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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just finished setting up my pressurized co2 for a grand total of....$17.
UniWeld regulator 15psi max output ebay $17 shipped
16oz paintball tank free
adapter to hook up tank free
"needle valve" free

The uniweld reg has cga320 threads (i.e. paintball threads). The only difference being there is no center post to push in the pin on the paintball valve. I simply cannibalized one of my old paintball guns to make the "adapter" to hook the tank to the reg. For the needle valve I used one of the plastic cheapo ones that come with air pumps. I know someone will freak because its not a $50+ metal one, but for the time being its working good.

The regulator is set to about 5 psi and using the plastic valve I can get steady bubble every 2 seconds. This setup feeds a powerhead reactor using plans found on the barrreport.com.
http://www.barrreport.com/articles/41-diy-internal-reactor-great-yeast-co2-users-2.html
Pictures to follow once the tank is clean.
 

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The problem with those plastic air valves is that they will leak as much CO2 as they let go through to the aquarium. And, it doesn't take long for the plastic to get very brittle from the CO2. If this is working OK, and you can refill the CO2 cylinder cheaply, it will do the job, but I suspect that 30 bubbles per minute isn't enough unless the tank is about a 5 gallon or smaller one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A 16oz tank is usually around $2 and there are quite a few place that will fill paintball tanks. And if the valve breaks down, ehh, I have a couple of them. I do have a better valve I just can't get the barb fitting off right now to put it on.

I'm also not sure if the current bubble rate is going to be enough so I'll be adjusting that as needed.

 

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This sounds intriguing to me. I've got several spare CO2 bottles and a PMI Pirahna sitting in the basement that I haven't used for over 3 years.

I'm sure the purists aren't too hot on this method but at the moment, the cost of entry into CO2 injection is a little too high for me.

At the moment I have some Victor Medalist Oxygen regulators, but Left C didn't think they would work for CO2. Also, is that other thing on the right in the pic a needle valve? I wish I could could somehow modify these to work, as that would save me a good 150 bucks on the cost of CO2.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The top picture shows the "adapter" I made to be able to use the paintball tank. It goes as follows:
Tank
Spyder bottomline ASA
Male to Male fitting
Expansion chamber
Reg
Keep in mind that spyder guns (and probably all spyder clones like your pmi) use metric air fittings. All this can be done away with by using an on/off adapter like this one or replacing the pin valve on the tank with an on/off version like this.

The reg on the right looks like it may have cga320 threads which is what you'll need. It will say on the very end of the nut (I can't make it out in your picture). Left C may be right about them not working with co2. In paintball certain regs can use compressed air and co2, some only work well with one or the other. But hey, co2 is cheap so give it a try. Although I suggest you try in a bucket or something first so you don't accidently send 800+ psi into your tank.

Yes, that black thing is a "needle valve". Adjusting it takes a little effort but at 6-7psi its certainly not hard.
 

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Wow. He wants 22 bucks just for the little adapter.
I'd rather pay that than get the rig that was posted earlier:

Spyder bottomline ASA
Male to Male fitting
Expansion chamber

...not because of cost, but because of my inability to understand all the fittings required of a paintball CO2 setup! You pay for convenience, sadly. =/
 

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I'd rather pay that than get the rig that was posted earlier:

Spyder bottomline ASA
Male to Male fitting
Expansion chamber

...not because of cost, but because of my inability to understand all the fittings required of a paintball CO2 setup! You pay for convenience, sadly. =/
Yeah, you are completely right, although the only thing I don't have from that list is an expansion chamber. And that guy probably has to machine that part himself, so it probably isn't overpriced at all.

I'm on the fence now, I think it would only cost me ~ $60 more to go with a cylinder. Here's the cost breakdown (I think):

If I went paintball setup:
Regulator $25 (E bay)
Needle valve $35 (Red sea)
Diffuser $10 (Petco Hagen Mini Mod)
Bubble Counter $18 (Red Sea)
CO2 Indicator $10 (Red Sea)

