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Re: bunch of ?'s

> > I do have a needle valve Tom, and it has never helped in an "end of
> tank" situation. In fact, I had a near tragedy.

So your CO2 "dumped" with a needle valve is what your saying?

Thus I put on the
> propane regulator. I am using the good valve from M3. Are there valves
> out there that will prevent "end of tank" disasters?

Needle valves certainly help.

I'm a bit unclear by what you mean by "end of tank". You mean when it goes
empty(cylinder?) I'll assume.
Did you keep your disc CLEAN? Is it old and yucky? Think about an old yucky
fine filter/diffuser disc. Now what happens when it gets clogged? The
pressure builds up right? What happens when the pressure finally pushes out
the clogged particle(s)? Do filter material work as well when old and abused
or when new and kept clean? But with a needle valve your tank had a big
influx of CO2? I use a needle valve and have for many years and have never
had it "dump" to the point of killing or close to that. Then again, I'm the
biggest fan of Disc with the exception of the ADA stuff which we can't get.
But I've taken care of tanks that have them. Something in your set up does
not added up. I am trying to think of some set up were this happened without
a disc and cannot. The needle valve should prevent excess CO2 surges from
getting into your tank while allowing a great degree of control. If
something breaks or goes wrong typical it leaks and vents it off. Your
adding extra CO2 from an empty tank bleching through a very small opening in
a needle valve plus a regulator, then a disc. How is lots of CO2 suppose to
get through all that? I've never had an issue ever with the method and I've
used nothing but Reg's (cheap beer ones) and needle valves(19$ to 40$).
Check valve? Might that be an issue? Do you have it set in excess for a pH
controller set up? Sounds like you have overkill and things still are not
working right.

I've had them go out but never had a CO2 dump with a valve on there. Never
heard of one dumping either with a valve. I'm not saying that it could not
happen, but I'd look somewhere else for a reason too. No valve is quite
another story.
A very simple solution is to use a powerhead in place of the disc or I
designed something that took care of the CO2 dump issue. You can still over
do it with any method but there are less likely methods of error. We got
enough of that with CO2 as it is.

I'd rather use a
> needle valve alone, as then I could use the check valve again. I hate to
> think of ruining my regulator setup some day *shudder*.

Place the check valve before the needle valve.

> And as to my nutrient problem, I don't have a way to measure K,

You don't need one. I don't nor does anyone really unless they are a bit
curious. You have a 55 gallon tank right? Add 1/2 teaspoon weekly or 1/4
teaspoon 2x weekly. That should take care of the K+ issue completely. Yea,
it's that simple for that one.
LaMott makes one for about 40$ I think but it will not be used very much nor
is needed.

just Fe,
> KH/GH,Ca,NH3/NH4,PO4,NO2, and NO4.

You got more than most:) KH/pH for your CO2, I'd check that first. Next is
NO3. Go get one if you don't have it. You'll need that one the most next to
pH. Sea
Chem makes a reasonable priced one, but I like LaMott much better(NO3).

And what is the common name for
> K2SO4? Some type of acid?

Sulfate of Potash. 

I know H2S04 is hydrochloric acid. Where is a
> good spot to get it?

Uh, not to be a boho, but HCL and H2SO4 are different. H2SO4 is sulfuric

For all your macro nutrients needs look no further than Diamond Dave's:).

You can get it all from him for cheap. You can also get stuff at your local

You can add K2SO4 if your NO3 is sufficient. If not, KNO3 will be your next
choice. You will NEED a test kit for this one. Read that part again(the NEED
part). It will add both K and NO3.After you get a feel for it you may just
add it once twice a week or so. Once after a water change then once midway
through the week. I add it 3-4 times a week in small doses. I would like it
if I had more fish but I just haven't gotten around to adding any. This will
take some of the burden off of adding NO3 in the inorganic form(KNO3). I
also add K2SO4 on top of this. Don't copy me though. Take it easy first:)
Test and get a feel for what's a happenin".
I'd fix the CO2 as best you can. That's the biggy. Then go after the K and
NO3. Then see what your Fe is doing. I would suspect you'll be using lots
more of it if the other things are fine(CO2, NO3 and K). Good luck and hope
you fine out what's up with CO2.

> Thanks to all, simply amazing to have this source to tap into.
Tom Barr