CO2 and manifolds for nano tanks: newbie

lilirose

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Currently I have a dual stage regulator with two manifolds, one goes to a 30 liter Dennerle NanoCube and one goes to a 54 liter tank that is 60x30x30cm.

But I'm not finished yet...

I will also be wanting CO2 in:

  • A second 30 liter NanoCube,
  • A second 60x30x30
  • And finally I want to run CO2 to a 72 liter tank that is 60x30x40.
Now, I'm asking this here instead of asking a CO2 salesman, as I want an honest answer and not an "upselling" answer.

That's five tanks total, however they are all very small tanks compared to what most on this forum run. I also have two men in the house giving conflicting advice (and neither of them knows the slightest thing about aquariums). My son says that attaching three more manifolds to the existing regulator is the best option (so that it has five manifolds total). My husband thinks I should buy a second regulator, which would mean I'd spend near enough a thousand on all this kit.

I'm already kicking myself because I was upsold a Ultimate Pro Dual Stage regulator when I could have saved quite a load of money on a single stage, however the salesman convinced me that I was risking my livestock due to the potential of EOTD, and I listened to him and spent a hundred quid more. Have learned since that any EOTD would be minimal as I'm using SodaStream and dividing it among multiple tanks.

Edited to add my actual question: is five manifolds on one regulator too many, if they are all supplying nano tanks?
 
Last edited:

noodlesuk

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I suspect you might have trouble balancing the flow with that many manifold and a second regulator might help.

Have you had any issues with the two manifold setup, balance wise?

Try just with the extra manifold and if you have issues, get the second regulator, maybe. Can you do this?
 

lilirose

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Thank you so much for the responses!

Back a couple of months ago, when I was able to get a civil reply from the person who sold me the original regulator, he said it would be fine to use several manifolds along with a SodaStream, because all my tanks are so small. In further conversation he proved himself to be much less than trustworthy. I only discovered all this when it was too late to send the kit back.

In my location and in my particular (and unique) situation, SodaStream is going to be my only reliable and consistent source of CO2 refills for the time being. I'm aware that SodaStream tanks are small and that it's more expensive than the alternatives available in the UK and in the less rural parts of Ireland. Please trust that I researched it in depth and this is my only viable solution at this time. When there is no longer an ongoing pandemic with accompanying travel restrictions and business closures, things will be different.

I'm running an Ultimate Pro Dual Stage regulator now (the one that cost 100 quid extra, which I bought because the sales guy convinced me that if I bought a single stage, my livestock would die from EOTD every time the tank ran out). The splitters that @Nick potts linked to are not for use with that regulator- I will have to buy these instead: https://www.co2supermarket.co.uk/output-manifold-ultimate-pro-dual-stage-regulator-p544.html

I have two manifolds now. There is a minor issue of balance (turn one of them up, the bubble count on the other goes down), but once I get it dialled in I think it will be fine. There was a leak that caused the system to eat two SodaStream bottles in about a month- my son thought "just a tiny leak" would not be an issue, and of course he was quite wrong indeed. (I have an ongoing problem of two men in the house who are incredibly hands-on and have refused to let me get fully to terms with the system without them fiddling with it, though neither of them has any interest in my aquariums!)

I was not sure if the balance issue would become much worse with more manifolds- in fact that was probably what I was wanting to know when asking, but I am such a newb at the whole CO2 thing that I am completely unaware of the possible pitfalls, and I don't want to repeat my mistake of relying on the advice of a salesman.

However, a second regulator is a massive expense, and I am on a limited income. If running several manifolds will not work, I'll have to have a rethink.
 

Nick potts

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I don't know much about the regulator you have, but don't be to put out about paying the extra for a dual-stage, just think of it as extra safety.

Why won't the splitters I linked to work, I thought they were universal? The fact you have a dual-stage reg shouldn't make any difference.

I am sure someone with more experience with regulators will be along shortly :)
 

lilirose

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I don't know why I can't use the splitter. I asked the customer service rep, and was told that for my regulator, that splitter was not the appropriate part, and that, instead, I needed the manifold that I linked to.

Were I to buy a splitter from them anyway after being specifically told that it's not the correct part, I expect I should consider my warranty void from the instant I take receipt of the package. I have come to really dislike the chap that does customer service for that company, but I don't find that to be unfair, that he can't support me if I buy parts that he told me were inappropriate.

In any case, I already have the manifold linked above, it feels like it would become ridiculously complicated if I bought a splitter to throw into the mix instead of additional manifolds?

And I agree, a dual-stage regulator is extra insurance. I bought it believing that I could attach several manifolds. I simply can't afford a second dual-stage regulator anytime soon- that amount of money would feed my family for a week and a half, and again I'm on a limited income.
 

lilirose

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Do u not have a maidenhead aquatics near u? You could get a larger JBL tank and they do refills to

No. I don't live in the UK. I live in an extremely rural part of Ireland. We don't have Maidenhead Aquatics in this country, and the closest LFS that refills CO2 tanks is a 2.5 hour drive away, in a county which currently has visitor restrictions in place (i.e. it's illegal for me to go there at the moment).
 

hypnogogia

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Why would the splitter that @Nick potts linked to not work? If it attaches to the needle valve on a solenoid, then it doesn’t matter what regulator you have on the other side of that needle valve. My BS filters are on high alert over what the guys at this retailer are telling you.
 

alto

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alto

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Were I to buy a splitter from them anyway after being specifically told that it's not the correct part, I expect I should consider my warranty void from the instant I take receipt of the package
This should not impact your regulator warranty - it’s absurd if the company makes that claim
 

lilirose

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Why would the splitter that @Nick potts linked to not work? If it attaches to the needle valve on a solenoid, then it doesn’t matter what regulator you have on the other side of that needle valve. My BS filters are on high alert over what the guys at this retailer are telling you.

