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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,
I'm trying to set up my 26 gallon planted aquarium, and I'm having some problems with the CO2.

I have the Red Sea CO2 Pro System, which I've heard is good enough to get the job done, but I haven't been too successful. I also have a 12 oz CO2 tank. I am kind of upset that I decided to buy the paintball version instead of the regular one, because I thought I would be able to find paintball cylinders easier, but it turns out they are just as easy to find as the normal co2 tanks, and are smaller.

Now, so my problem is that I am running out of CO2 very quickly. The longest I've had my 12 oz last is about 20 hours. I have it on exactly what the instructions said; 15 psi, at 1 bubble per second. So, I know my cylinder doesn't leak because after having this problem once, I got it refilled, and left it a few days without being attached to the system, and it stayed full. So again, I put it in, and it died after about a day again. I thought I solved my problem when I realized that my bubble counter was never closed properly, so I closed it well, and got my tank refilled again last night. Now, that it's running, it seems to be working fine with the amount of CO2 that's going into the tank, but since it was started, at about 7 am this morning, and now about 6 pm, it has lost 600 cylinder pressure (It started at 800, and is now at 200. Sorry I don't know the units). So in about 11 hours, it has lost 3/4 of the tank, meaning it probably won't get me past 10 pm tonight...

I heard that a 12 oz should last me around 2 weeks minimum. So, is 1 bbs too high? Is the tank just way too small? If I bought another tank, what size should I get? Has anyone experienced this problem before, or at least know what is going on and how I can fix it?

I am mostly concerned because I got my plants recently, and they aren't doing that great, so I think that CO2 would be a good boost for them right now.

I guess I'm going to be going to DIY CO2 tonight.

Thanks, I'll post more details if you guys say there is more you need to know..

Great to be on the forum!
 

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Welcome to the Forum! :D

You've got a leak somewhere in your system. Put soapy water over all your connections and look for bubbles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response! Just to clarify, should I just put all of it in a soapy bath? By all, I only mean the reactor (Will this be okay for it, or will this ruin it?), the tubing up to the needle valve, the needle valve, the tubing to the bubble counter, the bubble counter, and the tubing to the diffuser (not the diffuser though).

Sorry if I mixed up reactor with something else, I said it referring to the part with the gages connected directly into the cylinder. Because I know the diffuser is called the Red Sea Reactor 500.

So do I have this right? Or, by system, did u mean to put the cylinder in soapy water?

Also, this maybe a real beginner's question but I am a bit lost. Lets say I have a leak in the connection between the bubble counter and the needle valve. How would this make the CO2 in the cylinder leak out any faster? Wouldn't it just mean that the CO2 would continue at it's normal rate, and last just as long as it should, but some or most of the CO2 would leak out once it reached the dysfunctional area, only resulting in less CO2 getting into the aquarium? Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks again!
 

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Welcome to APC
Like nevermore stated you just need to test all the connections with soapy water, let some drip on the connections. If it bubbles it's leaking. If your Co2 is leaking between the needle valve and the bubble counter you would need to increase the flow to get the correct bubble count because some of the CO2 is being lost before it gets to the bubble counter. What you stated is correct if the leak was after the bubble counter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. I understand it now. So, wouldn't this mean that regardless of how many leaks I have, I MUST have one somewhere before the bubble counter? Again, correct me if I'm wrong please. I tried putting the tubing connecting to the needle valve, the needle valve, the tubing to the bubble counter, and the bubble counter, but I did not see any bubbles whatsoever. Does this even make sense? Well, before I did it, I took off the nut that locks the tubing into the needle valve, and I noticed that the tubing came off with it instantly. So, I didn't really get a good look, but maybe it's possible that the tubing was never connected correctly. So is there any chance, that this was where the leak was, and I fixed it before its soapy bath, resulting in no leaks being shown?

So now, I tried hooking up the little remainder of CO2 in my tank, and hopefully, giving that it doesn't empty out in 20 minutes, I'll be able to confirm it as leak proof:D!

Thanks again
 

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It's likely leaking between the CO2 cylinder and the regulator. Is there a washer or o-ring between that connection that is damaged or missing?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Again, sorry if this is really a begginer's question, but what does an O-ring look like, and where would it be. Would it be on the cylinder's piece that screws it into the regulator, or inside the regulator where the cylinder screws in? As I already said, I'm not too sure what they look like, but if they are somethings like a rubber ring (now that I look I think I see it), I see a yellow rubberish ring right at the tip of the cylinder. How do I tell if it is damaged? It has gone through more then 3 connects, but then again, it leaked from the first connect. Is it possible to have gotten it already damaged?
 

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There is usually some sort of washer (plastic or rubber) that comes with the regulator that fits in between the connection of the regulator to the CO2 cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I see the O-Ring now, but how would I tell if it's damaged. It wouldn't be from too many screw-ins because ever since the 1st one, it all leaked out in a day. So it either came with a damaged O-Ring, or that obviously isn't the problem right? So, does anyone know any signs or markings to tell that an O-Ring needs to be replaced?
 

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Something's not seating correctly. It could be another connection, it's hard to say without looking at it in person. Is there someone in your area that might be able to take a look at it for you?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Not that I know of. I have a Big Als near by which is a great fish store with knowledgable people, but I'm pretty sure they don't have anything involving CO2 except for the Hagen DIY one. I know by see it in person you would probably mean to test it, and feel around, but I can take pictures on the whole set up if it would help at all?

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Alright well it looks like a bringing back a thread from the dead:). I never really got around to taking pictures over the holidays, and over all of the other time I've wasted lately, but I think I found the issue.

Here's what I did, tell me if it makes sense please.

I took the whole setup except for the regulator and CO2 cylinder. I filled up the sink with water, and took out the beginning and end tube's ends from the water. I attached an air-tube to the beginning end of the tubing (Where the CO2 would first go through), and I took the end's tube's end (Normally connected to the diffuser) and blocked it with my finger.
So, this would mean that this would be a setup that replicates the real thing (I think the Air-pump is stronger though), just if there is a leak, since it's submerged underwater, any air that escapes will form an air bubble. Right?
Anyways, I continued with the testing, assuming I was right, and when I did it, the back of the bubble counter (It's like an empty slot), where you connect the suction cups, bubbles were coming out. This is obviously the leak, right?

Here's a picture of the BC. If you look right behind the suction cups you'll see the slot I'm talking about.
http://www.tsunamiaquatic.com/i/co2 system/0f_1_b.jpg

Anyways, I e-mailed Red Sea, and I get the impression that they have great customer support, because without a single question they said they would send another one, and for me just to send them my shipping information.

So hopefully this was the problem, and things will be working once I get the new Bubble Counter.

Just another quick question. Since I tested it so many times, I must have worn out my O-Ring (They're supposed to be changed every 2 times, right?). So, my question is, do I need to buy O-Rings, or a Nylon Seal?

O-Ring:
http://www.redgrin.com/10-co2-cylindertank-oring-p-608.html?RGSid=4ecb011de541844ab4ebe4369d3f51f3

Nylon Seal:
http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/co2-regulator-seals/nylon-seal.html

Thanks a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Anyone? Please tell me if you know about the O-Ring or Nylon Seal, because I got my new bubble counter in today and want to set up the system properly ASAP.

Thanks
 

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I use the perma seal from Greenleaf on my 10lb tank. But, don't think it would work on your small cylinder. Send Orlando a e-mail at Greenleaf and he can tell you what you need I'm sure.
 
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