I need a new co2 system! What would you get ? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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I need a new co2 system! What would you get ?

I am back after years away. I moved long distance and sold most of my gear. I used to have a 90g heavily planted with an aquariumplants.com co2 system. (and 55g and 30g and 20g and 10g for breeding) (I just noticed my old signature - that is not current)


Now I just got a nice new 65g (3' x 1.5' x 2' approx.) that I need a co2 system for.


I am experienced and I used 4.5-2 wpg varied thorough the day, with my old co2 system and had a perfect planted tank with no issues. My co2 system worked perfect (except for the known clicking issue of the aquarium plants.com system). But after starting research again I wonder if I got lucky with that co2 system because other people seem to have some issues and I had it run PERFECT for 4-5 years before selling it.


What do some experienced users recommend for a co2 set up? Price is not an issue. I am not rich I just don't want poor quality and I am willing to spend for a great set up.


I really appreciate any tips you can provide.

New setup May 14, 2017: standard 75g tank eheim 2215 (will add a second filter), 36" fluval planted 2.0, 36" planted + 24/7, marineland basic 36' LED, cycling tank now with a few neons, CO2 system (GLA reg, controller and aqariumplants.com reactor)

old Setup SOLD 2014: 90g planted and setup tank.
co2 system, dosing dry ferts 2-3 times a week, Eheim 2213, Eheim 2215 running through co2 reactor
aquarium plants.com co2 system, 10 young Indian flasher barbs (Rosline sharks)
20 cardinals

Last edited by mibsonG; 04-29-2017 at 03:54 AM. Reason: info
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 04:54 AM
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I'm not super experienced, but I can say that if I had it all to do over again, I would mostly go the same route as I did this round. I feel I ended up with a solid, reliable system that, while it may not be the prettiest one out here, it should last for a very long time. I spent $10 on a used victor 2 stage regulator, and $45 on a rebuild kit. I rebuilt it, and then spent more on a good, new swagelok needle valve, and a new Burkert solenoid. Then a decent brass check valve, and a handful of cheaper, nearly disposable standard check valves for redundancy, and a cheaper Ista bubble counter.

The only thing I would have done differently is found the exact right needle valve so I didn't have to deal with the swagelok compression fitting adapters.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like a nice system. I REALLY want a external reactor and the reactor that came with my last system worked PERFECT

Bump: Looks like a nice system!

I really want an external reactor. The reactor that came with my last system worked perfect. I have read and researched ; most or many people have issues with their reactors.

Anyone have tips for a great external reactor?

And other tips/ideas for entire system components?

New setup May 14, 2017: standard 75g tank eheim 2215 (will add a second filter), 36" fluval planted 2.0, 36" planted + 24/7, marineland basic 36' LED, cycling tank now with a few neons, CO2 system (GLA reg, controller and aqariumplants.com reactor)

old Setup SOLD 2014: 90g planted and setup tank.
co2 system, dosing dry ferts 2-3 times a week, Eheim 2213, Eheim 2215 running through co2 reactor
aquarium plants.com co2 system, 10 young Indian flasher barbs (Rosline sharks)
20 cardinals
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 01:15 PM
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Thanks! I went external reactor, too. I was on the fence and almost got the max mix, but ultimately built a cerges style. It reduced my flow a little bit, but I replaced my return pump with a DC pump with speed control and was able to get it back. I get some bubbles, but not bad at all. I also have to do a pretty high bubble count to get my drop checker to turn, but I dunno if that's the reactor or because I run an overflow and uncovered sump. So I dunno if I would recommend this build style or not. Not terribly helpful, I know. Lol I've been trying to come up a way to create a vortex inside of the reactor to maybe help with dissolving, but so far I haven't come up with the answer.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 03:05 PM
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Aqua-labs sells a nice kit w/ ,at least on paper, quality parts 2 stage regulator.
alanLe (and a few others) sells assembled high quality units based on used/new parts.
$250-$400 plus $'s
Aqua-lab

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 11:12 PM
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First time co2 user and I built a diy rex griggs style reactor. Easy to build even with no prior experience with pvc. The recommendations are spot on going with a used reg and buying all other high end accessories separately.

Short, Sharp, Shock... Dig It
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 06:27 PM
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I went with a gla-gro system with 5# tank and an atomic inline diffuser to go on the output of my 306. This is my first attempt at pressurized co2 and I didn't want to buy something I am gonna be unhappy with (like the small fluval system) and end up buying 2-3 entire setups so I spent the extra money on GLA stuff.

I see lots of super nice regulators for sale in the WTS subforum, that might be a good direction to check out, too.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 06:49 PM
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I have 3 aquariumplants.com set ups love them, have not had 1 problem in 5 years. The clicking does not bother me.Click image for larger version

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-01-2017, 06:21 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caique View Post
I have 3 aquariumplants.com set ups love them, have not had 1 problem in 5 years. The clicking does not bother me.Attachment 752170




Yes mine worked perfect for about 3 years before I sold it because of a long distance move. I think I might get the same system again from them. Yes it is expensive but I've decided why change systems just to save a few bucks when I have used them before with success.


I might have just decided
caique and caique like this.

New setup May 14, 2017: standard 75g tank eheim 2215 (will add a second filter), 36" fluval planted 2.0, 36" planted + 24/7, marineland basic 36' LED, cycling tank now with a few neons, CO2 system (GLA reg, controller and aqariumplants.com reactor)

old Setup SOLD 2014: 90g planted and setup tank.
co2 system, dosing dry ferts 2-3 times a week, Eheim 2213, Eheim 2215 running through co2 reactor
aquarium plants.com co2 system, 10 young Indian flasher barbs (Rosline sharks)
20 cardinals

Last edited by mibsonG; 05-01-2017 at 06:22 AM. Reason: sp
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 10:30 AM
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Because the Ixta MIX max with an after market brass bubble counter works so well, and is so reasonably priced, (i plan on buying a few more should they change the design or stop making them), ,it's the one thing I'd place in a tank and try and hide it. For a large tank, I'd use two, one on each end. Test say that this still the most efficient co2 reactor/diffuser solution on the market. Works phenomenal for me.


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