Co2 system - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Co2 system

I am presently in the process of setting up a 40 gallon breeder tank. I was planning on carpeting with baby dwarf tears. I've been doing alot of research on co2 systems, and have narrowed my search down to a co2 system on drsfostersmith website. Being that this is my first non diy system. Im a little unsure on what is needed and if this kit has everthing needed. The kit is a semi-automatic CO2 injection system. Containing CO2 Pressure Regulator with solenoid, ISTA Mini Ceramic Cone CO2 Diffuser, Bubble Counter with built-in check valve, 20 feet of Silicone Tubing. Any suggestions would be appreciated, also any info on the lightning would be good as well.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 04:18 PM
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that regulator w/ solenoid & needle valve is a really good price for all that; which worries me. but i won't try to sway you either way cause i don't know anything specific about that particular one.

personally i'd skip the silicone tubing if you already have tubing of any sort. $5 isn't much but it's money wasted IMO for the short lengths and low pressures we're working at... the whole "co2 seepage" thing is overblown for our purposes.

and lastly, not to poo-poo your WHOLE design, but I personally don't like the idea of diffusers. Not only is it one more eyesore in the tank, but just about any diffuser design is going to eventually get its pores clogged and require maintenance. If you have a cannister or powerhead, I really think an inline reactor is 10x better. better dissolution and less maintenance.
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 04:30 PM
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spend 100 bux more and get a quality regulator from someone on here.. or look into another sponser of the forum.
that and the milwaukee's are fairly cheap regulators
co2 is one of the things i wouldn't cheap out on. it affects plan growth and algae the most, and is more than likely the number one leading cause of premature fish deaths in this portion of fish keeping hobby
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
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The co2 system I found seemed pretty good, and had some decent reviews. The regulator is made by Azoo. Dont much about them, as Im going off internet reviews only. In san antonio we dont have alot of planted aquarium enthusiasts. Kinda hard to find good advice from anyone. I dont mind spending the extra money. I just want to be sure im doing it right and with the best co2 system out there. Then again i dont want to spend $500
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Also dosent the inline reactor sit in the tank anyways. Wouldnt that be more of an eyesore?
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 05:18 PM
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I suppose my biggest concern with that setup would be the needle valve. It sorta looks like a Fabco, but I doubt it at that price.

Granted I shot high (and bought local instead of internez shopping) but I spent $70 on my Ideal needle valve - almost as much as that whole setup. I consider it the most important part of the assembly and after reading enough reviews and opinions it was down to Fabco or Ideal for me.

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Also dosent the inline reactor sit in the tank anyways. Wouldnt that be more of an eyesore?
I think I read an item description somewhere that stated you could put it in the tank, and if you really wanted to I guess you could, but that's just crazy talk. The whole point is that it sits under your tank in the cabinet, inline with your cannister/powerhead return tubing.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-23-2013 at 02:14 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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The inline reactor seems to be the way to go, and it makes more sense then a diffuser. No brainer there. I've had good luck with eco complete as substrate for swords. I was thinking of using eco complete and mixing first layer laterite with it. That ada substrate is expensive. Hopefully the baby tears will take to it
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 05:43 PM
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My bubble counter cracked and leaked after about a week. I cant believe that cheesy thing sells for over $30.

Also, I found the regulator was set to far to high of pressure out of the box making it next to impossible to set the needle valve with any accuracy. So be ready to adjust the regulator to decrease to pressure setting.

Before I cranked the pressure down, the tubing was always blowing off that blue backflow preventer pictured with the bubble counter.

The diffuser did a poor job of making teeny bubbles too, though mine came with a different diffuser than pictured. So after about 2 years of use, the only pieces that I'm still using are the regulator, the solenoid, and the needle valve, everything else was a waste of money.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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That blows, literally LOL. Well if you still have the system after 2 years do you think it was worth the price.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 06:35 PM
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I don't think I would buy a non-adjustable regulator. You'd be better off building a rig using a basic beverage CO2 regulator and a high quality needle valve. These systems aren't as scary and complex as people seem to think.
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 07:03 PM
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i've used a regulator with that exact needle valve before.
its not a fabco, and it has very UNprecise metering.
again, look into oldpunk or bettatail, they have quality regs you can count on for a long time, and are very precise which is the MOST IMPORTANT THING

life expactance matters little if your gassing your prized fish all the time, or growing unhealthy aquatic plants because you can't control your regulator.
a poor regulator i suspect has likely made many people quit the hobby inadvertently assuming something else was their problem
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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback, and everyones opinions. I have found two more regulators. DELUXE AQUATEK CO2, and MILWAUKEE CO2 REGULATOR. Both indicate a fine tuning knob for the needle. The MILWAUKEE seems to be more popular. Anyone ever had experience with either one of these models.
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-22-2013, 09:24 PM
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I had a Milwaukee quite a few years ago and while I had no problem with the regulator itself the needle valve sucks as I'm sure is the case with all the regulator kits that you can buy online. I built a setup with a Cornelius regulator and Fabco needle valve and never had any problems with it but just recently built a dual stage regulator so put my old one up for sale. I would also suggest looking into having one built by Bettatail or Oldpunk unless you want to read up on the forums and attempt to build one yourself. I would look through the f/s section as people always have them for sale. I have my old regulator listed in there but it's pending sale right now.

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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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Everbody is suggesting to buy a custom built regulator kit. Which sounds good to me, but i apologize if im skeptical buying from somebody or someone i know nothing of. Are the ADA kits the only other reliable way to go?
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-23-2013, 12:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewq View Post
Everbody is suggesting to buy a custom built regulator kit. Which sounds good to me, but i apologize if im skeptical buying from somebody or someone i know nothing of. Are the ADA kits the only other reliable way to go?
If you want to go with a store, gla is your best bet. Don't cheap out on the needle valve.

What would Honey Badger do?
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