How to set up a paintball CO2 system (pictures included) - Equipment - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 10-14-2007, 05:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to set up a paintball CO2 system (pictures included)

I just finished setting up my paintball CO2 system, so here is a brief guide for anyone else interested.

First, a list of parts:

-Cornelius primary regulator for CO2............................................... ...... $33.95 shipped
-20 oz. tank w/ SmartParts inline on/off valve (install separately)............. $25.00 shipped
-Needle valve (plus necessary adapters)......................................... ......$25.00 shipped
-Glass check valve and bubble counter........................................... .......$12.70 shipped

Regulator off eBay, tank off a paintball forum, needle valve and adapters from Rex Grigg and Ace Hardware, check valve and bubble counter from AquaticMagic for a total of $96.65.


Here we go!

Here's the top of the 20 oz. paintball tank. The brass part is the on/off valve. Don't buy a paintball tank that is manufactured with an on/off valve, which are notorious for leaking. Instead, buy the on/off valve separately and have it installed at a paintball shop, or buy a tank second-hand that already has the on/off valve installed for you. Note that if you buy the tank and valve separately and new, it will be close to 40 dollars, so check out a paintball forum's For Sale section. The black knob is what you turn to either open or close the valve.





Here's the same picture, except if you look closely, you'll notice a black rubber ring on top. That's an O-ring, and that's the only thing I've found that will prevent leaks once I've screwed the regulator on. The reason why conventional washers won't work is because of the threading on the on/off valve. Notice how the threading begins about 5 mm down from the top of the valve. Include a 1-2 mm thick washer, and the separation is too large and your regulator nut won't thread. The O-ring I used was a #60-RING, and I found it in my local Ace Hardware store.






Now, on to the regulator. Because the on/off valve has CGA 320 threading, you can use any primary regulator. This means if you decide to change from paintball to a larger conventional tank, you won't need to buy any new adapters. I was fortunate enough to buy a NIB Cornelius regulator for cheap on eBay. The left side of the regulator has a needle valve and an adapter for 3/16" tubing, both from Rex.





Below is a close-up of one of the regulator ports. My regulator came with a weird piece installed in the 1/4" port, so I had to remove it, which took a lot of elbow grease and some help at Ace Hardware. With the port empty, I screwed in a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter (the first piece of equipment with teflon tape on it), and screwed in my Clippard needle valve, which came adapted to 1/8" (the second piece of equipment with teflon tape). The needle valve is connected to regular airline tubing, and if you look at the previous picture, that piece of tubing is connected to another adapter that lets me use my 3/16" Tygon tubing.





With everything set up, my paintball tank registered just under 600 PSI, and there were no leaks that I was aware of. I'll post a complete picture once I get back to my dorm; I don't have my check valve/bubble counter at home

Please understand that if you're thinking about going the paintball route, it won't necessarily be significantly cheaper than a full rig. This is more an issue about portability and convenience (my paintball tank can be filled at a close-by sporting goods store for $2.50) than economical concerns.

That's it! I will update if any of my information is incorrect. Other than that, there's nothing to say but ENJOY!!
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Old 10-14-2007, 06:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to set up a paintball CO2 system (pictures included)

nice simple writeup i'll be sure to check back when i get to this.
thanks for the photographic journey that helps a lot.
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Old 10-17-2007, 11:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How to set up a paintball CO2 system (pictures included)

Well, if I decide to inject CO2 on my new nano, this'll probably be the way to go... cheeper than ADA, that's for sure. Great info - Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

Oh, got any pointers on paintball forums with good classifieds sections?

Thanks,
Jared
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to set up a paintball CO2 system (pictures included)

Thanks for your input guys. For the question on where to buy used 20 oz. CO2 tanks, you can try googling "paintball forums" and scope around

I personally came up with this.
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to set up a paintball CO2 system (pictures included)

How long do you anticipate a 20 oz tank lasting? I'm looking into setting up a paintball co2 system.
Thanks
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Old 10-19-2007, 11:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to set up a paintball CO2 system (pictures included)

I talked to a friend of mine, and his 20 oz lasted him 3 months on a 5.5 gallon tank. I forgot to ask him what his bubbles per minute or bubbles per second was though.

I'm currently running my set-up at 1 bubble every 2 seconds, which appears to be low compared to the 1-5 bps that I commonly see on the forums, so the 20 oz will hopefully last me at least 3 months also on my 10 gallon, even without a solenoid. At the .5 bps rate though, it's easily twice what I got from DIY CO2, so I'm content at this point to leave it there.

I'll play around with the needle valve when I have an entire day to make adjustments/observations on my fish.
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to set up a paintball CO2 system (pictures included)

Here you guys go with the pictures of the entire set-up. Sorry it took so long!





The positioning of the canister is a little precarious, but I've shored up the set-up by putting velcro on the bottom. My canister puts out a pressure of about 500 psi, and the working pressure is set to 25 psi.





Here you can see the check valve way on the bottom, the bubble counter on top, and the CO2 diffuser in the tank.


Hope these pictures help!
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Old 11-21-2007, 09:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to set up a paintball CO2 system (pictures included)

the top paintball forum is www.pbnation.com it has tons of classifides.
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Old 12-07-2007, 10:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to set up a paintball CO2 system (pictures included)

Ran out of CO2 about a week ago, so I filled up for $2.50 at a local Sports Chalet. So for those curious, the first CO2 fill lasted me 2 months. However, the first time through isn't exactly a good indicator of how long a 20 oz tank will last because I lost a lot of CO2 when I first was figuring out how to set everything up.

I love this set-up, it's so convenient!
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:17 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to set up a paintball CO2 system (pictures included)

Pretty nice set-up. I was going to do the same, but I sold my paint-ball CO2 tank in fear of oil contamination. Something to look out for when purchasing a tank from a paint-baller. Whenever I connected my C02 tank to my gun I always dropped some oil in the connection to keep the gun/regulator properly lubed. Everyone I know did the same for their guns. heads up.
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