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Old 01-01-2008, 09:12 PM   #1
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When to get CO2 tank refilled?

Hey everyone. My tank psi has stayed pretty consistent for the last several months (can't even remember how long its been but probably close to 6 months on a 20 gallon with 5lb tank). Over the last 2 days its dropped from the ~800psi to ~550psi. I have a full setup from Rex Grigg (CO2 regulator, electric solenoid valve, low pressure regulator, and needle valve) and wondered at what point I need to refill the tank. I've heard of tank dumps before when it gets too low, but I've also heard if you have a LPR and a needle valve this doesn't happen and you can essentially run the tank dry.

Little help?

Thanks.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:15 PM   #2
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It's time. When the pressure starts to drop, it'll go rather quickly.
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Old 01-02-2008, 07:09 AM   #3
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Well I went back and looked to see when I had originally purchased the tank and it was July 17th, so I'd say I got pretty good usage out of it (slightly over 5 months).

Thanks for the reply, I'll have to take a trip to get the tank refilled ASAP!
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Old 01-02-2008, 01:55 PM   #4
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I let mine get into the red on the regulator....not sure what psi range that is though. I haven't had a dumping problem yet, but maybe I'm risking it by waiting so late.
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Old 01-02-2008, 03:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JustOneMore20 View Post
I let mine get into the red on the regulator....not sure what psi range that is though. I haven't had a dumping problem yet, but maybe I'm risking it by waiting so late.
Do you have a low pressure regulator and/or needle valve on the tank? I've heard of tank dumping without the needle valve/LPR, but I've heard if you have them the tank cannot dump since there is more than one place restricting flow....

EDIT: I got home today and checked the pressure (CO2 has only been on for 3 hours) and its at ~530psi (a hair above 500), so it hasn't dropped much yet. I'll see how it goes tonight and tomorrow to see if I need to make the run before the weekend, or if I can wait until Monday/Tuesday.
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Old 01-02-2008, 04:19 PM   #6
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Mine takes two weeks to empty once it hits the red mark. I have the same setup as you do 7. No need to worry about a dump.
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Old 01-02-2008, 04:34 PM   #7
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Mine takes two weeks to empty once it hits the red mark. I have the same setup as you do 7. No need to worry about a dump.
Awesome Rich. Thanks for the reply. Seems I have longer than I thought. I want every last drop!
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Old 01-02-2008, 05:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Enigma View Post
Do you have a low pressure regulator and/or needle valve on the tank? I've heard of tank dumping without the needle valve/LPR, but I've heard if you have them the tank cannot dump since there is more than one place restricting flow....
Nope, I just have the Rex regulator on the CO2 tank...no LPR or needle valve (on the tank itself).
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Old 01-03-2008, 08:10 AM   #9
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Kristin,

You may want to contact Rex or create a new topic in the planted forum to ask specifically. From memory I remember reading that without a LPR/needle valve if the pressure gets low enough it will not be restricted by the main regulator and will dump. I've heard of people losing entire tanks due to the extreme CO2 levels when this happens. Would hate to see it happen to your tanks!

And just for my knowledge I'd be interested in hearing what you come up with if you find out (send me a PM please).

Oh, and as an aside, I assume you run your CO2 24/7? If you find that your setup risks dumping due to no LPR/needle, you might just ask Rex to send you the attachment LPR/needle/solenoid. While $$$$, it should double or triple the time it takes the tank to empty and should offset the cost in the long run (I only have the CO2 on 9 hours a day, the rest of the time its capped).

Love the BN pleco in your avatar! Looks just like mine (if he/she ever came to the front of the glass during lighted hours!)
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:03 AM   #10
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I think I've heard that Rex's regulators are pretty good at not dumping at the end of the tank. I know especially with the LPR/needle on the tank it shouldn't, but I *think* I remember reading that pro about his regulators (rarely dumping at end of tank). I check my regulator everyday because my tank hasn't been lasting as long as it should and I never let it get too close to 0 before I turn it off. I run my CO2 about 10 hours a day and do have a solenoid, so when it gets close to the end of the tank I do unplug the solenoid until I can refill.

I may look into a LPR just to make the tank last longer though.

Quote:
Love the BN pleco in your avatar! Looks just like mine (if he/she ever came to the front of the glass during lighted hours!)
Thanks! That was a money shot. I can rarely get close to the tank when he's out in the daytime....but I snuck up on him with my camera (and it has a pretty good zoom and macro mode as well).

Sorry to have derailed your thread a bit....
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:13 AM   #11
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Sorry to have derailed your thread a bit....
Not at all, I've gotten the info I need already!
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