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I am looking to get some CO2 equipment for my 29 gal. tank. I found a question similar to this, but i wanted to know: What ALL would i have to get to have the whole CO2 setup? Money in not that big of a deal, but i still have somewhat of a budget. What would some of your suggestions be? I don't think i want to mess around and DIY.
 

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From my experience the dual gauge regulator itself that you can buy from different places don't differ at all. But some places charge insane money for them.

You need:
1. A full bottle of CO2
2. Dual gauge regulator
3. Needle valve
4. Solenoid
5. Check valve
6. Bubble counter
7. Reactor or atomizer

Paying more than $200 for the first 6 items would be too much.

7 may be skipped if injecting the CO2 in the intake of your canister filter works for you.

CO2 proof tubing is not really necessary.

5 lb. CO2 bottle is plenty for a 29 gal. tank. Aluminum ones are more expensive then steel ones. Have in mind that it is more ecomomical to buy a 10 lb bottle - it's about $20 more than the 5 lb. bottle, but the refill is only $5 than the 5 lb. one. Buy the bottle from a local welding supply store.

You can skip the solenoid but if you care about your fish no matter which seller you choose make sure you get a solenoid. In the case of power failure the solenoid shuts off the CO2. That prevents CO2 from building up in the tank.

Some of the bubble counters that come attached to the regulator do not have a built in check valve. Some of the full CO2 set ups that aquatic-store.com sells have the check valve (the JBJ) and some don't.

Personally I think that the JBJ is a good buy since everything is already assembled for you and you don't need to get anything additional to get going. Just screw the regulator to the bottle and you are set.

--Nikolay
 

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Can you run more than on tank using an all-in-one regulater, like the JBL or Milwaulkee?
 

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Hi guys,

Niko, why would a power failure require that a solenoid be used to turn off the CO2? I run my setup at about 15 psi, and use the $11 Clippard needle valves to regulate the rate going into three tanks. I run them 24/7. I don't think a power failure would matter much, although my KH is 7, and it tends to buffer any big pH changes.

A 20# cylinder lasts about 6 months for 220 gallons.

Just to clarify. A 2 gauge (single stage) regulator is good because one gauge measures the presure to the needle valves, and the other measures the pressure to the cylinder. That way you don't have to guess when the cylinder is about to go empty.

Don't buy a 2 gauge (dual stage) regulator as they are more expensive and not necessary.

Steve Pituch
 

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Dennis,

You can supply 2 or more tanks with CO2 using a single bottle. You will need a separate needle valve for each.
The adjustment of such a setup is very much a headache. When you adjust one of the needle valves the others end up having to be adjusted too.

A hexomanifold or a simple T works for splitting the CO2 flow.

Spituch,
When the filters, pumps, or powerheads stop circulating the water the CO2 builds up in some areas of the tank. Also in the event of power failure the plants will not be producing O2. The CO2 buildup can be deadly for the fish and it happens much quicker than we think. From my experience - during power failure 2 hours are enough for the fish to start gasping for air.

--Nikolay
 

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Hey Nikolay,

The reason I questioned the solenoid is that on the APD I recall only about four "CO2" poisonings. The first one I was able to figure out exactly what had happened. The person had a tight fitting hood on the tank. We know that oxygen is absorbed into the water at the surface. Put plastic wrap on the surface and the fish will suffocate. Also, oxygen will not be displaced in water by CO2.

Well the CO2 was slowly escaping from the water and into the trapped air above the water surface. This was pushing the oxygenated air out of the trapped air space. Pretty soon this air space was oxygen deficient. The fish actually died from suffocation from lack of oxygen, since none was being absorbed at the water surface.

Three of the four occurrences had tight fitting lids. The last person was an expert, and he said it was CO2 poisoning, so assumed he knew what was happening.

I happen to have open top tanks and high KH water. I just have the feeling that my pH will never get that low to cause higher CO2 and kill the fish. Thats why I dose the CO2 24/7, without a solenoid. I don't know about KH=2 water. That may be dangerous. I would always aim for a KH=5 or greater.

Also if you're using an in-line reactor the gas is only going to collect at the top of it. Since the power is out the pump won't be pushing CO2 enriched water into the tank. If you have a diffuser, the action of the CO2 bubbles will cause circulation in the water.

Regards,
Steve Pituch
 

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I too am looking for CO2 for a 20gallon aquarium. If one was to buy the JBJ CO2 regulator you just need an atomizer and CO2 tank to be good to go?

Thanks
 

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fishfry,

... and a needle valve. I single stage regulator does best at about 10 to 15 psi. To get the pressure lower for a low pressure device such as a diffuser, you need a needle valve, even for a single tank. Go to www.Clippard.com at look at the MNV-4K2. for $11. As I said before you don't need a solenoid, as most people run their CO2 24/7.

Steve
 

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fishfry said:
I too am looking for CO2 for a 20gallon aquarium. If one was to buy the JBJ CO2 regulator you just need an atomizer and CO2 tank to be good to go?
If you are referring to a JBJ Co2 All-in-On Regulator Combo (Regulator, Solenoid, Needle Valve, and Bubble Counter w/ built in check-valve) than yes, all you would need is a atomizer/reactor/diffuser , a filled co2 tank, and some co2 hosing (or whatever you would want to use in it's place). If you are just talking about a plain ole JBJ regulator than you would need atleast a needle valve as Art has suggested.

Matt
 

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Yea, I was looking at the JBJ all-in-one regulator.

Thanks for the help guys; I finally decided to replace my Carbo+ with a real CO2 system after I discovered it doesn't do much of anything since my water has almost no KH. It also explained why my plants didn't grow much better when I added it then they did with no CO2, hehe
 
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