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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got my co2 system hooked up in my 55g. Now I have some newbi questions. I have the Milwaukee PH monitor and regulator. Do I need to worry about how many bubbles are coming out of the counter? Or do I just turn on so a few come out and let the PH monitor turn on the solenoid? I also was wondering about my light now. Before I redid my tank Hoppycalif told me I had too much light, because I had unstable CO2 and no frets. Well now I am dosing with EI and have CO2 should I stick with 2.3 watts per gallon or should I turn on all my lights and get 4.72 watts? Any help would be greatly appreciated
 

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Re: more questions for the new guy

From what I've gathered, you're running 4x65w into your 55g?

If so, why not leave 2x65w on for 8-10hrs and have the other 2x65w on for only 3-4hrs within that 8-10hr photoperiod? That way you give your plants a nice burst then back to the normal lighting..
 

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Re: more questions for the new guy

If I had the ability to run either 2.3 or 4.7 wpg I'd do exactly what Zabu recommends. Running 4.7 wpg full-time is asking for trouble. If (and it's an ENORMOUS if) you can get the CO2 and nutrients right, 4.7 wpg can produce some nice growth and good coloration. Honeslty though, the gains to be had with ridiculous light levels are minimal and usually don't justify the problems that come with it.

As far as the pH monitor goes, I'd recommend running the tank for a while without it. Keep adjusting it carefully until the pH is where you want it. After a few days you'll have a pretty good "feel" for an appropraite bubble rate just by looking at the bubble counter. Once you know where this is, turn the CO2 flow up just a little bit more and hook up the controller. You don't want the solenoid cycling on and off every few minutes so you shouldn't turn the bubble rate up too high. You also want your fish to have a chance of survival if the solenoid becomes stuck in the "open" position.
 

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Re: more questions for the new guy

If this were my tank I would use that controller only as a monitor. Instead, I would get a drop checker, and rely on that for maintaining the proper amount of CO2 in the water. Once you know how many bubbles per second, with how much water circulation, gives you about 30 ppm of CO2, you can always adjust the CO2 and the circulation to maintain that amount. Just use a timer to turn on the CO2 solenoid about an hour before the lights come on, and turn it off about an hour before the lights go off again.

I have never used a "noon burst" lighting scheme, so I have no experience with how well it works. I do know that excessive light intensity for too long a lighting period is a sure way to achieve a level of misery with this hobby that none of us want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: more questions for the new guy

Thanks for all the help guys. I will try what you guys recommend on the lights. I am also having trouble with my co2 regulator. I can't get a steady stream of bubbles. It is either a bunch coming out really fast or just really slow rate of like 1 or 2 bubbles. Is this common with a new set up or do I have something really wrong? If I do have something wrong and I kill all my wifes fish she is going to kill me :confused:
 

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Re: more questions for the new guy

The Milwaukee regulator comes with instructions that tell you to adjust the bubble rate by using the big black knob on the regulator. Maybe one person in 100 has been able to do this. It's always been easier for me to set the low-side pressure to about 7 or 8 psi while adjusitng the actual bubble rate with a needle valve. I'm assuming that you have the pre-made combo unit with a regulator, solenoid, bubble counter, and needle valve all in one. If not, you really ought to get a setup with a high quality needle valve. The ones on the usual Milwaukee unit are OK, but not fabulous.
 

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Re: more questions for the new guy

I agree about how to adjust the bubble rate, and the quality of the Milwaukee needle valve, but I have found that I need at least 15-20 psi outlet pressure from that regulator before I get a steady bubble rate. With less than that I get irregular spurts of bubbles too. Once I get the bubble rate steady and at about the right setting, then I use the regulator knob to fine tune the rate. The needle valve is just too crude to make fine adjustments, in my experience, but a slight turn of the knob will usually make the fine adjustment I want.
 

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Re: more questions for the new guy

I agree about how to adjust the bubble rate, and the quality of the Milwaukee needle valve, but I have found that I need at least 15-20 psi outlet pressure from that regulator before I get a steady bubble rate. With less than that I get irregular spurts of bubbles too. Once I get the bubble rate steady and at about the right setting, then I use the regulator knob to fine tune the rate. The needle valve is just too crude to make fine adjustments, in my experience, but a slight turn of the knob will usually make the fine adjustment I want.
I did the same thing. Set the psi to roughly 20psi and from there fine tuned to 1 bubble per second. The only thing is, the co2 isn't diffusing from everywhere on the ceramic disc, but just at certain locations. If I turn it up to 2-3 bps, then co2 is being diffused everywhere. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow thanks alot guys. I do have the combo kit. I did what you said and turn up untill about 10-15 psi and adjusted the needle valve it is working fine now. I have about 1bps and I see CO2 coming out of my defuser. :D
 
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