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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just set up my pressurized co2 system, but do not have it working yet. I am using a disk diffuser until I have money for a canister filter and inline reactor. I've read that they need like 15psi to work. Do I need to use my needle valve to get this to work? What should I be looking for in my bubble counter when using a ceramic disk diffuser?
Thank you for your help.
 

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Use the working pressure adjustment to set the psi to whatever the diffuser needs to work. Some ceramic disc diffusers will require more than 15 psi, closer to 30 probably.

Then use the needle valve to adjust how much co2 is being delivered. The bubble counter provides a visual reference point, via bubbles per second, for adding more or less co2.

How many bps you need all depends the individual tank. For example a 10 gallon tank with moderate light and slow growing plants may only need a bubble every second or two. A 75 gallon full of stems with high light may need a virtual steady stream of bubbles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your help. Should I start with the needle valve in the position it came in ( do they come turned completely off? ) or do I open it all the way and then reduce down to the appropriate level?
 

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Much safer to start with it fully closed, and slowly make adjustments upward. It can take 20 minutes or so for the bubble rate to stabilize after turn the needle valve. Slow and deliberate changes to the needle valve are the safe way to go.
Ben
 

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What he^ said.

Follow these steps for the initial set-up:

Connect the regulator to the CO2 cylinder

Unscrew the working pressure knob counterclockwise until it stops (this will be closed position)

Open co2 cylinder

Increase the working pressure to desired psi by turning the knob clockwise

Open the solenoid (plug it in)

Adjust the bubble rate with the needle valve.
 

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If you have a quality needle valve and like it, DO NOT use it to shut off flow. On a cheapy it may not make a difference that you can see but on good quality, precision is what you paid for so it is wise to take care of it. The difference in good quality and poor is the same as between using a hammer break rocks or using a hatchet. You push the precision needle into the seat hard enough and it leaves a mark. That mark gets bigger every time and eventually you don't have a precision needle any more.
It is an adjustment, not a cutoff so use other things like the solenoid to cut off flow. They are designed for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Perfect responses!! That was exactly the advice I was looking for. I can't wait to start my co2 and hopefully get my plants growing. It will be nice to not be limited to low light/low care plants, although some are just too nice to not have. One more question: should I put my working pressure up to a point where my diffuser is working and then slowly drop the pressure as low as it gets until the diffuser does not work anymore? Then I would raise it to last known working pressure where bubbles exited my diffuser? Or leave it high?
 

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I can't come up with any reason to try narrow your PSI. As long as it is within the working range of your needle valve, I would set it where it works and leave it.

Ben
 
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