I agree that this guy sets off my BS meter to an extreme. He upsold me via guilt trip ("it's up to you- if you are willing to accept losing the livestock in all of your tanks") and then became extremely rude with me over a different issue a little while later. I wanted to return the entire system at that stage but my husband talked me out of it, and now I'm stuck with it, as the cooling-off period ended weeks ago.

However, again, I don't think it would be reasonable to expect them to support a system after I buy a part for it that he specifically told me was not appropriate. I also know that the whole situation has been frustrating enough without trying to force a hostile retailer to support a system including a part they told me I should not buy. That would push me over the edge- as it is, I'm at the point of unhooking the whole thing and offering it for sale here, as it has caused me no end of stress since the day I bought it, and I can no longer rely on the retailer.

Please forgive me, all, if I sound angry. It's been a long, hard day which has been ruled by Sod's Law at every turn. I am certainly not angry with anyone here.
 

Nick potts

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I’d strongly agree with this
You can try with splitter(s) but will most likely struggle constantly to obtain predictable/consistent gas levels down each pathway

Why? The spitter uses individual needle valves so should be simple enough to dial each one in using a bubble counter.
I'm at the point of unhooking the whole thing and offering it for sale here, as it has caused me no end of stress since the day I bought it, and I can no longer rely on the retailer.

Please forgive me, all, if I sound angry. It's been a long, hard day which has been ruled by Sod's Law at every turn. I am certainly not angry with anyone here.

I have used them, and I agree the person had to deal with (late package) was blunt and rather rude.

If they are causing you this much stress/issues you should simply not do business with them anymore. The regulator you have bought from them is not some special one that will only work with there accessories or extras, so you could look somewhere else.
 

lilirose

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Sadly, I contacted CO2Art when I began having issues with the rep at CO2 Supermarket, and they told me (direct copy/paste) : "Unfortunately our regulators are designed to our specs and will not fit on other brands. Is there no way you can get your money back under warranty?"

I was asking about manifolds rather than regulators, so this was a confusing response- and from everything I learned, their equipment is not proprietary to the extent that was implied above- but I took that response as polite shorthand for "we can't help unless you buy everything from us".

At this stage I think I will buy one more manifold (rather than the three than I planned to buy). That will allow me to have three tanks with CO2, even if there are occasional problems with balance between them. Then I'll set up the other two as low-tech, which is a disappointment, but at least I didn't discover that I couldn't hook them up to the existing regulator after they were already planted.

If there is going to be a massive problem with having a total of three manifolds on one regulator, I hope someone will warn me! The two I have are running fine, hopefully one more won't cause serious issues?
 

lilirose

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I’d follow GLA standards any day ;)

https://greenleafaquariums.com/products/gla-modular-manifold-blocks.html



(not to sell you on their products, but decent quality individual needle valves are necessary, individual bubble counters are useful)


@alto (sorry to tag, wanted to make sure you saw this)...GLA says that, on one regulator, one can run a maximum of five of the manifolds that you linked to. They look nearly identical to the ones I have, but they are nearly quadruple the price so there must be a difference.

However- does that mean I could possibly run five manifolds on my regulator as I was originally advised by the rep? What would be the potential drawbacks? People keep saying "just buy another regulator" but I won't be able to afford that until June 2021 at the absolute soonest. I might not actually go for five manifolds, but nobody has said what would happen if I try it.

Having done a bit of research, I am also not happy to try to do a second regulator on the cheap- I don't have enough experience with any of this, and trying to keep the men in my house from messing with stuff like this is like trying to wrestle an octopus. There is just too much potential for it all going pear-shaped and me ending up with a hole in the roof where a CO2 cannister blew straight upward. I've already wasted two cannisters because I have a son who saw a leak but decided it was too small to be worth sorting. :banghead: (He paid for the replacement of course!)

I've also decided I'm not buying anything at all in a rush. I have the system running well on two tanks, the others can wait a little while.
 

alto

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Why? The spitter uses individual needle valves so should be simple enough to dial each one in using a bubble counter.
This is IME
(also technical advice from manufacturers, in-house mech repair shop ... lab still used many older splitters and ancient needle valves (kept in repair))
Yours may differ - you may also have different expectations :)
 

alto

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but they are nearly quadruple the price so there must be a difference.
Yes, but that’s GLA (high quality/standards etc)

I don’t see any reason not to run a multi-manifold
(and you can try splitters after the manifold - I think you have a 2way at present? ... just check very carefully for leaks Snoop is worth the small investment ;))
 

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