Pressurized CO2 Help (Edit: Finally purchased it!) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Pressurized CO2 Help (Edit: Finally purchased it!)

Well, that's it....I can stand diy anymore. It is too much of a pain to make a new bottle every week and I still have algae problems. I want pressurized but don't have a ton of money. I need to make it as cheap as possible.

First off...Is it dangerous? My fish tank is in my bedroom and I didn't know how safe it was to have a pressurized tank in there with me where I sleep.

Second question, my tank is only 20 gallons. Is it pratical to just use a paintball tank? I can't find any cheap cylinders for sale near me. I only found a 5 pound cylinder so far for about $80. I was hoping for cheaper.

About how long does a 20 oz paintball cylinder last on a 20 gallon high?


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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 09:22 PM
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I read paintball cylinders have toxic oils in them. Better to use something for the beverage or welding industry where pure gas is a priority. I have a 10g tank on a 20 pound co2 cylinder that stands strapped in about 36" from my head where i sleep at night. pressurized is the way to go ime.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-02-2009, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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what exact parts should i get besides the cylinder? Just a needle valve and double gauge regulator? Anything else? Does standard silicone airline tubing fit on the valve to deliver the co2 to my diffuser? Also if you know where i can get good parts for cheap would be appreciated.


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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 01:18 AM
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http://www.aquariumplants.com/
http://co2-canisters.com/index1.html

These are the two cheapest sites I've found.
I myself don't have alot of money and want to go pressurized cause DIY is a pain in the butt. You can also search locally through craigslist also.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 01:43 AM Thread Starter
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Would something like this work??

http://cgi.ebay.com/CO2-Regulator_W0...d=p3286.c0.m14


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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Confusion sets in....

Actually, I now feel really stupid. I see all this parts like needle valves, regulators, bubble counters, and check valves and I don't know the cheapest way to get them all. Can I just mix and match them? Is there a cheaper all in one than buying them separately? I really didn't want to spend alot but to get all these parts seem like its going to cost me. I am just confused and have no idea about setting this thing up.


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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 02:49 AM
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Actually its not that complicated at all!! All you need is a co2 tank, a regulator, co2 diffuser, drop checker, some air line tubing and a check valve. There are optional things you can get too like bubble counter,ph controller, timer if you have a regulator with a solenoid.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 03:02 AM
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I just bought my pressurized co2 system this week. 100 dollar cylinder filled at ferguson gas, 87 dollars for the regulator/solenoid/bubble counter, free tubing with the regulator, diffuser for 10 dollars, drop checker for 7, and a timer at the house. Ebay is the way to go it seems for the regulator, the cylinder was easier and cheaper since it came filled and there were no shipping charges and it was new. Used cylinders can make you wary of how they will do. Always get a used cylinder tested before filling it and taking it home. And they are perfectly safe, just keep it in an upright position strapped down so it cant tip over. I used to work at as a welders helper when i was a kid and saw one tip over and sheer the valve off by hitting a table just right. Was possibly one of the scariest things ive ever had happen near me.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Milwaukee-MA957-...d=p3286.c0.m14
This seller was great to deal with. And with the paintball canister, I hear they last about 3wks to a month or so. You can buy them without the oils that are in there for the guns but a large system ends up being cheaper. refilling the paintball canisters is about 10 dollars where I live and 20oz for 10 dollars or 5lb for 15 is alot cheaper over time. It seemed like a smarter investement. And the special regulators are a little pricey. And you can assemble your own, but after the research ive done it seemed like the parts to assemble it was more expensive than just buying the thing whole. Little long winded, sorry. =D
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 03:07 AM
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I started out with a Milwaukee regulator, which includes a needle valve, bubble counter and solenoid valve. It did the job, but is so cheap it kept letting me know I didn't pay much for it. There are a few other cheap brands like that, all priced about the same, $80 to $100. Or, you can sometimes find a used one of those on ebay or craigslist, for a much lower price. If you don't feel confident about screwing all of the parts together, so they won't leak, one of those cheap regulator assemblies is a good option.

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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i have a diffuser, airline tubing, drop checker and getting cylinder soon. What else now? Does it need to be a brass check valve?

edit: sorry didnt see new posts!!!


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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 03:47 AM Thread Starter
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what about these nylon washers i heard you need? also what fluid do you put in the bubble counter? and i dont have or want a ph controller....so how do i use a solenoid? what is it and what does it do? sorry, but i am a complete newbie with pressurized. lol


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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 01:01 PM
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Take a few minutes and drop by Orlando's site. He has a video there, and a great write up.
http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/pl...aquarium-blog/

1) The nylon washers are usually available at the place where you get your CO2 tank refilled. You should use a new one each time you get the tank filled. They are not expensive.
2) I put water in my bubble counter.
3) A solenoid allows you to switch the flow of CO2 on and off. You can use it in conjunction with a controller, or with a timer (CO2 on during the day, off at night), or both.

Rex Grigg has good info on his site as well: http://www.rexgrigg.com/
HTH
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRSRocker3390 View Post
what about these nylon washers i heard you need?
These are nylon washers that you place between the CO2 tank and regulator to ensure that there are no leaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRSRocker3390 View Post
also what fluid do you put in the bubble counter?
Some people use water, others use mineral oil and others use glycerin. Any of the three will work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PRSRocker3390 View Post
and i dont have or want a ph controller....so how do i use a solenoid? what is it and what does it do?
A solenoid allows you to control your CO2 either with a pH controller or with a timer. Since you don't have nor want a pH controller, then you can use the solenoid to turn off your CO2 at night (i.e. set the timer to cut power to the solenoid when your lights turn off).

Anthony


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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Supposedly there is a welding shop near me that is selling 5 lb aluminum cylinders for only 18 dollars. Going to check it out now and get it if it all seems good. Be back soon to tell you all how it goes.


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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-03-2009, 04:24 PM
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Tanks have to be tested every 5 years so as long as that's done correctly safety isn't an issue. When hunting down a used tank you just need to be aware of the test date stamped on the cylinder or add the cost of testing to the total cost.
Also find out if your CO2 source will be a refill or an tank exchange only. No need for a fancy new tank if you're going to end up with a different tank every time. My local welding supply only exchanges. The same company that does the annual service on my fire extinguishers does refills. $14.00/5lb, $15.00/10lb and includes a new washer each time.

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