Drop Checker takes forever to turn lime green

hongsit

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Yes, refitted everything twice, checked with soapy water, checked working and bottle pressure both stable and remained consistent.

This is either dodgy co2 gas or dodgy diffuser.

Will try in tank diffuser next and will purchase a new co2 (fire extinguisher) from eBay, could do with a spare anyway.



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sparkyweasel

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You might want to check your drop checker is working properly, eg by breathing into it. It's just possible that the solution wasn't made up correctly.
 

hongsit

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I’ve changed drop checker before and the results are the same, it’s pre-made solution. At the moment I’m taking readings with a PH meter and this reading correlates with the colour shown in the drop checker 1-2hrs afterwards. The drop checker does go lime green, but ignoring that it has taken me 14hrs to get there with co2 on full blast.


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Kalum

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I'm running the same diffuser, same reg with a similar filter output on a 140L tank with a light green drop checker after 2/3 hours (while running a skimmer 24/7) and a 2kg fire extinguisher and it's lasted 2 months so far, while not to be taken as gospel as mentioned I'm running approx 6bps so there is definitely something that isn't right

If you're sure theres no leaks then it must be a dodgy co2 bottle or diffuser

Sorry not anything you don't already know but I just thought it might help with a fairly close comparison to confirm that
 

hongsit

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I'm running the same diffuser, same reg with a similar filter output on a 140L tank with a light green drop checker after 2/3 hours (while running a skimmer 24/7) and a 2kg fire extinguisher and it's lasted 2 months so far, while not to be taken as gospel as mentioned I'm running approx 6bps so there is definitely something that isn't right

If you're sure theres no leaks then it must be a dodgy co2 bottle or diffuser

Sorry not anything you don't already know but I just thought it might help with a fairly close comparison to confirm that
Thank you, it’s good to know. I know every tank it’s different but having the bubble checker on at full and still taking 4 hrs to drop 0.4PH is not quite right. I’ll see how the in take diffuser is tomorrow and if that’s the same, then all that’s left is the dodgy co2 tank.

If new co2 tank is the same then all I can say is that I have some very special water lol.


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Kalum

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Personally I judge mine by the fish tolerance and use the drop checker as a check/guide to see what I've set it at is correct and stable day to day

I only use a pH profile to gauge whether the co2 is stable during photo period and not to set my co2 input as this can vary depending on water values and too many variations that I can't micro manage

I've found different styles and sizes of drop checkers react differently as well as the obvious which is placement, I've started using the nano ones as they seem to react quicker and having 2 at different areas of the tank during setup is also handy to make sure its evenly distributed and you don't have any dead spots where you could be measuring low but other areas of the tank measure high, shouldn't be the case if you have good flow and the co2 is saturated but it can highlight it if it's not the case
 

hongsit

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Agreed, fish was absolutely fine the whole time even at full blast. A couple of amanos were flying around the tank around 6pm towards the end of the photo period, but none of the fish was bothered. PH was measured around 6.7 by then and drop checker towards yellow. That’s a bit less than the 1 point drop so that correlates with the fish being ok.

So I got there in the end, just took 14hrs lol.

Flow should be fine, plants growing in but not dense enough to disrupt flow significantly. The only potential dead spot is back right, which is why I added powerhead which is currently off anyway.

At the moment light (twinstar 600s) is at 50% and this will remain at 50% until I’ve sorted out co2 issue. Ferts is 10ml aquascaper liquid fertiliser.

I’ll see how tomorrow goes and report back. Quite intrigued to see if this in tank diffuser will significantly better or the same.

Thanks



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Kalum

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You'll get there mate it can be frustrating but just change 1 thing at a time so you can understand the effects, it's too tempting to make multiple changes to try and fix asap (past experience myself) but you end up not knowing what is and isn't working or the cause of it not working more often than not
 

Andrew Butler

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You'll get there mate it can be frustrating but just change 1 thing at a time so you can understand the effects, it's too tempting to make multiple changes to try and fix asap (past experience myself) but you end up not knowing what is and isn't working or the cause of it not working more often than not
I think this advice is well worth listening to @hongsit - far too easy to try everything in desperation.

