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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

Since I have become quite obsessed with this hobby, I have decided to invest in a C02 system. I have about a 200$ budget. I was probably going to build my own system.
I have heard a lot of good things from the Aquatek regulators, but I am not really sure what to buy for the tank, diffuser, and reactor..

Amazon.com: Premium AQUATEK CO2 Regulator with Integrated COOL TOUCH Solenoid: Pet Supplies

I have a few questions concerning C02... Sorry for all the questions, I am quite new to this and I want to do it right the first time.

1. Can I run a single pressurized C02 system to both of my tanks? 20 gallon long and 5 gallon, both heavily planted.

2. With the previous question in mind, what size c02 tank would be suitable? 5lb? 29oz?

3. Do you think I need the Premium Aquatek Regulator or is the Aquatek Mini sufficient?

4. What reactor and diffuser would you guys recommend?


Sorry for all the questions, I am quite new to this and I want to do it right the first time.

Thanks in advance! :red_mouth
 

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1. Yes, you can buy a manifold which will have multiple outputs.

2. The biggest that is practical for your setup. 5lb cylinder fits nice under my stand.

3. I would get the Premium, the mini is only compatible with paintball tanks. I would also recommend looking into building a reg or buying a used one here. Just something to consider.

4. I hear everyone raving about the diy Rex Griggs and Cerges reactors on here but I'm sure just a regulator atomic or glass diffuser could work on some setups. Glass diffusers are certainly not the greatest though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks SO much for your quick reply!

Could you point me in direction where I could buy a manifold?

Also, I will definitely look into buying a used regulator here on the forums.

I currently have a glass diffuser from my DIY C02 setup I will use and see how that goes..

1. Yes, you can buy a manifold which will have multiple outputs.

2. The biggest that is practical for your setup. 5lb cylinder fits nice under my stand.

3. I would get the Premium, the mini is only compatible with paintball tanks. I would also recommend looking into building a reg or buying a used one here. Just something to consider.

4. I hear everyone raving about the diy Rex Griggs and Cerges reactors on here but I'm sure just a regulator atomic or glass diffuser could work on some setups. Glass diffusers are certainly not the greatest though.
 

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If you can find a quality used one like a GLA it's a really good deal. Manifolds can be purchased here. Honestly they look like they would be easy enough to put together yourself for cheaper. I personally don't know how to do it, but if you search the forum I'm sure there is a how-to.

Thanks SO much for your quick reply!

Could you point me in direction where I could buy a manifold?

Also, I will definitely look into buying a used regulator here on the forums.

I currently have a glass diffuser from my DIY C02 setup I will use and see how that goes..
 

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I think you should have everything you need with that setup, Aquatek premium includes everything. Diffuser should be just fine for that size tank. Good Luck!
 

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I'm no expert, but I use the aquatek nano regulator, and found that the needle valve is finiky when trying to achieve low bps counts. Anything under 1 bubble per second is a challenge, for me at least. You'll also need a paintball co2 tank to fit the nano, or a converter of some sort if you plan on hooking it up to a larger tank. The CO2 paintball tank will probably last a couple months before a recharge leaving it on 24-7. You can maximize your co2 by putting it on a timer but you can get huge pH swings that way.

I've also found maintaining a constant ph value near impossible on my 6 gallon tank which caused me to purchase a Milwalkee PH Controller. However, unless you buy two it probably wouldn't work in your situation splitting co2 into two tanks.

You may find spending $200 will open up a can of worms. I'm not saying don't do it, but be ready to get your sleeves wet if you do. Keep an eye on the glass diffuser, they can get dirty fast if your tank levels are all over the place. If it gets clogged you may get larger bubbles, and less distribution.

Lastly, with additional CO2 airation can become a problem depending on your flow and water agitation. If you ever see fish at the top gasping - you'll need to up water flow to increase water agitation, or put a bubble wand in your tanks over night.

Feel free to correct me if anyone believe something above is inaccurate - once again I've only been doing this two months.

