Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
Tropical Fish Forums
Aquarium fishkeeping around the world!
 
ChatChat  HelpHelp   Search BoardSearch Board   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Check your private messagesCheck your private messages   Log inLog in   RegisterRegister 
Large CO2 tank that used to be used at my restaurant for sod
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 Forum Index > The Best of the Board  Reply to topic   Post new topic
Author Message
lokobreed
Members


Joined: 30 Dec 2003

PostPosted: 2004.03.25(Thu)19:19    Post subject: Large CO2 tank that used to be used at my restaurant for sod Reply with quote

Hi

My family is in the resturant business and we recently switched to Pepsi from Coke (sorry any of you Coke Fans)...
So I kep one of the large CO2 tanks that use to be used for the COke products and I am doing my first planted tank and its a 55 gallon tank and is going to pretty heavily planted. My lighting is 2 65 Watt day light bublbs and 2 Actinc 65 Watt bulbs.

So I'm assuming its a good idea to use CO2 with this tank correct?

How would I set this up? The tank is large and has a nob that I turn to realease CO2. I'm am not sure at all how to take this tank and inser CO2 into this tank and how to make sure I m not injecting to much or to little, can anyone please help with directions?

Also I heard it lowers the pH, correct? If so how would I get the pH back up to like 7.0 for the fish?

Thanks
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
mlody
Advisors


Joined: 25 Jul 2003
Location: Chicago, USA

PostPosted: 2004.03.26(Fri)0:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is very lucky of you to find a used cylinder to store pressurized CO2. First a few things... What was this cylinder used for originally? When you say it was used for pepsi... did it hold pepsi or did it hold the CO2 that mixed with the pepsi (a tap system)? If it held pepsi... well then you probably need a new tank. If it held CO2, well then your in for a nice treat!

1st. If there is CO2 in it Skip this... If there is not CO2, you need to get a refill at a local weld shop. What they do is usually swap your tank for one of theirs that is fully charged.

2nd. You need a pressure regulator calibrated for CO2. Look online if you don't already have one. There are many types of Pressure regulators, I have a "frog" which is really cheap but it has no guages. People buy regulators with guages to know how much pressure they are putting in and how much is left int he tank before they run out. Guages are helpful but not needed... (you can check how muc CO2 is left in the cylinder by weighing it and as for the output pressure, well you need a needle valve anyway).

3rd. You need to buy a needle valve to have a finer level of control for the output CO2. The pressure from the regulator is too large by itself when pumped to a bubble counter and diffuser, so we need to lower the pressure. Look online again for a needle valve which should cost about $10... (if you want to be mega stingy, get a valve from petsmart for 2 dollars and hook that up. Make sure the pressure from the regulator is not big enough to pop the line off the valve... because there goes your whole tank) I would recommend the 10 valve for easy calibration.

4th. You need a Co2 diffuser. There are many ways to get these... One way of course is to buy it online for a few dollars. Another way is to feed the line into a filter, but this may result in filter air lock and loud burping noises (hard to sleep with that). A third way is to make your own with PVC pipes and other materials. Go online and search for DIY Co2 reactor and I'm sure you'll find more then your looking for.
_________________
"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."
- Albert Einstein
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Steve Hampton
Moderators


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2004.03.26(Fri)7:24    Post subject: Re: Large CO2 tank that used to be used at my restaurant for Reply with quote

lokobreed wrote:
Hi

My family is in the resturant business and we recently switched to Pepsi from Coke (sorry any of you Coke Fans)...
So I kep one of the large CO2 tanks that use to be used for the COke products and I am doing my first planted tank and its a 55 gallon tank and is going to pretty heavily planted. My lighting is 2 65 Watt day light bublbs and 2 Actinc 65 Watt bulbs.


You may decide to change the actinic lamps later. Actinic lamps supply lighting in a vary narrow band that don't offer the full spectrum that plants need. While they probably will increase the total a small amount they are much less efficient. Still with the 130 watts of daylight PC's plus the actinic lamps you will probably be able to grow most any plant properly.


Quote:
So I'm assuming its a good idea to use CO2 with this tank correct?


While you could probably go without CO2, this tank with the PC lighting will be much easier to keep algae under control with a pressurized CO2 system.


Quote:
How would I set this up? The tank is large and has a nob that I turn to realease CO2. I'm am not sure at all how to take this tank and inser CO2 into this tank and how to make sure I m not injecting to much or to little, can anyone please help with directions?


