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Old 01-30-2007, 10:04 PM   #1
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24-hour lapse in CO2?

Just noticed my drop checker went blue and upon further inspection my CO2 tank is empty. My pH is back up to near ambient level at 7.7 and the brewer supplies place doesn't open until noon tomorrow for a refill...

Since this is the first time I have had to refill the CO2, I am wondering how others typically deal with this kind of thing? Is 24 hours ok with no CO2 on a tank that otherwise gets it 24/7? Should I dose Excel tomorrow? Other thoughts?
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:43 PM   #2
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I just check the tank pressure every so often. If it starts moving lower then it's either getting colder or the tank is running on fumes.

Mine is a 10# and last time it started falling I lost about 50-75PSI/day and had 10 days to get it refilled.

Co2 boils at a specific pressure, Under 850* PSI it will boil. so if the pressure gets below 850*PSI then there is no liquid left to boil.

* Changes based on Temperature

I haven't had mine go for more then 8 hours with no Co2, but if yours has already been going without for a bit, then I wouldn't worry too much about it. you can reduce the light a bit for the day if you're worried about algae..

take advantage of the tank being empty and weigh it, then next time you get it filled you can put it on a scale and know exactly how many lbs you have left.
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:56 PM   #3
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Good point on the weight thing. It is completely empty now. Just one of those things I might not have even looked at if it wasn't for the drop checker. I wish a little alarm went off telling me that the pressure was getting low....

I have turned off most of my lights for tomorrow and may try and get it filled in the morning at a welding supply place. If I do that I may also see if they will upgrade me to a 10lb tank (currently use a 5lb, which has lasted me 4 months)...

My only concern (not to understate it) is algae...
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Old 01-30-2007, 11:05 PM   #4
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I wonder if something like this would work on co2?

I believe it operates by sensing the difference in temperature between the liquid in the tank that is boiling off and the vapor space above it.
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Old 01-30-2007, 11:12 PM   #5
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Well, I might as well just use the gauge if I am going to be looking at it. I would need some kind of audible alarm...

I continually hear that fluctuating CO2 is a leading cause of algae problems and am hoping that I can avoid any issues while CO2 is down...
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:09 AM   #6
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Just run half your lights until you get the CO2 going again and you should be fine. While the CO2 isn't hooked up your levels will get low, but shouldn't fluctuate too badly.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:20 AM   #7
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Strange thing, my pH was up to 7.7 before lights out, and this morning it was down to 7.4.... Huh... Last night I turned the lights off and pulled the plug of one of my 2 XP3s (the one that creates more water current / surface agitation)...

Anyways, I was able to make it down to a Welding Supplies shop this morning and get the tank replaced before the lights came on. I will keep a close eye on things for the next couple days...

A few thoughts that have occurred to me during this exercise:

- Audible CO2 alarm - What a great addition to the hobby, if anyone could find or come up with some kind of system that perhaps attaches between the regulator and the tank that emits some kind of (not to disturbing) beep, say every 10 minutes when the CO2 starts to get low.
- With such a high dependance on available CO2, I wonder if it wouldn't be prudent to have an extra tank and regulator laying around in just to be ready... I don't think I could replace my regulator locally if it died, and I would hate to be SOL for a week or more while having one shipped
- Without that drop checker in there, I would not have even thought to check the CO2. It could have gone on for another day or two until I started to wonder why the pearling had slowed or stopped... It's even more handy than I was thinking when I set it up.
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:11 PM   #8
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dapellegrini .... Maybe something like this would work?

http://www.wholesalehydraulics.com/A...ducts.asp?c=13

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