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Does anyone know if the 20g bicycle CO2 cartridges are the same size thread as the 45g Fluval Mini cartridges? They're a heck of a lot cheaper, gram for gram, than the Fluval ones. If I could find cheap threaded 45g cartridges, that would be better, but I haven't found any other than the ones for Fluval and Ista mini systems.

I had picked up the mini system to see if it was worth the larger investment. I can see the difference, I like the growth it's producing, and now I intend to purchase a "big girl" CO2 can and a full setup with the fixings when my tax return comes in, but in the meantime I'd like to avoid spending $10/week for pressurized disposables until I can make that happen, which probably won't be for another few months. I'm plowing through the 45g cartridges at a rate of 1 a week, and even at online discount prices it's adding up.
 

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Does anyone know if the 20g bicycle CO2 cartridges are the same size thread as the 45g Fluval Mini cartridges? They're a heck of a lot cheaper, gram for gram, than the Fluval ones. If I could find cheap threaded 45g cartridges, that would be better, but I haven't found any other than the ones for Fluval and Ista mini systems.

I had picked up the mini system to see if it was worth the larger investment. I can see the difference, I like the growth it's producing, and now I intend to purchase a "big girl" CO2 can and a full setup with the fixings when my tax return comes in, but in the meantime I'd like to avoid spending $10/week for pressurized disposables until I can make that happen, which probably won't be for another few months. I'm plowing through the 45g cartridges at a rate of 1 a week, and even at online discount prices it's adding up.
The bicycle cartridges are 3/8" 24 TPI. I don't know the size of the fluval cartridges but saw one site talking about wider 5/8 45g cartridge. Since you have the fluval cartridge measure the diameter and if its bigger then 3/8" you can be certain it won't fit. There may be an adapter somewhere.. or possibly not depending on how exoteric the thread is on the fluval.
 

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If you have ~$40 you can make a setup like mine that'll use 16g bike cartridges. You'll basically just need this Mini Keg Reg and a Needle Valve/Bubble Counter. You can use a cheaper needle valve w/o the counter too since I think your system uses a passive diffuser. Then you can just buy whatever size pack of any 16g threaded cartridge you want.

All you have to do for this is take a couple of wrenches and take off the keg adapter and screw in(w/ teflon tape) the needle valve. I recently added a solenoid to mine as well(which cost more than everything else), I just haven't tried it out yet.

I also use a 7/8" socket with some electrical tape in it and use a drill to secure my cartridges into the regulator. I lose a lot less CO2 this way, it gives me ~ an extra day of gas vs hand tightening. Just make sure to thread in the cartridge a couple of turns before giving it the beans.
 

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If you have ~$40 you can make a setup like mine that'll use 16g bike cartridges. You'll basically just need this Mini Keg Reg and a Needle Valve/Bubble Counter. You can use a cheaper needle valve w/o the counter too since I think your system uses a passive diffuser. Then you can just buy whatever size pack of any 16g threaded cartridge you want.

All you have to do for this is take a couple of wrenches and take off the keg adapter and screw in(w/ teflon tape) the needle valve. I recently added a solenoid to mine as well(which cost more than everything else), I just haven't tried it out yet.

I also use a 7/8" socket with some electrical tape in it and use a drill to secure my cartridges into the regulator. I lose a lot less CO2 this way, it gives me ~ an extra day of gas vs hand tightening. Just make sure to thread in the cartridge a couple of turns before giving it the beans.

Hey! Do you mind showing me your set up I have been looking for something like this for forever!
Thanks
Drew
 

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Hey! Do you mind showing me your set up I have been looking for something like this for forever!
Thanks
Drew
The solenoid didn't end up working with the setup, as far as I could tell. I was weary of using it since the regulator is so basic. It would create create pressure and there's a little relief valve in the regulator that would slowly bleed out CO2 while the solenoid was off.

It did work without the solenoid pretty well, you just had to turn it on/off everyday or run it 24/7 at a low BPS. Might be easier to run it with a bell diffuser like the fluval kit and just fill it up every day, same effect for a fraction of the cost of the fluval kit.

I opted out of high tech until I have a bigger tank to dump money into. I'll be changing my aquariums up soon and might use a DIY jello mix with a bell diffuser for my CO2 needs.

If you're dead set on a plug and play CO2 system I'd recommend going with a paintball tank setup, especially if you have a place that refills them near you. It's the cheapest reliable way to do CO2. I live in the middle of nowhere so I have/like to mess around with simpler setups that I can have delivered to me. The closest place to get CO2 is 2 hours from where I live and only open during my work days.

Pic w/o solenoid (teflon around the relief valve to minimize lost CO2 while off, I don't recommend it as far as safety goes but I did use it this way without issue)


Pic w/ solenoid(wastes CO2, not recommended as a whole)
 

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Does anyone know if the 20g bicycle CO2 cartridges are the same size thread as the 45g Fluval Mini cartridges? They're a heck of a lot cheaper, gram for gram, than the Fluval ones. If I could find cheap threaded 45g cartridges, that would be better, but I haven't found any other than the ones for Fluval and Ista mini systems.

I had picked up the mini system to see if it was worth the larger investment. I can see the difference, I like the growth it's producing, and now I intend to purchase a "big girl" CO2 can and a full setup with the fixings when my tax return comes in, but in the meantime I'd like to avoid spending $10/week for pressurized disposables until I can make that happen, which probably won't be for another few months. I'm plowing through the 45g cartridges at a rate of 1 a week, and even at online discount prices it's adding up.
Yes threaded bicycle cartridges fit


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