If it was my aquarium I'd try changing the CO2 canister for a start especially if you want a spare anyway although no place should ever supply dodgy CO2 so if it turns out to be that I thing having a word with them would be a good idea. I actually buy a new fire extinguisher for less than £25 instead of a refill each time as it's less than half the price of me getting a refill anywhere close to me. If you go this route just remember to dial your CO2 back as if this is the fault you could soon find some very unhappy fish! Listed below currently for £22.99 and I vouch for this seller and product.
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2KG-CO2-...447209?hash=item3fc9cabee9:g:WbgAAOSw-olaAroz

Keep the thread updated; let us know what you do and how it works out.

I've got an identical set-up to you and had a leak between the bottle and reg. Easily fixed with PTFE tape
PTFE tape isn't great practice with this type of gas connection, it relies upon the seal/washer. Something else not widely accepted is overtightening this type of gas connection is often what does cause leaks so with a healthy washer just tighten it up until you feel resistance then give it another 1/4 turn - if you have leaks where the CO2 joins the regulator it's time for a new washer. ;)
PTFE will work with most of the other components on the regulator though so does have it's uses in the system. :thumbup:
 

hongsit

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Thanks Andrew, yes sticking to changing one thing at a time where possible.

I’ve stuck in an in tank diffuser and dialled the bps down to 6 for the reasons you stated above. Still comes on at 2am and this morning at 8:15 it’s PH is 7.3 - 7.25.

So a slightly better drop than previously. For over 6hrs of co2 I’m still not where I expect to be as the starting position is ph 7.6 - 7.7. So im going to stick with this a bit more and increasing bps bit by bit until end of this week.

Aim to buy the co2 in your link, been looking at that exact one yday so thanks for that, good to know it’s a reliable source. Won’t be in until Friday now, got this week to try more stuff.




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PTFE tape isn't great practice with this type of gas connection, it relies upon the seal/washer. Something else not widely accepted is overtightening this type of gas connection is often what does cause leaks so with a healthy washer just tighten it up until you feel resistance then give it another 1/4 turn - if you have leaks where the CO2 joins the regulator it's time for a new washer. ;)
PTFE will work with most of the other components on the regulator though so does have it's uses in the system. :thumbup:
Oh dear, this happened the first time I connected the reg and have just done it out of habit. I'll probably take it off tonight, thanks!
Just started my 3rd bottle, so 1.5kg bottles are lasting around 3 months for me.
 

hongsit

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Out of interest am I right in saying even if I had leak before the bubble counter it shouldn’t effect the rest of the system apart from wasting gas?? I just need to pump more to get a particular bps?

A leak after the bubble counter is where symptoms like mine could appear? Saying that I’ve checked the whole system and no leaks as far as I can tell.




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Andrew Butler

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Out of interest am I right in saying even if I had leak before the bubble counter it shouldn’t effect the rest of the system apart from wasting gas?
Yes and No - I'd tried to write something complicated which probably won't really help. Maybe give Karol from CO2art an email, he's really helpful with these things and often can point you in a good order to isolate problems. I think I'm right in saying there are places where the CO2 could escape between the regulator and bubble counter but I wouldn't like to say as you've everything in front of you, can see pressures and assembly of your system.
If you could source (free sample) a 6mm pushfit stop end to put at the end where you would position your diffuser this could tell you if there is a leak anywhere, that said if you've a non return you could just put that on in reverse.

However I think you should be able to find a leak if you are getting through the amount of gas

*EDIT
My bubble rate is high, prob 6bps.
the initial one they delivered ran out in a few days (3.15kg) bottle
Just going back through your posts, did you get through the 3.15kg at 6BPS in a couple of days? If so then to me that says it could be before the bubble counter so email Karol, give him as much info as you can and see what he says - It could be a simple fix. ;)
 

hongsit

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Yes the original tank only last a few days. May have been a leak or may just been a near empty tank to begin with. I’m not sure but I received a replacement and this is what I’m using now and it’s been fine.

