Help with CO2 kit choice please

Discussion in 'Carbon Dioxide (CO2)' started by gixer, 24 Feb 2008.

  1. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    I have a few questions geared mainly around CO2, so i thought it would be easier just to stick em in this 1 thread.
    I'll try to include all the info but if you need to know more shout up :)

    Currently i have.
    120l 100x30x40 tank
    1x36" 30w T8 lamp
    Sand Gravel mix substrate
    Internal Filter

    My Current stocking levels are

    Fish
    4 x Corydoras Schwartzi
    3 x Corydoras Melini
    11 x Harlequin Rasbora
    1 x Angel fish
    4 x Dwarf Neon Rainbows

    Plants
    Echinodorus "Jaguar"
    Cryptocoryne Wendtii "Mi Oya"
    Anubias Nana
    Vallisneria Spiralis
    Valisneria americana
    Microsorum pteropus "Windelov"
    Cabomba caroliniana
    Bacopa caroliniana
    Eustaralis stellata

    I've gone through the "novelty" ornament stage and the sunken ships are now out my tank for good :)

    I dead chuffed with the plants they really make a huge difference but sourcing a good consistent varied and quality over here is proving challenging

    I realise my tank is a basic setup i have already started the upgrades, a Eheim 2028 should be arriving early next week.

    But i really can't resist the temptation to really fill it out with plants :)

    Soooooooooo i'm really feeling the pull towards upgrading my lighting and going CO2.

    The lighting i see that i have 2 options, both centre around a 2x39w Arcadia T5 starter kit and 850mm lamps
    1/ Convert my current plastic hood
    2/ DIY a new wooden hood

    From my calculations my tank is 37g (US) so my current lighting is just under 1wpg.
    With the planned lighting 78w/37g=2.1wpg.


    The way i see it is there is no gain from CO2 until i upgrade my lighting.
    Is 78w enough to grow Riccia, java Moss etc?

    Lastly and to the meat of the matter what CO2 systems do you guys recommend?
    After reading through every thread i can find i've narrowed it down to 3.

    1/ Aquamas kit, the set3000profi looks more than enough for the job €266 (do they speak English?)
    2/ Luna pet (Ebay) 500g kit €110
    3/ Fire Extinguisher kit €100 or so

    I have absolutely no idea about bottle filling here, but am i right in saying the FE bottle is at a higher pressure than t'others?
    With kids running round (Tanks in living room) and living in a very active earthquake zone i'm a bit nervous of having highly compressed gasses in our living space.

    So any recommendations advice or tips very much appreciated.


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  2. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    :eek:

    Forgot to add my ferts sorry.

    Currently adding:
    5ml of Kent Fresh Water Plant
    5ml of Kent Pro Plant
    Both once a week.

    Also adding
    JBL the 7 Balls
    Roughly around once a month of so evenly spread around the roots of most of the plants. (3 or 4 balls)



    Cheers
    Mark
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    CO2 addition will always make a difference to any setup, whether that be high light or low light. CO2 fire extinguishers would be the economic way to go, however, if you are worried about earthquakes then you can secure the bottle to the nearest wall and/or in a closet with bracing, and just use extra tubing length if the wall is far away. I reckon there must be a source of industrial CO2 supply in Athens somewhere. The welding industry uses CO2 and the beer industry uses CO2 so pressurized tanks and filling must be available somewhere. Keep looking mate. Check welding supply shops and breweries/pubs. 8)

    There are a few options for lighting including the very respectable ASL CF T5 solution which I use. The D&D T5 Mega Twin or the Razor Twin are also high quality.

    http://www.coralgarden.net/index.php?cP ... 7fd3760848
    http://www.theaquariumsolution.com/t5-r ... x-24w-twin


    Cheers,

    PS: Please tell me you've taken the sunken ship and crushed it by rolling over it with your car.
     
  4. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    :lol:

    Nahhhhhhhhhh the sunken ship is for sale if your interested :lol:


    I'll ask around for CO2 tanks, my mate has is own custom exhaust garage, but he don't use CO2.


    There's no closet and we don't have wall to wall carpets over here most apartments mine included have marble or tiled floors, so there's no where to conceal any piping or cabling.

    Likewise no cubby hole either.


    Securing the CO2 tank (whichever i choose) to a wall is a minimum i think, especially with kids running round.
    Still if it's a bad earth quake even if it's bolted to the wall, it's gonna eventually come loose, as the tank is right next to the only safe exit (the other being a 2nd floor balcony :() i'm a bit nervous.
    Likewise i'm worried about undetected CO2 leaks, as the kids bedroom is only 5m from the tank.

