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Thread: CO2 Multiple Tanks

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Ashenwelt's Avatar
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    CO2 Multiple Tanks

    Hey all, any recommendations for using one CO2 system for multiple tanks? I have seen spliters with needle valves and I have seen CO2 regulators like CO2Art and GLA with stacked manifolds. Any recommendations?
    Rob aka Ashenwelt
    - If plants go beyond anacharis... I have questions.
    - 5 gallons is for more than Bettas

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Ashenwelt's Avatar
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    LOL, anybody?
    Rob aka Ashenwelt
    - If plants go beyond anacharis... I have questions.
    - 5 gallons is for more than Bettas

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    Pew Pew Lazor 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    Manifolds and splitters function much in the same way. One input, multiple outs. What you have to understand is that each time you adjust an out it will affect the other outs. These types of systems are best used on reactors due to more consistent back pressure. Where as if you use atomizers/diffusers they will need to be cleaned more than normal since any time one gets clogged it affects all outs. If you don't mind the extra bit of work any multiple out splitter/manifold will work. You can even just mod your existing set up with parts.
    THE CAKE IS A LIE!

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    SCAPE President 2000 posts, Star SCAPEr Kole85's Avatar
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    Well, get ready to read a book lol. This is the easiest and best way I can think of sharing my experience with pressurized systems. I used to build bowling lanes and the bumper systems for them. Our entire warehouse was run off of one 5,000 gallon air compressor going to 30+ air tools. The bumper systems I built used compressed air to raise and lower the bumpers on the lanes with a push of a button.
    I use a 3-way manifold splitter on a 10lb co2 tank with an Aquatek regulator. I use the cheap Fluval diffuser's, theyre like $7 and you can replace the disc and have an extremely fine mist. I also use the cheap Fluval bubble counters.
    If you have a little bit of knowledge of pressurized or pnuematic systems it is actually pretty easy. Whether its air, co2, water, the same basic concept applies but with different pressures. You have a media (air, co2, water, etc) that is contained under pressure to cause the media to perform various tasks; pumping co2 to your tank, forcing air pressure to operate a nail gun, using hydraulic pressure to lift heavy weight. The thing to remember is when you use a splitter its basically having a 'controlled' hole in the system, the overall pressure will drop unless you counteract this i.e. the main flow control knob on your regulator.
    A really basic example would be a garden hose with a spray nozzle. The faucet coming out of the wall is your main flow control and the nozzle is your needle valve. When just running the one hose with the one nozzle, you dont need to turn on the main flow all the way because the spray nozzle (needle valve) allows the hose to build pressure. Now lets say someone walks up and stabs a hole in your hose, the water pressure from your nozzle is going to drop dramatically (splitting the media) no matter how hard you squeeze that nozzle handle (increasing needle valve flow). You want to fix this drop is pressure, but you don't want to plug that new hole because you actually have use for it. How do you fix this? Well you put another nozzle on the hole to help pressurize the hose, but with both nozzles(needle valves) going with a low main flow, the pressure still wont be there unless you go to the faucet and turn it up....problem solved.
    Get accustomed to your regulator, especially the main flow control valve (the big knob on your regulator). Set up one line to one tank, turn your main flow on very low and adjust your needle valve to 10 bubbles per minute for about 15 minutes. Then slightly turn up your main flow without touching your needle valve and you should see that bubble count increase in a few minutes and level out in about 10 minutes. Now turn your needle valve down to get your bbm back down and leave it until it the bubble count levels out again. Do this a few times with different adjustment on the main flow with different adjustment to the needles valves and watch the bubble count. This will get you used to how your main flow control valve works when controlling the pressure sent to the needle valves as well as getting used to the slight adjustments on the needle valves themselves.
    Get yourself a decent splitter, I picked mine up at PetSupreme in Sylmar for like $50 I think, and start playing around some starting low. Hook up all the lines for the tanks your running co2 to, adjust your main flow low to start, get your needles valves adjusted to about 10 bubbles per minute on all tanks until it levels out, then increase your main flow in increments to increase the bubble count. Find your happy medium with your main flow control and you shouldn't have too much trouble when adjusting the individual needle valves for different co2 saturations in different tanks. Also, having a lower main flow usually allows easier adjustment at the needle valves while having a high main flow can make the needle valves harder to adjust with the slightest turn.
    This is how I set up my co2 whenever I split the system to a new tank. The first couple times it took about an hour or two of monitoring the bubble counters to get the settings just right but now I can get it done in about 20-30 mins. It usually takes about 10 minutes to see the full reaction to any adjustments in the system.

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    Last edited by Kole85; 04-30-2018 at 01:06 PM.
    More Tanks!

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    SCAPE Member Sr. SCAPEr dealend's Avatar
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    Got my splitter from china(aluminum/alloy),ebay. Work fine with a little modification. For regulator i got them from John,i guess its milwaukee brand.

    Im using the lowest budget as possible, if you dont want to spend much on this hobbies, last time i checked milwaukee was sold for less than $100 in ebay. for splitter is around $50. Been using it for more than 6 months.

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    Sergeant of Marines 3000 posts, Grand Master SCAPER John7429's Avatar
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    Depends how far apart the tanks are
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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr Ashenwelt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John7429 View Post
    Depends how far apart the tanks are
    One room. All but one tank on one 4x6 shelf. The other is the opposite side of the room.
    Rob aka Ashenwelt
    - If plants go beyond anacharis... I have questions.
    - 5 gallons is for more than Bettas

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    SCAPE Member SCAPEr kberg2498's Avatar
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    Co2 splitter or 2 separate setups. I use 2 separate tanks because the tanks are across the room from each other. Also having 2 separate systems means you will have to refill much less etc.

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