Starting up a CO2 setup - The Planted Tank Forum

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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Starting up a CO2 setup

Good morning everyone,

I'm going to set-up a CO2 system very shortly. But as of right now, Google hasn't been too much help. Is there a place where I can find information for all the parts that I need, and perhaps even buy them all at one place?

This will be my first ever CO2 set-up, and I consider myself a rather intelligent person. But I simply am a bit confused on all the pieces and trinkets needed. A link to a place that sells everything would be appreciated. Information on how to set-up, run, and overall operate the system or even tips and tricks/experience would be even more appreciated. Also, do these CO2 kits come with a way to measure co2 output?

I also forgot to ask, I did the math yesterday and going by the directions of Seachem Excel, a single 500ml bottle would last me about 2 months. At 14$ a month, we will say 90$ a year wouldn't simply buying Seachem be a cheaper option? Sure you have to add it daily, but if my math is right you could use Seachem for about two to three years and still have money saved compared to the initial cost of buying a CO2 system. The initial topic above is still the main concern for me, but I was looking at freshwateraquariumplants.com. For the CO2 system that is.

Thank you.

Last edited by FlyingSheep; 11-27-2012 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Forgot the second, less amazing option.
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingSheep View Post
Good morning everyone,

I'm going to set-up a CO2 system very shortly. But as of right now, Google hasn't been too much help. Is there a place where I can find information for all the parts that I need, and perhaps even buy them all at one place?

This will be my first ever CO2 set-up, and I consider myself a rather intelligent person. But I simply am a bit confused on all the pieces and trinkets needed. A link to a place that sells everything would be appreciated. Information on how to set-up, run, and overall operate the system or even tips and tricks/experience would be even more appreciated.
Thank you.
Check out the sticky at the top of the equipment page, then click on How to build a CO2 regulator.
That's a good place to get an idea of what's needed, then take it from there.

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 03:27 PM
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Pressurized CO2...Just thought I'd share.

Also check out the video on Green Leaf Aquarium's web site.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, not sure how I missed that, but thanks!

Though my initial question still remains. Does anyone know a site aside from the one linked where I can get a kit fully assembled? I know it's going to be more expensive, but as long as it's reasonable I don't think I'll mind.

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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 03:46 PM
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Gla is about it.

Well, there's also aqua forest aquarium and aquarium design group.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by FlyingSheep View Post
Alright, not sure how I missed that, but thanks!

Though my initial question still remains. Does anyone know a site aside from the one linked where I can get a kit fully assembled? I know it's going to be more expensive, but as long as it's reasonable I don't think I'll mind.
Pressurized or DIY CO2 is not the same as organic carbon being added to the tank. You actually can use both Seachem and a CO2 setup in the same tank.

I have just stated on my CO2 journey.
I got a pressured CO2 setup from GLA.

Orlando is *AMAZING* I highly recommend purchasing a setup from him.
I got the Primo regulator, it has the nicer NV-55 needle valve.
Orlando does this as a labor of love and it shows.

I have already noticed more new growth in the last couple of days than I have in a while of using Seachem Flourish Excel.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 06:25 PM
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Aquatek has a nice little regulator that screws onto a 20oz paintball tank. You can have it and the tank for just over $100 from amazon. I used it on my 12g and ordered another one for my 30-C.

http://www.amazon.com/AQUATEK-OF-CAL...regulator+mini
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by minicrazy592 View Post
Aquatek has a nice little regulator that screws onto a 20oz paintball tank. You can have it and the tank for just over $100 from amazon. I used it on my 12g and ordered another one for my 30-C.

http://www.amazon.com/AQUATEK-OF-CAL...regulator+mini
How long does that 20oz tank last on your 12g?
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 08:35 PM
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How long does that 20oz tank last on your 12g?
Do yourself a favor and get one of these if you really want to use paintball CO2.

Atomic CO2

Honestly, I recommend a 2.5 lb CO2 tank, it will last longer, and it will be cheaper in the long run. Look for home brew places to get it filled, usually quite cheap. 20 bucks for 5 lbs here in NC.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by ronaldvalente View Post
Do yourself a favor and get one of these if you really want to use paintball CO2.

Atomic CO2

Honestly, I recommend a 2.5 lb CO2 tank, it will last longer, and it will be cheaper in the long run. Look for home brew places to get it filled, usually quite cheap. 20 bucks for 5 lbs here in NC.
Thank you for your response. I agree, ideally I would get a 2.5lb or 5lb tank but getting it filled here is an issue whereas I can get a paintball tank filled at sports authority for $3.50 and its 5 mins away from where I work. As for a regulator, I would lean towards getting a dual stage and just getting an adapter to fit the paintball tank.
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 11:24 PM
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How long does that 20oz tank last on your 12g?
Lasts about a month on 1 bubble/sec injection.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by minicrazy592 View Post
Lasts about a month on 1 bubble/sec injection.
Wow, only a month? I'm getting about 1.5-2 months at 2-3bps with GLA's Atomic v2 setup.


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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-27-2012, 11:50 PM
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Wow, only a month? I'm getting about 1.5-2 months at 2-3bps with GLA's Atomic v2 setup.
I've been messing with the injection rate recently. Was about where you were for a 2 weeks. Also noticed that they filled the bottle to 500 psi compared to the 900 psi I got this weekend when I got it refilled so who knows.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, that primo CO2 system (http://greenleafaquariums.com/comple...o2-system.html) seems to do the trick.

Now, if I decide to build it my own (as I do have the time and determination) would I save any amount worth the effort? Has anyone actually ordered the parts individually? I figured with shipping the difference wouldn't be that great.

I'm not going the "I want a cheap system" route. I want to quality that will last. Though my wallet will probably punch me in the face, I'll take the blow for a tropical paradise to add to the perfection that is my bonsai trees.

Anyway, tips are appreciated. I want to save money, but at the same time I want quality. Thank you.

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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 11-28-2012, 12:50 AM
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I ran the numbers, dollar for dollar GLA is hands down your best bet.
I was going to build my own, but do yourself a favor. Give Orlando a call at GLA. You will immediately want to pay him to build your setup. It is a labor of love for him and it shows. He does a generous 3 day build, the last day, which is most important, is the leak test. It gives you piece of mind when dealing with CO2. With larger tanks or smaller rooms this is *very* important.

He is a very honest and amazing person to deal with. I had some issues getting my CO2 setup going, he was right there on the other end of the phone ready to help me out. Coached me through a few setup hiccups (my fault not his) and I was up and running after a phone call or two.

He really knows his stuff as well, I called requesting some details on his setup and ended the phone call with a semi complete understanding of what I needed and how to get there.

GLA - All the way!

Thanks again Orlando!
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