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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For spring break I'm going to do my usual thing and head over to Sam Houston National Forest. I'll be camping out in the less traveled spots, collecting insects by net during the day and by Hg vapor light at night. I've been running CO2 (paintball system) in my 20gal 24/7 since I can't be bothered to switch it off at night. I'll be gone for five days and I want to leave the lights off to nip a growing hair algae problem before it gets bad. Figured five days would be pretty good, but I'm wondering if I should shut off the CO2 during that time. I'm running 3bps at the moment, and I've got lots of red ludwigia, a partial carpet of HC, an amazon sword, hygro and moneywort. I am overstocked and only one of my fish is a labyrinth fish.
 

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I've been running CO2 (paintball system) in my 20gal 24/7 since I can't be bothered to switch it off at night.
Do paintball systems not have solenoids? A $5 timer would save you back that cost in CO2 in no time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes it has a friggin' solenoid. :p I was just concerned about a rise in PH and the dip in CO2 causing a return of the dreaded staghorn algae... or as I refer to it, "tank cancer".
 

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^ I agree with getting a timer, that would be the most efficient way to actually using the solenoid.

on a side note to combat algae, I get h2o2 3% and put it in a spray bottle. I shut off my filters, power heads to create stagnant water. I put the bottle under water and spray algae spots. Cleared my 40BR from cladophora which is a million times worse than what you are dealing with. After letting it sit for 30 min, you should see all the oxygen bubbles rising from your plants, do a simple 30% WC and voila, you're done. You should see the algae die off in about a week. I did the routine once, maybe twice a week.
 

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Timer is a must. Can't believe you're running CO2 24/7; how do your fish breath at night?
It is possible to run CO2 24/7; one just has to use a lower injection rate to prevent it from suffocating livestock at night.

Of course, you could also just use an air stone and pump on a timer (though that still does not solve the problem of wasted CO2).
 

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All problems are solved with $5. And even with my 5lb tank and CO2 in "bulk", I would make that back in a month or three. I've only briefly seen paintball setup info, but at the cost of CO2 for those... you're just throwing money away.
 

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All problems are solved with $5. And even with my 5lb tank and CO2 in "bulk", I would make that back in a month or three. I've only briefly seen paintball setup info, but at the cost of CO2 for those... you're just throwing money away.
Paintball tank fills are only $4 and can last months (at 8 hrs/day).

So yeah, a $5 timer cutting your output from 8 hours of useful output per day plus 16 hours of useless output, to only the 8 hours of useful output, that should make a paintball tank last triple the time and pay for itself within a few months no prob. Just over one saved fill and you pay for the timer.

Not a huge amount of money no matter what, but it seems silly to dump unneeded co2 16 hrs per day into the atmosphere.
 
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