DIY hig-tech CO2 - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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DIY hig-tech CO2

Hi all,
I'm new to the forum and very new to planted tanks, so bare with me.

I want to get into using a high-tech CO2 because I've read a lot about inconsistency with DIY Yeast. I'm a student though and can't afford the $300+ Red Sea setups or other such kits that Big Als etc. offer.

I have read into DIY projects though. There are dual gauge CO2 regulators used for beer brewing on eBay for about $50. Also saw an Azoo CO2 regulator kit with solenoid on eBay for $100 (is that a good deal?).

I only have a 25g tank and am planning on going within the area of 2.5-3wpg but because of space might be more likely to try a paintball CO2. I realize yes, it will run out faster, but I live in a small suite (student remember?) and I would just have to buy 2 paintball CO2 canisters.

Anyone have any experience with a DIY project such as this and can you give me any advice/re-direct me to any links that give instructions/websites that have cheap parts/where to find cheap parts etc.

THANKS!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 09:54 AM
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No point in the paintball canisters for a 25 gal. I go through a 5 lb tank every 6 - 8 months in my 29 gal. They'll be too much hassle and won't last long enough for what you need. Azoo or a Milwaukee will work, and get a 5 lb tank. It's smaller than you think.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
Anyone have any experience with a DIY project such as this and can you give me any advice/re-direct me to any links that give instructions/websites that have cheap parts/where to find cheap parts etc.

THANKS!
I am never an advocate for "cheap parts" for CO2 setups. First off, you more then likely are going to pull your hair out with CO2 leaks. CO2 is not cheap if you dump the tank a few times.

My advice, buy right the first time and make it an easy and pleasurable experience for your first time.

You can save a bit of money on the regulator, but rest assured that more times then not, the longevity of the system will revolve around regulator. Once again I say buy right the first time.

Here are some of the guys on the forums that build some top notch reg packages. They come completly built and ready to install.

www.sumoregulator.com/
http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/

If you are going the economic route, the one thing you DO NOT want to go cheap on is the needle valve. This is the primary mechanism that regulates the flow to the tank. With such a small tank, its going to take a bit more fine tuning. A good needle valve will be imperative.


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 02:41 PM
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Rex Grigg, SuMo and GLA make excellent regulators.

Several of us are buying good regulators and building our own. I suggest that you use a Victor, Matheson or Concoa dual stage regulator. Then you can get the brass parts, solenoid, bubble counter and needle/metering valve from the places above. Here are some instructions on how to build one. Here is a thread about them.

I built this one for less than $85 including shipping.
VTS-253A-1993, Clippard Solenoid, Swagelok SS-31RF2 Metering Valve ]

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Last edited by Left C; 12-11-2008 at 12:44 AM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 05:25 PM
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Any good places in Canada to buy those regulators (just the regs, I'm fluent with how to build the rest of the rig)
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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Going the paintball route will probably be more expensive than going with a 5lb tank. You'll end up filling the tank more frequently, for just about the same it costs to fill a 5lb tank (mine costs 8.00 + change to fill).
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 06:23 PM
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where is one to get a 5lb tank without ordering one online???..

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 06:27 PM
 
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Welding or beverage shops.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-10-2008, 09:53 PM
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I've seen some cheap complete setups at the pawn shops.

Thanks,
AndrewH


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 12:46 AM
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Fire extinguisher shops are another place to look for CO2 cylinders and get refills.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 01:29 AM
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I dont know if you have craigslist.com up north but I got an aluminum 5lb cylinder from a yardsale for $15. Good deals can be had for the dilligent.

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where is one to get a 5lb tank without ordering one online???..


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 02:08 AM
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I'm a student too and did not want to put out the money for a co2 system either at first. If you shop around you can usually find used components and make yourself a setup for a decent price. For an example, I paid $50 for one of my 20lb co2 tanks. Costed about $30 to fill, but it has lasted me over a year on my 75 gallon planted. You can also find regulator combos used for about $70ish.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 03:34 AM
 
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great links and threads guys !! well read, and appreciated !!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-11-2008, 04:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Wow, this is awesome. Did me a world of good.

Thanks to everyone. I'll let you know what I decide in the future.
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