C02 plans-GLA,UNS - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-07-2020, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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C02 plans-GLA,UNS

Hi, finally got the tubing and lily pipe stuff figured out and installed, thanks to those on this site! Covid has me wanting to spend more money and keep busy so now I am thinking about C02!! I have looked at all kinds of DIY, low end and high end and researched as much as my brain can handle! I don't really like to mess around so want an easy plug in and works system! I eliminated Fluval, Dennerle, ISTA and am now debating between the UNS Pro dual stage which allows me to connect my 2 - 17 gallon tanks. Sale price is nice right now! Also GLA recommended the Pro 2 modular dual gauge; more money!

I started off looking at paintball systems, but am now thinking larger may be easier. I'm still sorting through what is included or not in each, warranties, etc. Both have been very responsive in helping me!

So questions:
What is dual stage?
What size C02 tank would be best to supply 2-17 gallon tanks? Would a 3L be too small?
Can I put the C02 at one end of a tank and run the tubing to each tank from there? (2 - 24" tanks end to end)
Any experience or comments on either system?


https://shop.glassaqua.com/collectio...r-modular.html

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-07-2020, 10:16 PM
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Sounds like good questions to ask!
One big point that sellers sometimes try to confuse us on is the reg. there is dual stage which is nice and dual gauge which is almost a given on most and it is really important price wise to spot the difference!
A single stage reg makes the adjustment from very high tank pressure (800+ PSI) to what we can work with which is almost always below 50PSI in one step or stage, using the gas pressure on one side of a moving diaphragm and a spring on the other, so that they kind of work against each other to find a balance which is the output. pressure. A dual stage reg takes the first stage output and runs it through an second stage and to the output.
Major thing to know is that either will work but the single stage does have some hazard to it for our fish which a dual stage doesn't! The weirdness comes in that the singles stage output does actually creep UP as the tank pressure goes down at the "end of tank dump" Some basics help. We don't get a reading of how much CO2 is left in the tank from the gauges as they only measure pressure and not the amount left.Most of a tank of gas is actually liquid under so much pressure that it is can only gas off a bit at a time, so the pressure stays the same all the time except for small moves due to temperature, until ALL the liquid is gone and then the reading goes down much faster, going flat in less than a week at times.
The dual stage has the big advantage of NOT doing the EOTD but holds the output steady all the way down to flat.
If we let a tank go all the way down, as single stage may let too much pressure go through, add too much CO2 and kill all the fish!!! Dual stage does not, is better, but also much more expensive.
What size is often dependant on personal space and situation. We don't often pay for the gas itself but the labor to fill a tank, so bigger is cheaper per pound by a whole bunch, so the hicky may be what it takes for you to refill. I find welding gas places to be the best price for my area but that varies a whole bunch and depends on where and what it takes for you to do the refill. I suggest calling various places that seem convenient for you and price what they do each size tank. I use 20 pounders but that is large but okay to throw in the back of a car and I have space. Bigger takes fewer trips, less often. But if you are planning to carry it under your arm on a train or bus, paintball may fit better, even if more expensive.
A 5 or 10 might be good for those tanks and last a long time. (6-8 months?) But use varies a whole bunch.
Distance fro the Co2 tank to fish tank doesn't matter until you get really long so that the gas left in the tubing becomes a major issue or the tubing "ballooning" becomes awkward. Under 6-8 feet, no problem.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-07-2020, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you PlantedRich, extremely helpful! Seems the UNS is a good buy then as it is dual gauge and dual stage on sale at a good price. Hope they aren't phasing it out with the sale. Yeah, I cannot lift anything too heavy either, so I will check around for a 5 or 10.

A 5 or 10 is pounds or litres?

Trying to research C02 cartridges now, my brain is being put to use! What does it mean when the canister says 'face side'?

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Last edited by Darkblade48; 08-09-2020 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2020, 01:11 AM
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If you are in the United States, co2 tanks usually come in 5lb, 10lb or 20lb sizes. I do believe there is also a 2.5lb size out there but most people don't go smaller than 5lb unless you are getting into paintball tanks.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2020, 02:27 AM
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I could be wrong, but the UNS stuff looks like rebranded Fzone that is sold on ebay for 1/2 the price.

Bump: UNS


FZONE:


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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2020, 02:39 AM
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and here's the mini:

UNS:


FZone:
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2020, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm, interesting. I think someone here has the Fzone, any feedback?

