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  • CO2 for 17gal

    I have a 17 Gal rimless tank that I've been DSM for the past 4 months. It's pretty ready to be filled and I'm not looking into CO2 systems.

    The tank is a mixture of hairgrass and HC.


    I'm wondering if I really need a Victor 2-stage regular and a 10lb CO2 tank as I've seen suggested on the forum. That setup would atleast double the cost of the tank so far. Are there cheaper alternatives (but more than DIY yeast based solutions) that I could look into? I do already have a drop checker and plan to use it in the tank.


    Also, as a side question, does anyone know what size lily pipe and outlet pipe I should buy (tank is appox 14in deep)? 13mm? My filter is oversized for the tank and uses 5/8th size tubing. How could I step this down fit a 13mm inlet/outlet?


    Cheers!

  • #2
    The point behind the two stage regulator is so when you're CO2 tank reaches a certain "minimum" level it won't dump the remaining CO2 into your aquarium. I never personally encountered this issue, as I dove straight into the two stage pool when I finally got over my fear of compressed CO2. It doesn't cost near as much to put the Victor regulator system together as you'd think. It's more about patience, really. If you play it right you can actually build a CO2 regulator for cheaper than the "for aquarium" use regulators run. Ask some questions on the Dual Stage Regulator thread, it may help to change your mind.

    I don't know about your lilly pipe question, but your DSM has quite a bit of standing water.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by RobotDeathSquad View Post

      Also, as a side question, does anyone know what size lily pipe and outlet pipe I should buy (tank is appox 14in deep)? 13mm? My filter is oversized for the tank and uses 5/8th size tubing. How could I step this down fit a 13mm inlet/outlet?


      Cheers!
      I would use the 17mm lily pipe, the bigger the better, you can always reduce the flow through your filter if you require.

      If you do want to step down, you can get plastic reducers, ebay is the place

      Comment


      • #4
        barbed reducer
        12 ⅝" x " Black HDPE Reducer Connectors: http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/ite...1317&catid=465
        $7.99 Eheim Tubing Reducer 594 to 494: http://www.bigalsonline.com/BigAlsUS...educer594to494

        I ditto the two stage regulator with a good metering valve or an Ideal needle valve. You will not regret it. I built the following two stage regulator for $80.

        Last edited by Left C; 04-28-2010, 05:42 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Left C View Post
          I built the following two stage regulator for $80.
          With parts from ebay or. . . ?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by RobotDeathSquad View Post
            With parts from ebay or. . . ?
            It was a great deal! The Victor VTS253A-1993 medical use two stage CO2 regulator and Swagelok metering valve came from ebay. I got the solenoid and assembly parts from one of the regulator vendors.


            Here's some ebay parts to get you started thinking about building one:
            Regulator
            NEW Air Products Specialty Gas Regulator high purity two stage that needs a CGA-320 nut and nipple 0 to 60 psi low pressure gauge: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...K%3AMEWAX%3AIT

            or this one

            NEW VTS250C-580 two stage regulator. Needs a CGA-320 nut and nipple 0 to 100 psi low pressure gauge: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...K%3AMEWAX%3AIT


            solenoid
            There is a Parker Part No: 15-200339-003 "D" solenoid that is cheaper than the Clippard and Burkert solenoids on ebay now that I've read good reports on.
            http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/STAIN...motiveQ5fTools


            bubble counter
            JBJ bubble counter: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...K%3AMEWAX%3AIT

            or

            several different bubble counters: http://shop.ebay.com/aquaticmagic/m....sacat=0&bkBtn=


            tubing
            10 feet of CO2 tubing: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...K%3AMEWAX%3AIT

            or

            20 feet of CO2 tubing: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...K%3AMEWAX%3AIT


            check valve
            2 stainless steel check valves: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...K%3AMEWAX%3AIT


            There are several Swagelok 1/8" or 1/4" low flow and medium metering valves listed on ebay.


            This is everything but the brass fittings and the non-hardening pipe joint compound needed to build an excellent two stage regulator rather cheaply.