Sounds like all you have is a 20lb CO2 tank. The knob at the top is the main control valve. The CO2 is held in liquid form inside the tank at about 1000psi. In order to use the CO2 you need to be able to reduce the pressure so that the liquid returns to a gas and the pressure is reduced to about 1-3psi. This is accomplished with the use of a CO2 regulator. The regulator attach's directly to the CO2 tank. It takes the high pressure (1000psi) and reduces it to a more manageable 10-30psi. The regulator has two gauges, one for the tank pressure and one for the regulated out flow pressure. The first gauge is to monitor the tanks contents. As long as there is liquid CO2 within the tank the pressure will remain at or near 1000psi, once all the liquid is used the tank pressure will begin to drop indicating the tank is near empty and in need of a refill. Most people decide to refill when the tank pressure drops to 400-600psi. For a 55g aquarium and a 20lb. CO2 tank you should be looking at probably at least a 1-2 years between refills. Anyway, the regulator reduces the pressure down to 10-30psi, this is still to high for our use. To further reduce the flow we add a needle valve after the regulator to fine tune the out flow to 1-3psi. This equates to a small bubble of CO2 of about 0.5 to 2.0 bubbles per second of CO2. This CO2 needs to be "bubbled" into something that allows the CO2 to efficiently dissolve into the tank water. This unit is called a reactor. A CO2 reactor can be anything that allows greater contact with water to hopefully fully dissolve the bubbles of CO2 being added. CO2 reactors can be DIY built for about $10 that run off the flow of a canister filter or they can be purchased for $30 to $75. Alternately you can use a ceramic diffuser that takes the CO2 bubbles and breaks them into a fine mist that almost full dissolves before reaching the water surface.

Additionally you should purchase silicon tubing for running between the regulator and the aquarium. Also, while not absolutely necessary, a bubble counter is a nice option to install. The bubble counter offers a reference for the degree of change you make in the flow of CO2 and it gives a constant visual check of system performance. Bubble counters are a simple DIY build too.

You have saved about $85 dollars by having the tank. You'll need to get a the tank refilled at either the beverage distributor or a wielding supply company. This cost to refill a 20lb. tank should run about $20.

To summarize, you'll need:

Dual gauge CO2 regulator
Needle valve
Silicon airline tubing
CO2 reactor (can be DIY built)

Optionally
Bubble Counter (can be DIY built)

Milwaukee makes a pretty good all in one regulator for about $110. This unit is a dual gauge CO2 regulator with a needle valve, bubble counter, and solenoid already installed. The solenoid can be used to turn on and off the flow of CO2 with either a timer or a pH controller. Right now Aquatic-Store has this unit on sale for $75.99...a very hard to pass up bargain IMO. All you would need is some silicon tubing and a reactor. Some people (myself included) use CO2 resistant tubing though the extra expense may be unnecessary.

Quote:

Also I heard it lowers the pH, correct? If so how would I get the pH back up to like 7.0 for the fish?


You are correct. It's best to dissolve enough CO2 in your tank water to drop the pH 0.6 to 1.0. This results in CO2 levels of 15-30ppm...20-30ppm is a better range IME. I try to shot for an ending pH that is a weak acid in the 6.6 to 6.8 range though higher is fine too. If your beginning pH is too low, like 7.4 or below, you'll want to increase your pH slightly so that your ending pH isn't too low. You can add calcium carbonate to increase GH, KH, and pH. Or if you don't want to increase the GH you can add sodium bicarbonate (plain baking soda) to raise the KH and pH only. Most fish will be perfectly fine in a weak acid pH that is that way from carbonic acid. (carbonic acid forms when CO2 is dissolved into water, it's the carbonic acid that lowers the pH)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
lokobreed
Members


Joined: 30 Dec 2003

PostPosted: 2004.03.26(Fri)11:35    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

thanks everyone

Hey Steve, I have a few questions though if maybe you can help me out a little more.
Just so you know the CO2 tank was only used for CO2 and is full with CO2 right now, but a little has been let out but still about 75 % full...

1) So this CO2 tank is what I need though correct?

2) Shouldnt the pH in a fish tank always be atleast 7.0 or a little higher (7.6 around there) and not in the 6.8 range or anything?

3) When you said "It's best to dissolve enough CO2 in your tank water to drop the pH 0.6 to 1.0. " Do you mean for an example if I want my pH level to be around 7.2 (CAuse inst that the norm) with CO2 I should up the pH level in my tank to around 8 before inserting CO2 into the tank?

4) Dual gauge CO2 regulator
Needle valve
Silicon airline tubing
CO2 reactor
For all those do you have an estimate in the cost of this?

5) As my lighting goes, I was planning on using a dusk to dawn effect for this tank, truning on both actinc lights 20 minutes before the day lights go on in the morning and leving them 20 minutes on longer at night.
Should I leave the actinic lights on during the day with the day lights or only use them for the 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night?
Also why do you feel I should possibly think about chaning the actinic lights?

Thanks,
Sorry for the long 5 questions hope you can find some spare time to help out...

