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Using baby oil for bubble counter?

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Hello All,

I have a glass bubble counter on my planted tank's CO2 output but over time the water evaporates and it has to be refilled. Has anyone used baby oil instead of water so it doesn't evaporate? Any other options?

Thanks :grin2:
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I've heard of people using mineral oil before. I just fill mine with r/o water and seldom refill them. Either mine don't evaporate very much or I just don't notice it. Then again, they could be bone dry and I wouldn't know it. haha Once I get the needle valve dialed in and watch it for a few weeks to make sure it doesn't drift, I don't bother looking at the counter anymore. As long as the drop checker stays green, I know it's close enough.
 

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Hello All,



I have a glass bubble counter on my planted tank's CO2 output but over time the water evaporates and it has to be refilled. Has anyone used baby oil instead of water so it doesn't evaporate? Any other options?



Thanks :grin2:


I don't use anything other than water. Mainly because I don't want to accidentally ruin my $40 diffuser by forcing $.02 worth of oil through it.
 

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Plus, gas traverses differently in oil than in water. As a hydrocarbon, the oil will also change the gas that flows through it. Sounds stupid, honesty.

CO2 will travel more slowly through the oil, but this doesn't really impact anything (the original question was regarding how to slow down/prevent evaporation of bubble counter fluid).

Also, oil will not change gas(es) that flow through it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Eventually, that oil will make it into your system. Plus, gas traverses differently in oil than in water. As a hydrocarbon, the oil will also change the gas that flows through it. Sounds stupid, honesty.

You guys understand Chemistry? Big C.
I understand Chemistry, I studied it in school... Let's see at 4 bubbles per second means that .25 of a second that the CO2 gas comes into contact with the oil means will not affect the gas's chemistry in any way...

I had read of people using oil instead of water one one of the forums a while back and wanted to see how it worked for them....

If you've got no experience doing it, please don't write a lame attempt at a pithy comment because it makes you sound condescending and ***** :x

Bump:
Use mineral oil. Can be bought at any pharmacy for about 5 bucks a bottle that will probably last you forever.
Thanks!

Bump:
CO2 will travel more slowly through the oil, but this doesn't really impact anything (the original question was regarding how to slow down/prevent evaporation of bubble counter fluid).

Also, oil will not change gas(es) that flow through it.
Thank you, I can deal with the slower bubble count - if anything it makes it easier to see.

Bump:
I don't use anything other than water. Mainly because I don't want to accidentally ruin my $40 diffuser by forcing $.02 worth of oil through it.
I have a one way valve between the bubble counter and the inline diffuser. I check the whole system it once a week so I can stop it before any issues.

Bump:
I don't use anything other than water. Mainly because I don't want to accidentally ruin my $40 diffuser by forcing $.02 worth of oil through it.
I have a one way valve between the bubble counter and the inline diffuser. I check the whole system it once a week so I can stop it before any issues.
 

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I have a one way valve between the bubble counter and the inline diffuser. I check the whole system it once a week so I can stop it before any issues.

My concern isn't backflow. My concern is accidentally pushing oil out of counter and into the diffuser.

Worth mentioning that the Intense Atomic Diffuser I am using specifically states that you shouldn't use oil in its bubble counter.
 

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Use mineral oil. Can be bought at any pharmacy for about 5 bucks a bottle that will probably last you forever.
this is what i use as well and it works great

you're not going to blast mineral oil through the hose into your tank by putting it in your bubble counter lol... maybe extremely trace amounts but I use a reactor so that doesn't matter anyways.
 

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I've found that by breaking the seal in the bubble counter itself I can back-suck water from the tank enough to fill it. Once it evaporates I do it again. Works with both an atomizer and an inline reactor.

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Neat idea. I feel like my diffuser creates back pressure and fills my counter anyways. I checked yesterday and the water level looks like it did when I filled it with water back in November.
 

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I’ve used both mineral and baby oil in my bubble counters. No issues....except once, the bubble counter turned horizontal while I was changing Co2 tanks. I didn’t realize this until he next day. The water was hazy and had a sweet smell. I did two water changes and all was well. Mineral oil seems like a better solution since it doesn’t have the “extra” ingredients baby oils includes (plus cheaper.)
 
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