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Old 02-28-2010, 11:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

Hi Eric,

First of all, sorry for your fish loss; even after a bunch of years I still hate losing a fish unless it is sick or old age.

I believe in KISS, (Keep It Simple Roy), and here is what I would do. First, I think you did the right thing by getting the bubble counter out of the system, you can always add it back in after everything is stable. Second, it is difficult to tell if the problem is the regulator, solenoid, or the diffuser. Let's put the diffuser off to the side for a few days as well.

Now for a quick checklist:
1) Open the valve fully on your 5 gallon CO2 tank.
2) If the regulator is adjustable, adjust your regulator output to about 20 PSI, if it is not adjustable, hopefully it is about 20 PSI.
3) Activate the solenoid so the light is on.
4) Adjust the needle valve (with tubing attached and going into a bottle or jar) so you are getting about 5 bubbles per 15 seconds from the end of the tube in the bottle. Give it a few minutes to stablize and check the count again.
5) Turn off/unplug the solenoid and verify the bubbles stop after a few minutes.
6) Turn on/plug in the solenoic and verify the bubbles start up again.
7) Repeat steps 5 and 6 several times until you are confident that the solenoid is turning off and on the CO2 flow and that the bubble count remains stable.
Then turn the solenoid off, let everything cool down, and turn the solenoid on....is the count still more or less accurate?
9) Once you are confident that the regulator, solenoid, and needle valve are operating properly and are stable, then try the system with the diffuser attached. Keep in mind with the diffuser it will not start immediately when the solenoid starts the flow because it takes a while for the pressure to build up sufficiently for the bubbles to be forced through the diffuser nor will the diffuser stop immediately with the solenoid stops the flow because it will take a while for the pressure to drop back down.

Hope this helps, let us know how things go.
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

You can't adjust the low-pressure on the Azzo. It comes with a fixed working pressure I believe somewhere in the 30 to 40 range. That being said I'm not sure what bubble count you are trying to achieve, but this regulator is very hard to adjust to a low bubble count (i.e. 1 bubble every 3 seconds), so I find it difficult to use for a nano. With a larger bubble count it's actually quite consistent. If you need a very low bubble count you might need to open up the needle valve more an use an additional inline one.
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

Sounds like you have a diffuser that takes a lot of pressure to build up in order for the CO2 to come through. Once it's built up it will pour out. I had a diffuser like that and it never worked correctly. It took too long (well over an hour) for it to begin to come through, much less be true to the bubble rate I had dialed in with my needle valve. I decided to trash it and get a new diffuser. I also made sure I did all the tests in the thread below. I think they were contributing to my issues. Try a new bubble counter and be sure to read the thread below.

https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...u-about-4.html



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Old 03-01-2010, 01:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

OK, after taking a break all weekend, I started troubleshooting the CO2 issue.

First, there are virtually no directions for this regulator. It is hard to understand how something works with no directions or explanation of what parts do. The gauge on the left is the low pressure gauge and not having done anything like this before, I was unsure of what it should be reading. I do remember that when I first began to use the regulator, the low pressure gauge did not indicate anything, it was at 0. However, I did some searching on APC and didn't find what that gauge was to be reading so I assumed it was right...I guess that was wrong.

This morning, the gauge is reading about 23 PSI. This is something new, that gauge never read that high before so I obviously had low pressure leading to my erratic rates. Before turning it on this morning, I triple checked the connections, hoses and check valve and all seemed OK. I then plugged back in the solenoid, heard the click and then tuned on the needle valve very little. It began to bubble from the hose immediately. I then attached the diffuser and restarted it and it began to bubble from the diffuser within seconds. The low pressure reading dropped a bit but then went back to about 23 and seems to be holding steady.

As I have no more fish, I am not as concerned about leaving the diffuser on. I will just be checking back and taking PH readings every hour to make sure I get it dialed in and keeping an eye on the low pressure gauge.

My thoughts are that even though I purged the tank prior to fitting the regulator, some junk got into it and plugged and it just happened to let loose when I was gone in the morning on Saturday and I had a CO2 overdose as a result.

If anyone had anything else to add, please do, I could use all the help I an get. Thanks to everyone for the support and help thus far, I really appreciate it! I hope the worst is over and I can move forward, get more fish and have a healthy planted tank.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

Hi Eric,

Sometimes low/erratic output pressure and performance is due to not fully opening the main (5#) tank valve.....it should be fully open when the regulator is installed. 23# is a good working pressure.
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Old 03-01-2010, 02:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi Eric,

Sometimes low/erratic output pressure and performance is due to not fully opening the main (5#) tank valve.....it should be fully open when the regulator is installed. 23# is a good working pressure.
It's a thought but I have opened the main valve on the tank every time.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

Quote:
Originally Posted by EValP View Post
This morning, the gauge is reading about 23 PSI. This is something new, that gauge never read that high before so I obviously had low pressure leading to my erratic rates.
Very good to know that your system seems to be working now.

The thing about the low pressure being zero when you first tried the regulator is a bit puzzling. Even though some people had said that the low pressure of Azoo is not adjustable, according to MrSanders, it is adjustable. See:

https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...tml#post101586

If by chance you had played with that "nut in the middle of the regulator" (in MrSanders' words), it could explain the change in low pressure.
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Old 03-01-2010, 04:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

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Originally Posted by bartoli View Post
Very good to know that your system seems to be working now.

The thing about the low pressure being zero when you first tried the regulator is a bit puzzling. Even though some people had said that the low pressure of Azoo is not adjustable, according to MrSanders, it is adjustable. See:

https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...tml#post101586

If by chance you had played with that "nut in the middle of the regulator" (in MrSanders' words), it could explain the change in low pressure.
No, I didn't fiddle with that nut. I knew it came preset so I left it alone.
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Old 03-01-2010, 06:31 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

Hi Eric,

So how are things going now?
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:41 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

Still consistent.

I will update again in the morning when it comes back on.
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