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Discussion Starter #1
How low will co2 drop your ph...ive read it will only drop it to a certain point than will not drop it below that...is there anyway to figure that number out

and when using a co2 tank eventually it will run out...where can i get it refilled
 

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Here is a great article about the relationship between PH, KH, and co2 levels. It's kind of a long read but it answers your question much better than I ever could:
http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_co2chart.htm

Welding supply shops or soda/beer distributors will refill your co2 tank. I have heard that fire extinguisher service companies will refill them as well. Here where I live there is a chain store called airgas:

http://airgas.com/customer_service/site_locator.aspx

My airgas store refills my 5 lb. tank for $15 exchange. If I do this I am in and out of the store in 5-10 minutes. Also, a friend of mine owns a restaurant and his beer guy will refill it for $5 but if he does it I'll be without the tank for a few days. Since I don't currently have a spare I don't plan on using this method.
 

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How low will co2 drop your ph...ive read it will only drop it to a certain point than will not drop it below that...is there anyway to figure that number out
CO2 can drop the pH down to about a pH of about 5.5.


and when using a co2 tank eventually it will run out...where can i get it refilled
I get my tanks refilled at two different types of places.
- One swaps my empty for a filled new one for about $15. These are 5#. (This company usually gives me brand new cylinders.)
- Another company fills my CO2 cylinders for $20. These are 20#.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks how about the regulator set up

what do i need please list everything eventhough it may seem obvious ie. co2 tank
 

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You will need:

CO2 Tank
Get the largest tank that you can afford. Tank prices are not that all that different. For example, a 10 lb tank will not cost twice as much as a 5 lb tank. In addition, the larger the tank, the less often you will have to refill it. Refill costs are another issue. Larger tanks in general, cost nearly the same to refill as a smaller tank.

Regulator
This controls the delivery of the CO2. It will reduce the tank pressure from 800 PSI to about 30 PSI. There are many different regulators you can look at, such as Victor, Cornelius, Mattheson, Concoa, etc. There are single stage and dual stage regulators. Try to get a dual gauge (note, dual stage is not the same as dual gauge) regulator, so that you can monitor both delivery pressure as well as the CO2 tank pressure (amount of CO2 left in the tank).

Needle/Metering Valve
A good needle/metering valve is your best friend and arguably the most important piece of equipment. The needle/metering valve will reduce the pressure from 30 PSI to a few bubbles per second. Again, you have several brands to choose from including: Clippard, Fabco, Swagelok, and Ideal. The latter 2 are probably the "best" brands (i.e. they are ht most reliable and will not float once they are set).

Solenoid (Optional)
This will allow you to turn off your CO2 automatically via a timer or a pH controller. Some people like to keep their CO2 on all the time, while others use a solenoid to turn it off at night.

Check Valve ("Optional" - see below)
Technically optional, but is required. You don't want water to back siphon and destroy your regulator. Brass ones are better than plastic ones, which will be corroded by the CO2 with time.

Bubble counter (Optional)
Will allow easy monitoring of the CO2 flow rate. You can DIY one yourself if you want.

Drop checker (Optional)
Allows easy monitoring of the amount of CO2 in the aquarium. Again, you can DIY one yourself or purchase one.

Diffuser/Reactor
You will need some way to get your CO2 to efficiently dissolve into the water column. Whether this be with a glass diffuser with a ceramic disc or an in-line reactor will epend on the size of your aquarium and what kind of setup you have.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ok im looking to do a 60 gallon tank 48"x15"17" i think thats the dimensions

can you help me put together a set up. with a ph controller
thanks for the reply
im new to the whole CO2 thing
ive done everything from freshwater bettas to african cichlids to saltwater fish to coral...even did saltwater ponds and koi ponds but never CO2 planted tank
 

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you won't need a ph controller. You will need a drop checker to tune you CO2 rate. Invest in a good regulator (one from Sumo, Greenleaf, or Rex Grigg), don't get the clippard needle valve, the Fabco NV-55 or better (ideal or swaglok), and a soleniod so you can use a timer.

Make a DIY bubble counter with a 1/2 liter soda or juice bottle. This will help you know the CO2 is flowing.

Get 2 good quality check valves, use one berfor and after the bubble counter. these will save your needle valve and regulator from water flowing back into them.

As for tanks, I recommend not getting one unless you find a place that will always refill. Most places do a swap, so you will lose your nice new shiny tank. Get the largest tank you can store convienently and remember you need about 6 inches at the top for the regulator.
 

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You may need a PH controller if your going to keep fish in the tank unless you turn your Co2 off @ night with your lights
 

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can you help me put together a set up. with a ph controller
You will have to do your own research to determine what you want. Nobody is going to do the legwork for you, we can only help.

If you want a regulator that is already pre-built, then I suggest you look at GLA, Rex Grigg or Sumo for their pre-built regulators.

You also don't need a pH controller, as was already mentioned.

You may need a PH controller if your going to keep fish in the tank unless you turn your Co2 off @ night with your lights
A solenoid will allow the CO2 to turn on and off automatically when connected to a timer, and is much cheaper than a pH controller.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
whats the diffrence between dual gauge and dual stage?
 

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How low will co2 drop your ph...ive read it will only drop it to a certain point than will not drop it below that...is there anyway to figure that number out

and when using a co2 tank eventually it will run out...where can i get it refilled

Dpeneding on where you live in SoCal.... I get my refills here:
Tyms Dry Ice - located at 414 W Arbor Vitae St Inglewood, CA. Phone: 310-673-3330
 

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Discussion Starter #13
how many bubbles a minute do you guys run on average and how long and big are your co2 tanks
 

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how many bubbles a minute do you guys run on average and how long and big are your co2 tanks
I run about 1-2 bps on a 2.5g nano.

I have a 10 lb CO2 tank that will last me a lifetime at the rate I'm using it ;)
 

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You would have to increase the bubble rate for a 30g tank; if you were to try to keep 1-2 bps on a 30g tank, you probably would not be able to achieve 30 ppm of CO2.

A 10 lb tank should be able to last a 30g tank about a year, given a reasonable bubble rate.
 

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Looks nice. Not cheap. At that pricepoint, I'd stay with one of the known providers here like Sumo, GLA, Rex. They know your application and are always around for support. You can get a great setu including a top-notch needle valve for that price.

AB
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Looks nice. Not cheap. At that pricepoint, I'd stay with one of the known providers here like Sumo, GLA, Rex. They know your application and are always around for support. You can get a great setu including a top-notch needle valve for that price.

AB
ok thanks is there a certain place you guys recommend buying them from
 
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