new co2 set-up
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:43 PM   #1
adamfish
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new co2 set-up


Hey everyone, I made the cardinal mistake of buying the fluval mini co2 system for my 29 long. I knew it said for up to 15 gallons only, but this kit was literally the only thing my pet stores carry, none had the 88g kit. This is my first jump into co2, mostly out of curiosity and I like fiddling with stuff, I'm a journeyman steamfitter by trade, so naturally I would find compressed gasses, fittings, and valves interesting and entertaining, and hopefully my few plants enjoy it as much as me.

I didn't want 2L bottles hanging all over either, I like my stuff to look good, as well as function.

So, after spending 40 bucks on the fluval mini kit, I realized (read) that this "passive" type diffusion is not great, it's been taking around 3-4 hours just to dissipate the co2 collection chambers once on my 29.

So I got calling around, about 7 or 8 different places looking for a paintball co2 asa type shut off valve with female threaded ports. Finally got a paintball place to order me one for 20 bucks, which I thought was reasonable. Only problem is that it only has one threaded port. So I'm thinking of just tee'ing off for a gauge.

I would like to avoid buying a regulator at this time to make the build about half the cost, I noticed a lot of people say it's good to have, but not completely necessary.

My questions start here, has anyone tried 2 needle valves in series to help control the flow a little better? Or do they make any type of air/gas globe type valve? I just know globe valves are the best for throttling liquids.

I feel like I'm jumping in a little deep a little early on this co2 thing, I'm also only running around low-medium light at best. A single 36" t5no colormax and an led strip 550 lumen 6500k

The colormax has a huge spike in red in the spectrum, I assume this is good for plants.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:47 AM   #2
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Anyone try a 6000# needle valve? Found one locally for $20 or should I stick with the baby watts from home depot
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:50 AM   #3
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You should have just stick with a regulator and needle valve. It's already hard fine tuning one needle valve. Now you have two needle valve to mess with, how would you know which one is more accurate, which one is stopping the flow, etc. You probably spent the same amount if you originally went with regulator and needle valve, also it's better quality.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:27 PM   #4
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Cheapest dual reg in my area is 89.99 and buying online is not an option right now. I even went to a pawn shop and for an old dirty\greasy beat up dual regulator was 99.99 I laughed and walked out.

What fitting do I need to use a regulator off a 1/4" tee?

I'm thinking a 6000# needle valve would be more precise.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamfish View Post
Cheapest dual reg in my area is 89.99 and buying online is not an option right now. I even went to a pawn shop and for an old dirty\greasy beat up dual regulator was 99.99 I laughed and walked out.

What fitting do I need to use a regulator off a 1/4" tee?

I'm thinking a 6000# needle valve would be more precise.

I doubt if any would be satisfactory in the long run.. your not "regulating" the flow.. only restricting it.. which will ebb and flow w/ temp
changes as the CO2 tank warms and cools..
The PSI coming out of the tank can change considerably.

Dual gauge is not dual stage either .. They are not interchangeable terms..
this
Smith Equipment 2 Stage Oxygen Regulator 35-125-540 - Gas Welding Accessories - Amazon.com Smith Equipment 2 Stage Oxygen Regulator 35-125-540 - Gas Welding Accessories - Amazon.com

vs this

Medium Duty Regulator, 1 Stage, CO2 - Gas Welding Accessories - Amazon.com Medium Duty Regulator, 1 Stage, CO2 - Gas Welding Accessories - Amazon.com

Swapping inlets to adapt to CO2 is not a problem (usually )

If you hunt models on flee bay you can pick up good quality 2stage regs for a fair price..but it takes time and work and knowing exact specs..

Only major difference between 2 stage and 1 stage is good regulation down to empty.. where 1 stage can lose control and "dump" the last bit of CO2 thus killing all your fish..

2 stage reg seem to be at a premium even used (minor hunting) BUT they can be had for under $50 w/ skill,luck, and patience.

I actually dumped more money in CO2 than lighting..
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
I actually dumped more money in CO2 than lighting..
Amen!
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:26 PM   #7
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I agree. Go with a regulator. It will be safer as we are taking about a cylinder that can have over 1000psi.

Obsession is a matter of opinion
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:15 PM   #8
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Sorry I meant dual regulator. I checked about 6 stores now and the cheapest was 89.99 and for a single, which was only rated for like 160 was about 35.

I couldn't even find a single stage rated for 300+ psi

Dual stage it is I guess

My gf has to watch my tank for me when I work out of town so safer is better.

Probably just let her use the fluval set up as its easy and safer. My plants are already rooting like crazy and getting new leaves.
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Sorry I meant dual regulator. I checked about 6 stores now and the cheapest was 89.99 and for a single, which was only rated for like 160 was about 35.

I couldn't even find a single stage rated for 300+ psi
i thinking your mixing input and output........ I find it hard to believe you can't find a high pressure inlet size bigger than 300psi.. Outlet pressure certainly.
These reg's are used for CO2 delivery in the beverage indusrty, welding, hospitals ect..
Just look for beer regulators..no beer in Ca ehh..
http://www.kegoutlet.com/co2-beer-re...ble-gauge.html
Just an US example
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:42 PM   #10
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When a reg says "250psi max" they are referring to outlet pressure? I assumed that was input??

Oddly enough I called a place called winekitz, local store, wine and beer making place, and no avail. I'll try to find some more brewing places today, I know we got at least one here, great western, if you've ever drank it.

Thanks for the help
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Old 02-20-2015, 03:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamfish View Post
When a reg says "250psi max" they are referring to outlet pressure? I assumed that was input??

Oddly enough I called a place called winekitz, local store, wine and beer making place, and no avail. I'll try to find some more brewing places today, I know we got at least one here, great western, if you've ever drank it.

Thanks for the help
250 PSI max pressure would likely refer to the maximum output (delivery) pressure.

Rather than trying DIY wine stores, you may have more luck looking at DIY beer stores. They may sell the equipment for homemade kegging, which would require CO2 (and thus would have a higher chance of selling regulators).
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:47 AM   #12
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I tried a few beer places and one is currently trying to find me one of their used regs. If not I'll have to get the princess auto unit.

http://www.princessauto.com/en/detai...or/A-p8082471e
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by adamfish View Post
I tried a few beer places and one is currently trying to find me one of their used regs. If not I'll have to get the princess auto unit.

http://www.princessauto.com/en/detai...or/A-p8082471e
Not recommended..
First and foremost is max out pressure of 30psi. Is is doable at this pressure but many in line diffusers like 35-40psi
Second you still have to swap out the inlet..

Pushing this one stage to $100

Keep hunting..
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Last edited by jeffkrol; 02-21-2015 at 01:00 PM.. Reason: edit
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:23 AM   #14
adamfish
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OK well I decided to order the fluval 88 kit after all. Pricey, especially locally, at $140. But I don't care, I make plenty of money, when I decide to work.

Then I will get the hydra adapter to use paintball tanks later.
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