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So I have been trying planted tanks for about a year now. Started with "basic" lighting and no ferts. Now I have upgraded to T5NO lighting and EI dosing. In the end I don't seem to be doing any better then when I started, maybe slightly worse. It seems a very common response to my posts is "you need CO2." Think I am going to go for it. At this point really the only downside would be to loose some more plants and the money spent on Co2. How much should I look to spend on a sound CO2 tank and setup? Is this something I can buy used comfortably or is safer to invest in a new set up? The set up would be for my 46 gallon, which will soon be upgraded to a 75 gallon. Thank you
 

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A new CO2 setup usually costs around $200. I bought an azoo regulator for about $110 on eBay with the bubble counter, tubing, and check valve, then I bought an aqua medic reactor for $100. A new cylinder costs from anywhere between $50 and $150. I would recommend a 5lb cylinder for a 46 gal or use paintball cylinders which are $20 each. (you would need an adapter for $20 to connect it though)

CO2 is expensive, but a necessity for advanced planted aquariums.
 

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Plant Clown
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$150-200, 5lb cylinder included, at the lower end. You can probably find a much higher quality rig here at the SnS for close to the same price as an all-in-one rig online ($80-120). Call around to local welding supply shops for 5lb cylinder prices - I'd guess you can find one for $65.

The financially nice thing about CO2 setups is that virtually all the cost is up front (paintball setups are a different breed), plus a $15 refill once every few months.
 
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