budget co2 setup for 55g - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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budget co2 setup for 55g

So i am ordering 11 bags of eco complete. I already ordered a lighting fixture that will give my tank near 4 watts per gallon. Now i need to do something about c02. what sould i do? i am trying to keep the price down. i was thinking earlier of the fully automatic dr foster smith setup. but after so much on substrate... im a little broke.. lol. Also what are some good hang over filters that i can use? i have a Fluval 405 that i have to order parts for.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 01:58 AM
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Why did you order ELEVEN bags of eco complete for a 55g tank? How deep are you trying to make it?

Using the substrate calculator https://www.plantedtank.net/substrate...6&substrate=96
That gets you to a depth of OVER 6 inches! That is a waste and a good way to create anaerobic pockets!

You only need 2-3 inches!
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over_stocked View Post
Why did you order ELEVEN bags of eco complete for a 55g tank? How deep are you trying to make it?

Using the substrate calculator https://www.plantedtank.net/substrate...6&substrate=96
That gets you to a depth of OVER 6 inches! That is a waste and a good way to create anaerobic pockets!

You only need 2-3 inches!

thats good news i thought it says 2lb per gallon. 20lb bag is good for 10gallon no? i can cancel lol lol lol ol


ooos poor math, just rethought it lmao
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.co...?articleid=527 i want to know if following this guide would be over kill
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 02:26 AM
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I think thats too expensive for a co2 set up, even for all thats included. Also if you were willing to spend that much money in all that substrate i would say why not go with ada soil and just buying what you need?
Theres better deals out there for a co2 set up. Also if you make youre own reactor you can save some money and its not even hard to do at all.


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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 02:29 AM
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For the co2 tank check Craigslist also check around town like welding shops, hydroponics shops ext and also make sure you have a place you can get them filled sucks if you buy a nice new alum tank online and try to get it filled local and they can't do it they only do swap outs. For your regulator get the $90 shipped milwaukee co2 regulator ma957 comes with needle valve + bubble counter. As for check valves ebay has the brass ones for cheap and you can also score co2 tube on there should cost under $10. Last thing you need is a diy reactor $20 at home depot and 10min of your time and your done.

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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 02:31 AM
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Agreed, I purchased that exact setup, it was awesome but I sold all of it off except the regulator. All the stuff that comes with the kit can be made for a lot less money. And the PH controller is not needed if you get a good regulator, needle valve, and drop checker.

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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 03:46 AM
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You mentioned you already have a FLUVAL 405. The aquamedic reactor 1000 can be bought for $75 and it's way better than any DIY reactor IMO. Also, instead of buying the maxijet that comes with the kit, just run the reactor on the outake of your filter and there you go. I recommend using a PH controller. co2 tanks with crappy regs like Milwaukee's are notorious for "end of tank dumps" which can kill off your fauna. Also, I've heard nothing but complaints about the stock needle valves that come with the Milwaukee units. Check this website out http://www.bestaquariumregulator.com/CO2.html

CO2 units are just like most other aspects to the aquarium hobby; by and large, you get what you pay for.
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 04:36 AM
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Im using a diy reactor i made and im really happy with it and i think i get 100% of the co2 dissolved into the water. That being said 75 ucks for something i can get way cheaper and works just as good is money wasted.


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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 04:50 AM
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Yup, Im starting on my injected co2. The stuff should arrive here via UPS tomorrow.

The most expensive two items you will purchase will be the co2 regulator and the co2 tank..(unless you get a great deal). You can get a 10lb new tank at aquariumplants.com for around 75 plus 5 dollars shipping. I pretty ordered the basics..individually..it just seemed that all these packages had things i didnt need..like the ph controller..

FYI Aquacave.com has some complete co2 setups (including tank) for under 300.00
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan the Man View Post
You mentioned you already have a FLUVAL 405. The aquamedic reactor 1000 can be bought for $75 and it's way better than any DIY reactor IMO. Also, instead of buying the maxijet that comes with the kit, just run the reactor on the outake of your filter and there you go. I recommend using a PH controller. co2 tanks with crappy regs like Milwaukee's are notorious for "end of tank dumps" which can kill off your fauna. Also, I've heard nothing but complaints about the stock needle valves that come with the Milwaukee units. Check this website out http://www.bestaquariumregulator.com/CO2.html

CO2 units are just like most other aspects to the aquarium hobby; by and large, you get what you pay for.
How is it better? Because it is pretty and cost you 75 bucks? Otherwise I just can't figure out how it can be better.... Despite my personal opinion that the stock needle valve on milwaukee's is junk, tons of people swear by the complete setup, so there are lots of thigns other than complaints out there....

