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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an AM CO2 regulator hooked up to a Fabco needle valve to a AM solenoid to an inline CO2 reactor.

I ran the set-up last week without running the solenoid, checked for any leaks and found none. The lowest PSI setting my regulator allows is 22 PSI which AM claims is the fixed range. I set my needle valve to run at 4 bubbles per second and finally achieved perfect 7.0 ph. A week after I'm out of CO2

I contacted AM's tech support to ask them if it's possible to lower the PSI setting to 10-15 which from what I read is the reccomended range. AM said they never heard of such a setting.

Even If I ran the solenoid to my timer I should at least get twice the CO2 duration or longer right? Especially if I only have the system on for 8 hours with the 2 hour interval mid-afternoon.

Am I doing something wrong or is my regulator bust? Should I just use the regulator's needle valve and take the Fabco out of the equation?

:(
 

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Is the solenoid hooked up directly to the regulator? If not the solenoid may shut off the co2 but the pressure that builds up in the tubing (22 psi) is probably way to much for it.
 

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I have an AM CO2 regulator hooked up to a Fabco needle valve to a AM solenoid to an inline CO2 reactor.

I ran the set-up last week without running the solenoid, checked for any leaks and found none. The lowest PSI setting my regulator allows is 22 PSI which AM claims is the fixed range. I set my needle valve to run at 4 bubbles per second and finally achieved perfect 7.0 ph. A week after I'm out of CO2

I contacted AM's tech support to ask them if it's possible to lower the PSI setting to 10-15 which from what I read is the reccomended range. AM said they never heard of such a setting.

Even If I ran the solenoid to my timer I should at least get twice the CO2 duration or longer right? Especially if I only have the system on for 8 hours with the 2 hour interval mid-afternoon.

Am I doing something wrong or is my regulator bust? Should I just use the regulator's needle valve and take the Fabco out of the equation?

:(
Well it's hard to say how long your CO2 should last since you don't say how big your aquarium is? How big your CO2 tank is? What is the kH of your water (to estimate the CO2 level)?

I will say that 4 bubbles per sec is rather high flow rate. I keep my rate at 1 bubble every 2 seconds and my controller keeps the pH at 6.4. A five pound CO2 tank lasts about 4 months in my heavily planted aquarium.

Having had two of those needle valve/solenoid/bubble counter/regulator "Rube Golberg" devices I can understand your frustration.

I'd ditch the thing and get an electronic system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
sorry, frustration reigns when I'm typing and organizing my thoughts!

Here are the details:

60 gallons
5 pound CO2 tank
CFL lights run from 11am-3pm then 5pm-9pm again.

As I mentioned before to test the setup, I had the solenoid and CO2 system constantly running. I doubt the solenoid was faulty here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
one more important information I forgot to add.


My PH is 7.6 normal without any additive, if I start dosing with CO2 with the 4 bubbles per sec it comes down to 6.8
 

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Was the tank freshly filled, or did you have it filled and sitting around for months on end before using it.

I had a 10 gallon in the garage for a year before using it, then it only lasted for about a week, then I filled it and it lasted 6 months (on a 75 gallon).

Just a thought, have you filled it and tried it again?

Another thing, I had a 2.5lb. on a 29 gallon tank, it lasted 6 months with about 2-3 bps.
Your 5lb on a 60 gallon is about the same thing, I guess you should get at least 3, possibly 4-5 months at 4bps.
 

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Also, what type tube are you using, silicone or the type specific for Co2.
and don't assume that if a fish store/web site sold it to you that it is the right stuff.
The good Dr. Foster and Smith and many others sell crap tube for co2 set ups.

You need to purchase Co2 specific tubing to make sure you don't have a problem there.
you probably know that already, but just checking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Was the tank freshly filled, or did you have it filled and sitting around for months on end before using it.

I had a 10 gallon in the garage for a year before using it, then it only lasted for about a week, then I filled it and it lasted 6 months (on a 75 gallon).

Just a thought, have you filled it and tried it again?

Another thing, I had a 2.5lb. on a 29 gallon tank, it lasted 6 months with about 2-3 bps.
Your 5lb on a 60 gallon is about the same thing, I guess you should get at least 3, possibly 4-5 months at 4bps.
It was freshly filled, maybe I should just disregard the PSI reccomendation, and go with 25 PSI which releases 2 bubbles per second and ditch the Fabco too?
 

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Possibly, I never have used an AM regulator, but with the Azoo's, the provided needle valve never seemed to stay where set, so I always opened them up pretty good and used a 2nd speed control. I have used the clifford (not very accurate, more of a 2 line splitter) which was really hard to set, but once set, it stayed were it belonged. I have used the ADA knock off speed controller with good success also.
Otherwise, my JBJ regulators, they always stayed where I set them.
 

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sorry, frustration reigns when I'm typing and organizing my thoughts!

Here are the details:

60 gallons
5 pound CO2 tank
CFL lights run from 11am-3pm then 5pm-9pm again.

As I mentioned before to test the setup, I had the solenoid and CO2 system constantly running. I doubt the solenoid was faulty here.
You are clearly using CO2 way too fast. The most likely problem is a leak. I would start by using a squirt bottle filled with some water and a little liquid dish washing detergent. Spray this on all the parts that CO2 goes through and look for bubbles. Especially check the connections. Make sure that all the tubing is clamped down with copper wire clamps. Check the gasket between the CO2 cylinder and the regulator. Use only tubing that is rated for CO2.

It is also possible that your CO2 reactor/diffuser is too inefficient. This is not likely since you are using an inline system but check the outlet to see if there are bubbles coming out. That would mean that you not dissolving the CO2 in water fast enough.

Your goal should be to get you CO2 rate down below 1 bubble per second. For a good reactor even 1 BPS is 2-3 times more than you need!
 

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Possibly, I never have used an AM regulator, but with the Azoo's, the provided needle valve never seemed to stay where set, so I always opened them up pretty good and used a 2nd speed control. I have used the clifford (not very accurate, more of a 2 line splitter) which was really hard to set, but once set, it stayed were it belonged. I have used the ADA knock off speed controller with good success also.
Otherwise, my JBJ regulators, they always stayed where I set them.
Why don't you try an electronic regulator system? Mine is infinitely variable and I can control the CO2 in my tank to +/- 2ppm.
 

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I got one and sold it, then got one again and never have gotten around to setting it up.
I guess the reason I never stressed on it is because I have not yet gone the reactor route, I can visibly see if my co2 is releasing by looking at my bubble counter and diffuser, and with the drop checker, I somewhat know what the level is, the pearling tells me I am doing good and the fact that my fish are healthy says most all of it.

I do have a 90p in the works (has been on about a 7 month hold due to work and life, but getting closer) and I do have a PH controller and reactor (using the filters as a reactor for this) on this one, no bubble counter or diffuser so I want something that safeguards me.

I will say, that IME a reactor is much better then just a diffuser. I always used one diffuser, sometimes two in larger tanks, one on each side and got great results, but nothing compared to when I set up my cube and put the diffuser right under the filter intake. I set it up so 90% of the bubble or more went right up the filter intake.
The difference that tank saw when I set it up like that was amazing.

I expect huge things when I do the 90p and use the filters as a reactor.
And the PH meter, I expect it will work just fine.
 
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