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My 5# lasted 15 months the first time I used it, 8 months the second time and then 2-3 months the next few times I hooked it up.

I think this is because my regulator leaked or was not installed correctly.

I had a solenoid regulator so the valve may have deteriorated over time.

I had a JBJ solenoid regulator and a Milwaukee regulator.

If everything is hooked up correctly a 10# tank will last more than a year and a half, the 20# easily 2+ years if there are no leaks.

I am beginning to wish I had just bought a dual valve regulator + needle valve and just ditched the electronic solenoid. The non solenoid regulators are cheaper and more reliable.

I'm not sure where you could get one from since all three of my regulators are solenoid.

Make sure to get silicone resistant tubing for maximum efficiency.

149 Posts
Hi guys

I need some help with co2 systems.
Approximately how long will a 10 lb. or 20 lb cylinder last in a 55g?

Could you guys post the parts needed for a co2 system
and where to buy?

Approximately how long it will last will obviously depend on several different factors; minimal water surface agitation(either in part with filtration, and, or water circulation methods), Actual lighting period, and how well versed you are with the high-tech co2 approach.

I have a 55 gallon standard tank and a 5 pound cylinder which lasted from september 07 - may 08. Nine months. Please remember it was my first run with pressurized co2, prior to using homemade. I also equiped a milwaukee regulator w/ solenoid valve and the milwaukee sms122 co2 controller. I also experimented quite a bit with the pressure guages and different amounts 'cause I was learning how to use the equipment. At times the solenoid valve would stick in the closed and open position( i love technology). I came home once to see every damn fish hovering at the top of the tank gasping for air and a ph reading on the controller that registered @ 4.2 and falling. So in the beginning I had alot of wasted co2 and dead fish. I expect the new 5 pounder to last me much longer, I feel for at least a year straight provided that mr. murphy stays out of the picture.

As far as parts go check out milwaukee products or surf around for other manufacturers of regulators which one would need. many of these units are all in one, meaning you wouldn't need a bubble counter if it already comes attached to the regulator. Secondly, the means of diffusing the co2 are many and just like a doctors visit. Ten doctors and ten varying opinions. there's quite a few choices from homemade units like mine, all the way to those pretty glass diffusers. Just pick one that appeals to you. One important note: Check out John LeVasseurs' Treatise on Co2. This was extremely way helpful for me ------>
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