So you think I should use this CO2 in this tank though or try and go without it?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Steve Hampton
Moderators


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2004.03.26(Fri)12:17    Post subject: Re: thanks Reply with quote

lokobreed wrote:
thanks everyone

Hey Steve, I have a few questions though if maybe you can help me out a little more.
Just so you know the CO2 tank was only used for CO2 and is full with CO2 right now, but a little has been let out but still about 75 % full...

1) So this CO2 tank is what I need though correct?


Yes, the CO2 tank is the same as is used for injecting CO2 into planted tanks. Since it's 3/4 full you should be good for about a year. (provided it's a 20lb tank)


Quote:
2) Shouldnt the pH in a fish tank always be atleast 7.0 or a little higher (7.6 around there) and not in the 6.8 range or anything?


No at all. Provided you water is well buffer (KH at least 3) there is no problem whatsoever having a pH of even 6.4. There are a few sensitive fish that require acidic water and a few that do better with basic conditions but the majority will do fine within a range of 6.4 to 8.0. What fish do you plan to keep?


Quote:
3) When you said "It's best to dissolve enough CO2 in your tank water to drop the pH 0.6 to 1.0. " Do you mean for an example if I want my pH level to be around 7.2 (CAuse inst that the norm) with CO2 I should up the pH level in my tank to around 8 before inserting CO2 into the tank?


Exactly, though the exact starting and ending point only needs to be a range. Preferably your starting point will allow the drop without any additions to your KH.


Quote:
4) Dual gauge CO2 regulator


As low as $45.00 for a beverage regulator online to the $110.00 for the Milwaukee all-in-one. (Currently for sale @ $75.99)

Quote:
Needle valve
If you don't buy the all-in-one you need to buy a good needle valve...about $20.00 online.

Quote:
Silicon airline tubing
Cheap, 20ft costs less than $5.00.

Quote:
CO2 reactor
This can be free to as much as $75.00. Free is using a Magnum 350 canister filter as your reactor. You can DIY build an external reactor to work off your canister filters flow for about $10.00. Or you can purchase a unit online for $25-$75 depending on how big and efficient it is.



Quote:
5) As my lighting goes, I was planning on using a dusk to dawn effect for this tank, truning on both actinc lights 20 minutes before the day lights go on in the morning and leving them 20 minutes on longer at night.
Should I leave the actinic lights on during the day with the day lights or only use them for the 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night?
Also why do you feel I should possibly think about chaning the actinic lights?


That's fine and can be an excellent setup. As I stated in my earlier post, actinics provide very little additional lighting that plants can use efficiently. Actinics only produce light within a very narrow though usuable band. Choosing full spectrum lights would be much more efficient. Though as I stated the 130 watts of daylight PC's you have will offer enough light for most plants anyway. If you latter decide you want to grow the most light demand of all plants then you might want to consider changing the actinics for more full spectrum lighting.


Quote:
So you think I should use this CO2 in this tank though or try and go without it?


Go with using CO2. You greatly increase the odds at have a algae free tank. However, be aware that lighting plus CO2 equals rapid growth. Rapid growth equals more pruning and adding fertilizers. If you want a slow growing low maintenance tank then CO2 may be a mistake, though your lighting almost dictates using CO2 or algae problems will be problematic.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
lokobreed
Members


Joined: 30 Dec 2003

PostPosted: 2004.03.26(Fri)23:43    Post subject: Steve Reply with quote

Steve

How long shouold I leave the CO2 on?
Should I leave it on 24/7 or put it on some timer if thats possible?

Also once the CO2 is inserted into the tank and the pH drops will it ocntinue to drop or no, once it dropeed by around 1.0 its done?

Also I have a bottle for pH UP that I have had for about 2 years now can I use that too to up the pH or you recommend a better way?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Steve Hampton
Moderators


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2004.03.27(Sat)11:08    Post subject: Re: Steve Reply with quote

lokobreed wrote:
Steve

How long shouold I leave the CO2 on?
Should I leave it on 24/7 or put it on some timer if thats possible?


People do it both ways. Personally I run my CO2 24/7. Some find they have too large of a range in the levels of CO2 between lights on and lights off, so they turn their CO2 off at night (with the lights) with a timer. Note that in order to turn the CO2 off you have to have a solenoid. You can also achieve about the same thing without a solenoid by having an airstone come on when the lights go out, this speeds gas exchange and CO2 levels drop trying to reach equilibrium. Or you can turn off your power reactor...this assumes you have a separate power reactor, obviously you couldn't do this if using a canister filter to power your reactor. Running CO2 24/7 doesn't cause any problems but it does waste CO2...about twice as much. I spend about $30.00 per year on CO2 so the difference of $15 per year is insignificant to me.

