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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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I don't have that setup up but the tiny bottle will not last long. That bottle is more for a 10gal or nano imo. I have a 5lb on my 55gal and every month i have to fill it. Atleast were i am CO2 is around $20 for a fill and a 10lb bottle is only like $2 more for double the amount. I would just get the largest bottle you can afford and store and then look for a good regulator (the needle valve is the most important imo) and a DIY reactor. You probably put all that together for under $200 and that would be less then that kit after you buy the new bottle.
 

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Before buying anything, phone around and see if you can find a place to refill the tank. Around here, everyone will do tank exchanges but no one refills tanks. So you end up buying this nice expensive pretty tank that gets exchanged for a ratty old rusty iron tank the first time you fill it.

Note: I did find one place that does refills but he sends it out and its about a one week turnaround time. Not very useful.

So I'd recommend what Smitty said. Buy a good regulator and valve and then go for a tank exchange. Talking to the tank exchange place, a 10 lb tank is the smallest (and most common) they handle. They have 20lb tanks but they dont necessarily have them in stock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There are several welding supply places around here and they do refills so that's not a problem. Also it hit me I have a buddy that's a beer guy so I could quite possibly get my hands on a 20lb tank for little or nothing. That would possibly do me for a year I'm guessing.

As far as other equipment goes I'm clueless as what to buy and what I actually need.

When I helped my stepfather build his 180 setup I failed to pay close attention when it came to the CO2 setup. I just remember we had a 10lb tank, CO2 reactor, bubble counter, pressure regulator and a ph controler that was tied to the regulator.

Trying to remember how all the parts worked and purposes is proving quite difficult.

Are there any threads containing CO2 for beginners? A sticky containing info for beginners would be awesome.
 

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Keep looking for information here on the forums. It would be difficult to come up with a question about this hobby that has not been asked (and answered) many times.

In short, yes, it's an affordable start. But there's a reason it's affordable. The same goes for Azoo, Milwaukee, and any of their clones.
 

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Seems like an affordable start.
In short, yes, it's an affordable start. But there's a reason it's affordable. The same goes for Azoo, Milwaukee, and any of their clones.
To expand on this, pressurized CO2 is one area of the hobby that you do not want to skimp on. If you buy cheaper equipment, you may find that you are unsatisfied with certain portions of the setup (or the entire setup), and you will end up spending more money upgrading individual parts (or the entire setup).

Rather than spending $200-300 on a quality setup from the start, you might end up buying a cheap $100 system, then another $50-100 upgrading parts, getting unsatisfied, and then spending another $200-300 for the quality setup that could have been purchased in the first place...


I too was once considering getting a cheap pressurized CO2 system myself, but was convinced by other members that spending the initial investment was the best way to go. I haven't regretted that decision since.
 

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^ That was my experience. To save you the trouble of going through what I had to, never buy those cheap asian knock offs.

It will cost you nearly the price of a new kit to send the item back for an exchange. There is also no certainly you will get a replacement, they can just say it broken and charge you again to ship it back.

Anyways, the order goes like this -

Cheap Asian Knock offs (I do admit some of them do work, majority will break down)
Retail Store (Aquatic Life, Aquatek)
DIY Regulator you build by finding the parts, you can just go to your local gas welding store and ask them for help. You will have to go there anyways to refill or buy a Co2 tank.
 

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That DrsF&S kit is about as bad as they come.

Build your own or have someone build you one.

Run a 5 lbs to 20 lbs CO2 cylinder on your 30g; nothing smaller. I like the 20 lbs models. I don't have to mess with a 20 lbs cylinder for a long time after I get it refilled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No offense but after doing a little reading I think I'll stick with the Aquatek. It will suit my needs for now comes with everything but the tank. So far I haven't read one bad thing about it other than people saying it's cheap or not as precisely controlable as "They" want it to be. For me I think it will do just fine for the time being. I'm trying to be cost effective for my initial setup and this will keep things with in budget.

All in All my 30 gallon is going to be my RE learning experience as I haven't dabbled with a planted tank in over 10 years. I'll eventually upgrade to a bigger tank 90 gallon I find to be ideal size.

I value those who are giving "informed" advice and I thank you.

By the way I won't be paying the msrp for it and have since spoken with my buddy whose hooking me up with a 20lb tank for $25.00.
 

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No offense but after doing a little reading I think I'll stick with the Aquatek. It will suit my needs for now comes with everything but the tank. So far I haven't read one bad thing about it other than people saying it's cheap or not as precisely controlable as "They" want it to be. For me I think it will do just fine for the time being. I'm trying to be cost effective for my initial setup and this will keep things with in budget.
Glad you came to a decision on your own. If you find out that the Aquatek is not as precise/controllable as you want, do keep in mind there are other options out there.


I value those who are giving "informed" advice and I thank you.
Not too sure what you mean by this; I believe people are just sharing their own experiences with cheaper regulators (myself included). But of course, each situation is different.

By the way I won't be paying the msrp for it and have since spoken with my buddy whose hooking me up with a 20lb tank for $25.00.
Good deal. Be sure to make sure that the cylinder is hydro tested (if not, you'll have to tack on another expense).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Glad you came to a decision on your own. If you find out that the Aquatek is not as precise/controllable as you want, do keep in mind there are other options out there.
I'll leave an informative review on the regulator package once it's installed up and running after a month or two just so that people have something to go off of when making a purchase.


Hey thanks Dark and Flying fish. I'll test out the tank, it's supposed to just be missing the knob that controls the valve and the handle for the tank is barely there so it was going to be warehoused. He assured me that he just removed it the other day because the bartenders were tired of trying to move it with out the handle while cleaning.
 
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