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CO2 Dumping

Stephen wrote:  "I experienced this dumping phenomenon first hand,
unfortunately. As the compressed gas container nears empty, it lets off
large quantities of CO2 (as much as two or more small air pumps). That
killed most fish in my planted tank, including some beautiful adult M.
parkinsoni's (good thing I had some fry), SAEs, and plecos.  :(
After that happened (near when I was about to move), I set the tank up again
at my new house, but this time with a pH monitor/controller and solenoid
regulator in the setup. The controller worked for me when the tank tried to
dump again, and all the fish were fine."

I think this is a very expensive and unnecessarily complicated solution to
this problem.  (Even as renowned an aquarist as George Booth has killed off
fish when the pH probe on his controller whacked out and turned the CO2 on
full time dropping his pH into the 5s.)  Just buy a decent quality regulator
(Victor is a good brand and I don't believe we have had a single report of
CO2 dumping with this brand of regulator) and add a reasonably high quality
fine metering valve (Nupro is a good brand and George B. has the info on his
site) and you shouldn't have a problem.  My personal strategy (five years
running now without any problems) is to use a good regulator, set the output
pressure between 40 psi and 100 psi and use a good metering valve (my Nupro
valve is rated to 2500 psi).  If the regulator were ever to fail, the
combination of the high output pressure from the regulator and ability of
the metering valve to eliminate or at least moderate the dumping of gas
should see you through.  The cost of this setup for was under $150 plus CO2

In the area of CO2 I have come to believe that less is genuinely better.  If
you need to plug it in, you're wasting time, effort and money!  ;-)

Regards, Steve Dixon