changing to paintball co2. how and what? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 01:21 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Bean Station TN USA
Posts: 8
changing to paintball co2. how and what?

I am using a diy co2 rite now and it just is not enough. I have a 46 gallon bow front tank and going to change over to paintball co2. I am going to get a 24oz tank from bass pro and the regulator from lowes. I plan on using a needle valve. I am new to this and not sure how to know that I have enough co2 coming out. Any help please!?!?!?!?!?!?
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 07:54 PM
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Location: NYC/NJ
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In order to connect the regulator to a paintball tank, you will need an adapter.

Like this:

This will allow you to connect the paintball tank male threaded fitting to the "CGA320" threaded fitting on the regulator (CGA320 is the standard American regulator/full size CO2 tank thread size).

A dual-gauge regulator will show you the pressure remaining in the paintball tank, and allow you to set the pressure coming out of the regulator.

You want to attach the needle valve to the output of the regulator. The regulator adjusts the pressure output, and the needle valve adjusts the flow.

What is the current setup you have with the DIY CO2? You can likely use a lot of the same tubing/etc.

You then attach the tubing to the output of the needle valve. It would be nice to have a bubble counter attached to this tubing (cheap online, or DIY) and then output in the tank either to the filter/powerhead or a diffuser.

A check valve is important to have in the line as well, to prevent water backflowing into the regulator and/or CO2 tank.

There are actually products out there that incorporate a diffuser, bubble counter, and check valve all in one.

In order to determine the amount of CO2 actually being used by your plants, you can install a drop checker. It essentially is a liquid reagent pH test that is installed inside the tank using a standard KH value for the test solution. This liquid constantly monitors the pH based on the CO2 concentrations in the tank water. Since it is using a standard KH concentration, you can calculate the CO2 concentration dissolved in the tank water.

Another piece that can make your life easier is a solenoid valve - it operates on electricity and, when paired with a timer, will allow you to set WHEN the CO2 is injected ("daylight hours") and when it is stopped ("night hours").

There are "beginner" all-in-one kits out there that include a regulator, needle valve, and solenoid all in one. Some include a bubble counter as well. They're a pretty good deal, but you could get something of higher quality by piecing together your own with high quality components. Though the regulator/valve/solenoid kits are an attractive option!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 08:07 PM
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Listen to Tom Barr talking about CO2

A heavily planted shrimp tank is possible!
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 08:23 PM
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nilocg sells the kit minus the co2 tank for a dang good price. So does jaggedfury and a few other people for less shipped to you than you could do it yourself. Unless you want the sense of accomplishment for doing it yourself, theyre a good source to go with for about $35

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 08:26 PM
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Can you post a picture of your regulator? I highly advise that you do not use just an on/off valve and a needle valve.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 10:06 PM
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i made one for about $35, but for $65 you can get a regulator and a solenoid, and a paintball adapter for just a few bucks more. I'd suggest that.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2012, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Bean Station TN USA
Posts: 8
Yes I was going to use just a on off valve and a needle switch for regulation. Thank you all for your help I think I will try and find the kit with the true regulator now and go that route. Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!
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