Dual Regulator system - one side losing pressure?

Heavenly

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Kent
Hi Everyone.
My first tank and I have set up a dual system which I'm having issues with.
Im running 2 x Oase600 Thermo's with 2 x Co2Art Pro SE Series regulators on 2KG extinguishers - all were brand new and running for 5 months now..
The regulators are connected to brand new Polyurethane pipe from CO2Art with inline ProSeries Checkvalves connected to Co2Art Ceramic diffusers.

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Both regulators are running around 38psi however I have a serious issue I just cannot get to the bottom of and causing me major issues in tank due to constant fluctuating CO2 levels.

IMG_7009.jpg

Every morning my bubble count on one side is not as it was the day before.
If I set the left hand side to 2 bps the right hand side every morning will only be 1 bps or even 1bps every 2 seconds..
At first I thought this may be leaks, so have extensively sprayed every single connection with fluid checking for bubbles and nothing.
I then thought maybe its a cylinder issue so replaced both extinguishers with brand new clipped tops and it was still the same.
Next I thought maybe its the right hand regulator, so swopped the units over and next morning still the same, hopefully eliminating the regulator.
Next I spoke to Pete at Riverside aquatics and he sent me a brand new Ceramic diffuser which I fitted and still the same?
Its almost like everyday I open the needle valve a little more to ensure the right hand side is operating in equilibrium with the left and next days its back to being slow again.
So then I thought, maybe distance of Polyurethane pipe makes a difference, so I bought new, cut both sides equally and ensured every cut was done with a scalpel blade so not irregular and this has also made no difference.
I am in conversation with C02Art but replies are slow and im losing my mind.
I am wondering if 38psi is actually not enough to keep a constant back pressure from the ceramic diffuser to the bubble counter?
If I remove the pipe from the bubble counter, the bps shoots up.
Being my first system I just want to get an accurate drop everyday and currently although im pleased with plant growth, GSA has blighted my tank and until my C02 is absolutely level, I feel im fighting a war I can't win.
I just wonder if anyone has any suggestion or thoughts on this from experience?
 

Jayefc1

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Have you tried adjusting the working pressure instead of the needle valve maybe the one reg needs a little more pressure to push the co2 through than the other sounds to me like its xropping in pressure to slow the bubble rate
 

Zeus.

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BPS is only an indication of the CO2 injection rate and an actual mount of CO2. Counting buubles gives no indication of stable CO2.
I would advise you not to compare BPS on one day to another.
The only way to see if your CO2 is stable is a pH profile - take pH from CO2 on till CO2 off every 30mins and light on time.
Best way to check CO2 concentration([CO2]) is a Drop Checker (DC) colour change 2-3 hours after lights on and only if pH is stable.
 

Heavenly

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20 Apr 2020
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Location
Kent
Hi Jay.
Yes regulator is fully open and that’s the max pressure it will give, And that’s slightly frustrating.
Hi Zeus, yes fully understand, but if this was my only regulator I’d never have enough everyday. ive done PH profiles over the last couple weeks when I have adjusted the bubble count everyday to what I know is the correct bps from both regulators but when one is constantly slowing it’s impossible to ensure the PH drops correctly and that’s my point, I want it accurate with a PH drop. From this profile I’ve adjusted timing to come on slightly later now so I have a drop to 6.5-6.6 at lights on now, but holding it consistent if I don’t go in the cabinet every morning is impossible.

0CBDB6D9-EC60-4F5A-85AE-AFD093389F43.png


Is there any reason why 38PSI shouldn’t be enough? If one side is identical to the other , is there anyway to make the regulator allow more pressure?
I just wonder if people think 12-14” of polyurethane pipe is too long as I can’t physically make it any shorter on the right hand side of the system..
 
Last edited:

Jayefc1

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It is weird the pressure shouldnt change that much from one reg the to the next have you tried it with out the check valve in the tube just wondering if it could be that faulty some how you might be better of with one reg and in line with twice the bubble count
 

Heavenly

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I actually put the check valves in because it was suggested maybe slight water build up just after the bubble counter was more than the pressure could push away, so they were added for that reason.
I have to try things everyday for when 12pm comes.
I may today try that and just remove it and see what happens but it’s very frustrating as they are identical set up’s with identical lengths.
I’ve actually had the cylinder handles off over night to monitor pressure this morning, see if any leaks over night, but just checking they are both sitting on 40Psi, ready to kick in on solenoid at 12pm.
Are people running longer than 12” lengths of Pipe to the diffusers and find it ok? I know the ceramic diffuser needs a pressure or 30 psi to kick start pushing the Co2 through.
 

Jayefc1

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I have 3 tanks none as big as yours but all working on co2art regs and the new inline diffuser and no issues like you are having I dont have check valves in because the regs have them I know it's a good idea but just never done it I did have a issue with one of the regs that the working pressure wouldnt go below 60psi but aquarium gardens took it back and exchanged it I dont think the lenth of pipe would make any difference if it was in tank it would be a lot longer
 

Jayefc1

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I'm not 100% sure but I believe there is a little screw under the pressure controller that you can adjust to higher and lower the pressure
 

Heavenly

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Hopefully this is the case and it can be adjusted.
There is only so much from A to B that can go wrong, and considering I’ve replaced it all, it’s very confusing what’s going on. I was really hoping when I switched the tanks and regulators around it was going to switch the issue to the other system, but it didn’t, so it does show the regulator must be fine, maybe one side for whatever reason just needs more pressure, but why I have no idea...
 

