01-02-2012, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Burlington, NC
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
| | Re: Aquariumplants.com CO2 kit
I would prefer a two stage regulator with either a Burkert 6011 or Clippard Mouse solenoid and an Ideal "1" series needle valve like the V52-1-12 which is a brass angle flow model with a Vernier micrometer handle. Contact maknwar, oldpunk78, bettatail or others for more info. Their for sale threads are on several planted aquarium websites. Some may be listed as power sellers. You can also build your own. It is rather easy. There are build threads over at barrreport.com.
I wouldn't get a pH controller. A timer will work fine.
I would use a drop checker with a correctly made 4 dKH baking soda and distilled water solution for tuning purposes. Some people use two drop checkers. Be sure to watch you fishes', shrimp and snails' reactions to CO2 addition as an indicator for tuning too.
The AP.com reactor is nice, but expensive. Get it if that is what you want. Many people make their own. Check out Cerges' and Rex reactors. These are two different styles but they do the same thing. The AM1000 reactor is another option. I use an Eheim 1103 needle wheel pump plumbed inline with my Eheim 2028 canister filter for CO2 misting.
I use Clippard brass check valves, but the AP.com medical grade check valve should work fine too.
I use an inline bubble counter (an Aqua Medic model). I've had trouble with the knock-off JBJ style bubble counters leaking CO2 and I don't use them any more. Many people do still use them without issues.
For the CO2 cylinder, you should consider some things. One is how is the cylinder refiled in your area. Is it swapped out or refilled on premises? You wouldn't want your nice new cylinder swapped out for a beat up one. Also, I suggest that you get as large of a CO2 cylinder that will fit in the area that you want to put it and one that you can still carry. Refilling 5#, 10#, 15# and 20# cylinders usually cost about the same (approx $20). This is why I suggest getting as large as you can use.