            Rex sells regulators, ferts and regulator parts. His Ideal valve is excellent! This is another option. You can get all the parts from Rex to build a regulator too: http://www.bestaquariumregulator.com/index.htm

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi RobotDeathSquad,

              If I would have fond this forum before purchasing my CO2 kit, I would have gone for a dual stage regulator and a 10lbs (or more) cylinder instead of my current single stage Victor regulator and 5lbs cylinder.

              Ok, yes, it will cost you more. Depending on where you purchase your stuff, maybe even double, but trust me, it's worth it. You may have a 17 gal tank, but by looking at your good results, I give you about 6-12 months before you'll want bigger tank and you'll need more gas. A dual stage regulator will be less trouble. I have to check my cylinder pressure every day 5 months after a refill to make sure I do not get a "CO2 deluge" when my cylinder pressure drops below 400psi and that's a pain. I also have to let my cylinder sit for several hours after a refill to let the pressure stabilize at around 900psi, if I do not, I'll have to fiddle with the regulator for hours to get a good stable bubble rate and that's no fun.

              A heavy duty dual stage regulator will last you years and years (perhaps even decades). A large capacity cylinder will allow you to be able to get refills once or twice a year instead of every other month and if you get a bigger tank one day (and I think you will ), you won't have to purchase new kit.

              The investment in a dual stage regulator and a large capacity cylinder is really worth it just for the peace of mind and stability it will provide you for years to come. And if you one day decide to stop using it, the resale value is really good.
              Carbon, it there something it cannot do?

              Comment


              • #8
                Excellent points!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Check with were you will be refilling your cylinder. Some places will refill 5lb tanks, but not 10lb sizes. Other places will only use their cylinders, not yours.
                  :encouragement: Roll You're Own: Greater Washington Aquatic Plant Association
                  Mixed with a sound of water's murmuring
                  a sensitive plant in a garden growing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone for all the info. I've tried to go through the Dual Stage thread but it's soooooo much information.

                    Just to be clear, there's really only 3 main pieces one needs for the actual regulator (I have co2 tubing, and a combo bubble counter/ceramic diffuser i've used with DIY co2 in other tanks).

                    Those pieces are: Regulator, Solenoid, needle valve and check valve?

                    What am I specifically looking for in a Regulator? How do I know if it works with CO2 or not? I see tons on ebay but how do I know if it's ok for CO2?

                    Is there a reason I couldn't buy a setup from bestaquariumregulator.com and then replace just the regulator with a dual stage victor (or similar)?

                    Honestly, I don't have much experience doing plumbing or pipe fitting, but I'm pretty handy so I'd like to figure this out.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Indeed Tug, but generally if you have a "legal" cylinder, most places will fill it up. Just make sure that you have the proper crown markings on the cylinder, and everything will be ok. Some places (with reason) will refuse to refill a cylinder that does not have the proper crown markings. After all, at room temperature, the pressure inside is around 900psi. If the cylinder is not up to par, it could potentially go big badaboom.

                      Here's a link to some info on crown markings for US and Canada (DOT and TC).

                      link

                      Oh yeah, do not forget the hydrostatic test when the cylinder is due. Again to prevent a big badaboom.


                      /like leeloo, image is hot
                      /big, big baadaboom.
                      Carbon, it there something it cannot do?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RobotDeathSquad View Post
                        Thanks everyone for all the info. I've tried to go through the Dual Stage thread but it's soooooo much information.
                        You have some very good questions. Let me see if I can help.

                        There is a ton of good info in the Victor thread at TPT.

                        Darkblade48 (Anthony) just wrote a regulator summary at TPT that condenses things a bit. It's well done. It's worth a read.

                        Also, you can ask your questions in the dual stage regulator thread here. There's quite a few very knowledgeable people here that can help you. http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...age-Regulators

                        Originally posted by RobotDeathSquad View Post
                        Just to be clear, there's really only 3 main pieces one needs for the actual regulator (I have co2 tubing, and a combo bubble counter/ceramic diffuser i've used with DIY co2 in other tanks).

                        Those pieces are: Regulator, Solenoid, needle valve and check valve?
                        That's correct.

                        The term needle valve is a bit misleading at times. Swagelok's metering valves are what we use. They have a needle valve, but it is too coarse for our use. On the other hand, Ideal makes a needle valve that is terrific and not priced very high ether. Clippard's needle valve is bad. Don't get it. Parker's metering valves are good too. You'll see Nupro and Whitey metering valves. These are other parts of Swagelok's company. We use some of them too.

