New Fluval CO2 Kit - Page 5 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #61 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 05:31 PM
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the standard thread size for 88g cartridges is m16 -15 (metric). The 16 refers to the diameter (in millimeters). The 15 refers to the pitch coarseness (millimeters).

This morning I measured the diameter of the exposed, threaded portion of my cartridge. It's 15mm! To be sure I made an accurate 16mm template. It's to large! There is no doubt about it. The Fluval cartridge is 1mm smaller in diameter then the standard 88g part..

If you check the early posts in this thread you will find mention of the difficulty in screwing the Fluval supplied cartridge into their regulator.

It appears that the regulator itself has been tapped to slightly less the 15mm. Perhaps this explain the warning of non function in 2 years?

What all this adds up-to that it's unlikely that any mass market cartridge will screw into the regulator.

I took a photo of my installed Fluval Cartridge and compared it proportions to a couple of 3rd party cartridges Crosman, Walters and Walmart the three here are pretty much the same size. The Fluval is an outlier (much fatter)

None of this bodes well for adapting non Fluval cartridges to this device.
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post #62 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 06:17 PM
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Sailnut, unfortunately you are exactly right.

I somehow talked my girlfriend into letting me see the regulator before Christmas.

It was very difficult to screw the Fluval cartridge in, even before getting close to puncturing the canister.

It was impossible to get the Walmart canister in past about 1.5 - 2 turns..

With that said, the adapters we have all been talking about will definitely not work, at least not in theory.

I think my plan at this point it to return the Fluval kit, despite the great reviews people have been giving it.

I think I am going to go with a regulator regulator/solenoid setup, possibly from ebay. I have been researching the Aquatek regulator/Solenoid. It seems to get good reviews and is very reasonably priced. Because I plan to use this on the Fluval Ebi, I will get a CGA 320 - paintball tank adapter and use either a 20 or 24oz paintball canister because I don't have the space for a 5 pound canister where my Ebi will be going.

I am kind of disappointed, I really like the Fluval kit. But when comparing the cost of replacing the 88g canisters, most likely once a month if not more due to having to run it 24 hrs/day, I will break even in just a few months when spending the extra $75-$100 (maybe even less) on a different set up. I would then also have the option of running multiple planted tanks off of 1 regulator in the future should I get more tanks, and I probably will lol .

I do hope someone comes up with a solution for this at some point, I am sure there will be many happy users out there if someone works it out!

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news!!

Hope everyone has a great holiday!
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post #63 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 07:27 PM
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I would think that anyone with a lathe could take a standard 88g cartridge and trim 1mm off it. In reality if I had a lathe I would machine mt own adapter and that would be the end of the story.

It's always possible that Fluval will release a propitiatory paintball to 88g adapter but that's unlikely at the moment.

I remain very wary of the unregulated paintball setups. They strike me as unsuited to smaller tanks and dangerous.

There is the option of an ADA adapter, a preset paintball co2 regulator, solenoid and needle valve. However when all is said and done little or nothing would be saved over a mas market regulator.

Which leaves the economy regulators several of which sell for around $80. The downside here is the size of things as they relate to a 20oz paintball tank. Sort of the tail wagging the dog. Yes there are some very nice miniature ones but the regulator alone costs more then $100 and with solenoid and such its pressing $200!

As for myself, I am keeping track as to how long the supplied cartridge lasts. This will give me a worst case scenario of usage. If I can get more then a month I may keep the Fluval. Also.. its possible that Big Al's or the like will sell the Fluval cartridge heavily discounted... but I doubt it!
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post #64 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 08:24 PM
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What if, and I'm just riffing here so shoot me down if this is not a good idea, you set it up like a remote paintball canister?

In other words, you run a piece of copper pipe adapted to fit into the Fluval regulator on one end and adapted to fit a paintball tank on the other (or the Walmart disposable cartridge).

I'd have to have the two parts with me at a hardware store to sit a play, but does that sound plausible?

