Co2 tubing. Which to use? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Co2 tubing. Which to use?

A few years ago I had a great setup with my 66 gal planted tank with a 20 lb Co2 tank and regulator. I've since moved and only have room for a small tank at the present time. A Fluval Spec 5 gallon for the time being.
Back then; (ie; 7 years ago) the only tubing to buy for Co2 was the Co2 impermeable tubing which was black. I never had any issues with it leaking or falling apart. Now I see regular clear tubing being used which was not recommended in the past due to it would leech Co2 and become brittle quite easily.

So what is everyone using now? I know things change quickly in this hobby and I'm getting back into it again after a hiatus.

Black Co2 proof tubing or clear buy it by the foot airline tubing?


I'm way deep into nothing special.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 02:34 AM
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Either is fine.

The CO2 leak-proof tubing is fine, but is expensive.
PVC tubing (the clear kind that is normally used for air pumps) is cheap, but becomes brittle with time.
Silicone tubing is a little more expensive, but remains more flexible with time. It is slightly more permeable to CO2 than PVC tubing, but still negligible.

I use silicone tubing because I had it handy, and I like how it stays flexible.


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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 04:50 AM
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If you don't mind a slightly thicker tubing, you can go to a hardware store or homedepot and get a coil of 1/4 OD 1/8 ID clear vinyl tubing. It's much cheaper and the thick wall means it will be much more co2 impermeable. It's stiffer than aquarium vinyl so sometimes it helps to warm it up with hot water to slip it on to a hose barb.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-30-2012, 05:16 AM
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search on e--bay "Tygon tubing ". Aquaticmagic on e--bay also sells Clippard Co2 tubing.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 02:25 AM
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I hate working with co2 tubing as they're so tough I have a really hard time removing it from whatever its attached to when I need to. I found just regular air tubing to be fine and a lot easier to use. I haven't tried silicon tubing yet but will give it a try if the regular air tubing becomes bad over time.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 02:30 AM
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1/4" OD by 1/8" ID is standard. LFS airline tubing has a thinner wall.

This is a popular type (I use it as well):
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 03:55 PM
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I use silicone airline tubing. I have used airline tubing for a long time with no issues. The only tubing I got that was meant for CO2 was the grey ADA tubing which got brittle really easily. I had to cut it shorter after removing it every time or it would pop off.

This is exactly what I use. Tends to last the longest of anything that is readily available:
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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I was at the home depot yesterday and they have clear plastic tubing 1/4" OD and .170" ID. Not sure if this is the same, but I guess bringing along a airstone to try the fitting would work.

I'm way deep into nothing special.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:15 PM
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Any silicone tubing will be fine if you are using a regular glass diffuser with 30psi but if you are using one of those GLA atomic diffusers you will need the real co2 tubing otherwise it will leak.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 08:00 PM
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The stuff at Home Depot in the plumbing aisle is just fine.

I've been using it for a long time because it's about 1,000% cheaper than the cheapest stuff at the LFS.
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