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How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2
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trevor
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 8:49 am Post subject: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

 How  to  jump  start  your  planted  aquarium  Part  2.  
 A  continuation   from  Part.1  
 The  Refilling  of  Co2  cylinders.
 The  refilling  on  a  modern  unit  is  done  with  a  high-pressure  cylinder-filling  pump.  This  pump  is  able  to  fill  hundreds  of  kgs  of  Co2  into  the  cylinders  in  an  hour.  The  cylinder  is  placed  upright  on  an  electronic  weighing  scale.  It  has  a  quick  release  coupling,  which  is  fitted  onto  the  cylinder  for  ease  of  operation.  The  pump  automatically  cuts  off  when  the  set  weight  is  reached.  The  pump  also  has  a  reverse  option.   After  the  auto  shut  off  the  Co2  in  the  line  goes  back  to  the  storage  tank.
 The  amount  of  Co2  to  be  filled  is  adjusted  and  preset  on  the  electronic  weighing  control  system.
 
 The  modern  unit  has  accuracy  of  plus  or  minus  twenty  grams.  The  unit  is  fitted  with  a  computer  and  a  printer,  which  gives  the  date,  item  no.  Weight,  and  other  customer  details  as  the  case  may  be.
 
 Safety  warnings
 Co2  is  a  heavy  gas  and  stays  down  unlike  our  domestic  cooking  gas  (LPG),  which  quickly  rises  to  the  top.  Always  fit  your  regulator  before  you  open  the  master  shut  off  valve  on  the  cylinder.  Do  not  place  your  hands  in  front  if  you  happen  to  open  the  master   valve.  A  sudden  release  of  Co2  on  a  body  part  can  cause  numbness  and  even  frostbite.  In  larger  doses  it  cuts  off  oxygen.  And  the  lack  of  oxygen  can  kill.
 
 
 Polyurethane  Tubing
 
   
 This  tubing  is  used  in  several  applications  for  transporting  of  fluid,  gas  and  air  in  pneumatic  and  hydraulic  machines.  Polyurethane  tubing  comes  in  several  sizes.  Sizes  are  based  on  the  OD  and  ID  respectively.
 
 For  our  planted  tank  application  the  polyurethane  tubing  used  from  the  Co2  regulator  is  of  6  x  4  mm.  The  outer  diameter  of  the  tubing  at  6mm  and  the  inner  diameter  at  4  mm.  So  it  will  have  a  wall  thickness  of  one  mm.  This  P.U.  tubing  can  take  a  pressure  of  20  kgs/cm2.  We  will  be  using  1  to  2  kgs/cm2  of  maximum  working  pressure  for  our  planted  tank  application.  The  Festo  brand  is  one  good  brand  but  you  can  try  several  available  brands  both  local  and  imported  that  are  available  in  the  market.  The  color  code  is  blue.
 
 Co2  bubble  counters
 
 In  a  planted  aquarium  the  size  and  speed  of  the  Co2  bubbles  is  important  in  order  to  maintain  the  well  being  of  plants  and  fish.   .  For  the  gas  to  diffuse  into  the  water  in  the  maximum  time  the  bubble  counter  helps  in  the  creation  of  tiny  bubbles,  which  will  move  slowly  upward.
 
 When  you  use  a  bubble  counter  you  can  visually  see  at  a  glance  the  speed  at  which  Co2  is  injected  into  your  planted  aquarium.
   The  Co2  supply  will  be  connected  to  the  inlet  of  the  bubble  counter.  The  outlet  will  be  connected  to  the  reactor,  diffuser,  filter  or  a  power  head  that  you  are  using.  The  inlet  will  always  have  the  extension  tube  inside  the  bubble  counter.
 
 Glass  bubble  counter
 
 
 This  one  is  made  in  Bangalore.
 
 Plastic  bubble  counter
 
   
 Made  of  clear  plastic  these  unbreakable  bubble  counters  are  easy  to  set  up  and  use.  A  lot  of  cheap  stuff  is  imported  into  the  country.  
 Intense  lights  and  ample  Co2  produce  oxygen  when  photosynthesis  occurs.  The  oxygen  bubbles  can  be  clearly  seen  on  the  outside  of  the  bubble  counter  above  are  due  to  this,  which  we  call  â€œpearling”.  
 The  O2  levels  are  above  saturation  in  a  tank  where  pearling  is  taking  place.  The  oxygen  is  a  waste  product  that  is  released  back  into  the  water  and  is  used  by  the  fish  and  other  organisms.
 
 DIY  bubble  counter.  
 You  need  a  clear  transparent  plastic  bottle  with  an  airtight  lid  an  extension  pipe  for  going  into  the  bottle,  two  airline  plastic  joints  and  some  silicon.  Make  two  holes  in  the  lid  and  fix  two  plastic  airline  joints.  Fix  the  extension  tube/pipe  to  the  inlet  plastic  joint  and  the  out  let  to  the  diffuser/reactor.
 An  IV/transfusion  medical  set  with  a  drop  count  chamber  can  also  be  used.  
 
