New BioCube 14 with CO2 - mini regulator? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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New BioCube 14 with CO2 - mini regulator?

Hi, newbie here. I am setting up a BioCube 14 nano. Having bad analysis paralysis for the last two weeks from all the reading here, a couple other sites, and each place I could buy from, I finally decided to use the Aquatek mini reg. and 24oz Empire tank, free shipping with my Prime membership on Amazon.

After all this reading, sweaty palms & furrowed brow, I am concerned I made the wrong decision.

I have the BioCube stand that is 13x13x26 (WxDxH). It has to hold my Eheim 388 (bought in 1976, for my 55 g SW and still purrs along), prefilter, the co2 paintball tank (24 oz) the Aquatek mini reg., hoses, test kits, fish food/net, air pump, digital Coralife controller, and other stuff. Sure, I will have to put a shelf in there and hang some things on the walls, but what else is there for a small "mini"-type regulator? I realize that the regulator isn't top of the line, but will it suffice? I will need no more than 1 bps, I suspect.

So if any of you that have expertise in co2 regulators and tanks, can advise me of another one or two manufacturers for a system that will FIT in my limited space, I can return my Amazon purchase, and purchase something different.

My small experience in FW goes back to early-mid 1960's, breeding Anabantids, SW since the middle 1970's (I retired the 35 year old SW 55g tank a couple of years ago. I am rethinking to set it up in another room, after I learn more about planted tanks from this nano.)

Can you help me out? Is there an alternative regulator that isn't so touchy to set (and must fit my stands' footprint)?

Pix of my sad looking tank, and some supplies:
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-27-2015, 09:06 AM
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I am in the process of setting up a nearly identical tank (12g JBJ)...I also have poured over various CO2 setups lately and decided I will be doing the yeast method until I have things better established...

I have concluded (after researching A LOT) when it comes time to get pressurized I should get a regular regulator and use an adapter if I plan on using a paintball tank. Simply having the option to upgrade to a bigger tank is worth it IMO...

I know that this doesn't solve your space problem but had to reply as I have been on the verge of ordering that same unit lately.

Fluval has a mini CO2 system, and I've read of people using sodastream systems as well...Fluval I decided too $$$ in the long run and cannot upgrade and sodastream I didn't care for.

Heres a couple of posts in case you have not seen them that might offer other solutions:

DIY Paintball Regulator - This with small paintball tank may work

This thread details pressurized CO2 in it's entirety

Good look, would love to see your tanks progress as it's so similar to my own!


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-28-2015, 11:06 PM
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i believe the aquatek mini co2 regulator will suffice. Its no custom build, or GLA regulator, but it will do its job. I would just keep an eye on "drifting" bubble count as the needle valve is not the greatest, and i would swap the tank out before its empty just to avoid any potential end of tank dumps. I use a similar system on my 29g high tech, an U.P aqua co2 regulator with an adapter hooked up to a 24oz empire paintball tank, it does its job just fine without breaking the bank. Also, you can use almost any regulator on a paintball tank if you buy a GCA320 adapter. Most on here will either say custom build or GLA regulator(Greenleafaquarium).

29g Planted, 10g Craytank, 5.5g
R.I.P Cherries, eaten by the tag along crayfish...

Last edited by bmo; 02-28-2015 at 11:16 PM. Reason: added
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks kmcandre and bmo for your feedback!

Kyle: I'll certainly read the links on co2 solutions. Always learning! Up until about 3 weeks ago, I was going to do the DIY yeast co2 as well. I had researched recipes for feeding the yeastie beasties, and setups. I also found out to use champagne yeast, because of their tolerance to the byproduct alcohol, that will eventually kill the beasties, (drunken sots! they're doomed, but will die happy! LOL). You could actually think about making champagne and bottle the wine as an after-thought. If you can't find champagne yeast (wine and beer making stores should have it tho), you can use beer beasties. Yum. Hubby and I used to make our own beer. Was fun and didn't taste all that bad!

The reason I didn't follow thru with the DIY co2 was... everything had to fit inside the aquarium cabinet. Not going to happen with that wee foot print. So I opted for the paintball tank and mini regulator.

bmo: If I can't get the regulator to adjust down to the < than 1 bps, that I suspect I'll need, I also have another solution that may work. I found a replacement needle valve, supposedly able to adjust down to 10 b/minute. Might be worth a try. Otherwise I will end up going to GLA for their mini regulator.

I've been working to get the tank ready, hopefully by this weekend. I removed the interior filter partition, (not fun) and exterior side panels, (even more not fun... bad words spoken... along with...never gonna do this again) scraped out the black silicone. Tomorrow, I do one more check, wipe down again with rubbing alcohol, let dry, and begin to reseal the back wall corners and floor seams with clear silicone.

I still have some things coming in. GLA has backordered the Atomic inline diffuser I wanted. And I found out I needed some co2 hose, and different filter media than I have. So I'm still ordering stuff, but almost done. I have the most of it here, and can start to lay out my planting design real soon.

Pix from l to r (top row): BioCube 14 with panels; removing inside panel
(bottom row): panel out - needs black silicone scraped off; as it stands!

Getting excited!
me, Ket
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-06-2015, 04:20 PM
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i never went through to option of DIY co2, just seemed to much work changing out bottles all the time. That Needle valve looks like it would be an upgrade from the one on the aquatek mini, although i have no experience changing the needle valves on those. What sort of lighting are you going to use? Less than 1bps seems low. Also, the tank without the filter partition looks good, nice work!

29g Planted, 10g Craytank, 5.5g
R.I.P Cherries, eaten by the tag along crayfish...
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