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im completely new to the hobby, and i spent sometime reading, about the cycle, and etc. and now i have a better idea how things actually work. I wanna have a nice planted tank, and im going to be in this hobby for at least 4-5 years. I used to own a 80 galloon back 5 years ago, but life been rough, and i had to leave the hobby till now. So yes i call myself now a complete beginner, because i literally forgot everything. so far i gathered some parts, 55 galloon, fluval 407 filter, and fluval plant 3.0 light. I was reading about the co2, and the importance of it in a planted tank, and i wanna do it right the first time. Iv been reading that theres 2 brands in the market. Gla vs co2art. Gla is kinda expensive. But i wanna know your thoughts?
 

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I have a CO2art regulator and it's great, both options will be I think. I would go with whichever is cheaper for you. Make sure you get a big enough tank, I would say probably like 10 pounds for a 55 for convenience.

The whole system should include regulator, tank, co2 proof tubing, diffuser (or reactor), bubble counter, a timer for the solenoid, and a check valve to stop water reaching the regulator.
 

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Also a newbie here. I got a co2art kit for my setup and it was easy to install and configure. It came with drop checker, regulator, tubing, bubble counter, diffuser, and tank gaskets. I bought a 5lb co2 tank on amazon and use the exchange program at my local brew n grow. It's kind of amusing to buy something new and then immediately trading it for something old without ever using it :p
 

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Welcome back!

Iv been reading that theres 2 brands in the market. Gla vs co2art. Gla is kinda expensive. But i wanna know your thoughts?
Far more than two brands on the market. But from those two, I'd pick GLA because of the brand's longevity in the hobby and location in the US. Both companies are selling rebranded OEM products but one has been around longer. CO2art is a relative newcomer and is based in the UK. That may or may not help you way your options but I wanted to throw it out there.

Many longtime hobbyists will buy or piece together an industrial regulator and parts. That can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 on average but it doesn't have to be super-expensive. Units like that generally aren't going to fail and will hold resale value for a long time. Definitely worth considering. I've had some of mine for 10-15 years. Have you read any of those guides on the forum? There are a couple written by people who sell those regulator kits (at offensively absurd high prices - so you don't have to buy from them, you can do it yourself with ease) that may be worth perusing. Because If I can do it, anyone can do it.
 

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instead of a drop checker get a pH pen/monitor. then use the 1pt pH drop to dial in your co2.
 

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there are many CO2 regulators you can consider. If you are concerned about budgeting for one, you could also consider a mini regulator. I went with FZone mini regulator and use it with 24oz Paintball canisters. The beauty of it is that it can handle commercial grade GSA fitting CO2 tanks, Paintball canisters or even 90 gram size disposable CO2 cartridges. I have used mine for about 1 year now. It will not be as advanced as commercial grade units but it gets the job done for my 30 gallon planted tank and I assume it could handle a 55 gallon tank as well. The FZone mini regulator costs about $100. Each 24oz Paintball canister lasts me over 1 month and each refill at a major Sporting Goods franchise costs less than $6 so I get the right amount of CO2 for my tank for only $6 / month which is much less expensive than when I started with liquid Carbon which was VERY expensive and I never achieved the results I can get with the mini regulator CO2 setup. Don't forget your fertilizer setup and testing kits too. Getting CO2 still means you need to setup a fertilizer schedule. Go back to basics and remember NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium) macronutrients for starters along with supplementing them with some micronutrients.
 
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