 For  a  slow  steady  bubble  rise  and  an  appealing  look  glycerin  can  be  used.  Water  is  used  in  most  bubble  counters.  Fill  up  to  75%  of  the  bubble  counter  chamber.  
 
 For  more  experienced  planted  aquarists  the  bubble  counter  is  not  a  must  have  or  an  absolute  necessity  once  the  valve  and  regulator  are  set  to  a  desired  flow.  
 
 Some  important  connectors  etc
          

 
 
 
 
   
 
 
 The  needle  valves
 
 Needle  valves  come  in  a  vast  range.  The  cheapest  is  this  brass  one.  Once  it  is  set  it  should  not  be  touched.  Fine-tuning  is  a  pain  and  difficult  on  this  valve  so  unless  absolute  necessary  do  not  fiddle  often.  Carbon  fiber,  stainless  steel,  brass,  special  plastic  needle  valves  are  available  and  the  range  and  choice  is  wide  with  the  price  going  up  to  a  couple  of  thousands.
 
 A  branded  plastic  diffuser.
 
   
 Some  other  very  efficient  Bangalore  made  Co2  diffusion  reactors  etc.
 The  simplest  way  will  be  to  attach  your  Co2  tube  to  a  power  head  or  power  filter.  The  Co2  will  break  up  into  several  tiny  gas  bubbles  and  then  dissolve  into  the  water.  But  there  is  a  high  percentage  of  wastage  and  so  many  prefer  the  Co2  diffusion  reactors.
 
   
 Used  with  an  Eheim  external  canister.
 
 Used  with  a  power  head.
   
 A  sintered  glass  diffuser.
 
 Checking  for  Co2  leaks.  
 The  best  and  simplest  way  is  to  use  a  solution  of  water  and  liquid  dishwashing  soap.  Apply  the  solution  on  the  joints  and  other  suspect  areas.  If  there  is  a  leak  you  will  see  bubbles  forming.
 
 Is  Co2  (pressurized)  worthwhile?
 This  question  must  be  going  on  in  the  minds  of  a  vast  majority  of  our  budding  aquatic  gardeners.  Yes  it  is  not  that  you  have  to  have  pressurized  CO2.   The  choice  is  yours.  But  in  a  drag  race  it’s  like  having  a  ferarri  engine  under  your  bonnet  rather  than  a  Maurthi  800  engine.
 
 Photosynthesis  
 When  the  environmental  and  nutrient  conditions  and  supply  are  right  there  are  three  main  factors  that  aid  photosynthesis.  Co2  is  one  of  them.  The  other  is  temperature  and  light.  Rapid  increase  of  photosynthesis  resulting  in  healthy  plants  will  be  observed  when  these  conditions  together  are  at  a  high,  right  and  at  a  tolerable  level.
 Restriction  or  excess  of  any  one  of  the  three  will  not  aid  photosynthesis.
 Most  plants  send  up  leaves  above  the  surface  of  the  water  so  that  they  can  absorb  Co2.  You  will  observe  that  the  leaves  of  a  plant  that  is  submerged  will  be  larger  and  thinner  than  the  emerged  growth.
 
 To  be  continued.
    
 Trevor  Menezes
 Hon.  Secretary,
 Aquarist  Society  of  Karnataka.


Last edited by trevor on Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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kuksinhyd
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:12 am Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

 Geat  Trevor,  Just  great,  can  we  have  these  post's  as  an  article  or  maybe  a  sticky  so  that  it  doesn't  get  lost  in  all  the  post's.   Thumbs Up   Rock On
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ks
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:14 am Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

 Good  post..
 
 Venki,  i  hope  u  have  a  good  solution  for  your  CO2  problems.
 
 It  cant  get  better  than  this...  Thumb Up
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harsh
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:23 am Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

 Awesome  post  Trevor,  well  done!!
 
 
 
 I  woukd  like  to  buy  this  CO2  diffuser,  Can  you  please  give  me  further  details  of  who  to  contact?


Last edited by harsh on Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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praani
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:32 am Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

 Neat  article!  Thumb Up
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vinven
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:12 pm Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

 Harsh,You  will  have  to  contact  Rufus  for  that  reactor.His  number  is  9845039631
 
 -V!nay
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venki25
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:09 pm Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

 Is  Co2  (pressurized)  worthwhile?
 This  question  must  be  going  on  in  the  minds  of  a  vast  majority  of  our  budding  aquatic  gardeners.  Yes  it  is  not  that  you  have  to  have  pressurized  CO2.  Â The  choice  is  yours.  But  in  a  drag  race  it’s  like  having  a  ferarri  engine  under  your  bonnet  rather  than  a  Maurthi  800  engine.
 
 
 Trevor
 
 Great  wordings  -  absolutely  un  challengeable.
 
 If  not  for  your  this  posting  and  valuable  advises  -  i  would  have  dumped  my  pressurised  project  to  the  attic.  I  have  refilled  one  6  kg  cyliner  two  times  and  i'm  still  not  getting  things  right.  I  guess  this  posting  should  put  everything  to  bed.
 
