Cheap co2 system for tank? - Page 2 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Hilde View Post
It gives off a beer smell. Most reliable if you have 4 bottles connected in series. Cheap means you have to work harder to maintain stability of system.
If you can smell it, it means that gas is escaping. If gas is escaping you aren't getting CO2 in the tank anyway.

A series connection would imply the second bottle is gaining an advantage from the first, and 3rd gaining an advantage from the 2nd and so on. Because they are all producing gas, as the volume (number of bottles) increases you're really just connecting them in parallel. Why is 4 more reliable then 3 bottles or 5 bottles? One large bottle is just as effective as 4 small bottles given the volume is the same.


Less number of connections = Less number of potential leak points.

More bottles = more connections = more potential leaks = more changing bottles = more work.

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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 09:11 AM
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Hey guys.. First off I'm not looking to do anymore DIY co2. Instead I'd really like to move over to the real stuff.
However I'm not sure what to get. I'm completely new to the co2 system that uses the co2 tanks and bubble counters. I'm looking for some direction. I've seen some sets on Amazon? Are those good, which ones would you recommend?
Anyways, any help and direction is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Paintball seems like the next logical step after DIY CO2 but I'll try to save you some trouble by advising against them. They're small so you'll have to refill them often plus they tip easy. Secondly, the adapters don't usually regulate, not the cheap ones you'll find. There are some regulators that can and will work but for the money, you might as well go bigger.

Here is how the bigger CO2 tanks work with our hobby. (5lb, 10lb, 20lbs are most common)

CO2 Tank->CGA320 fitting->regulator->solenoid->metering valve->Aquarium(choose your diffusion method)

Look at dual stage regulators. Low flow/low output work best for our hobby. Single stage regulators work but the big difference is that they dump CO2 into the aquarium when the tank is low and kill your fish. Secondly, look at a good needle or metering valve. These are the two most important and necessary pieces in a system and should be the bulk of any money spent. Solenoids are nice but aren't required by any means. Depending on how you disperse the CO2 into the aquarium you may want to use a bubble counter to measure how much you are putting in. There are some diffusion methods that you can count the bubbles as they go and can skip the bubble counter.

You can build them yourself but its not advisable if you're brand new. Plenty are for sale, here and elsewhere. Just remember, chrome systems don't work any better then a brass or mix and match system.

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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 03:41 PM
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If you have a paintball tank you can use it temporary. Shop for a decent regulator. Grab a paintball tank to CO2 reg adapter and use your tank for a month or 2 then move to bigger tank.
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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 04:04 PM
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You don't have to spend a lot of money of you take your time and shop right. I purchased an Aquatek "Deluxe" setup from Amazon and used it for about 2 years with very few issues. I gathered deals until I came up with this. I have about $80 total invested.
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mrswis View Post
I have a 75. We have some paintball tanks as well. Yeah, I'm totally new to the whole co2 thing as well. Just hoping people have some suggestions here that will help me out. I'm kind of lost when it comes to exactly what instruments the whole co2 system will need..
If you already have multiple paintball tanks, I'd assume you know where to fill them cheaply and can do a couple at a time. In that case, I would look at the Aquatek Mini which I think is reliable enough for the price: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B008TJCPSY/

I get that larger tanks last longer and dual stage regs are better, but doing the math for myself, I had to get at least a 10lb tank to come out ahead over the paintball setup, and I could only find places that swap bigger tanks, not just fill them. Since I have no place to hide a tank larger than 2.5lb, I want something that looks acceptable.

I personally have two 24oz tanks, and I just swap them out and fill up when convenient. Dick's Sporting Goods is 3 minutes away from me, costs $5 for fill up and new O-ring, and every 6th fill is free.
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post #21 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tvadna View Post
Paintball seems like the next logical step after DIY CO2 but I'll try to save you some trouble by advising against them. They're small so you'll have to refill them often plus they tip easy. Secondly, the adapters don't usually regulate, not the cheap ones you'll find. There are some regulators that can and will work but for the money, you might as well go bigger.

Here is how the bigger CO2 tanks work with our hobby. (5lb, 10lb, 20lbs are most common)

CO2 Tank->CGA320 fitting->regulator->solenoid->metering valve->Aquarium(choose your diffusion method)

Look at dual stage regulators. Low flow/low output work best for our hobby. Single stage regulators work but the big difference is that they dump CO2 into the aquarium when the tank is low and kill your fish. Secondly, look at a good needle or metering valve. These are the two most important and necessary pieces in a system and should be the bulk of any money spent. Solenoids are nice but aren't required by any means. Depending on how you disperse the CO2 into the aquarium you may want to use a bubble counter to measure how much you are putting in. There are some diffusion methods that you can count the bubbles as they go and can skip the bubble counter.

You can build them yourself but its not advisable if you're brand new. Plenty are for sale, here and elsewhere. Just remember, chrome systems don't work any better then a brass or mix and match system.
Thank you very much for sharing all this information. It really helps, especially the parts of the system broken down. That's where I was mostly confused. I have a 75gallon tank, how long would 1 paintball tank keep before I'd have to refill it for a 75?
I do plan on using a bubble counter, as I'd like to know how much co2 is going into the tank.


