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Discussion Starter #1
Hi;

I am putting together a pressurized co2 set up very soon just waiting for parts but i have some questions on regulators thats the one part ive heard mixed reviews. My question is $ is a concern but i want a good quality not something ill have troubles with being new to all of this. Any suggestions?

Secondly after setting up the hardware part what should be my safest steps in starting it up?

As a reminder i have a 46 bow front with neons and ottos and a pleco and 3 clown loaches that i dont want to kill with a ph massive drop.
Thanks
 

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My question is $ is a concern but i want a good quality not something ill have troubles with being new to all of this. Any suggestions?
I have 3 systems running 3 tanks. Two of them are 'diy type' in that I bought the regulator, needle valve and bubble counter separately and put it all together to keep it relatively inexpensive. The third is an 'all-in-one' type with solenoid, etc. They all work fine (knock on wood), so I don't really have a preference. It really depends on you, imo. If you go the diy type route, just be sure to get a two stage regulator . You can usually find some decent prices on line if you look. And our sponsors also have some good units on the market.

Secondly after setting up the hardware part what should be my safest steps in starting it up?
Start slowly to build up to the level you want. A drop checker is suggested for determing how much you have in the tank. I would say start between 1-2 bubbles per second and monitor the drop checker and/or pH. Increase slowly to achieve the desired CO2 levels.
 

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Thanks for the advice. I looked at regulators and buying piece by piece the problem is that because UPS rapes you with cross border shipments because i live in Canada that i have to look in canada for products. So far the cheapest is the Milwaukee set-up around $120 for the whole kit minus the tank which i called is $128 filled and 5lb unit. Id rather rent a unit but no one around me does this and would save me a every 5 year cost of inspection.

I bought a CO2 checker the one by Red sea is that good enought o monitor Co2 levels?

Theoretically if i reduced the light level to only my 96W compact and took away the 30W normal flourescent would take away the desperate need for the co2 injection? Ive been reading soo many posts and I still cant grasp the idea.
 

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I use the Milwaukee setup and I got it from Aquabuys for around $80.00. You can also find som tanks on ebay for about 60 to 70 dollars for a 10lb tank. I have one on my 55gallon and it looks like it will last for at least 8 to 10 months.

I am not sure about Canada but I think that most places will actually just take your tank and you get a different tank for the refill price. I will never have to actually do the 5 year inspection cause it'll be a different tank every time.

I use the red sea drop checker in my tank and it works fine. I just use a regular pH indicator instead of the liquid that comes with the drop checker but the most important thing is to use a 4dKH solution in the drop checker. You should never use the water from your tank because there could be many other chemicals in it that will interfere with the CO2/pH relationship.

CO2 will always help plants grow. There are many who have more than 2wpg and still use excel as there carbon source. It all depends on how you want to set up your tank. I can say that IME I started doing Excel in my tank and then DIY Co2 but in the end I went to pressurized and it was the best thing that I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm sure there are places that do "rent" the tanks but i called everywhere near me and one only carries 10lb tanks too big for me and the other 5 lbs but you have to buy the tank and refill and inspect every 5 years. Ill look inot ebay though maybe someone around me wants to get rid of theirs. I'd love to buy from the U.S. but like i said its the duty at the border and then UPS kncoks you for more $.

So thanks for the tip in for the drop checker. So that is basically distilled water then? and does it make a difference using the PH testing liquid or just use it when the liquid runs out that came with it?
 

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The 4dKH solution needs to either be made or bought. It is made by adding baking soda to deionized water, there are recipes on the forums and the internet to make it. There are also places that sell the solution on the net. Using only DI/RO water will not give you the correct color that you are looking for with 30ppm of CO2. There are also other opinions on this subject as far as good concentrations etc.

It shouldn't really make a difference what indicator solution you use I just wanted to make sure I used something that I knew worked as I had been using it for a while.
 

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I bought a CO2 checker the one by Red sea is that good enought o monitor Co2 levels?
I've been using the Red sea monitor for just over 5 months. and it works great.
 
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