Also, if you decide on using a CO2 regulator with a solenoid, those can be connected to a pH controller. The pH controller will add CO2 until a preset pH is reached, then it will control the flow of CO2, by opening and closing the solenoid, to maintain the pH between two preset points. The cost of a pH controller runs $120-$200.

Again, personally I run my CO2 24/7 and monitor the pH with a pH monitor.

Quote:

Also once the CO2 is inserted into the tank and the pH drops will it ocntinue to drop or no, once it dropeed by around 1.0 its done?


Let's look it how CO2 causes the drop then you see how and why the drop occurs and when it will stop dropping. We are using the regulator/needle valve to control the amount of CO2 going into the aquarium. We do this by reducing the flow to a small bubble. How many bubbles per second is how much CO2 is going into the tank. Say we are adding 1 bubble per second. We send that 1 bubble per second into our CO2 reactor and hopefully the reactor dissolves almost all the CO2 into the tank water. After running this for about 24 hours you will have maximum saturation for that amount of flow of CO2. Then you take a pH and KH test reading. Compare the results to the CO2 chart to determine CO2 levels. If those levels are below 15ppm you would need to slightly increase the bubble rate (CO2 flow rate). If the CO2 levels were above 30ppm you would need to decrease the bubble rate slightly. Wait another 24 hours for the change to stabilize and do the testing and comparing procedure again until you have the desired levels of 15-30ppm. Note that a given rate of CO2 flow will reduce the pH a finite amount and then stay stable. Meaning the drop is finite not infinite. It should also be noted that the amount of CO2 needed is different for every tank, the size of the plant mass, the efficiency of the reactor, the intensity of the lighting, the amount of circulation and surface agitation, and the amount of nutrients available for the plants all are major factors that influence how much CO2 is need for each aquarium. Also, as conditions change within the tank more or less CO2 may be required. For example, doubling the plant mass suddenly would lower CO2 levels within the tank as more plants using more CO2...this would be noted by a rise in the pH...you would then need to increase the bubble rate (flow of CO2) to compensate for the greater "consumption" rate of the plant mass.

Quote:
Also I have a bottle for pH UP that I have had for about 2 years now can I use that too to up the pH or you recommend a better way?


Throw away the bottle of pH UP so that you are never tempted to use it. Raising the pH is simple and not problematic. But unless you KH is below 3 it's not necessary. What is your GH, KH, and pH currently? Those test results determine what should be added, if any, to increase them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mlody
Advisors


Joined: 25 Jul 2003
Location: Chicago, USA

PostPosted: 2004.03.27(Sat)23:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is getting really confusing as to who has what...
The only person the can clarify this is lokobreed.

As I asked before...
Quote:
When you say it was used for pepsi... did it hold pepsi or did it hold the CO2 that mixed with the pepsi (a tap system)? If it held pepsi... well then you probably need a new tank.

_________________
"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."
- Albert Einstein
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
William
Advisors


Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Houston, Texas

PostPosted: 2004.03.28(Sun)0:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

ML,

There is no confusion. A soda fountain employs a CO2 tank and a separate syrup container. The CO2 and the syrup are completely separate. It could be Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, etc. The syrup and CO2 used to produce your favorite soda are injected parallel to produce your favorite (carbonated) beverage. Like I said in my previous post, go to a local Stop and Go and ask the clerk to show you the workings of the soda fountain.

Best regards,

William


mlody wrote:
This is getting really confusing as to who has what...
The only person the can clarify this is lokobreed.

As I asked before...
Quote:
When you say it was used for pepsi... did it hold pepsi or did it hold the CO2 that mixed with the pepsi (a tap system)? If it held pepsi... well then you probably need a new tank.

_________________
-Insert Your Favorite Quote Here-
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail MSN Messenger
Steve Hampton
Moderators


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Jacksonville, FL

PostPosted: 2004.03.28(Sun)9:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

William wrote:
I only returned the behemoth because of the size (Steve, they are bigger then 20lbs, more like 40lbs).


Excellent point William. The deli next to my store uses 20lb tanks, but I checked with the restaurant behind me in the plaza and they have those huge 5 foot tall 50lb. tanks you mentioned.

Even the 20lb. tanks (30 inches tall) are difficult to transport back and forth to refill. They weigh about 50lb. when full. The five foot tall 50lb. tanks would be well over a 100lbs when full and all but impossible to safely transport in a car to have filled or refilled. Here's a picture showing different size tanks.



The smallest tank is 5lb. then 10lb. (about 22 inches tall), 20lb. (about 30 inches tall) and the 50lb. (about 5' tall tank)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
 Forum Index > The Best of the Board All times are GMT - 6 Hours Reply to topic   Post new topic
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Jump to:  
  You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2008 phpBB Group

oF <=> oC in <=> cm G <=> L