    I understand i'm probably being a little paranoid and thousands of users world wide are using various CO2 systems without problems.

    But if i could find a decent system that has a slightly lower pressure (i.e. not explosive) i'd certainly sleep better at night :)


    I've heard that FE's have a special valve that is built into the tank to enable to clear it's contents quickly.
    Would a system like the Aquamas kit be any safer?

    A fraction lower pressure would be a bit like falling from 400m rather than 800m i recon as even a slightly lowr pressure would be more tan enough to take a wall down :(


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Mark,
    Yes I suppose it's wiser to be a bit cautious where compressed gases are concerned, but as you say there are probably thousands of CO2 users in earthquake zones like San Francisco without difficulty. Theres more likely hood of your tank falling and shattering glass causing a problem near an exit than the CO2 bottle, which if built and maintained to European standards is fairly robust. If it is a fire extinguisher then what better safety device to have nearby? :idea:

    Also the concern regarding toxicity is completely unfounded. You are more likely to asphyxiate your kids with CO2 by talking to them at close range while you expel CO2 as you breathe, or by passing wind nearby than you are by having a leak. Remember this is Carbon Dioxide, not Carbon Monoxide. With the size bottle you will be using, if you can't hear the leak then it's nothing to worry about. Even if you can hear it it's still not a problem. There are way more dangerous gases to worry about like toxic fumes emitted by a fireplace or Radon or all that pollution coming from outside automobile exhausts than some puny bottle of CO2.

    The true danger of any compressed gas cylinder is a fall that leads to fracturing of the stem which could turn the bottle or stem into a projectile. Therefore it's imperative that the neck of the bottle be fitted with a collar so that in the event of a fall the stem is protected by having the impact of the fall be absorbed by the collar. The cylinder itself can sustain a fall without shattering if they are made of steel. I guess if a wall or a column falls on top of it that would be a different story but the steel would be more likely to distort and puncture instead of being a grenade. If there is no nearby wall perhaps you can devise some method to affix the bottle to the cabinet itself with straps or brackets. Another way might be to build some sort of cradle that would hold the bottle in an inclined position. You don't want the bottle to be completely prone because the liquid inside might freeze and block the internal hardware.

    I have no experience with the Aquamas but as you noted, similar projectile problems would exist. The valve you refer to on a fire extinguisher I believe is a pressure relief valve. It would be either a frangible device or a spring loaded device which opens or fractures when the pressure in the bottle exceeds some limit. This might occur if the bottle is heated for example.

    Hope this helps. Check welding supply shops or construction/plumbing types of businesses. There are two types of industrial CO2 bottles; one that ejects liquid CO2 to allow freezing of pipes to reduce their diameter allowing them to be installed in tight areas. You don't want this type. The type we use allows the liquid to turn to gas as it is emitted this is what beer makers and fizzy drink companies use to carbonate their products. That's where you are most likely to find the bottles and refilling services.

    Cheers,
     
  6. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    My main concern was the valve system snapping/shearing if knocked or if the bottle fell over rather than the bottle integrity.
    I really appreciate you taking time out of your day to subdue my fears.


    You've certainly done that thanks :)


    I'll start the search for some lights now :wideyed:

    Not really related to the thread title but would 2x39w T5's (i.e. 2wpg (us)) be enough to grow most plants, carpet/lawn type plants included on a 40cm high tank?



    Which CO2 system you using ceg?
    Has anyone here tried the Aquamas system?


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  7. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Over a 120lt I would think so. I have 54w over my 90lt/24USg tank and the plants pearl toward the end of the day. T5's also produce more light watt for watt than T8s so would think it'd be enough. You can always add a third if necessary.

    Sam
     
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi,
    Good stuff. Worse case you can use a couple of leather belts to wrap secure cylinder around the cabinet leg. Might give you an excuse to gain weight in order to hold your pants up. :lol: :lol:

    I have a large 150 USG tank , and I'm a CO2 addict so I can't go the Fire Extinguiser route. I use the industrial cylinders from the national industrial compressed gas company (BOC). I've been using the 25Kg cylinders but my consuption is very high so I'll start using the larger cylinders. The tank is out in the conservatory so I don't need to worry about disrupting decor.

    2x39w T5 is fine for a 30G tank. CO2 injection rate will likely be your limiting factor for the carpet plants. Your nutrient dosing at that lighting level will require a complete overhaul. I would recommend getting the dry powders as a less expensive alternative. Again, access and availability may be problematic for you, however, every nation with an agricultural infrastructure uses Potassium Nitrate and some form of Potassium Phosphate for their crop nutrition. I'll bet if you check farm supply outlets you will be able to buy 25Kg bags of this stuff for very cheap.

