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Old 02-25-2010, 11:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation New to CO2...ready to give up

I had a Read Sea yeast reactor and that didn't work for me at all. A few days ago I got an Azoo regulator from the Dr's and a 5 lb tank with a glass diffuser.

I can't seem to get the levels right and it is frustrating me. I have a drop checker to check it and I am also testing the PH regular to confirm the color. I have a natural PH of 7.6 and a KH of 5.

I got a bubble tester but it was such a huge piece of crap I took it off; I could hear it leaking. So I decided to start out slow and work up but now I have nothing coming out of the diffuser at all. I even turn the needle valve all the way up and nothing. I know it is with the diffuser because if I disconnect the line from it, I get bubbles from the line. It was working yesterday but today...nothing.

Meanwhile my plants are suffering badly and all of the time and money i invested in them are at risk.

Someone please help me, I am at my whits end here.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

I just got a set up from aquariumplants.com I got their regulator/meter and two 5# tanks. I always used DIY before but their system seems idiotproof. hence why I got it.
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

leak maybe? or the check valve the wrong way?
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

UPDATE:

OK, I tested the check valve already by hooking up a syringe to the line and it forced air from the diffuser. I then tested the regulator by removing the airline from it and opening the valve, it worked, some CO2 came out. I was puzzled but as a last resort I removed and reattached the regulator and suddenly all is well.

Not sure what happened but it seems to be putting CO2 into the diffuser. Now I just need to get the levels balanced, I don't use that leaky bubble counter, and fingers crossed, something like this will not happen again. I hope my plant recover, they are looking very sad.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

might not have been seated right on the tank itself.
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Old 02-27-2010, 05:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

Well, the worst has happened.

Last night the CO2 stopped working but I left it alone. This morning my wife and I go out to eat breakfast before the light came on and upon our return, all fish are dead and the CO2 is pumping out of the diffuser like crazy. Testing the PH, it is yellow so I replaced half the water and it is still yellow!!

The CO2 levels must be off the chart but now I am concerned about the entire biological system. All of the fish are dead but what about the plants, what does really high (crazy high) CO2 levels do to the plants. What about the good bacteria I have in my bio-balls? Is the whole system going to collapse and die now?

Please help.
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Old 02-28-2010, 05:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

Sorry to hear about your loss.

However, some trouble shooting is required in order to prevent this from occurring again in the future. Why did your CO2 stop working? What was wrong? As mentioned previously, did you check all the connections for leaks as well? I suspect that there was a leak previously, which was why you had such a difficult time stabilizing your CO2 rate.

In terms of the biological system, the plants will not mind the high levels of CO2. I use to keep a high light, high tech tank with enough CO2 to keep the drop checker a constant yellow colour.

I am not sure about the beneficial bacteria, and the effect of high CO2 concentrations, however. I would assume they would not be very happy, but should be OK.
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Old 02-28-2010, 07:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

It's interesting that you would have a CO2 overdose due to a malfunction. The other night when you said it stopped working, could you be more specific about what the regulator was doing, amount of bubbles coming out, etc?

Depending on the type of glass diffuser, you have to get the pressure pretty high for it to go through the small holes in the diffuser. I've noticed on mine that if i set the pressure at a certain level via needle valve, it can sometimes increase afterwards. This almost killed my fish. They were doing summersaults and rolling around when i found them. Fortunately i was able to save them. I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

If you can give more specific info, maybe even pictures, we should be able to help you more.
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Old 02-28-2010, 08:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

Well, the first day I used the regulator it was putting out about 2 bubbles per second in my bubble counter. The next morning it started back up with the light but the bubble count was lower than 2 bbs and erratic. I noticed a hissing from my crappy bubble counter so I removed it and started out slow so not to overdose. I kept an eye on the PH all day and I got it dialed in good so I left it.

The next morning when the regulator clicked on with the light, it was not working...no bubbles. I gave it an hour but still nothing so I tried to turn it up a bit and it began to work so I kept an eye on it but as the day progressed, it got faster and faster and it began to bring the levels to high, even when I was turning it down after every check so eventually shut it off so the fish did suffer.

The next morning when the regulator clicked on with the light, it was not working...no bubbles. I gave it an hour but still nothing so I tried to turn it up a bit...still nothing, not even with full on. That is when I removed the regulator and saw bubbles from the hose so I cleaned the diffuser with a bleach water solution and flushed it with Prime and clean water before assembling the system again and still nothing not even full on...at this point I was getting very frustrated. I finally removed the regulator and reattached it and it began to work at that time so I kept an eye on it for the remainder of the day and got it dialed in again. However, when I went upstairs to go to bed, there was no bubbles. I cussed it but left it alone.

The next morning I got up early to go out to breakfast, before the light and regulator came on. I figured when it came on it wouldn't do anything so I didn't unplug it but I should have knowing it was not working right and I wouldn't be around to monitor it. That is when it must have came on and been way too high. By the time we got home at around 11:30, the fish where dead and the diffuser was bubbling like crazy. I shut it off, mourned my fish and cussed a bit more. I cleaned the tank, replaced half the water and tested the PH, it was still yellow so I left it alone and wrote to this post.

Sorry that is so long winded but I am trying to be specific as to the events. I am so confused by this regulator issue and ready to just throw in the towel on this tank. If the plants and biological filter dies, I might as well...hundreds of dollars lost. By the way, it is an Azzo regulator and I got it from Dr. Foster Smith. I have a check valve and it is on correctly.

Any help would be great, I am not a quitter but this has got me so wound up, stressed and disappointing.

Thanks again to everyone that offers some assistance.
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New to CO2...ready to give up

Hi Eric,

Sorry to hear about your situation. I use a Milwaukee regulator, NOT Azoo. However, a couple suggestions may be worth considering.

First, do NOT put your CO2 tube into the fish tank while you are still experimenting with your CO2 set-up to have a consistent output. Letting the CO2 output into the air will waste the CO2 but it will not harm the fish tank. After the CO2 set-up has been verified (through the bubble counter) to produce a consistent output for several days, then it is safe to have the CO2 tube into the fish tank.

Second, you may want to check the low pressure gauge reading. If it is too low, that may be the root cause of insistent CO2 output. Since I have not used Azoo, I cannot comment on the proper low pressure for such set up. For my Milwaukee setting, a low pressure of 20 psi gave a consistent bubble rate. With the needle valve fully opened, I adjusted the low pressure reading to 20 psi. Then I adjusted the needle valve to get the rate that I wanted as shown in the bubble counter.

Hope that helps.
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