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Hey guys, i've been thinking about setting up Co2 for a while, but i think im finally ready to take the plunge.

While i've been pretty gung ho about most of the aspects of the aquarium hobby, i have ZERO desire to get into the technical DIY aspects of CO2. I just want a solid system with as easy a setup as possible that will do the job. I have no desire to mix and match parts, build my own regulator, ect. i realize that means i'll have to spend a little extra cash, but with my birthday coming up, i'm willing to deal with that.

Can anyone recomend a full system? (minus the tank, i'm gonna have to do that locally). that will be relativly inexpensive (not looking for top of the line stuff) and do the job.

For reference, i've got 1.4 WPG of t5-HO lighting (which i think is being difused a bit by my glass canopy, which is gonna go bye bye.) I'm running 2 eheim 2217's (one of them has an inline heater attached.

The tank is pretty heavily planted, but the plants are not doing great. (most are ok, but arent thriving) The water is very soft and i'm having trouble growing stem plants (they get ravaged by BBA) and any sort of red sword. Green swords do fine, as do valis, tiger lotus, mosses and ferns.

Thanks for any help.
 

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Get a Milwaukee regulator from water-testers.com. It's a single stage regulator and includes solenoid, needle valve, and bubble counter.

The downside of a single stage regulator is that you experience end of tank dump. Once the tank pressure falls below the minimum inlet pressure of the regulator, the regulator can't control the pressure as well, and pretty much releases it all at once. This can cause issues depending on which type of diffuser you use.

Two solutions are to use a ceramic disc type diffusor. They aren't the most efficient, but, this helps if/when end of take dump occurs. The other solution is a pH controller. In addition to precisely controlling your pH level(therefore controlling CO2 level), it also prevents the effects of end of tank dump.

For ~$100 you can get a Milwaukee pH controller off ebay. Well worth it if you've got $100.
 

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You also might look at the regulators from Greenleaf and Sumo. They cost more than the Milwaukee regulator but you'll get good customer service from both. Greenleaf also has 10% off purchases over $75 through the end of October. Speaking from experience I would go with a reg that has a needle valve with a good reputation.
 

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Speaking mostly from research and some common sense, not extensive experience. I had a low-end paintball setup. Adjustments were very coarse. Once set though it did seem to stay put, but I didn't have it for a LONG time to be certain. It didn't generate confidence.

So I started to look at upgrades. I did see a lot of positive info on Azoo regulators. Price isn't bad at well under $100 on ebay w/ a solenoid. But commentary wasn't always positive. Same for Milwaukee. Seems many had problms wih Milw. Roll of the dice whether you'd be OK, or not.

I decided in the end that the insurance of having quality components was worth the money. Mishaps would be more expensive and troubesome down the road. So by the time I added everything up ( there is more than the Regulator ) I decided to spend the extra money now.

Between the majors, I elected to go with SuMo. GLA, SuMo Rex G all seemed very good and have great reputations. I went with the SuMo because they are located in NJ, some of the profit supports NJAGC and I decided to keep it in the family so to speak. You can pick it up from them and save shipping which is included in their published price. I got the unit last week and its up and running. Simple, reliable, easy to adjust. The difference from the paintball unit is obvious.

If money is tight, you should consider building your own. If you monitor eBay, quality components come up all the time and you can probably DIY and maybe save half and still get top notch stuff. I decided best for me to just get it over with, but this is a good option. There are plenty of folks here that will be happy to help you with selections and assembly issues. If you have the time, this seems the best of both worlds.

Research the threads. Many have said that their Milwaukees have been fine, others say they've had problems. You may do fine with a less expensive option, but you don't want problems, so decide how much the risk of problems and recovery, expensive of loss and replacement is worth to you.

Personally I'd would have done a DIY with high-end components, rahter than compromise. Any mistake you may make in assembly can be fixed, then you have top notch stuff for the price of modest stuff. And as many have said here, the needle valve is at least as important as the Regulator. One great part does not compensate for one poor part.

Good luck
 
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