at night..

Still adding CO2 at night is always pointless...even if you can...........;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hmm I was planning on starting the CO2 an hour before my lights turn on, and then having it shut off an hour before lights out (I've just tested it thru the diffuser for an hour and it takes ~15 minutes for all of the gas in the tube to diffuse out after the solenoid shuts off injection).

So the injection would last the same as my photoperiod, starting at 6 hours and moving up by 1/2 hour increments as my tank cycles.
 

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well that was what I was implying respiration uses O2
and plants grow the most at night..

Still adding CO2 at night is always pointless...even if you can...........;)
What I found was that in my system.. if I turn on the CO2 in the morning, 3 hours before lights on (@ 3bps), that when lights come on, pH is around 6.8-7, but that 8 hours later it is around 6.4. This is ok, but pH is not constant through the day, and CO2 was on for 11 hours (3+8) @ 3bps.

If I use less than 3bps, (say 2.x bps), then I either have to turn on the C02 earlier, or when lights come on, pH is 7-7.2. Less ideal.

The solution for me, was to keep a low rate of CO2 24/7 and I can "fix" the pH at 6.6 with the same total CO2 used. Tank pH is constant, plants are happy, fish are very happy.

The observation was that a much higher bps is needed to bring the CO2 from 0 -> 30ppm every day than to just maintain 25ppm. Total CO2 is the same. However, with lots of surface agitation, this strategy does not work.
 

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What I found was that in my system.. if I turn on the CO2 in the morning, 3 hours before lights on (@ 3bps), that when lights come on, pH is around 6.8-7, but that 8 hours later it is around 6.4. This is ok, but pH is not constant through the day, and CO2 was on for 11 hours (3+8) @ 3bps.

If I use less than 3bps, (say 2.x bps), then I either have to turn on the C02 earlier, or when lights come on, pH is 7-7.2. Less ideal.

The solution for me, was to keep a low rate of CO2 24/7 and I can "fix" the pH at 6.6 with the same total CO2 used. Tank pH is constant, plants are happy, fish are very happy.

The observation was that a much higher bps is needed to bring the CO2 from 0 -> 30ppm every day than to just maintain 25ppm. Total CO2 is the same. However, with lots of surface agitation, this strategy does not work.
hmm.. Have to ponder that a bit..
non-CO2 injected tanks are bound to have pH fluctuations of a fairly sig. magnitude..
But your steady state idea has merits.
Unfortunately. to perfect it one would need changes in bubble count between night and day..
Co2 at night will be somewhat additive to the excess being produced by the live stuff..
In a sense you will have your pH drop at night.. like mid-night, rather than in the daytime..

to borrow from another environment:
FWIW, natural reefs have pH fluctuations from 7.8 - 8.5. It is not considered a problem as long as your pH remains between 7.8 - 8.5.

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-12/cj/index.php

From this article:

"In fact, the pH on a reef flat may vary from less than 8.0 to more than 8.6 within 24 hours with no significant deleterious effects on the animals."
reefers combat this by running refugium lights opposite the tank lights. Macro or other algae sucking up the excess CO2 from the "sleeping" tank..
 

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Well?....
Before lights on this morning, 6.6. Constant.

This is done primarily for the fish, although it stays constant throughout the day which eliminates a variable for the plants.

I can see the fish in the tank are happy and swimming around before lights on. No lack of oxygen. The venturi bubbler is going 24/7. It aerates without a ton of surface agitation. The HOB run on full will gas off alot of CO2.

I recognized that the excess CO2 lost by running a high BPS so that there is 20-30ppm before lights on, is covered by the efficiency of running CO2 24/7 at (much) lower bps. When running with the solenoid, if I used less than 3bps in an attempt to gain more than seven weeks, the CO2 concentration was too low early in the day.
 
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