If I went traditional setup:
Regulator parts $25 (Estimated)
Needle valve $35 (Red sea)
Diffuser $10 (Petco Hagen Mini Mod)
Bubble Counter $18 (Red Sea)
CO2 Indicator $10 (Red Sea)
5lb CO2 Cylinder $55 (local)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You would be better off buying the smart parts on/off because it has, well an on off valve. This makes taking the tank off easier and saves o-rings (something I just had to replace on my tank). All paintball parts are expensive because it is a niche market and they know people will pay the price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Pricing for my set-up to date:
Reactor
$17 - zoo med pump
free - t-12 light tube
free - airline
CO2
free - tank x2
free - diy bubble counter (no longer need this)
$17 - regulator
free - needle valve
$1.50? - check valve
$1.99 - diy drop checker

Notice a trend? I reuse/diy a lot of things because I'm broke. Heck my tank was free (found in trash) corallife light was $45 (ebay) and my stand is an old dresser that I turned into a cabinet on one side. Where theres a will and a lack of money there always seems to be a way.

Yes the drop checker is in the wrong place, just wanted to make sure it worked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes the drop checker is a paint bottle from the air brush section at Micheal's. The suction cup is from wal-mart, they came in a pack for hanging stuff on windows.
 

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hey everyone new here but i actually own this product here and a paintball tank and its my whole set-up for pressurized co2. Well ok its the whole set-up for the source of my co2 gas i made a diy external powered diffuser as well but you really just have to put the output of the co2 tank on the intake of a filter and it works just as well.

http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/prod/239899/product.web

the link is to a regulator for a standard paint-ball tank with a tank pressure gauage and needle valve all-in-one. I've had it for a month now and it works amazing. It comes exactly as seen in the link. Screws right onto the paint-ball tank (not included) and thats it.

so i guess my setup was something like

$40 for the regulator in the link with shipping

free paint-ball tank

$3.99 to fill the paint-ball tank at ****s sporting goods

so like 45 bucks

and for the rest of you who don't have all the awesome free stuff (needle valve especially) that the first guy had who set up for 17 bucks this is a good alternative at least in my eyes. oh and you can pretty much make a bubble counter out of anything. Mines currently just a vitamin water bottle with water in it. I have it all hidden away so its not as unsightly as it sounds. If anyone wants to know anything more about it just ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Smoote: How is that working out for you? I've seen other members considering buying that reg but were warned against it. No one was sure if it is truly a regulator or just a glorified valve.

Update: I ditched the plastic needle valve in favor of a metal one I found buried in my dad's workbench. Works perfect and it was free. Just need to replace the burst disk on the reg with a high pressure gauge. The tank has a burst disk so I don't need a second one on the reg.

I should find a way to rig up one of my paintball regulators. They are much smaller and can be extremely precise is you get a quality one.
 

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hey pb300,

I'm not an expert on this equipment but yea its working very well and i guess you could call it a glorified valve but it serves its purpose. Its very basic, just the paint ball tank fitting (it has the pin on the inside, i was worried it wasn't going to have this), tank pressure gauge, hose barb, and the knob on the top of the regulator is the needle valve. I've been able to get my flow rate to well under a bubble per second however it does take some very very fine adjustments to the needle valve to achieve that rate. You barely have to touch it so its not as easy to adjust as a nice stand alone needle valve. Other than that the unit is all metal and feels very solidly constructed. The glass or plastic over the gauge does feel a little cheap though. So with all that said even if it is just a glorified valve it is serving its purpose very well by allowing me to get very low flow rates from the paint ball tank which is the idea right? It also must be a regulator because there's no way i could get that low of a flow with out some sort of regulation. I cannot comment on its long term use seeing as i've only been using it for about a month now but i can tell you that i started with my tank at around 700 psi filled and its now at 500 psi after 24/7 use. I hope i'm not leaving out any important info about the regulator but if i did just ask and i'll gladly answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think most of the people interested in using that setup were concerned with it failing and blowing 800 psi into their tank. From playing paintball I know regulators can come in all shapes and sizes (one of my guns has 3 of them) and its very possible what you have truly is a regulator. Like you said, I highly doubt you can get that bubble rate just from a valve. Don't worry about the plastic on the gauge being thin. Its only there to keep your fingers out of it.

Have you considered adding some form of a valve to make adjustment easier?
 

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Thats good to know. i'll post some detailed photos of the unit if you're interested and i'll continue to post my experience with it as well again if you're interested.

About the valve... no not really, and i'm very poor. I'm an artist and i tend to be very good with my hands consequently having a very soft touch, so it doesn't bother me at all to make the fine adjustments. I actually find it moderately easy to change but think it might be hard for someone else.
 
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