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Old 05-09-2005, 08:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Making the switch to pressurized CO2...recommendations please

My husband was setting beside my 29g tank this weekend and made a comment about it being easier to use a pressurized system instead of the DIY that I have going.

Well let me tell you, I JUMPED on the comment. I told him that I thought it would be better also and if he was so inclined, he could just get it for me for Mother's Day and my Birthday (in 2 weeks). He basically agreed.

Know I am in the market for a system but have no idea what I will need. I want it to run to my 29g as well as my 10g that sits directly below.

So what do you all recommend I get to set up a pressurized CO2 system, I have told him it will probably be around $100 without the tank. Am I way off on this price or not?

Please keep in mind that I am really new to this and I have NO idea what I will need to run this system in the manner I have mentioned.

I currently use a Hagen CO2 System with the ladder.

Thanks in advance.

I have checked into the tank and it is $93 for a 5#, $101 for a 10# and $123.50 for a 20# with the first tank of gas. The refill is $11.55 that is actually a tank exchange.
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Old 05-09-2005, 10:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The refill price is pretty fair, but those tank prices seem pretty steep. Especially for the 5 pound tank.
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, those tank prices are a little high. Have you tried asking at your local welding supply house? They usually give a better deal... and are intrigued when you tell them what it's for.

Are you going to use a reactor or diffuser? That's a potential cost if you no longer want to use the Hagen ladder. Reactors can be built for reasonable cost.

If you're trying to save money, look into buying a regulator that has the works: bubble counter, solenoid, etc. Those should be under $100.
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Well, I can't think of a much better Mother's Day/Birthday present....

Check out the product reviews APC Product Reviews and that might give you some idea of what you want.
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The JBJ regulator has all you need (bubble counter, check valve and solenoid) and it usually runs around $80. It is much better than the Milwaukee regulator in that it has a built-in check valve which can be quite expensive.

As for the tank, you can get a 10lb tank used or brand new (I can't really remember) on eBay for $25.

Depending on what your going with; the best diffuser (by Eheim) costs $15, while Marc at Aquatic Store has a good DIY reactor for $20.

So the total cost w/tank is around $120-125. Good luck!
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Old 05-09-2005, 12:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Talk with Marc at Aquatic-Store.com. I bought a new 5lb. tank from him and it was in the $50-60 range. I also purchased the Milwaukee regulator, pH controller (this is a must, IMO) and power reactor. I have had it all running for 4-5 months with no problems.

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Old 05-09-2005, 12:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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BTW, I asked my local welding supply place for a quote on a 5lb. tank and it was $93. Aquatic Store was a much better deal.
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Old 05-09-2005, 12:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The tank prices are about the same here. Got it from the local Airgas store. They don't like filling one from elsewhere.
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Old 05-09-2005, 03:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrIL
The tank prices are about the same here. Got it from the local Airgas store. They don't like filling one from elsewhere.
Ditto here, except our local branch of Airgas doesn't seem to have a problem with filling other tanks. At least my friend brought in a stainless tank that she owned and they didn't ask any questions.
I just like to buy them there and exchange them every fill so I know they've been inspected and are safe.
At any rate, once you've bought the initial tank, the refills/exchanges are nothing compared to the benefits of having the pressurized C02.

I too use nothing but the Milwaukee regulators and controllers, and they've always been very reliable for me. The controller would tack on another $75 or so, so it's sort of up to you on that one.

As for which brand you buy, it's usually in part personal preference, which is why I pointed you to the Product Reviews instead of giving you my personal opinion, but of course I just did it now anyway....LOL!
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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kimbm04r: You mention using this for two tanks. The 29 and the 10. I don't think the JBJ or Milwaukee out of the box will do that for you because you will need to have independent control of CO2 delivery on each tank. I've never done multiple tanks on one CO2 regulator, but I would think that there's probably a way to install some kind of splitter on the low pressure side which would feed out to a pair of bubble counters, needlevalves, and check valves- one for each fishtank. Depending on how you wanted to use the solenoid valve you can use only one to shut off both lines simutaniously, ie. put it on a timer (less $$$)or you can run two separate solenoids-each with there own CO2 controller (more $$) Talk to a repitable seller and tell them what you want to do. I'm sure they can come up with something, but I'm thinking you'll be a little over budget. Maybe $150??
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