                        If it is a Swagelok metering valve, I like to use a medium flow metering valve with:
                        either 1/8" or 1/4" male or female NPT threads (1/8" is the most common)
                        either brass or stainless steel construction
                        with a Vernier handle if I can

                        Originally posted by RobotDeathSquad View Post
                        What am I specifically looking for in a Regulator? How do I know if it works with CO2 or not? I see tons on ebay but how do I know if it's ok for CO2?
                        Those two regulators that I linked for you are new. I'd buy them. The other parts that I linked are good too.

                        You can post ebaY links here unlike some other forums.

                        CGA-320 is the fitting used for CO2 use. It's easier if they have this already, but it doesn't cost much to get the correct nut and nipple. Besides CO2 regulators, you can use regulators for inert gas, air, oxygen and a few more. I don't use a regulator designed for use with a flammable gas.

                        I like regulators that have 0 to 30 psi and 0 to 60 psi low pressure gauges the best, but those with 0 to 100 and 0 to 200 psi will work too.

                        Chrome regulators look better and are easier to keep clean than brass ones.

                        High purity regulators have stainless steel diaphragms.

                        These are some of the common models of two stage regulators that I look for:
                        Victor
                        VTS253A-320 or -580 (CGA-580 is for inert gas)
                        VTS253B-320 or -580
                        VTS253C-320 or 580
                        VTS253D-320 or 580
                        HPT270
                        HPT500
                        SGT500

                        Matheson
                        8-320
                        3102

                        Concoa
                        212 series
                        412 series

                        Originally posted by RobotDeathSquad View Post
                        Is there a reason I couldn't buy a setup from bestaquariumregulator.com and then replace just the regulator with a dual stage victor (or similar)?
                        You can tell Rex that you have a regulator and he can supply you with the rest of the parts. His Fabco and Ideal are very good needle valves. I've used the Ideal, but I've never tried the Fabco because it is best to mount it inline. It has tiny #10-32 threads that require tiny #10-32 male parts than are real easy to break.

                        SuMo also offers a post regulator kit. You can see it on their site. It comes with everything that you need ... Ideal needle valve, Clippard solenoid, etc.

                        Originally posted by RobotDeathSquad View Post
                        Honestly, I don't have much experience doing plumbing or pipe fitting, but I'm pretty handy so I'd like to figure this out.
                        It is really quite easy to build one. Having access to a vice is mighty handy. I use a non-hardening pipe joint compound instead of Teflon tape for assembly. Sometimes pieces from the Teflon tape break off and lodge in the solenoid which keeps it from closing. This can be deadly for your critters.

                        Do you know about NPT threads? They are tapered so that the more that they are screwed on, the tighter they get. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Pipe_Thread

                        I hope this can get you started. Go to Post 1 in the Victor thread at TPT. There is a table of contents. Scroll down until you see one of several parts summaries. The last one of these listed shows all the parts and the order that they can be used on a regulator.
                        Last edited by Left C; 06-26-2010, 10:00 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wow, awesome Left C, thanks for all the info. Super helpful.

                          I'm in contact with Rex and we actually live in the same city, so I'm picking up all the pieces tomorrow from him. Then I'll just keep my eye on ebay to pick up a regulator at a great price.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RobotDeathSquad View Post
                            Wow, awesome Left C, thanks for all the info. Super helpful.

                            I'm in contact with Rex and we actually live in the same city, so I'm picking up all the pieces tomorrow from him. Then I'll just keep my eye on ebay to pick up a regulator at a great price.
                            I hope it helps.

                            The new VTS253C-580 is still available if you want it: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Coincidentally, I just started a 27g tank with HC, hair grass and riccia. I did the immersed method for HC for 2 weeks and it worked well. I decided to go with the dual-stage regs because they were about the same cost as buying one of the cheaper single-stage when it's all said and done. The downside is that there may be some trial and error along the way as I'm finding out with solenoids currently. Hopefully soon, someone will compile a thread of all the parts listings for the best and most commonly found items to DIY your own setup.

                              Comment

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