The Planted Tank Forum - View Single Post - Paintball Co2 Injection DIY Setup with Tons of Photos
View Single Post
post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-11-2010, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
Wannabe Guru
Jaggedfury's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Sacramento, California
Posts: 1,912
Paintball Co2 Injection DIY Setup with Tons of Photos

Updated Re-write. 2/4/2011

I found a cheap way to use Paintball Co2 Tank for injecting Co2 into planted aquariums. Prices varies depending on different Brands of products that you purchase. I preferred to get parts brand new to avoid any problem down the line. This setup can cost from $30 dollars to $80 dollars + for a working unit. It all depends on what you want to do and add on to it. But it's easily obtainable with $30 dollars to rig up.

In order to have this setup rig up and working. You will need the following items.

- 3.5 oz to 24 oz Paintball Co2 Tank filled $25 and under.

- Paintball Co2 ASA On/Off Valve 2 Threads (Gauge, Needle Valve inputs) $10 - $60 depending on brand.

- Paintball Co2 Gauge - $5 - $10 depending on brand.

- Needle Valves (You have several options to choose from) $10 - $20
* Watts A-41 LF 1/8'' x 1/4'' Compression (Homedepot or Lowes)
* Watts A-40 LF 1/8'' x 1/4'' Compression (Homedepot or Lowes)
* Swagelok Needle Valve 1/8'' x 1/8'' Compression (Ebay)
* My Needle Valve1/8'' x 1/4'' (Ask me if interested) (PM Me)

- Co2 Tubing (Part Number SVEB10 sold at Homedepot 10 feet is $2.14)

- Teflon Tape (Homedepot or Lowes/Craft Stores .50 cent - $1.00)

- Check Valve (Aquarium store $1)

- Bubble Counter Optional (Online store prices varies)

- Drop Checker Optional (Online store prices varies)

- A way to diffuse Co2 into your tank whether through a ceramic glass diffuser, hang on filter, canister filter, chop stick, power head, reactor. Prices varies from Free to whatever

Your parts will be similar to the photos below.

It's basically pretty simple. A basic guide.

- Make sure Paintball Co2 is Filled
- Teflon Tape Gauge Thread and screw it into any side of the ASA On/Off Valve. Use a wrench to further tighten it.
- Prepare your Needle Valve's both side threads with Telfon Tape.
- Slide Co2 tubing through the Needle Valve's output Nut, then do the same to through the Compression Sleeve.
- Tighten Needle Valve's output Nut onto the Needle Valve. Use a wrench to further tighten it.
- Screw on Needle Valve into the ASA On/Off Valve. Use a wrench to further tighten it.
- Twist the Top Knob on the ASA On/Off Valve counter clockwise to open the Pin.
- Screw ASA On/Off Valve onto the Paintball Co2 Tank. Hand tighten only.
- Make sure your Needle Valve is Closed fully.
- Twist the Top Knob on the ASA On/Off Valve clockwise to close the Pin.
- If Gauge reads 800-850 PSI, Co2 Gas has entered the ASA On/Off Valve Chamber.
- SLIGHTLY open the Needle Valve "T" Arm.
- Dump the entire Paintball Co2 Tank with the ASA On/Off Valve into a 10gallon fish tank or 5 gallon bucket. Check for leaks. Any bubble forms will result in leakage. Trace your installation steps again.
- If no leak is present, hook the end of the Co2 Tubing to desire way to diffusing the Co2 gas and you're good to go!

There are option parts such as Bubble Counter and Check Valves to be hooked up along the Co2 Tubing line. That should be common sense.

Basic Step for Installing Co2 Tubing onto Needle Valve.

Overall Setup Installation once said and done.

Paintball Co2 Tank

Paintball Co2 On and Off Valve 2 threaded inputs

Paintball Co2 Gauge (Wrap thread with Teflon tape to prevent leaks)

Homedepot Needle Valve (Wrap therad with Teftlon tape to prevent leaks)

One the Needle Valve, one thread goes into the On and Off Valve, and the other one has a coupler that will crimp onto a Co2 tubing hose. Which will be the path of your Co2 line going straight to your tank. Make sure you have this Co2 tubing connected as well.

Once everything is thread tight, making sure the upper needle valve of the On and Off Valve is fully counter clockwise opened, attach it onto the Co2 tank of your choice. Closed the upper needle valve by turning it clockwise to release Co2 from the Paintball Tank. Make sure your Needle Valve is closed all the way. Your gauge should bounce straight up to 800PSI at most.

Upper Valve Closed. 0 PSI

Upper Valve Opened. 800 PSI

Test the On and Off Valve for leaks by aiming the Paintball tank with everything attached up side down into a bucket of water. If there's any bubbles coming from the threaded slots, recheck your teflon tape and tightness.

Once there's no leak, everything should be a straight forward from there. Attach the end of the Co2 tubing to a Diffuser and your good to go. Adjust bubbles from 2bps to 4bps.

A regular 24oz Paintball Co2 Tank at about 2bps will last a good 4-6 months. When refilling Co2 tank, just close your Needle Valve, Open up the upper valve on the On and Off Valve with will block off the Co2 Tank's outlet pressure. Then go ahead and twist off the On and Off Valve itself and just bring the Co2 Tank to your local Co2 Paintball store and have it refill. It only cost $4.00 to refill a 24oz Paintball tank.

Been using 3 of these units on 3 different tanks and have had no problems. You can also get away without using a Gauge, Save yourself the extra few bucks. Fully filled Co2 Tank is about 1.4 lbs. I used one without a Gauge and it works the same. Just keep the Hex bolt in the Gauge slot closed so that way a Gauge is not needed. All the parts can be bought locally at your local Paintball sport stores and Homedepot or Lowes.

Hope that helps!

Additional informations for easy lookup.

The O rings are easily replacecable. It's like .58 cents per 3-6 O rings. Part number at Lowes is BrassCraft # 0533. The size is 1/4"ID x 3/8"OD x 1/16" Wall Thickness.

At 1bps on a 24 oz PB tank. You can get 5-6 months.
At 2bps on a 24 oz PB tank. You can get 4-5 months.
At 3bps on a 24 oz PB tank. You can get 2-3 months.
At 4-5 bps on a 24 oz PB tank, You can get 1.5-2 months
At 6-8 bps on a 24 oz PB tank, You're looking at 1 month before refill.

With g33tar permissions, the Option #3 setup attached to a Super Diffuser/Atomic Diffuser in great working results!

Last edited by Jaggedfury; 06-24-2011 at 04:13 AM.
Jaggedfury is offline  
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome