Hi-tech setup...what all do you need

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apuda2010
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Hi-tech setup...what all do you need

Unread postby apuda2010 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:25 pm

Like many on this forum, I too started the journey into planted tanks sometime in early 2010. I decided early on that DIY CO2 was not for me - I needed the pressurised setup. Spoke to Nirav and had a setup delivered with the following components :

1kg cylinder
ESAB regulator
Techno solenoid
Techno needle valve
CO2 tubing (this is not supposed to turn yellow with use)

Started the setup and plants started growing very fast indeed.

Sometime 2 months back...trouble started. The solenoid stayed open. This means that it refused to stop the flow of air even when it was not receiving any current.The needle valve - well, it was quite useless to begin with and the tubing too started to turn yellow.

I need precise control of the CO2. The tank is 50 gallons and has Marseilia Hirsuta, H.Corymbosa,St.Porto Velho, E.Tenellus and Aponogenton Undulatus in it. FIlter is an Eheim Pro3, lighting is 100W , switched on for 6 hours during the day in two intervals of 3 hours each. Ferts dosing is using a solution of KNO3+K2SO4+K3HPO4 served by a peristaltic pump thrice a week , 10 ml each time.

I then began to find out what does it take exactly to make a good quality CO2 setup. Web search yielded the following :

1. Brass fittings should be Swagelok
2. Solenoid should be Clippard or Festo or Burkert
3. Needle valve should be Clippard or Swagelok or Ideal
4. The gas should ideally flow through a pipe diameter of 1/8". This small quantity of gas flow is easier to control.
5. You need brass check valves to ensure water does not flow back into the brass components
6. A CO2 reactor mixes the gas with water and throws it into the tank ensuring uniform mixing. This is by far the best option compared to diffusers.
7. A bubble counter tells you bps - useful since the needle valve can be very precise. How precise ? 0.5 bps...yes !! Thats a bubble every 2 seconds if you go for calibrated valves.

All this costs...quite a lot. I will be frank and honest - if you have do not have support from your wife, dont go ahead....you are asking for serious trouble.

Now comes the tough part - how does one get these components in India ?



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Re: Hi-tech setup...what all do you need

Unread postby SCORPIO » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:31 pm

Nice write up. :D

apuda2010 wrote:
I need precise control of the CO2. The tank is 50 gallons and has Marseilia Hirsuta, H.Corymbosa,St.Porto Velho, E.Tenellus and Aponogenton Undulatus in it.


Do you really have staurogyne porto velho, coming to raid at your home.

apuda2010 wrote:All this costs...quite a lot. I will be frank and honest - if you have do not have support from your wife, dont go ahead....you are asking for serious trouble.

Now comes the tough part - how does one get these components in India ?


Here majority of unmarried, so they will only laugh and could not understand our problem
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apuda2010
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Re: Hi-tech setup...what all do you need

Unread postby apuda2010 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:38 pm

Well.. much to my surprise, Burkert , Festo and Swagelok have offices in India !!

Krishna from IAH knows someone working for Festo. Got connected, routed to their Delhi office and then nothing happened - they did not appear interested to entertain hobbyist orders.

Burkert has an office in Chennai and Swagelok in Gurgaon. In both cases , one needs to do a lot of reading on the web before talking to these people - these guys are experts in their field and they almost faint when you tell them you need a solenoid for an aquarium. Anyways , if you do plan to talk to them , ensure that you know the parts correctly , you have read and understood the drawings and are willing to wait. Yes, thats correct - Burkert sources from Germany and Swagelok from the US. My solenoid arrived in 45 days and the Swagelok brass fittings in 4 weeks. However , in both cases , the teams were very patient and helpful.

I need to explain one point here - never ever compromise on the needle valve. This is the most important component of your CO2 setup and gives that precise amount of gas into the system. A bad or malfunctioning needle valve means either too much (fishes gasping) or too little (all types of algae) of gas.

Here is a list of components :

ESAB regulator (called Dura CO2) - 3/4 BSP male connector
Swagelok SS converter - 3/4 BSP female to 3/4 NPT male
Swagelok reducer - 3/4 NPT female to 1/8 NPT male
Swagelok needle vale - 1/8 NPT male both sides
Swagelok connector - 1/8 NPPT female both sides
Brass barb 1/8 NPT male
Burkert 6011 solenoid

I used Mseal PTFE thread (used by airconditioning guys mostly) to attach all components. Fired up the solenoid and the bps is running absolutely fine at 2bps currently.

Two more components - the Sera Aktiv CO2 reactor (very cheap from eBay) and a Fluval bubble counter (again , very cheap from eBay).

Will post pics soon of the setup. Wish me luck this time...:)

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Re: Hi-tech setup...what all do you need

Unread postby maaz » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:50 pm

very nice right up...sorry guys mostly are bachlers here..but i like this post u have good knowledge about these..i have one question regarding regulator..can we use those regulator and cylinder which is using in hospitals..pls update me guys. what you say about using these.
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apuda2010
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Re: Hi-tech setup...what all do you need

Unread postby apuda2010 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:05 pm

Maaz....you can use a cylinder meant for use for hospitals but check whether it is in good condition. None of us are qualified enough to figure this out so the best option is to take the cylinder to shops who do airconditioning repair work or do various gases refilling.

On the regulator - simply go for the ESAB dual stage Dura CO2 - safe , tested and right for use for planted tanks.

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Re: Hi-tech setup...what all do you need

Unread postby jack » Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:54 pm

i wish you have posted this topic few months back lol
Finally i am Broke but Happy :D

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maaz
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Re: Hi-tech setup...what all do you need

Unread postby maaz » Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:40 pm

ok i am going to get one 5 kg or 10 kg cylinder for my tank i am planing to setting up new planted tank that why i am asking this...till now i am in low tech plants..now planing to get these..
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Re: Hi-tech setup...what all do you need

Unread postby Abhi » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:09 pm

Nice write up. Now let us know the married guys esp, the costs of these parts.
MTS: Multiple tank syndrome !

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Re: Hi-tech setup...what all do you need

Unread postby apuda2010 » Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:36 pm

Mods/Admins - is disclosing or discussing prices allowed ? Please let me know.

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Re: Hi-tech setup...what all do you need

Unread postby maaz » Mon Nov 07, 2011 8:12 pm

yes price can be discuss i am not mod/admin but i know you can do that...
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