    Cheers,
     
  9. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Fantastic guys thanks :)

    Problem is me belly's THAT big it pushes me trousers down :lol:


    Me new filter came today it's a Eheim 2026, also bought a Hydor 200w inline heater.

    So that's this months upgrades :)

    Also bought 4 Japanese shrimps (at least that's what they were called in Greek) and a few Cardinals and a load more plants.

    I'll run both filters for a month or so
    I'll then remove the "stuck on the side filter" and rescape the plants.

    I need to keep a fair bit of bare sand as i have no idea how my Corydoras will take to sifting through plants, Riccia or Java Moss for their food.

    My idea so far is to have 2 islands either side of the tank, the 1 on the left being the main focus for the eye and being larger.
    I then intended having a smaller island on the right.

    My initial idea was a rocky scape to look like a cliff face, but i really want to fill the back of the tank out, we'll see

    What a great hobby :)


    Sounds like that lighting is enough thanks Sam and ceg.

    Narrowed it down to either:
    http://www.hagen.com/uk/aquatic/glo/GLO ... og5_EN.cfm
    http://www.arcadia-uk.info/product.php? ... &sub=&id=4

    The Arcadia looks a little better built, but the lfs has the hagen in stock.

    I'll need to do some major modifications the hood though as currently it's 1 ballast is located in it's own sealed compartment taking up near on half the hood volume.
    Unless i remove this ballast and compartment there's no way i'll have room for any more lights.


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  10. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Well i'm now looking to buy a CO2 setup.

    I really like the look of the Aquamas kit, but as i don't speak any German that's all i can like :(

    Anyone here dealt with Aquamas, they happy dealing in English?
    Are they're products any good?

    The only real difference between the kits i'm interested in seems to be the reactors.

    I've been looking at the
    Set1000 profi €235
    Set2500 profi €256
    Set3000 profi €266

    It seems to me at least the only difference between the Set1000 profi and the Set3000 profi is the reactor has a diverter pipe built in, is this a worthy addition?

    Another potential problem is i'm not running major pumping power as my little 120L tank only has a little Eheim 2026 filter, is this likely to be man enough for the reactor?


    Another option is the build your own on a FE.
    My main worry with this is there seems to be 3 very slightly different sized regulator valves/cylinder outlets.
    Seems some can be as tight as a ducks blahblahblahblah while others are as loose as a politicians morals.
    Is this really an issue?

    Pretty much read through the forum back to front and back again, so theres a fair few regulators to choose from, seems that most have gone for the Aquaticmagic ones.
    Does this mean they have good needle valves with fine control, or that your a bunch of cheapskates? :wideyed: :lol:


    Lastly i really don't fancy installing a diffuser in the tank, so it's going to have to be a reactor, if the aquamas ones aren't recommended could you please point me towards some that are, again bearing in mind my filters throughput.



    Any other pointers, advice or experiences also much appreciated :)

    Cheers
    Mark
     
  11. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
  12. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Thanks for the recommendation Sam :)

    Looks exactly the same kit as the Aquamas one.


    Pretty sure i'll order that one, i'll bang em out an email to ask about postage ;)



    Do you (or anyone else) know if that reactor will work with my 2026?
    Eheim give it as 950l/hr, read into that what you will, but i still think it's going to be moving a lot less water than the filters most of you guys are using.

    Will i be moving enough water through the reactor to get a decent CO2 dissolve rate?



    Cheers
    Mark
     
  13. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Mark,
    Umm..You might get 950lph in your dreams maybe. :rolleyes: but you will most likely get half that if filled with media. Remember though that the 10X rule of thumb takes this into account. If you have a 120L tank and you can manage to physically move 360L per hour then you'll do fine. You ought to be able to drive that diffuser assuming that the input tube diameter is not too restricted. Ideally the inside diameter of the filter output should be at least the same diameter as the diffuser input and output ports. Any loss of efficiency can be made up by simply adding more CO2 via the regulator needle valve. Worst case is that you consume more gas than is ideal.

    Cheers,
     
  14. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Oddly enough mate my dreams don't usually involve water filters.
    They usually contain things like, Monica Bellucci, Jessica Alba, Halle Berry, 500 litres of baby oil and a bouncy castle ;)


    I've sent an email to Lunapet enquiring about postage, as long as it's reasonable i recon i'll go fer that system.