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Originally Posted by Kubla View Post


You don't have to spend a lot of money of you take your time and shop right. I purchased an Aquatek "Deluxe" setup from Amazon and used it for about 2 years with very few issues. I gathered deals until I came up with this. I have about $80 total invested.
Thank you! I will check it out and see if I can find it.
Looks like something that would be pretty ideal. What size tank doe this fit onto?

Current tanks: heavily planted, low tech 75
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post #22 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubla View Post


You don't have to spend a lot of money of you take your time and shop right. I purchased an Aquatek "Deluxe" setup from Amazon and used it for about 2 years with very few issues. I gathered deals until I came up with this. I have about $80 total invested.
This is what I find googling Aquatek "Deluxe It does not look like the 1 in your link.

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Originally Posted by mrswis View Post
[FONT=Arial]how long would 1 paintball tank keep before I'd have to refill it for a 75?
At 1 to 3bps I have found 24oz will last about 3 months. I will try to find the tread where this is discussed. This is what I found googling it

Last edited by Hilde; 01-08-2017 at 08:33 PM. Reason: changed text of 1st sentence
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post #23 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 09:15 PM
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My 20lb CO2 tanks typically run between 1 bubble/second and 1 bubble every 5 seconds. They usually last 9-12 months on average. I do not have a solenoid so they are running 24/7.

I would guess a paintball tank might last between 3 weeks to a month if your output was similar to what I do.

Paintball tank lasts about as long as DIY CO2. They require a trip to the store and DIY doesn't. Paintball costs more then DIY. Seems like it would be a step backward to me.

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post #24 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-08-2017, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, I could not find the aquatek deluxe one either. I checked on Amazon and found smaller ones with not so good ratings.

Current tanks: heavily planted, low tech 75
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post #25 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 12:35 AM
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Paintball tank lasts about as long as DIY CO2. They require a trip to the store and DIY doesn't. Paintball costs more then DIY. Seems like it would be a step backward to me.
Running 24/7 probably the same time line. Using Paintball tank a solenoid can be added to the system.

Have you tried the DIY Co2 systems? I have. I problems with leaks with the yeast mixture and citric acid mixture. Paintball Co2 system is suppose to be more stable and consistent than DIY thus it can't be a step back.
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post #26 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 03:25 AM
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Running 24/7 probably the same time line. Using Paintball tank a solenoid can be added to the system.

Have you tried the DIY Co2 systems? I have. I problems with leaks with the yeast mixture and citric acid mixture. Paintball Co2 system is suppose to be more stable and consistent than DIY thus it can't be a step back.
Not only have I tried them, I still use DIY CO2 on my lower light tank. The two jugs are sitting right next to the paintball tank that I don't use....

If I had to drive to a store and pay $10 to get that little tank refilled every 3 weeks instead of mixing the DIY myself, I call it a step back, especially considering the $100+ spent on a paintball regulator could have been used on a full size system in the first place.
Also, the cost per ounce to exchange a 20lb tank is much cheaper then to refill a paintball tank. 5 to 10 times more expensive for me.

I suggest using bulkhead fittings for your DIY system if you're having leaks.

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post #27 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 04:25 PM
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If I had to drive to a store and pay $10 to get that little tank refilled every 3 weeks instead of mixing the DIY myself, I call it a step back.
If the time line was 3 weeks I would stick to Cidex for Co2 additive.

I could not find bulk heads so I tried Co2 system with caps that have tube connector. Could not get those to work.

Anyways DIY co2 is not an option here for he has a very curious toddler to deal with.
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post #28 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 06:30 PM
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I bought this single stage regulator / solenoid / Needle Valve combo:

CO2 Regulator with Solenoid & Dual Gauges for Vertical Cylinder Valves | CO2 Supermarket

If you get this one, make sure you go with the upgraded needle valve; itís worth it. Youíll also need an adapter if you want to use paintball canisters. With this combo, the only other things you will need are; a bubble counter, brass check valves (the normal plastic ones will harder from the CO2 and stop working), and a means to diffuse the CO2.

Iím using a canister filter, and found that the inline CO2 diffusor from UpAqua has been great. Itís worth buying an extra ceramic piece, that way you can swap it out each time you clean the filter. You can then clean the dirty one without having too much down time on your filtration.
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post #29 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 06:44 PM
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I bought this single stage regulator / solenoid / Needle Valve combo:

CO2 Regulator with Solenoid & Dual Gauges for Vertical Cylinder Valves | CO2 Supermarket
I checked it out and found that the shipping almost as high as cost of item. How much did you pay for it after shipping cost? It comes from England

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Iím using a canister filter, and found that the inline CO2 diffusor from UpAqua has been great.
There is a knock of this on evilbay way cheaper than it and works the same.
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post #30 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 06:54 PM
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I checked it out and found that the shipping almost as high as cost of item. How much did you pay for it after shipping cost? It comes from England
I'm not sure if you went to the right site, but right in the banner it says "Free global shipping on all orders over £20" I didn't pay any shipping at all.
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