Which Co2 system to buy? Refill vs swapping. - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-21-2020, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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Which Co2 system to buy? Refill vs swapping.

Hello, I was wondering if I could get some help choosing which co2 system would work best for me. I narrowed it down to Gla regulars but I'm unsure which one is the best option. My current tank is a 20 gallon but I want one that can handle 50g in the future. This current one doesn't really have a cabinet or place to hide a large tank but I could possibly make room for one. Would their gro regular complete system with a 5lb tank, dual stage regulator with 5lb tank, or paintball regular be a better choice? I'm not sure what is more available or easier to fill, painball tanks or 5 lb. the complete systems come with a shinny new tank but I'm worried if I can't find a place that will refill it vs swap it with some old one. So for that tank size would a paintball tank and regulator, the complete system with a 5lb tank, or just the regulator then go and buy my own tank at the refil place be better? Sorry about all the questions, its all quite confusing lol
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-21-2020, 05:02 AM
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Most beer stores that sell kegs have co2 refill stations. Also check to see if you have any store near you that sells homebrew beer equipment as they will fill it too. The swap makes sense on the 20lb tanks. Reason being is that you can usually get ancient 20lb co2 tanks on Craigslist with expired hydros for cheap and then just go swap it at your local airgas for 35 bucks or so filled.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-21-2020, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Namine9 View Post
I'm not sure what is more available or easier to fill, painball tanks or 5 lb. the complete systems come with a shinny new tank but I'm worried if I can't find a place that will refill it vs swap it with some old one. So for that tank size would a paintball tank and regulator, the complete system with a 5lb tank, or just the regulator then go and buy my own tank at the refil place be better? Sorry about all the questions, its all quite confusing lol

Nobody can answer that except for you or people in your area..




Check welding supply stores, hobby shops, beer DIY places and Fire Extinguiser/fire monitoring companies..
Each will prob. have different prices and different procedures.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-22-2020, 04:44 PM
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The 5 lb bottle will probably give you the longest run times vs. paintball tank.

Plus, do you even have a paintball refill place in town?

More likely you have a CO2 refill stations for normal CO2 tanks rated in pounds vs. 33 oz paintball cylinders.

Just note: If you are buying a new 5# CO2 tank, try to make sure you get it filled instead of exchanged. It may cost more initially as they may want to hydro test it and sticker it, but you'll have a tank with a known lifespan, some refill places are exchange only and will take your brand new tank and give you a well used one.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by GrampsGrunge View Post
The 5 lb bottle will probably give you the longest run times vs. paintball tank.

Plus, do you even have a paintball refill place in town?

More likely you have a CO2 refill stations for normal CO2 tanks rated in pounds vs. 33 oz paintball cylinders.

Just note: If you are buying a new 5# CO2 tank, try to make sure you get it filled instead of exchanged. It may cost more initially as they may want to hydro test it and sticker it, but you'll have a tank with a known lifespan, some refill places are exchange only and will take your brand new tank and give you a well used one.
I use the latest iteration of this from Aliexpress [choose DHL shipping only or you're looking at 2 months] or you can get it from Amazon. I switch from regular co2 tank because I'm too lazy to drive to get a refill.

I should've picked the 2liter but I have yet to refill and it's been running for 6 weeks.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 07:11 PM
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I think it is always worth it to make a small investment up front if you have an idea of an expansion later on.

In the past I have regretted getting a regulator that did not have adjustable working pressure, I have since change that.

I definitely want to support the idea of just going to get a 20lb tank. Look for a hydroponic store near you, they often do cylinder exchange. I was getting charged $18 for a 10lb tank refill from my brewery place and now I just pay $15 for a 20lb gas exchange. I don't think hiding the cylinder is a big problem, it can be kept far from the tank so if it's pretty beat up you can just put it somewhere outside the cabinet and run the co2 line under the floorboard.

The main thing I have found whenever I have run into issues with my tank is the fact that I have run out of CO2 and don't replace it quickly so my plants suffer.
When I switched from the 10lb to the 20lb I realized it reduced the exchange rate up to 8-9 months instead of every 4 months. It brought more stability to the tank!

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