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!
Just what I've been looking for!
how long does it usually last and what size tank are you using it with?
It last a good 5-6 months before refill. This is referring to 20z Paintball co2 tanks. I have a two 20gallon long tanks, and a 30gallon tank. All 3 have their own Paintball Co2 tank, along with it's own On and Off valve and each individual co2 diffuser. With expection of my 30gallon being run on a 24oz Paintball co2 tank.
So 3 in total. They last pretty long doesn't take up space and is fairly easy to rig up. Teflon tape is a must or else it will leak. Test the on and off valve once you have it all hooked up and tighten with a bucket of water before final use.
do you leave the co2 on 24/7?
or do you turn it off everynight and back on the next day?
I leave it on 24/7. Needle valve is adjusted to 2bps. Been running like this for almost close to a year, no problems with tank or algae. I'm actually a shrimp and aquatic person, maybe the algae does exist but doesn't grow fast enough to where I can notice it before my shrimps chow down on it. I keep my light on 8 hours on a timing. I really haven't seen any major problem with keeping it on 24/7. I still get tons of lust plant growth.
If I wanted to, I can always turn it off at night and turn it back on in the morning when my lights switches on. It's fairly easy to adjust, you'll be suprised.
i think i will look into something like this, the ada co2 setup i have is not very efficient in terms of cost
Very cool write up. I would have definitely tried this a few years ago. I started with a RedSea Paintball unit at considerably higher cost. I still use Paintball tanks because of lack of space but, use them with Victor Dual Stage regs now. Since it's used with a 46 Gallon Bowfront and T5 lighting, I only get 5 weeks per 20 OZ tank. I just get 2 Paintball Tanks at a time.
I believed I read somewhere a few months ago while pondering this idea to give it a try that you can also hook up a solenoid to it also, thus having it not on all the time. Just didnt' want to get into all that stuff. The setups I'm using has been working for almost a year, so if it isn't broken don't fix it.
When your CO2 cylinders get closer to empty, do you notice any increase in bubble rate and or CO2 saturation?
Anyone know if Walmart sells CO2 paintball tanks and valves?
I've been getting alot of messages about certain type of Valves to use. If you find something that resemble this type of On and Off Valve, it will work. I wouldn't use any of the other Mini On and Off Valves that are on no ebay links allowed The On and Off Valve should be about 4 inches long. This is another one of my setup, but I decided not to use a gauge on it. So it's just capped off.
Hope that helps alot better.
I just went to the paintball shop you told me about....the on/off adpapter is 44.99 new. They didn't a used one.
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