Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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saulat 08-10-2009 08:14 PM

Help finding a needle gauge, check valve, and tubing

Confused again as to what to buy and looking for some advice. I picked up a 10 # Co2 tank today with a dual gauge regulator. I believe I know how to set it up so far but am confused as to what needle valve to buy. I believe I have read that I want 2-3 bubbles per minute roughly, is this correct for a 55 gallon planted freshwater? I have a valve on the bottom of the regulator that I imagine adjusts the working co2 after the main tank is turned on. It is kind of a tapered nozzle at the bottom of the regulator, is this where the needle valve connects and is it likely that ordering a needle valve will have the right fit to the nozzle?

Also, I plan on making a bubble counter our of a bottle of some sort. Does this go right after the needle valve and can it be some distance from the needle valve so I can set it down on a shelf?

Where does the check valve go?

Anyone know what brand or model number I would want for the needle valve or check valve. I would like to go pick it up but online is fine too. I just want to get the right thing and avoid having any headache looking for fittings or connectors. There are some inexpensive ones on ebay but I have no idea what size I need or what type let alone which are quality and will work for the aquarium. Thanks.

saulat 08-12-2009 10:25 AM

Well, I realized after looking at their website that I am minutes from Clippard as they are located in Cincinnati. I also found a local distributor that was pretty helpful and am going out tomorrow with my regulator to hopefully get everything I will need.

aunt kymmie 08-13-2009 01:07 PM

Let us know how it went. I toyed with the idea of pressurized Co2 but realized it would be too complicated for my pea sized brain. :lol:

Mikaila31 08-13-2009 01:57 PM

Your regulator is probably setup to run an inline needle valve. This means you attach co2 tubing to the regulator and then an inline needle valve with have a place to attach the tubing from the regulator. A needle valve that is actually attached to the regulator is possible, but you will need to take off the brass airline attachment and find an needle valve with the correct threads.

saulat 08-13-2009 02:18 PM

I went with the series 1 clippard not sure which model right now. I also took in my regulator and they removed some cheap valve that was on it and gave me all the fittings and such I needed. I also got some polyurethane tubing that they said the aquarium stores use. You can get a free catalog from clippard and there is a chart in it which shows the different needles and how many turns they have and what airflow they allow. I saw one site say you want at least 5 turns as it allows more airflow which would be series 4 or 3. They only had series 1 so I bought it for about 6 dollars and all together 40$, the tubing was 20. I purchased from a clippard distributor I found on the clippard site. The series 4 is also the only models rated for zero airflow the rest apparently cant go to zero but I will try the one I have. The chart showed them all starting at zero so not sure as to the airflow. This probly costed about 150 for it all. I dont see a reason to do the bubble counter, ph monitor or solenoid. Ill probly do my canister filter until I can make a better co2 reactor.

Ill be sure to let you know how it works and for anyone in the area I bought from sparkling carbonics the tank and regulator and the fittings, tubing, check valve, and needle valve from isaacs fluid power. One more thing the differences between models in a series is just the type of knobs and size or measure of the fittings or threads.

IFPEC: line_card

Mikaila31 08-13-2009 02:49 PM

You do need a bubble counter, its how you measure the CO2 you add to the tank. If you add to much you can harm and even kill the fish. Shrimp will die first.

Most needle valves should not be used to stop CO2 flow completely unless they are rated for it. Otherwise it will damage the needle valve.

saulat 08-13-2009 06:58 PM

Thats good to know about the shrimp Ill keep an eye on them.

Cant I just watch the bubbles goin into my tank or reactor instead of making a bubble counter and also by monitoring the ph and kh levels? I have read it may take a few days to stabilize with pressure.

I will probly keep it on 24 7 but from what I have read I shouldnt have a problem with the oxygen levels.

Can anyone give a scientific measure such as blank psig equals roughly a bubble a minut? Just curious.

Mikaila31 08-14-2009 11:38 AM

Monitoring PH and KH levels is one way, but IMO its not always accurate. You should really get a drop checker. They are accurate and you don't have to do all the tests. Aquaticmagic on ebay sells some.


Can anyone give a scientific measure such as blank psig equals roughly a bubble a minut? Just curious.
Thats pretty impossible. Every regulator and needle valve is slightly different.

saulat 08-14-2009 01:16 PM

I am shopping for one today, probably get a reactor to save me any trouble making one or just use my canister for now, just trying to find one in the US so I dont end up waiting for shipping. Thanks.

saulat 08-14-2009 01:36 PM

I also bought some black polyurethane tubing they told me would handle co2 well and said the fish stores use the same thing. I just want to be sure it isnt toxic if anyone could tell me if polyurethane is safe or not.

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