Zeus.

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BTW very tidy/neat setup :clap: and pH profile looks fine.

Is the pH fluctuating from from day to day ?

and what are these ?
upload_2020-5-6_8-44-59.png


CO2 reactors ? you do have a kink in one pipe
upload_2020-5-6_8-47-36.png


That would increase the pressure in the water and affect the CO2 injection rate (BPS) if part of the return from the filter (which I think it is from your pic)

I would sort that pipe out first so kink free ;)

If the issue persists I would swap the filters over next, which will be easy with the ones you have, that will rule out any output pressure difference of the filters.

Then all thats left is to swap the diffusers over
 

Heavenly

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Thanks, it’s my first planted tank and I had it built to size and dimensions to work with how I wanted the system to be and it’s been a great journey so far.
Ok they are 2 x Oase 11W Cleartronic UV clarifies, running closely in tandem for dwell time. I originally had it built around an EVO55 but found the temps went up from 23 degrees to 25degrees so I removed it and swopped for these. Do they work? I’m unsure but my water is always absolutely pristine in clarity ans they don’t appear to restrict flow by any means..

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Yes that looked like a small kink and now amended by giving more slack with tubing but this is actually the other system that doesn’t have an issue...

Let me try a few things you have suggested also.

I think for me, if I were running an old system with maybe dated parts that may have clogged etc I would understand why this is happening a little more, but it’s actually the shortest route of pipework to the tank on this side yet the side having the issue.

you can see my independent spray bars working inside the tank, left and right, and the 2 filters feed independent sides so in theory the Co2 is being evenly distributed across the front, down the glass and is pulled back by outtake pipes with filters on at the bottom of the background so it’s a rip curl effect and watching the bubbles works well..
But having one side always losing Co2 ability although over all PH may not be affected if I keep adjusting, it certainly affects where it is in balance in the tank...
 

Heavenly

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This is where I started

C2A3FEB2-D6DE-4BFE-8E71-DAF2A949544F.png


And where I am now, but suffering GSA badly which I’m putting down to irregular Co2 everyday as I have to keep readjusting and my Phophates are showing between 2-3.


B70A0A14-E2AE-4F53-BBC8-3AAFB464FF49.png
 

Zeus.

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they don’t appear to restrict flow by any means..

But there will be some increase in resistance to flow so there will be an increase in pressure, plus the UV filters on the side where the issue is so most likely culprit IMO! Could they be bypassed for a short time (few days) to see if it makes a difference.

My duel stage reg allows me to adjust the working pressure well beyond 40PSI, I have one duel stage reg with a slitter going to twin solenoids/needle values (at 50PSI at time of pic)

upload_2020-5-6_10-20-45.png


as for BPS

feel free to count :hilarious: hence I adjust inject rate by adjusting working PSI
 

Heavenly

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That’s a lot of bubbles!
Ok just to clarify, the side with the longest pipework from filter system through the UV clarifiers to the spray bar is “not” the side with the problem. This side is all working fine “on the left”.
It’s the side “on the right” that has the issue, and the shortest pipework run to the right hand spray bar.
This issue is also only when it starts up.
People say give it time to build up back pressure but I can leave this all day and it doesn’t change.
If I adjust the needle valve the slightest bit I can get the bubble count correct and it will stay like it all day - until next morning when all kicks in again, and it’s back down to one bubble every 2 seconds.
Let me demonstrate.
Imagine night before both bubble counters were running at 1 bps, and next morning as soon as the solenoids kick in the left is running at 1bps, but the right is back down slow again... this is what I face every day, no matter how fast the bps the night before. Not sure how to upload video from phone as it only sees images..
 

Heavenly

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Also thanks for all the replies and time, it’s also helping me understand if not fix short term...
 

Heavenly

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Yes for sure.
This whole pressure issue has me thinking now though so appreciate all the advice.
The left hand side has 1 spraybar in tank which you can probably see from the picture of the tank planted.
The right hand side however “the issue side” has a double spraybar joined, so more area covered for flow and Co2 into the tank, but obviously less pressure coming out of the spraybar.
This was done as I had a deadspot in the centre of the tank being so deep, so extended the spraybar to double width.
I wonder if this has lowered the overall pressure affecting the back pressure?
I’m Tempted to see what happens at 12pm when the solenoids kick in, if the right hand side is slow again, remove one of the double length spray bars and change to single and cap the end, so it’s matches the other side. See if this alone kick starts the bubble counter to the correct bps.
 

Heavenly

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Ok I’ve amended the spray bar to one section not 2 after Co2 came on and it was just the same, very slow. I would have hoped that with this only having the same length as the other side it would have kicked the bubble counter to get to its normal rate as it’s been 30 minutes now and no change.
The good side is bubbling away as it was last night :(
 

Nick72

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I'm also using a C02 Arts regulator.

My C02 line to the inline diffuser runs around 20 inches.

I have the working pressure set to 30 psi.

I had trouble for the first few days, then I removed the the check valve I had installed in the C02 line. This is fine because the bubble counter is also a check valve.

Yes, every morning my C02 line is full of water, but it's no issue and clears quickly.

I've been trouble free for the last 10 months, and only touch the needle valve once in a blue moon, or when changing gas cylinders.

I still suspect your check valve.
 

Heavenly

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Ok tonight when Co2 goes off I’ll take the check valve off and connect pipe direct, and see what happens first thing...
Appreciate all the advice guys so far...
 
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