Personal opinion is not fact.
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 06:14 PM
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Let me just start by saying, you pay for what you get. I bought cheap co2 regulator combo setups to start with. Used them for a few years and finally built my own about a month back with GLA needle valves. I am very happy now and just want to say do not waste your money or time with the needle valves that come with cheap regulator setups. I have a post on my website on my DIY Projects page about how I built them. The link to my website is in my signature below. If you have any questions, I would be happy to assist you.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan the Man View Post
You mentioned you already have a FLUVAL 405. The aquamedic reactor 1000 can be bought for $75 and it's way better than any DIY reactor IMO. Also, instead of buying the maxijet that comes with the kit, just run the reactor on the outake of your filter and there you go. I recommend using a PH controller. co2 tanks with crappy regs like Milwaukee's are notorious for "end of tank dumps" which can kill off your fauna. Also, I've heard nothing but complaints about the stock needle valves that come with the Milwaukee units. Check this website out http://www.bestaquariumregulator.com/CO2.html

CO2 units are just like most other aspects to the aquarium hobby; by and large, you get what you pay for.
I don't know but last time I checked my plants we're pretty green and they reward me with these really nice little pearls all night long and I have four Milwaukee regulators. Never had a problem with them, never replaced the needle valve and one is four years old.

That being said, any regulator can break, many times it's by user error, but the Milwaukee, Azoo regulators work fine and are probably providing co2 to 1 in 3 tanks both for plants and calcium reactors on the dark side of the hobby.

It doesn't sound like you have a Milwaukee regulator, but just going by things you've heard. Saying a Milwaukee regulator is junk is like saying GM is junk compared to a Mercedes, but both will get you to work in the morning whether you have all the bells and whistles or not. So whether your regulator is a Milwaukee or a custom-built, dual stage, fuel-injected one they will both take you from 0 to 30ppm co2 on most days.
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 07:59 PM
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I don't know but last time I checked my plants we're pretty green and they reward me with these really nice little pearls all night long and I have four Milwaukee regulators. Never had a problem with them, never replaced the needle valve and one is four years old.

That being said, any regulator can break, many times it's by user error, but the Milwaukee, Azoo regulators work fine and are probably providing co2 to 1 in 3 tanks both for plants and calcium reactors on the dark side of the hobby.

It doesn't sound like you have a Milwaukee regulator, but just going by things you've heard. Saying a Milwaukee regulator is junk is like saying GM is junk compared to a Mercedes, but both will get you to work in the morning whether you have all the bells and whistles or not. So whether your regulator is a Milwaukee or a custom-built, dual stage, fuel-injected one they will both take you from 0 to 30ppm co2 on most days.
I have used and owned Milwaukee, JBJ, and Azoo combo setups before building my own. Out of the 3, I liked the Azoo the best, which I still have. While all 3 worked when I used them, the quality was lacking compared to higher end co2 setups. Back in my fluid dynamics course in college we took apart a pressure gage similar to the ones used on co2 regulators. The basic mechanics of one is simple. The increase in pressure is exerted on a small beam member. The force causes a deflection in the beam proportional to the pressure increase. The point on the beam member in the gage is connected to a spring coil that is attached to the needle one sees on the pressure gage. Most cheaper gages are made with cheaper materials, which may not model the proportionality correctly causing the gage pressure to be inaccurate. While this may not be vital to simply injecting co2 in your tank, I am using the explaination to show there is a difference in the engineering and manufacturing of co2 regulators, which includes the solenoids and needle valves that come with them. Light, co2, and nutrients all need to be in check for plants to grow. Not enough light then they really do not need the nutrients and co2 because they can not use them.

My point is that you personally may have not experienced problems with the Milaukee regulators, due to your tank parameters and setup. I personally have had issues with the cheaper regulator setups when I used them. I bought my co2 setups back in high school when I could not afford investing in more expensive ones. After building my own setups, I will not go back to cheaper setups. Just speaking from my own personal experience. Not saying that the cheaper ones will not work, but the quality and perforance of them will not compare to more expensive setups. In the long run, just pay more up front for better equipment.
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 04-15-2010, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by born2lovefish View Post
...My point is that you personally may have not experienced problems with the Milaukee regulators, due to your tank parameters and setup. I personally have had issues with the cheaper regulator setups when I used them. I bought my co2 setups back in high school when I could not afford investing in more expensive ones. After building my own setups, I will not go back to cheaper setups. Just speaking from my own personal experience. Not saying that the cheaper ones will not work, but the quality and perforance of them will not compare to more expensive setups. In the long run, just pay more up front for better equipment.
I appreciate you sharing your experience, but I don't think you read my post. I never said they were the same, that's why I did the GM/Mercedes comparsion. What I am saying is that they are fine and work well. Why are there so many in use. In addition to my four Milwaukee regulators I have at home I have also installed them in at least 10 other setups (Nano to 300 gallon) without issue so I guess I'm the luckiest guy in the world. There is nothing wrong with spending more if that's what one wants, but if your on a budget (Please see Thread Title) this is the way to go. Newbies need to know that it doesn't have to cost $300 to have a working co2 system.

BTW I did notice that Mercedes has a repair shop.
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