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2020, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by fish+plants View Post
Hmm, interesting. I think someone here has the Fzone, any feedback?
No actual experience with that item but there are some things which I might point out as FYI for you to consider as all things need to be looked at from our own personal view.
Just some good and bad that might factor in?
One is that they do try to highlight DUAL GAUGE, perhaps to confuse with dual stage or perhaps just that they also sell a single GAUGE as well. Personally, I find a single stage workable as I do not have a problem with letting the tank go totally flat as I simply do not allow myself to leave a leak and I can refill the tank way before it goes totally flat. So thought on how we each may work as the single stage lets me work cheaper but at a bit higher level of hazard to my fish!
I keep in mind that the reg itself rarely fails as they are pretty simple spring gizmos but the attached parts are often what gives us trouble, so I look at those small parts more carefully.
First step from the reg is the solenoid which is what I call the black box variety and very common on the shelf ready setups. They tend to stick if they use much power, with 7 watts being what I call too much power which produces too much heat. Heat tends to dry the lube on the moving internal parts as well as slightly expand them to stick. But this uses 2.5 watts and I might call it good enough for the lower price involved.
The needle valve might be close to what I don't like, though! A needle valve is basic needle sticking in a hole and moves in and out as we turn the adjustment. Several things make a good needle valve. One is how long and finely tapered and machined the needle and how precise the threading which moves the needle forward and back. In the lower priced we often have a short body made of what we might call pot metal. Cheaper metal means lower grade machine work and short stubby needles. What we get is more course threading which makes the needle move more when we turn it a quarter turn than if the needle were longer and moved less on fine threads. Kind of like using a hose nozzle to adjust flow versus sticking our thumb in the end? Just makes it a bit harder to get it set exactly where we want and then it may slip some as the gas flow starts and stops. Cheaper and does work but one of the first items we may want to change out if it gets on our nerves too much.
Small details to consider when shopping. One opinion among many to consider.
Meters seems to read in KG per cubic meter? Does this suit you or make your head hurt to think in metric?
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Last edited by PlantedRich; 08-08-2020 at 06:34 PM. Reason: added
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2020, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by fish+plants View Post
Hmm, interesting. I think someone here has the Fzone, any feedback?
It's also available on Amazon with some favorable reviews and looks just like the reg that CO2 Art sells for twice the price. Personally, I would buy from the lower priced seller. If I wanted to spend upwards of $300 I would be shopping with one of the guys on the forum that build and sell regulators using industrial grade parts.

Last edited by Jeff5614; 08-08-2020 at 07:48 PM. Reason: ...
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-09-2020, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both, more to research and think about. I do not like and cannot think in metric and I do need it all to be simple, reliable, idiot proof! The GLA I looked at for dual gauge and dual stage modular is $$$$$ - I don't know how easy it will be to get C02 tank refills as there are not many places near and covid has messed things up. Any feedback on the UNS system (granted it looks like the Fzone) but has anyone bought one? Are they a good company? Support and warranties may be needed for me!

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-09-2020, 04:11 PM
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From messaging the FZone people they say their pro setup comes from the same factory as the co2art one. The working pressure is a little different (favoring co2art) and maybe the quality control is as well (probably favoring UNS/co2art, based on the price), so take it with a grain of salt, who knows. Also note that UNS/co2art/fzone are all piston style regulators (I think?), while GLA has diaphragm style ones, so in some sense you do get you pay for.

I have an fzone pro in the box, am waiting for a dry start to finish before setting it up.

UNS has had good customer support for me, I had a problem with the impeller on a UNS delta filter and they shipped me a new one (though with a one month turnaround from start to finish). Who knows what the Fzone warranty / customer support is like.
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-09-2020, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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I have not even looked at c02Art; now I will have to compare them as well on all the fine points you have all mentioned (thank you!) ! Any experience with c02Art? GLA seems way too much $$ as some have said. So C02 Art vs Fzone Pro vs the UNS. I have a UNS Delta 60bcanister and have been very happy with it if that is any indicator.

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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-09-2020, 07:42 PM
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I am in the same boat, considering between co2art pro, uns pro, fzone pro and even the GLA 2 stage modular.

All the non GLA regulators seems to be constructed with extremely similar components, so it is either $150 for fzone with crappy support and 1 year warranty, $220 for UNS with good support and 1 year warranty, $240 (w/ their 10% off coupon) for co2art with good support and 10 years warranty (have to ship to Germany), or $365 on GLA for better components with good support and lifetime US based warranty.

I have been changing my mind daily about this but right now I am thinking of just getting fzone and if it breaks after warranty, I will just buy another one.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-09-2020, 11:03 PM
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Breaking is always a thought but I find things on the regsetup are a bit different as we are buying a set,not a standalone single item. So that means if set breaks it is almost sure to be a replaceable small part. Or if it doesn't break but just is not as good as we might want, we can often upgrade to better. I find the reg and body to be very reliable in most case but the added parts are where I might lean to going with a cheap one for now and then when I learn what it takes and find out if I"m in this game for the long term, I can replace the parts the bother me or if they do break.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-10-2020, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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All great comments again, thank you, very much appreciate the perspectives from everyone. I guess for me it is a what do I have a tolerance for and basically, I am not handy enough or knowledgeable enough that I want to deal with major failures or risk loosing fish I have worked hard to keep alive! I have sent a list of questions on the C02Art and the UNS, I'll see how they respond and go from there. The pricing on the C02 Art was confusing as to what was included and what was not. And I could not figure out the warranty on the UNS, 1 year does not seems like much. If my calculations are correct, the C02 Art may be $113 more than the UNS, so it may be worth it to get a 10 year warranty. If small part fails, I wonder if it can be replaced with one from a different brand if the shipping from Germany takes too long. Have to think about this. If we are all 3 interested we should contact the C02Art people and negotiate discounts!!!

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