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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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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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