    Other option is a FE system, but the few FE shops i've visited were not particularly helpful with regards to refills. :rolleyes:

    Me filter uses 16mm pipes, but i have to reduce this to 12mm for the Hydor in-line heater and my lily pipe set, so 16mm or 12mm should do fine.


    Cheers
    Mark
     
  15. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    If you don't mind putting a co2 kit together yourself, then the FE route is by far the cheapest route. I dont get mine refilled as I cant find anywhere around me that does refills, however compared to say 500g JBL cylinders that cost £16 to refill its cheaper just to buy a new FE each time. I then take the empty to the tip for recycling (to keep things green ;))

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/2kg-Co2-Fire-Exti ... 0223232054

    Or you could just get one of those German kits and when the supplied cylinder runs out, switch to FE then.

    I get 3 months out of a 2kg FE on my 90lt.

    Sam
     
  16. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Looks like that's the only option left Sam.

    Just heard back from Lunapet, they refuse to send a order out to Greece :?:

    I understand if they don't post the kits full stop, but to post kits out to the UK but not Greece is a bit dense i recon :mad:


    So i'll start pricing up a FE kit, i'm gonna get a FE first, knowing how things work here and my luck i'll buy everything then find out you need some sort of special license to buy a FE here :rolleyes:

    I think most of a FE CO2 was on the thread DIY CO2 FE thread.
    Can't remember seeing a reactor though, any ideas on the best place to buy a decent 1 from?



    Cheers
    Mark
     
  17. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    Oh woops, sorry did realise you were in Greece! That FE link wont be much use to you!

    Lunapet are being daft! Hope you sort it out soon.

    Sam
     
  18. gixer

    gixer Member

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Aye that's what i thought, but i'm not gonna persuade them to sell me something :lol:


    Me Mrs says there's a FE shop near where she works, so she'll nip in and as them if they do refills.

    If so i'll just buy 1 of those.

    Problem is now, where do i buy a regulator from?
    Luna have now lost my business, Aquaticmagic is out of the question as it'd mean hours if not days of me walking around various customs buildings.

    I've ordered from AE and their service and packaging was to be honest the best i've ever experienced.
    But it seems the only regulators they sell are the D&D ones and even those they're out of stock.
    The D&D regulators any good?
    I've read a thread somewhere (they're all mingling together now :lol: ) where someone had concerns the D&D reg wouldn't fit a FE?

    Any other recommendations please for Regulators?
     
  19. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Mark,
    It seems you are not destined to enjoy the benefits of being a cheapskate. Is there no way you can order a bunch of items and have them shipped to a relative in the UK, then find a cheap return flight to pick them up (or have some relative bring them down)?

    Oh well, such is life. the D&D regulator shown on this page will work on FE and industrial cylinders just like the Aquaticmagic regulator. http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... cts_id=652

    This is a standard connector which is on the far side and cannot be seen in that photo. You are not limited to the D&D model though. There are other options. AE also sell the "JBL Pressure Reducer" which is also a regulator. http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... cts_id=296

    If you enlarge that photo you will see that the cylinder connector on the far side, sort of a knurled knob. On the near side of the chrome body you can see the needle valve knob in front and the output port 90 degrees on top. At this port you should be able to connect a solenoid, either the JBL version http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... cts_id=296 the D&D version http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... cts_id=651 or the Ferplast version http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... ts_id=1338

    Aquaristikshop in Germany also have an excellent range of CO2 equipment http://www.aquaristikshop.com/cgi-bin/n ... Aqua+Medic
    You'll see here they feature the Aquamedic range of regulator and solenoid, but the also sell the JBL components (price in Euros) http://www.aquaristikshop.com/cgi-bin/n ... &path3=JBL

    All these regulators work well and if you buy from either of these two shops you have good support if anything does go wrong.

    Cheers,
     
  20. Ray

    Ray Member

    Messages:
    474
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Oh boy look at that branded Aqua Medic stuff it is soooo nice, just imagine opening the boxes, look at that pulse powered solenoid - only draws current when it switches so your valves don't get hot. :?

    I was going to go for the Aquamas professional starter kit (fortunately I have just enough German to order online), what if instead I go with Aquamedic and recoup the difference by getting an old CO2 cylinder at auction like this one: http://www.ricardo.ch/accdb/viewIte...istingSort=1&PageNr=1&Catg=42149&LanguageNR=0

    Also I heard the Aquamedic 1000 reactor only had 12mm fittings but it says both - have they amended the design?
     

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