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Cheap pressurised CO2 system DIY guide

Simon jones

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26 Jul 2013
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Fantastic!!! I was using the DD co2 bottles costing £21.99 plus £6.99 postage from Aqua essentials. The exact same bottle from machine mart (which is at the end of my street) £11.99!!!!!! Someone's making a tidy profit.
 

Aqua360

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paisley
Thanks :) I now have a constant flow of co2.

I'm using it with a Hagen Elite Mini, which I plug into a timer. The co2 starts diffusing an hour before the lights come on, but with lights off the bubbles float to the surface without dissolving. Cheap solenoid :)

can you please elaborate on this?
 

tim

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can you please elaborate on this?
Hi Aqua, I think Henry used the elite mini to diffuse the co2(run the co2 hose straight into the filter) the impellor will break up the co2 into fine bubbles allowing better diffusion, by putting the filter on a timer say 2hours before lights on untill 1 hour before lights off will act like a solenoid, when the filter is off the co2 will dissipate out of the surface of the tank, good for livestock, hope this makes sense.
 

Aqua360

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Hi Aqua, I think Henry used the elite mini to diffuse the co2(run the co2 hose straight into the filter) the impellor will break up the co2 into fine bubbles allowing better diffusion, by putting the filter on a timer say 2hours before lights on untill 1 hour before lights off will act like a solenoid, when the filter is off the co2 will dissipate out of the surface of the tank, good for livestock, hope this makes sense.

It does :) also great idea, pick up a lot of great tips on here that I'd never have thought of otherwise
 
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tim

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It does :) also great idea, pick up a lot of great tips on here that I'd never have thought of otherwise
Great idea indeed, I used a small power head with a ciggie filter stuck into the co2 tube for diffusion, putting the power head on a timer would've saved a few shrimps lives when I first started out :(
 

Aqua360

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just wanted to ask those using this system, have you had long term success with it, in regards to the durability of the components etc?

Close to investing in this system, but still getting my head around some of the smaller parts despite its simplicity lol
 
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run the co2 hose straight into the filter) the impellor will break up the co2 into fine bubbles allowing better diffusion

Have you personally tried this?
I tried co2 injection before a marine pump thinking similar would happen but it causes the pump to cavitate horribly and become very noisey.
 

ceg4048

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Have you personally tried this?
I tried co2 injection before a marine pump thinking similar would happen but it causes the pump to cavitate horribly and become very noisey.

Yes, many people have tried this and have been successful using this technique. When it works, it works better than most methods. Some pumps and filters cavitate. What you can try is to use the ceramic disk so that the bubbles entering the pump are finer. Also, because this is an efficient method, the injection rate can be reduced, which can sometimes mitigate the cavitation.

Direct injection into the pump inlet should always be tried. If it's problematic then don't use it. If it works it will solve or avoid a LOT of problems.

Cheers,
 
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I was injecting between filter and pump, guess it depends on impeller design.
I'm using a relatively large pump that outputs up to 4000lpm, definitely didn't like CO2 injection creamed like a banshee even with the pump turned right down.

It was a cheap Chinese ceramic inline diffuser the bubbles were relatively fine. I'm going to try again with inline injection next time after the pump.

Inline-Co2-Atomiser-Diffuser-Bubble-Counter-Planted-Aquarium.jpg
 

GHNelson

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ian_m

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This type of regulator can't be used with a needle valve or solenoid as it isn't really a regulator, but a "flow control valve".

It will work wonderfully as described with a suitable diffuser providing 24/7 CO2 injection.

If however, as many people here have found, you insert a timed solenoid or another needle valve, the connecting tubing pressure will rise to 55bar (full tank pressure) and burst off the connections.

For a small tank, running CO2 24/7 this will be fine, but not really suitable for larger tanks as waste CO2 will be considerable.
 

AlanRR

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ian_m

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Yes would connect fine but this is a flow regulator, see my above post about all their major major major drawbacks.
 

AlanRR

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Yes would connect fine but this is a flow regulator, see my above post about all their major major major drawbacks.

Thanks Ian,

The idea is just to run it with plants only 24 x 7 for 2 or 3 months just to encourage plant growth. As long as I can adjust the thing to a reasonable rate I wouldn’t need a solenoid or additional needle valve. I guess in this scenario the main question would be how accurately I can adjust it.

Cheers

Alan
 

AlanRR

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Looks like my cabinet is too small for a fire extinguisher anyway :( I only have about 500 mm to play with and the extinguisher seems to be about that height with no room left for a regulator. Looks like I am back to looking for something to work with the smaller disposable canisters.
 

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