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Old 02-20-2007, 11:23 PM   #1
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power head- CO2 help

Guys,
Ive been kicking the tires at a planted tank now for about 1-1/2 months. I started bothering you all about substrate first, then lights then ferts. I have been avoiding the investment of Co2. Until my algae and poor plant health issue. yes I have high phosphates-(10) PH 7.2 Nitrate-50ppm

I have a great lite setup, Coralite 4x65 (but I only use 2x65) 2.37wpg eco complete substrate, Greg Watson dry ferts.
Well-I just bought an Milwaukee regulator (sorry Rex ) and 5lb alum Co2 tank.
Here is where I bother you again,
power head or glass diffuser? which one? check valve which one? CO2 tubing- which one? Any thing else-(besides a new brain)
I have plenty of water movement with an AC500 filter-(actually pushes smaller fish toward bottom of tank) Air stone will get removed when I install Co2.
Suggestions and recommendation are appreciated as always
Thanks,
Cliff NY
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:56 PM   #2
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I would say a powerhead. If you get both, you can place the glass diffuser directly under the powerhead intake, this will eliminate the noise of the impeller hitting the bubbles. As for check valves, if it's a regular plastic one, over time it will get brittle. If you can find a brass one, will last much longer. As for tubing, get CO2 tubing. Regular air tubing will get brittle as well.
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:16 AM   #3
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A powerhead with give you a variety of options for diffusing CO2 depending on what you combine it with. If you're looking at the mist method you can just pick up a sweatwater airstone and use that instead of the glass diffuser. They create the same size bubbles but the sweatwater stone is a lot less expensive.

If you want minimal maintenance, go with the brass check valve and CO2 tubing like LoneWolfBlue suggested. You can use the regular airline and plastic check vavles, but they will need to be replaced at least annually if not even more frequently. For CO2 tubing you are looking for the stuff specifically made for CO2 or neoprene (which sometimes is sold for ozone). Be careful about the tubing as some of the websites advertise the tubing as being for CO2 but in actuality what they're selling won't break down with contact to CO2 but it is also highly permeable to CO2 so you'll get higher loss.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:15 PM   #4
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Purr,
Can you point me in the direction of where to geta brass checkvalve and "real" Co2 tubing?
Which Power head for a 55 gal tank? i'll order today.
thanks
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:40 PM   #5
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Though there is much debate on the subject, IMO regular airline tubing (vinyl type, not silicone type) Works great, and is cheap to replace every few years.

If you desire "real" CO2 tubing, then irrigation drip line tubing as found at the hardware store is the same stuff (material-polypropyline) as what is used for industrial applications. Anything else, is faux CO2 tubing. Often black vinyl tubing is sold as CO2 line, when in fact it is the same stuff as clear vinyl tubing, just black.

FWIW, my ADA CO2 setup came with vinyl tubing for the high presure side, and silicone tubing for the low pressure side.
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Old 02-21-2007, 12:40 PM   #6
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Over on the APC site John N. is selling exactly what you're looking for.
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:32 PM   #7
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APC site??? John N?
Thanks
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Old 02-21-2007, 02:34 PM   #8
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Thanks Zezmo, it was the silacone tubing that I couldn't think of. While it won't breakdown with extended contact to CO2 the way that vinyl tubing does, it's highly permiable leading to considerable CO2 loss.

You can also get the check valves and tubing from Rex Griggs. For just tubing many of the online store sell the neoprene tubing (DrsFosterSmith, ThatPetPlace, BigAlsOnline, etc).
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Old 02-21-2007, 03:07 PM   #9
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The stuff John N is selling, polyeurethane, is "the good stuff", as is the Rex Grigg product.

Quote:
While it won't breakdown with extended contact to CO2 the way that vinyl tubing does, it's highly permiable leading to considerable CO2 loss.
It is permeable, this is usally only considered a potential problem on the high pressure side of a system. Beyond the needle valve, your system should not be at enough pressure for this to be an issue.

One my main tank, I have done away with any glass diffusor, and run the CO2 directly into the powerhead. So that side is only at a couple PSI at best.
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Old 02-21-2007, 05:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zezmo
Quote:
While it won't breakdown with extended contact to CO2 the way that vinyl tubing does, it's highly permiable leading to considerable CO2 loss.
It is permeable, this is usally only considered a potential problem on the high pressure side of a system. Beyond the needle valve, your system should not be at enough pressure for this to be an issue.
Thanks for the clarification on this. So for someone who has their needle valve(s) attached directly to the regulator, using silicone tubing shouldn't pose a problem. However for people, like myself, who have one or more of their needle valves plumbed inline, it's a good idea to avoid it.

Do you have any information on how the polyeurethane and neoprene (ozone) tubing compare?
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Old 02-21-2007, 09:24 PM   #11
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As for brass check valves, might also check with the local hardware store or welding supply stores.
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Old 02-21-2007, 10:55 PM   #12
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interesting--local hardware store?
--What size barbed ends fit the co2 tubing diameter?
Thanks
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:16 AM   #13
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Pretty sure it's 1/8" ID, 1/4" OD tubing.
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Old 02-23-2007, 12:55 PM   #14
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Folks,
Ordered brass check valve, co2 tubing and Perma seal through Rex Griggs. Still deciding on AC 40 power head or Red Sea reactor 500. gulp!
Cliff NY
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