Additional information which I didn’t mention, I’ve used this before on my 25l tank, even that took 4-5hrs to turn lime green at 2-3bps if I recall, didn’t think much of it then.

Will give Co2art a call and see if they have any ideas.


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Kalum

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If you have a leak after the bubble counter then it could affect the pressure in the diffuser

One thing to check is the large grub type screw on the bottom of the reg housing below the dials, it's not always picked up on how to videos but if its loose then you could drain a bottle in no time, be mindful that this screw will also affect the bps and working pressure aswell
 

ian_m

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This is my graph of grams CO2 per day used. Typically 15-20gr per day on my 180l tank, so a 2KG extinguishers lasts 100-130 days. See where I had the leak !!!!

upload_2019-11-11_14-40-28.png
 

Geoffrey Rea

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PTFE tape isn't great practice with this type of gas connection, it relies upon the seal/washer. Something else not widely accepted is overtightening this type of gas connection is often what does cause leaks so with a healthy washer just tighten it up until you feel resistance then give it another 1/4 turn
Sound advice, no PTFE tape on the thread of the bottle. The over tightening part is dependent on who’s doing the tightening. We advise customers to use their opposite hand (so if right handed tighten with your left pretty tight) to get an adequate pressure on the washer and create the necessary seal.

From your picture I see you’re using a Pro SE regulator and inline diffuser.

Potential areas that could be leaking:

- Bubble counter. Has four parts; lower section, clear viewing section, upper section with nipple and threaded nut. Ensure this is all screwed together with the black washers on the inside seated properly.

upload_2019-11-11_19-52-46.jpeg


If there isn’t a black washer in the upper section (it’s possible it could have dropped out when topping up the bubble counter with water) it could be leaking from there, but even if it’s not seated properly it could potentially be leaking.

upload_2019-11-11_19-43-26.jpeg


- Co2 tubing. Cut straight and clean. Use a razor blade or sharp knife and run the full length of the blade in a straight action to cut, not force. No scissors. The nut then needs to be down tight to maintain the seal.

- Co2 tubing (again). Same drill as above where the tubing joins the diffuser. Straight and clean cut.

- In-line diffuser. Reliant on three washers to maintain a seal. Two white, one orange:

upload_2019-11-11_19-49-18.jpeg


upload_2019-11-11_19-49-46.jpeg


If taking the diffuser apart for cleaning ensure all the seals are seated correctly when putting the unit back together.

If you’re assured these areas are accounted for you can then look for alternative options.

One other alternative is gassing off, this isn’t to insult your intelligence but I have to ask if you’re running any aeration? I’m careful to not presume anything these days. Have dealt with people that are adamant their unit is faulty until they’re red in the face, only to find out they’ve been running an airstone 24/7 whilst trying to use Co2 injection.

My money is on the PTFE tape preventing a proper seal so hopefully removing it solves this issue and you have this sorted shortly.

As @Andrew Butler mentioned before, make sure you take into account that once the unit is functioning properly your running time for the Co2 and injection rate will need to be adjusted accordingly.
 

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Siege

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Excellent post, I couldn’t add any more.

My money is on a leak. Probably how the tubing is put on the bubble counter. Either cut badly, or pulled off from moving tubing/bottle. I know I’ve had/done both!
 

hongsit

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Thank you for the informative post. I’ve recut the co2 tubing and refitted the tubing to the bubble counter, there is a washer there and it is seated properly as far as I can see. I’ve have screwed the top back on and tightened, but it always seems it can be tightened more. Is that normal? I don’t want to over tighten to avoid damaging the washer.
No leaks detected on soapy water test, not saying that’s 100% reliable.

I’ve changed the washer as the regulator came with some spares and made sure I did not over tighten. All my pressures have been stable with co2 on off, no movement at all so does that mean no leaks?

A bit late to double check diffuser so will check that tomorrow or end of the week when it’s due for weekly water change.

The PTFE Tape was someone else, I have no tape on my connections.

I don’t have a airstone just the extra powerhead (Eheim skimmer, turned upside down) just to give that extra flow at the rear.

Thanks for your help and advice, appreciate it.

Will see how tomorrow goes.


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