Do you plan on getting a CO2 drop check? Without one it's harder to figure out how much CO2 is in your tank, requires PH and KH test. They aren't perfect but gives you a ballpark idea at a glance.
 

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Hello everyone,

Since I have become quite obsessed with this hobby, I have decided to invest in a C02 system. I have about a 200$ budget. I was probably going to build my own system.
I have heard a lot of good things from the Aquatek regulators, but I am not really sure what to buy for the tank, diffuser, and reactor..

Amazon.com: Premium AQUATEK CO2 Regulator with Integrated COOL TOUCH Solenoid: Pet Supplies

I have a few questions concerning C02... Sorry for all the questions, I am quite new to this and I want to do it right the first time.

1. Can I run a single pressurized C02 system to both of my tanks? 20 gallon long and 5 gallon, both heavily planted.

2. With the previous question in mind, what size c02 tank would be suitable? 5lb? 29oz?

3. Do you think I need the Premium Aquatek Regulator or is the Aquatek Mini sufficient?

4. What reactor and diffuser would you guys recommend?


Sorry for all the questions, I am quite new to this and I want to do it right the first time.

Thanks in advance! :red_mouth
IF you can't get one locally I do recommend this company .. esp. for re-certified used tanks and a good price...
https://bvrgelements.com/category/Tanks/

like the oddball (narrow and tall) 7 1/2 lb tank I bought.. recertified by a reputable co. in MN and mine was dated 1962 which oddly enough my "gas guy" said was "young" for a tank...
 

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Yep, forgot about the drop checker and co2 proof tubing. Drop checker isn't required but definitely helps. Co2 tubing is a must AFAICT. If you get the Premium Aquatek you must get a standard CGA-320 co2 tank not paintball. The mini only works with paintball, not standard.


I'm no expert, but I use the aquatek nano regulator, and found that the needle valve is finiky when trying to achieve low bps counts. Anything under 1 bubble per second is a challenge, for me at least. You'll also need a paintball co2 tank to fit the nano, or a converter of some sort if you plan on hooking it up to a larger tank. The CO2 paintball tank will probably last a couple months before a recharge leaving it on 24-7. You can maximize your co2 by putting it on a timer but you can get huge pH swings that way.

I've also found maintaining a constant ph value near impossible on my 6 gallon tank which caused me to purchase a Milwalkee PH Controller. However, unless you buy two it probably wouldn't work in your situation splitting co2 into two tanks.

You may find spending $200 will open up a can of worms. I'm not saying don't do it, but be ready to get your sleeves wet if you do. Keep an eye on the glass diffuser, they can get dirty fast if your tank levels are all over the place. If it gets clogged you may get larger bubbles, and less distribution.

Lastly, with additional CO2 airation can become a problem depending on your flow and water agitation. If you ever see fish at the top gasping - you'll need to up water flow to increase water agitation, or put a bubble wand in your tanks over night.

Feel free to correct me if anyone believe something above is inaccurate - once again I've only been doing this two months.

Do you plan on getting a CO2 drop check? Without one it's harder to figure out how much CO2 is in your tank, requires PH and KH test. They aren't perfect but gives you a ballpark idea at a glance.
 

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Don't leave your CO2 on 24/7. The changes in ph through the day as it comes on and turns off harms nothing. Unless you get a controller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wow, so many replies!!

I plan on getting either a drop checker or a ph/kh tester to keep an eye on my c02 levels in my tank, which is more accurate?

I ordered c02 proof tubing, with the Aquatek Premium Regulator and 5lb cylinder.

I am going to continue using Flourish Excel on my 5 gallon until I get more experienced with pressurized, I don't want to kill my colony of Sakura shrimp..

Also decided to splurge and get a Finnex Planted+ because Amazon has such great prices!! Plus free two day shipping ;)

I really appreciate all the help everyone has provided and I am feeling much more confident about pressurized c02!
 
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