Cheap co2 system for tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Cheap co2 system for tank?

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.
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-05-2017, 05:43 PM
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You will get a lot of mixed comments. For cheap, I think AquaTek (less than $100), Milwuakee (less than $100), and co2art (some less than $100, some more) are going to be your best bets. For something more expensive you can look at co2art dual stage regulator, and also GLA regulators (I think these start around $200). There are probably some bundles also that include co2 tank but I think your best bet to save is look on craigslist, fleabay, and I think beverage factory has them. You can probably also find some reconditioned bottles at a fire extinguisher place. Some people will also say build one, which I did but honestly, it was more of a headache finding every part for the build. Please note that some of the cheaper regulators have been known to not last or leak co2 but there are lots of people that have had good success from when I was doing my research.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FewestKitten896 View Post
You will get a lot of mixed comments. For cheap, I think AquaTek (less than $100), Milwuakee (less than $100), and co2art (some less than $100, some more) are going to be your best bets. For something more expensive you can look at co2art dual stage regulator, and also GLA regulators (I think these start around $200). There are probably some bundles also that include co2 tank but I think your best bet to save is look on craigslist, fleabay, and I think beverage factory has them. You can probably also find some reconditioned bottles at a fire extinguisher place. Some people will also say build one, which I did but honestly, it was more of a headache finding every part for the build. Please note that some of the cheaper regulators have been known to not last or leak co2 but there are lots of people that have had good success from when I was doing my research.
Thank you, I will check them out. Yeah I assumed I'd get a lot of subjective opinions and recommendations. I just have no clue where to look for starting with the "real" co2. The DIY co2 method isn't the most ideal for me, so currently I'm just dosing with liquid co2 instead. But would love to see the plants really flourish. Do they sell whole kits of everything I need?
I don't want to go too cheap, especially since you mentioned some may leak or break. I'd be worried about that. I was thinking of spending between $100 - $200, but preferably nothing over $200. I've seen how some of the co2 systems can get very expensive. While I'm sure they work fantastic, it's not in my budget at the moment.

Current tanks: heavily planted, low tech 75
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 06:28 PM
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I've actually seen some on evilbay for $40. Now as previous people have stated, going cheap on the Co2 system can be a really bad thing, however I've actually heard a couple of good reviews on it. Maybe you can use this for a stand by regulator or a sort of intro to Co2. The only thing bad I've heard about it was leaky pressure gauges in which the company refunded. I believe there are some with 6 month warranties for it as well. Here's someone using it on a paintball set up:



I actually just bought it and it should be arriving within the next week or so. I'll probably make an update as to how well it works. I plan on switching out the gauges for some other ones I have.

Also it seems that both you and I are at the same stage of setting up our planted tanks (getting all the equipment sorted, buying the plants etc) so I too am learning as I go. If you need any help or have any questions just let me know and I'll see if there's anything I can help you with.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 07:02 PM
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CO2 is the last thing you want to go cheap on. That cheap regulator may seem like a great deal until you get poor performance that causes plant growth issues or gasses all your fish.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 07:11 PM
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What size tank do you have? Im interested in what people think since Im new to the CO2 aspect and im thinking about getting into it also. I already have a Paintball tank (I got old) so I just need the Regulator/bubble counter mainly
(I dont mean to hijack the thread im just coming up with different options if possible)
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 07:18 PM
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+1 on this. CO2 is just not something to skimp on. I've gassed out more tanks then I care to admit, even killing 100 german blue ram that I have bred. The longer I'm in this hobby the more this holds true..... More money up front = better stuff = easier hobby = more enjoyable. If a good system is out of your budget, you need to save more or do more research so you can build your own.

If you want to go cheap, just go with a DIY system. You can't go cheaper then a $.50 yeast package, $1.00 for sugar, $1.5 for airline tubing and $2.00 for a pop bottle. Plus you get free pop or juice! $4 gets you CO2... hard to beat that. You won't gas any fish out this way either.

Don't get caught with your plants down
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 07:21 PM
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The cheapest reliable 1 I have found is a regulator and solenoid set from GLA for about $200.

If you are just looking for a regulator read the thread on this forum for regulators. Then look for name brands on Ebay.

For paintball tank I found CO2 Regulator WRCO2 for $70 on Ebay. It was 1 that was recommended to me.

Last edited by Hilde; 01-06-2017 at 07:35 PM. Reason: added text
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tvadna View Post
If you want to go cheap, just go with a DIY system. You can't go cheaper then a $.50 yeast package, $1.00 for sugar, $1.5 for airline tubing and $2.00 for a pop bottle. Plus you get free pop or juice! $4 gets you CO2... hard to beat that. You won't gas any fish out this way either.
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.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 11:53 PM
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This might just fit your wants.
http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/15...-shipping.html
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 12:13 AM
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He has a 20oz paintball he is looking to setup for co2 system. That is a great find though. I see new it sells for $205
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 12:28 AM
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Read reviews on Amazon before you purchased. Cheapo regs. usually, are not reliable.
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 01:08 AM
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You get what you pay for with co2 systems. If your going to keep a tank with plants only. feel free to experiment. If you intend to keep livestock your asking for trouble. Look for a dual stage or good quality single stage regulator. A good needle valve is also important. You can be a little more liberal with your choices with the help other stuff. Tubing diffuser.... etc.

Be patient and look at buying used. Most of the expensive components of a co2 setup will last a lifetime. You should also be able get most if not all of your money back should you decide to sell it one day.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cremepuff View Post
I've actually seen some on evilbay for $40. Now as previous people have stated, going cheap on the Co2 system can be a really bad thing, however I've actually heard a couple of good reviews on it. Maybe you can use this for a stand by regulator or a sort of intro to Co2. The only thing bad I've heard about it was leaky pressure gauges in which the company refunded. I believe there are some with 6 month warranties for it as well. Here's someone using it on a paintball set up:



I actually just bought it and it should be arriving within the next week or so. I'll probably make an update as to how well it works. I plan on switching out the gauges for some other ones I have.

Also it seems that both you and I are at the same stage of setting up our planted tanks (getting all the equipment sorted, buying the plants etc) so I too am learning as I go. If you need any help or have any questions just let me know and I'll see if there's anything I can help you with.
Oh yes, do let me know how it goes! How much did you spend on it? I started with a 20 gallon, moved to a 40, then 72 and now just set up a brand new 75. Did a few things differently each time and its always been a learning experience as I go. Tried the yeast co2 and it's grrat and all but honestly I've seen more progress with the liquid co2.

As for the other responses, unfortunately I do not have an extra $200 laying around to throw at something like this. Kids are expensive you know.

Current tanks: heavily planted, low tech 75
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkohanzo View Post
What size tank do you have? Im interested in what people think since Im new to the CO2 aspect and im thinking about getting into it also. I already have a Paintball tank (I got old) so I just need the Regulator/bubble counter mainly
(I dont mean to hijack the thread im just coming up with different options if possible)
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..

Current tanks: heavily planted, low tech 75
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