 One  more  query  on  your  posting  -  you  have  mentioned  and  photographed  that  we  need  to  use  PU  tubing  with  6x4  mm.  I  have  read  in  an  international  posting  that  we  can  use  silicon  tubing.  Considering  the  Silicon  tubing  is  designed  for  aqua  products  -  do  we  have  any  issue  in  using  the  said  PU  tubes  -  are  they  compatible  with  wide  range  of  diffusers  and  powerheads???
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trevor
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:59 pm Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

                                                   
Quote:                

 
 One  more  query  on  your  posting  -  you  have  mentioned  and  photographed  that  we  need  to  use  PU  tubing  with  6x4  mm.  I  have  read  in  an  international  posting  that  we  can  use  silicon  tubing.  Considering  the  Silicon  tubing  is  designed  for  aqua  products  -  do  we  have  any  issue  in  using  the  said  PU  tubes  -  are  they  compatible  with  wide  range  of  diffusers  and  powerheads???                

 
 Maybe  P.U.  tubing  is  overkill.  But  it  costs  just  a  few  rupees.  And  in  a  home  with  inquisitive  kids  (or  adults)  around  the  importance  of  safety  cannot  be  ignored.  You  should  use  P.U.tubing  at  least  from  the  Co2  regulator  to  the  needle  valve.  From  the  needle  valves  to  the  diffuser  an  ordinary  silicon  air  pump  tube  will  do  since  the  pressure  is  further  controlled  and  drastically  reduced.
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venki25
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:33 pm Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

 Hi  Trevor
 
 I  have  assembled  a  setup  exactly  like  you  have  shown  in  picture  with  words  "Master  shutoff  use  alien  key"
 
 I  have  connected  a  needle  valve  directly  to  the  output  of  the  regulator  and  the  silicon  tubing  is  fixed  to  the  output  of  the  needle  valve.  Do  you  suggest  that  a  PU  tubing  is  pulled  from  the  regulator  and  then  connect  a  needle  valve??
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trevor
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 5:50 pm Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

                                                   
venki25  wrote  (View  Post):                
Hi  Trevor
 
 I  have  assembled  a  setup  exactly  like  you  have  shown  in  picture  with  words  "Master  shutoff  use  alien  key"
 
 I  have  connected  a  needle  valve  directly  to  the  output  of  the  regulator  and  the  silicon  tubing  is  fixed  to  the  output  of  the  needle  valve.  Do  you  suggest  that  a  PU  tubing  is  pulled  from  the  regulator  and  then  connect  a  needle  valve??                

 
 
 The  blue  P.U  tubing  goes  to  the  needle  valve.
 
 If  you  have  fitted  it  like  in  the  pic  below  there  is  no  absolute  need   to  use  P.U  tubing  unless  you  plan  to  use  it  for  multiple  tanks  and  for  ease  of  operation.  The  push  and  lock  fitting  is  made  for  P.U  tubing.
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ame
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:37 pm Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

 Dear  Trevor  
                     
                         Thanks  a  lot  for  this  article.  
 
                         I  have  one  query  .You  have  mentioned   various  qualities  of  needle  valves  .  Can  you  elaborate  some  brands  and  prices  (  approx)  and  where  are  they  available  .
 
                         The  simple  needle  valves  are  difficult   for  fine  adjustment  .
 
                         Thanks  
         
                           ame
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aquascapes
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:39 pm Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

 Beautiful  illustration!
 Trevor,  you  derserve  a   Clapping
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suuresh1
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:43 am Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

 Hi  Trevor,
 Great  job!!  thanks.  The  Needle  valves  we  get  in  India  are  1/8th  which  are  difficult,  at  best  to  set  ...where  can  we  get  1/32???.  With  these  we  can  go  to  a  bubble  a  minute  if  we  desire.  The  control  is  fantastic.  its  a  pity  nobody  makes  them  here!
 Suuresh
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venki25
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:53 am Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

 here's  my  little  input  on  needle  valve.  Without  quoting  technically  1/8s  or  1/32s
 
 The  needle  valve  pictured  in  Trevor's  photos  is  the  basic  needle  valve.  There  are  two  types  available  one  with  male  screw  type  and  the  second  with  a  female  screw  type.  The  difference  in  price  is  about  30  rs  high  for  male  type.  This  basic  type  we  are  discussing  can  withstand  pressure  to  about  40  PSI  -i  was  told.
 
 There  is  another  type  needle  valve  available  which  is  twice  the  cost,  looks  complicated  and  bigger  than  the  basic  one,  this  needle  valve  has  a  plastic  round  handler.  I  was  told  this  model  is  a  failure  for  co2  systems.  I  have  experienced  this  too.  
 
 So  my  simple  suggestion  -  stick  to  the  basic  model  and  exercise  caution  when  controlling  the  regulator  key.
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Mumbai-discus
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:29 pm Post subject: Re: How to jump start your planted aquarium Part.2 Reply with quote

 Awesome  detail  Trevor..  thanks  for  posting  this  !!!
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