Going to pressurized co2...need help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Going to pressurized co2...need help

We just bought a house and there is only one spot to put the tank. Directly across from the front door. Also, since the house was not MY first choice I negotiated the ability to get a bigger tank. I am probably going to go to 100 gallons, just not any time soon.

My dilemma is that since it will be the first thing you see when you walk in, it needs to be BEAUTIFUL. I know that my plants would benefit from co2 but I don't have a ton of money to spend on a set up. I know I want one that has a solenoid and I will not be using paintball tanks. I am not opposed to buying the pieces and assembling them myself it will save me money. Of course if there is one that I can get that is reasonably priced I wouldn't be opposed to that. I just don't know where to start. It is all so overwhelming.

Would you be able to tell me what system you use and maybe provide a link? Or, if you built your own, where did you get the parts and what parts did you use?
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 11:08 PM
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I bought the CO2 systems on both of my tanks from my LFS. It was around $200 for a complete setup - regulator, bottle, solenoid, bubble counter, CO2 tubing. The one on my 125 gallon tank was a little more than the one on the 29 because I upgraded to a 10# tank from the 5# one that comes standard. I also bought a spare 5# tank so that I don't have to drop everything and take a tank in to exchange or refill. Also, LFS is closed Wed/Thur, so my spare is from Airgas, which is open M-F - i.e. there's always one place I can get an exchange any day of the week.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SprManKalEl View Post
We just bought a house and there is only one spot to put the tank. Directly across from the front door. Also, since the house was not MY first choice I negotiated the ability to get a bigger tank. I am probably going to go to 100 gallons, just not any time soon.

My dilemma is that since it will be the first thing you see when you walk in, it needs to be BEAUTIFUL. I know that my plants would benefit from co2 but I don't have a ton of money to spend on a set up. I know I want one that has a solenoid and I will not be using paintball tanks. I am not opposed to buying the pieces and assembling them myself it will save me money. Of course if there is one that I can get that is reasonably priced I wouldn't be opposed to that. I just don't know where to start. It is all so overwhelming.

Would you be able to tell me what system you use and maybe provide a link? Or, if you built your own, where did you get the parts and what parts did you use?
First step for us would be, what's your budget?

Just a noob


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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-14-2016, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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My budget is not much more than $100. At least for the gauges and the solenoid. I know that I'll need special tubing and all but I don't see the need to spend hundreds of dollars.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 03:36 AM
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If you are patient, you should be able to find a cheap regulator on eBay

The same goes for the needle valve

A big (unavoidable) cost will be the CO2 cylinder.

Anthony


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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 04:41 AM
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I got my full setup from a hobbyist in a pinch for $125 some 8 years ago. The 20 lb cylinder was almost full and had most of its inspection still. If you have the time to be patient, this is the best option especially if you have a local forum to watch for too. But you have to be quick.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 03:38 PM
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For that price I have two Milwaukees and the tank is about 60.00. only complaint is you have to fine tune the needle valve but that just takes patience.https://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-Ins...+co2+regulator
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
If you are patient, you should be able to find a cheap regulator on eBay

The same goes for the needle valve

A big (unavoidable) cost will be the CO2 cylinder.
Cylinders are not much more than regulators ..
https://beveragelements.com/beverage...l-recertified/
Just be aware some "refillers" have no clue what to do w/ a 7# tank..
nothing is really a "big expense" w/ some time/skill/luck.. but it all adds up unfortunately..
$100 is "usually" not going to get you a primo setup regardless of where you shop.. at 2X that usually..
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/9-...o2-system.html

worth spending some time at..

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 04:30 PM
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Here is a thread to help you figure out the cost. Buy a little here and there and you will eventually have everything for the Co2 tank.

You could start off with a low tech tank. Here some use Co2 additive. Here are non Co2 tanks.

Last edited by Hilde; 07-15-2016 at 04:43 PM. Reason: added links
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 09:42 PM
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At $100, there will have to be several trades made to get in. To save money you will find two options. Study, shop and work a bit more or accept less t performance and a bit more aggravation that may lead you to wish for better. So think carefully before deciding as shopping twice will certainly cost more than buying better on the first go.
Study? For many this is a weeks, months long trauma as they gather facts and decide which of hundreds of options fit them best.
Shop? There are bargain regulators to be found---once you know which is a bargain and which may not work at all for our use.
Much the same goes for the associated parts like solenoid, needle valve, etc., etc.
Work? Some can/will choose to DIY on buying the parts and screwing it together. Others are not ready or equipted to do that and prefer to buy more ready made setups.
Which option best fits each of us is not something anybody can do much to help as we are all different and CO2 certainly brings it all out in the open!
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-15-2016, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not opposed to putting it together myself. I get great satisfaction that way. I have absolutely no clue where to start.

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 12:39 AM
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Having no clue is the problem and many of us do start there! Nothing wrong with that but it does take a lot of that study I mentioned to get from lack of clue to ready to make the decisions.
I can give you what I've done several different ways but then that is just one of many.

I like regs that are cheap, good enough and easy to find parts for repair. I also don't like the risk involved in buying used . I worked with regs for several years and I saw how they were abused and don't want any of that doubt. That leaves me going to the local brew place for this reg. I like walk in as I avoid shipping.

Taprite Dual Gauge CO2 Regulator (5/16")
You may have a better place to buy a reg? Lots of sources.

Adding a few parts/fittings, lets me use the airline tubing I use to run them all inline. I like the Clippard Mouse series solenoid as they feel better to me and use less power so I get less heat. ET, EV or EC models with the correct number of ports and the voltage I like all work for me. But be warned, it does take vast study to get the correct model found and bought. I find them for around $15 on the auction. Next I run the Fabco NV-55 with 10-32 fittings. I run it through a Fluval bubble counter and then a DIY Grigg's style reactor.

The problem comes in when deciding which parts and fittings you like and can find. There are dozens of choices at each step that require decisions that take lots of study. Something as simple as how to get the CO2 introduced into the water can turn into a several months long discussion on the forum as there are as many ways to do it as there are people! What is better depends on how we each think and do our tanks. What I do for my 20 long is not the same as I do for my 125 gallon so you can begin to see that there is really not any simple answer.
Takes lots of time and study or lots of money at times.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 07:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkrol View Post
Thanks for the links; you'll notice I already posted there

Unfortunately, I am not aware of any refurbishers where I live, so a CO2 cylinder usually runs $65-75, last I checked.

That being said, I have seen regulators go from $20 all the way up to hundreds of dollars. Of course, I always buy cheap

Anthony


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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-16-2016, 02:15 PM
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There are many bargains out there but then searching, recognizing, and finding them can be a real time/money issue.
Knowing what is a bargain is a key element that is easy to miss. I thought I knew canister filters and thought I saw a bargain when one was offered up free. All it needed was a simple part or two!
Now that I have about $40 in, I find I have a totally junk Fluval 306 that cost me $40! Ever time I look at it, another part breaks but it was free, right?
One can quickly lose a lot of money on building a reg setup if he is not careful on the shopping end.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 07-17-2016, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Darkblade48 View Post
That being said, I have seen regulators go from $20 all the way up to hundreds of dollars. Of course, I always buy cheap
I have not seen any regulators for $20. Where are you looking?
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