I'm going to be upgrading from the 20g kit that came with my Fluval Flora and I'm trying to figure out the most economical way to do so. Heck, I'm toying with the idea of doing what I'm suggesting above but with the 20g kit. I could then add a fitting to house a gauge on the outflow of the 'regulator' so I could gauge how low my pressure was and then add a needle valve and solenoid.
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post #65 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 08:53 PM
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The problem is the NON standard thread in the regulator body. Sure you could buy a paintball remote adapter but someone will have to machine it to match the regulator. Of course the advantage of this is that its a one shot deal. After that you can connect any paintball cylinder you want.
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post #66 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 09:14 PM
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OK, so probably won't find them at the big box stores, but what about specialty plumbing supply houses? Gas supply companies? Those places must occasionally have a need for those oddball thread sizes?

Heck, what about brazing the copper together and skip the threads all together? Would brazing withstand the pressure?
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post #67 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 09:26 PM
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Seeing that the thread is metric takes plumbing supply houses out of the equation. Doubtless a machine shop could make what you want but it would not be economic.

I suppose the neck could be sawed off a discharged cylinder and brazed or welded to the remote adapter. Not an endeavor for the faint of heart and to what purpose from the economic stand point?
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post #68 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-24-2010, 10:08 PM
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Just go to a machine shop, or find someone with a lathe. They can put any threads you want on brass block and drill a hole through it. This is so much easier than scouring the planet for commercial fittings that may or may not exist.

Brazing might work but I would only trust it on the low pressure side. Threading 2 sides of a piece of brass will definitely work and only take a few minutes. I can't give an acurate price quote, but if you know a guy with his own lathe, or small town machine shop, he'd likely do it for a case of beer.

20 dollars would be worth the peace of mind IMO.
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post #69 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 02:50 PM
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Well guys... I think I did it!!

Just braved the snow in NJ and went to Home Depot..

Here is what I got.


photo 1 by dougjacobs99, on Flickr

Watts A-183 3/8" Flare MIP - 3/8" MIP
Watts A-760 3/8" coupling
Watts A-776 3/8" male to 1/8" female

In hind-sight I should have gotten a right angle 3/8" to 1/8" adapter or 3/8" coupling so I'll exchange it, but that's just for cosmetic reasons.

Cost - $8.41 with tax.

And the result...!


photo 2 by dougjacobs99, on Flickr

It forms a nice tight seal with the o-ring in the regulator. Now, with a 1/8" male - 1/8" male fitting, some teflon tape, a paintball ASA and paintball tank, I am 99% confident that this will work!

Just as a test, you can see that the Fluval canister screws right into the Watts A-760 3/8" coupling.


photo 1 by dougjacobs99, on Flickr


photo 2 by dougjacobs99, on Flickr

Let me know what you guys think!!
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post #70 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 02:59 PM
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post #71 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 03:01 PM
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I won't. I will be using a paintball co2 tank which has a pin that a paintball air source adapter similar to this will depress. You can find these pretty cheap, maybe $15-$20.



Alternatively, you could use a paintball remote system, which has an on/off valve. - This one in particular I just found on Amazon for $15. This could be a nice option to hide the tank, and just mount the regulator somewhere easily accessible.



The fittings on the remote and air source adapter are standard 1/8" fittings that will work perfectly with the reducer I picked up.
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post #72 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 03:03 PM
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Yeah, I figured that out right after I posted. Need more coffee...

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post #73 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 03:05 PM
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Haha no problem!
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post #74 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 03:05 PM
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I am waiting to see if this works. If it is, it answers the question I just posted about which one to buy, and is so cheap! I have a 4 gallon tank. Would this work with the Fluval Mini CO2 20 also?
Also it doesn't appear to have a bubble counter, but I can set one up, right?
Thanks!!
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post #75 of 233 (permalink) Old 12-27-2010, 03:09 PM
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As far as I know the Fluval Mini kit uses a different size threads on the canisters. I would assume that something similar could be set up with parts from Home Depot, but I think the regulator on the 88g Kit is much nicer.

I am not sure what to do next. I want to get co2 going, but am hesitant to set it all up without trying all of the paintball stuff with the regulator first..

I honestly can't imagine why it wouldn't work though.

The tank fits the 3/8" female threads nicely, the one fitting threads very nicely into the regulator and you can feel it seating into the o-ring, and everything else is standard brass fittings that you would find in more expensive setups. Obviously the paintball stuff is designed for co2 use, so that isn't a concern at all.
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