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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking of going into pressurized CO2, but am a little confused. First, can I have a CO2 setup with a paintball tank or do I need a 5-10lb tank for a 20gal? Second, what do I actually need? I really don't know what is necessary. Also, how often do you guys have to refill your CO2 tanks? I'm under the impression that after the initial purchase, pressurized systems are more cost effective than DIY, so I was wondering how often refills are needed. Thanks for the help.
Scouter
 

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I just recently purchased a Paintball Tank regulator from Green Leaf Aquariums and am using it on my 12 gallon setup. The valve can be dialed down to .1 bubble/second and seems to work pretty well. I am using a 20 oz tank, so I'll post when runs out. I am also using Niko's cheap Elite Diffuser, and am excited by the prospects. Not sure what I will end up needing for a bubble rate because I just set it up today.
 

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I bough a SuMo regulator(which is a great pruduct and the guys who sell them are very nice as well) and have it on a 5 lbs tank(about to go to a 10lb tank) and i run a lot of co2 and i have to fill up the tank every 6/8 months. I think it is necessary to have the built in bubble counter, regulator and needle valve of course, check valve, some co2 tubing, solenoid, and thats about it most people who sell regulator have a package with that stuff in it. You dont need a ph controller, the solenoid is a much better way to go i think. This is the device that you can set up to a timer and control when and how long the co2 runs. Since you have a 20 gal i think you should go with the cylinder that way you won't have to fill it up very often. I would say around a year or more depending on how much co2 you want and how long you let it run during the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So here's a silly question, is it at all possible to get a pressurized CO2 setup for under $100? I'm lookin at prices online at it doesn't look too optimistic.
 

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So here's a silly question, is it at all possible to get a pressurized CO2 setup for under $100? I'm lookin at prices online at it doesn't look too optimistic.
For a 20g you could go with a 2.5lb standard tank and regulator. I wouldn't say $100 but $130 is definitely doable. Add a $10 ceramic diffusor and your good to go. 2.5lb should last ~7 months or so on a 20g.
 

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Hi Scouter,

If there is Craigslist in your area you might check them out for any "C02" listings. I found a tank (partially filled) and two gauge regulator for $30 but it took a few months. Best price I have found so far for a 5# tank is: http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/tanks/co2/C5.shtml You might also check out Ebay.
 

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Hi Scouter,

If there is Craigslist in your area you might check them out for any "C02" listings. I found a tank (partially filled) and two gauge regulator for $30 but it took a few months. Best price I have found so far for a 5# tank is: http://www.beveragefactory.com/draftbeer/tanks/co2/C5.shtml You might also check out Ebay.
That's pretty good pricing Seattle. I order mine from here:

http://www.aquariumplants.com/product_p/t.htm

Threre's only a $3 difference between a 2.5lb tank and a 5lb, but if space is an issue the 2.5lb might work better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys, I guess I'll keep looking on craigslist. So I need a regulator, solenoid, needle valve and a tank? If what I think the solenoid is is correct,(that it turns on and off the CO2 on a set schedule) then why are they necessary? My DIY CO2 is never shut off, so why would I need pressurized to turn off? Wouldn't that just make my pH swing every night?
Thanks,
Scouter
 

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There are varying schools of thought on that subject, but you don't need to turn it off at night. A Solenoid is not absolutely necessary. (A needle valve is though.) You also need a diffusor or reactor of some sort.
 

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Thanks guys, I guess I'll keep looking on craigslist.
It might also be worth checking ebay. I bought a 15lb canister on ebay for $43.03 shipped. I got a Milwaukee regulator from water-testers.com (which appears to be the same place as aquaticstore.com, which is really co2-canisters.com) for $84.99. A bit more than the $100 you were hoping to spend, but not too bad.

I should probably add that I am still very much a newbie, and while the Milwaukee regulator is working fine for me, don't just take my word for it about what regulator to buy. ;)
 

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For a diffuser/reactor, I really think the Elite Mini is the way to go. It works better than a ceramic diffuser and costs the same ($10).

CO2 Regulator with Bubble Counter Found this for $65. That just leaves the cylinder. Not sure if you can find a new one for $25 but you can probably find a used one around that price range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well that sounds like an ok price, does anyone know anything about Aquatek from California? What about their regulators? Thanks,
Scouter
 

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Scouter,
Just a "heads up", I don't think the Aquatek is a true pressure regulator, it is a flow regulator. If you notice, there is no adjustment for output pressure on the front of the regulator. Also, when I read the manual it indicated not to open the tank valve fully, with a pressure regulator you do open the tank valve fully. If I remember correctly, Robert Hudson of Aqua Botanic has some experience with the Aquatek product.
 

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I think Seattle made some really good points about that regulator. It might just have a fixed pressure like the Azoo regulator but I wouldn't buy it.

If your looking to be cost-effective it's going to be tough to beat the Milwaukee one at around $85 dollars. Just had cylinder for around $50 and your all set. The Milwaukee also has the bubble counter built right onto the unit so you don't have to attach one inline. Many of these plastic bubble counters that go inline are 'cheap' and eventually leak after opening and closing them.
 
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