Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 08-09-2007, 12:46 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,254
Carbo Plus CO2 and a Controller Question

I'm still deciding on a CO2 method for myself. I have plenty of Excel left right now, but I'd rather not dose and have something automated.

I've seen these before in a LFS, and while they work, they're expensive. I know there are supposed to be versions of this from China that are half the price. Has anyone stumbled across these? How long would a block last in a 55-gallon tank?

The other question I had is how the pH controller feeds back to control the CO2. Based on what parts I've seen on a pressurized CO2 system, it would make sense that the controller is feeding back to the solenoid, but I've never seen a full setup hooked up. Can someone explain this to me?[/code]
__________________

__________________
theotheragentm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2007, 12:57 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
rich311k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 12,189
Send a message via Yahoo to rich311k
The carbo plus units are garbage. They suck the KH out of your tank and the refills are quite expensive.

I do not have a PH controller but the idea is that when a certain PH is reached the solenoid is turned off stopping the flow of CO2. It is not needed. Once you have the CO2 dialed in you really dont have to worry about it until you need to change tanks.
__________________

__________________
From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.
rich311k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2007, 01:14 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,254
Quote:
Originally Posted by rich311k
The carbo plus units are garbage. They suck the KH out of your tank and the refills are quite expensive.

I do not have a PH controller but the idea is that when a certain PH is reached the solenoid is turned off stopping the flow of CO2. It is not needed. Once you have the CO2 dialed in you really dont have to worry about it until you need to change tanks.
Okay. Gotcha on the carbon blocks.

Doesn't the amount of plants in a tank factor into the CO2 levels you want? As the plants grow, don't you have to adjust?
__________________
theotheragentm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2007, 01:22 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
rich311k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 12,189
Send a message via Yahoo to rich311k
In theory yes, but I keep my levels well over 35 ppm. That way there is always enough but not to much to harm any of my critters.
__________________
From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.
rich311k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2007, 02:57 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,254
Here's something simple I totally missed. Where do you want to keep your PPM generally and when does it start becoming a problem for fish and other critters?
__________________
theotheragentm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2007, 08:14 PM   #6
Moderator Emeritus
 
Purrbox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Iowa USA
Posts: 5,860
Generally CO2 isn't going to be a problem for fish until you hit levels above 100ppm as long as your O2 levels are good. I aim for about 35ppm or a little higher.
Purrbox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2007, 02:37 AM   #7
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,254
I just thought of some questions on a CO2 system.

1. What does the solenoid do if you don't have the pH controller? I'm used to seeing regulators and solenoids on industrial applications. Normally I'd assume the regulator is just cranked down manually, reducing the pressure of CO2 going to the tank, and normally solenoids are on/off in function, but that controls the solenoid if you don't have the pH controller?

2. Is CO2 normally kept on with lights on a timer, and adjusting the regulator until you have your 35ppm in the tank at the end of the light session?
__________________
theotheragentm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2007, 07:14 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
rich311k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 12,189
Send a message via Yahoo to rich311k
1. Mine is on a timer. Goes on an hour before the lights do and off when the lights go off. Helps save some CO2.

2. I use a drop checker. As long as it is green I am happy. That and the plants pearl like crazy within a few hours of lights on. If the drop checker turns yellow I back the CO2 down a bit.
__________________
From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.
rich311k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2007, 11:53 AM   #9
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,254
So does that mean the solenoid doesn't do anything if you don't have a pH controller?

How quickly will the range change? I am out on weekends a lot of times, away from the tank for 36 hours at a time. I'm trying to see whether this spells disaster for me if I don't get a pH controller.
__________________
theotheragentm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2007, 01:56 PM   #10
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 870
The solenoid turns his CO2 off at night - plugged into a timer.

Otherwise you are right a pH controller would also make good use of the solenoid.

Many folks out there do not use controllers and are able to balance their CO2 injection with BPS (Bubble Per Second) tweaking with a needle valve. Personally I found that too hard and just use a controller - when on it just blasts CO2 in there until the pH is corrected and then stops. I also have the whole thing turn off at night.

And in addition to the controller I use a drop checker with reference solution to confirm that my CO2 levels are correct regardless of what my controller thinks (great first indication that your CO2 tank is empty is seeing your drop checker go blue).

A controller is going to cost you around $100 if you want to go that route... Without one, you do run a higher risk of killing all of your fish, especially if you are new to CO2 and not around your tanks for long periods of time.
dapellegrini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2007, 04:50 PM   #11
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
rich311k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 12,189
Send a message via Yahoo to rich311k
Start slow and keep an eye on your drop checker. You should do just fine. I would recommend planning on being around your tank for the first day or so to be sure all stays well. I highly reccomend turning the unit off at night. I think you are much more likely to have a leak and waste a tank of gas in a day or so than you are to kill all your fish off.
__________________
From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.
rich311k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2007, 05:16 PM   #12
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,254
Thanks for all your help, everyone. I'm definitely getting a mental picture of the whole setup now. The solenoid is a normally closed valve, hooked up to a standard power plug. Does that mean the pH controller is something the solenoid can plug into and the controller will disconnect the circuit when you reach your pH level specified?
__________________
theotheragentm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2007, 05:58 PM   #13
Aquarium Advice FINatic
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 870
Yep. The solenoid plugs into the controller, which will then turn it on or off...
dapellegrini is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-10-2007, 06:07 PM   #14
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,254
Thanks. I'm used to dealing with industrial applications, where your solenoids have bare wires or spade terminals to hook up to things rather than wall socket plugs. Scaling everything down to fish tanks is the same principle, but it's still very new to me. If anyone wants to build a huge tank with level controls and pumps, I can help you find equipment to do it. It'd probably have to be 1,000+ gallons though before it becomes worth the money.
__________________

__________________
theotheragentm is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
co2, controller

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Carbo Plus CO2 Injector DSenn Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 3 09-14-2008 05:26 PM
anyone use or know about this Carbo Plus CO2 Unit? aviran Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 7 02-11-2006 04:46 PM
Carbo-Plus Co2 System caribou Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 3 09-30-2005 07:17 PM
For Sale: Carbo-Plus CO2 injection System critter905 Archive 0 01-21-2005 01:21 PM
Carbo Plus a CO2 system aikido Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 3 10-20-2004 12:15 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.