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saulat 09-03-2009 05:41 PM

Help with Co2 pressurized (gauge related)

I just got my Co2 system working yesterday. I went to Clippard which is located in my area, Cincinnati. The tech person there gave me a baggie of different adapters for the MNV 4K2 needle valve which has a tiny 10-32 thread on it. I got it hooked up to the regulator. I previously tried using a bigger model by clippard which did not have the fine control I needed. This needle valve is better but I am still not entirely happy, I think it will work though. I have read the system takes a while to stabilize. Is it normal for the working pressure on the regulator gauge to fluctuate by about 5 psi. It slowly drops from about 20 to 15 psi and then jumps back up to 20. It does the same thing whether it is set low around 0 psi or high around 40 or 50 psi. This also happened with the other needle valve and affects the bubble rate which is higher at the peak and lower whent he psi drops.

Also, anyone know if the configuration matters such as how much the main knob on the tank is turned which seems to have zero effect on my pressure, how much the knob is turned on my regulator, and how much the needle valve is turned. I have read 15 - 20 psi working pressure but not sure what the reason is behind that.

My Rena XP 2 filter intake has a screw on knob to prime the filter. Is running my bubbles straight into the intake going to let any of the bubbles escape where the air is at the top of the intake or will the bubble go with the flow of water? I don't see any bubbles come out of the spray bar unless I turn the Co2 up pretty high.

saulat 09-03-2009 08:21 PM

Oh, and I run my penguin 350 HOB filter right now as well. I guess I should cut that off. Am I in any danger from loss of oxygen when I do this? I started school and don't really have the time to observe the tank like I would like, maybe two hours of free time a day at most.

I actually just switched my Co2 to the venturi plug of my powerhead. Now I know its getting into the water. Much of it seems to float to the top but it is being chopped up and some of it is circulating. Maybe I will get some added benefit from the co2 touching the plants, I think misting is the term. Thanks for any help again.

saulat 09-08-2009 04:08 PM

Ok, now I believe the MNV-4K2 did this also but my bubble rate drops to nothing after some time. I have read this has happened to others have seen no solutions that I have seen. I broke the MNV-4K2 yesterday trying to tighten everything up. I switched back to the other clippard valve and again it drops to zero bubble rate. I tried setting it high and adjusting it by the regulator pressure and on coming home no bubble rate. I bumped the regulaor pressure up 15 PSI and no bubbles so the valve had closed. No clue what to do, there is no locking nut on the valve. I may try setting it up with no bubble counter or check valve going directly into the water and see if I have the same problem. Next step is a metering valve if no one has any suggestions.

saulat 09-08-2009 10:16 PM

Added teflon tape to the threads and shortened my tubing. Also unplugged from power head and running tube directly into the water. I'll see if it maintains the bubbles overnight if not, I'll remove the check valve and see if that prevents what I suspect is negative pressure pushing the valve closed, not sure what else it could be. A leak wouldn't stop the valve I don't think.

steelerfan 09-11-2009 02:55 PM

I had that issue with my POS Milwaukee needle valve...not really too reliable overall. Anyway, the needle valve kept shutting down. I took it off the solenoid and cleaned it out good with a small wire and blowing into it, helped a ton. It's still a bit erratic but not real bad. A nice Ideal needle valve is on my Christmas wish list! :-D

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