Ista Water Plant CO2 system - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Ista Water Plant CO2 system

I know this can get expensive over time, but since this is at my office nano tank I thought this would be the perfect system. Anyone have a good source for the 45g CO2 tanks used on this baby? Will any 45g CO2 cylinder work?

This paintball site sells them for $5.50. Anyone used these before?


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-16-2014, 06:23 PM
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did you wind up going with this system? I'm thinking about going with is but want to hear about some hands on experience first.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-16-2014, 06:53 PM
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I have the Fluval system on my nano tank at work and uses same size tanks. I bought an adapter on amazon for 12 bucks that uses the bigger paintball tanks. I bought a used tank at store for 15 filled, I sanded it and painted it. It has been up and running for 4 weeks now and needle has not moved.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-16-2014, 07:26 PM
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The refillable tanks paintball tanks are way better for the environment. I had the fluvol disposable tanks for a while but I didn't like that you can't reuse them.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2014, 04:54 AM
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I have a half dozen Ista 45g and 2 Fluval 88g's on all my nano's. I have had to contact Ista multiple times as their regulators leak and the flow guage is so touchy that I have to use a wrench and sit by the tank for 20 min to make sure it doesn't blow the defuser off. Their defusers are incredible though.. literally can't be beat. Even the little suction cup that comes with them that has a loop design so the airline tubing doesn't get twisted is just genius! But the regulator is not even close to par with the Fluval 88g's. The 2 88's I have running are awesome and although I did find a cheap source for the fluval canisters ($9 a piece) I will be switching to paintball within a month or two. If you really want the Ista system do yourself a favor and buy some "thread seal tape" take apart the guage from the regulator wrap it in tape then screw it back on. Out of the 4 I bought 2 leaked and I called Ista and they sent me one...which leaked... then sent me another one they had said they tested but it literally poured out a canister in minutes. So now with a little DIY I rethread taped them and they all work but I refuse to pay $10 for a 45g canister so once their gone I'll prob pawn the regs off. Persoanlly I would spend the extra $50 and get a Fluval 88g or even better if you have the space to put it get a 5lb canister with regulator for $150 or so and be done with it. You will get your money back and then some within a year if you go big. If you need a small set-up go with Fluval 88g and a paintball adapter. If you can find an Ista 2 in 1 bubble counter/defuser buy it! They are worth their weight.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2014, 12:59 PM
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I have been using the Ista system for about 5 months and it isn't that bad. I must have gotten lucky because my regulator does not leak, but it can be hard to get the threads on right sometimes, which causes the tank to slowly leak. The knob to turn on the co2 is practically impossible to adjust, and you have to tighten it super tight to get the co2 turned all the way off. The tanks for me last about 1.5-2 weeks depending on how many bubbles per second I do, which is usually 1.5-2 per second for about 8 hours a day. The tanks can be hard to find though, I bought system mine at petco and that is the only place I can find the tanks. This is a decent option if your tank is small like mine (truaqua 8.7 gallon bowfront), but the cost does add up pretty quickly. I'd space is an issue this is a good system and everything is pretty small and compact, and the tank can hang off the tank if need be.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-17-2014, 03:05 PM
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My diffuser can pop off too, but I have to say once it gets going, the diffuser's bubbles are incredibly fine to the point you have to really try to see the bubbles. Mine takes quite a bit of tweaking too, with a wrench, especially on replacement tanks, but it works pretty well once it's going, I also noticed at the end of the tank, there was no "dump". Mine is on a 40 gallon long, but that tank was our first shot at live plants AND co2 so we wanted a cheap temporary system before we dove into a full CO2 setup. The tanks really aren't all that bad, at $10 dollars at Petco. My regulator is touchy, but does not leak, and once I get it set, it works well, though I have it running 24 hours as it's a pain in the butt to get set right, and with so many powerheads on my tank, it needs to compete. It was worth it to me. (Oh and I have the Ista not Fluval.)

If I do eventually get a full setup, I am keeping the diffuser, once you get it all going, it runs beautifully! And the way it's setup to keep the hose from kinking is awesome too.
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