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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to put together a Co2 system for my 55 gallon tank. I am wanting to do a pressurized Co2 system that I am able to turn on and off with the aquarium lighting.

1. Is there a good kit that contains everything I need that isn't too expensive yet made of good quality components?

2. If I decided to buy the parts individually and put together my own system. What exactly do I need? best brands/model/type links appreciated. Specifically I get credits to spend on grainger.com for items from time to time can i get anything from that website that would work? I just don't know enough to sort out exactly what to buy on my own.

My goal is to have a Co2 system for my tank that works well and doesn't cost more then $150-$200. Would love to stay under $100.
 

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I think most people on this forum will suggest you build your own, as kits (especially if you are looking for something cheap) are not great. There are plenty of threads on this topic, with exact guides of what you need, here's one example from Josh: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=190419&highlight=.

There are also plenty of builders on the forum that can build you one to your spec, Oldpunk78, Bettatail, etc.

I build them from time to time and I can tell you for sure grainger is WAAAAAY to expensive on parts. I love grainger, pretty much overnight delivery with ground shipping for me as I am also in NY, but all the little parts are about 25% more then you can find any that will easily eat up the cost of quick shipping you can get elsewhere.

The rest is your call if you want cheap parts, Stainless Steel, ETC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Only mentioned Grainger because I order alot from them for work so my rep form time to time can get me stuff at a deep discount or even free. So I was thinking maybe with that in mind I could save some cash. lol

I will look into the thread you posted and even into maybe having someone build us a rig.
 

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Check out Drs. Foster and Smith semi automatic CO2 system for $129. I started running this system after xmas, received it as a gift, and have not had any problems at all. Check out the reviews on the site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Check out Drs. Foster and Smith semi automatic CO2 system for $129. I started running this system after xmas, received it as a gift, and have not had any problems at all. Check out the reviews on the site.
We were looking at that system. Just concerned with getting crappy pieces. So hearing from someone that is using helps.

Some else just recommended some redsea kit that he says works well. I am trying to figure what kit he is talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll have a slightly used Red Sea Pro Kit (for regular co2 bottle, not paintball) for sale if you're interested. Probably next week as I am just waiting for 1 part for my new setup.
If it is only slightly used then why the new system? Just curious because I don't want to find myself in a situation where I am doing something different in a month.
 

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I bought the Pro Kit 3 years ago, it sat in the box until this past November when I actually started up my tank.

I switched to a Cerges reactor so I stopped using the little pump it came with for diffusion.

Then, I got tired of always having to be home to turn the co2 off/on (some people just leave it on 24/7, i preferred not to) so I wanted to get a solenoid setup that could be used on a timer or ph controller. In my search for that, I ended up finding a high end dual regulator with needle valve for a good price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I bought the Pro Kit 3 years ago, it sat in the box until this past November when I actually started up my tank.

I switched to a Cerges reactor so I stopped using the little pump it came with for diffusion.

Then, I got tired of always having to be home to turn the co2 off/on (some people just leave it on 24/7, i preferred not to) so I wanted to get a solenoid setup that could be used on a timer or ph controller. In my search for that, I ended up finding a high end dual regulator with needle valve for a good price.
Glad I asked because a solenoid is a definite must for what ever we do. I want the Co2 to only run when the lights are on in the tank.
 

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I dont think you'll be able to get a quality setup with solenoid for under $100

The solenoid itself is about $40
The metering valve is about $30
Bubble Counter is $20

Then you have to find a power adapter for the solenoid, check valves, not to mention the regulator which is by far the biggest expense.

Oh, and the bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I dont think you'll be able to get a quality setup with solenoid for under $100

The solenoid itself is about $40
The metering valve is about $30
Bubble Counter is $20

Then you have to find a power adapter for the solenoid, check valves, not to mention the regulator which is by far the biggest expense.

Oh, and the bottle.
So $100 is out. What is more realistic?
 

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I did what you want to do last month for my 55g planted Discus tank. After helpful advice from this forum, and research on my own I went with a regulator and drop checker/ferts from GLA, and bought the co2 tank locally.

You're going to need to spend about $400+/- if you want a nice semi-auto system built out of quality parts. About $200 for the regulator/chk valve/bubble counter/needle valve/solenoid (GLA), $125 for a 5 or 10 lb co2 tank (full, refills about $20 for a 10#), $10 - $30 for a diffuser of some sort, $10 for a timer, and about $20 - $50 for a drop checker.

Of course if you have the time to research the name brand parts and assemble everything on your own expect to pay less. There are also several people on this forum who assemble and sell such systems, ask around.

You've probably used DIY for your 55 in the past and it wasn't working out so well? Spend the money, you won't regret it. I don't.
 

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Some of the parts:

aquariumplants dot com - 10# co2 tank 78.99 + 9 shipping. and can get it filled in NY area for about $15.

Used dual stage reg fleabay - about 50-70, going up to 90 in SS.

Metering valve: fleabay item 130826038816 - 29 shipped

Check-valve: depends what you want, Swagelok SS can run up to $30, but a $8 will do the job.

Drop checker shouldn't be more then $10.
 

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I did what you want to do last month for my 55g planted Discus tank. After helpful advice from this forum, and research on my own I went with a regulator and drop checker/ferts from GLA, and bought the co2 tank locally.

You're going to need to spend about $400+/- if you want a nice semi-auto system built out of quality parts. About $200 for the regulator/chk valve/bubble counter/needle valve/solenoid (GLA), $125 for a 5 or 10 lb co2 tank (full, refills about $20 for a 10#), $10 - $30 for a diffuser of some sort, $10 for a timer, and about $20 - $50 for a drop checker.

Of course if you have the time to research the name brand parts and assemble everything on your own expect to pay less. There are also several people on this forum who assemble and sell such systems, ask around.

You've probably used DIY for your 55 in the past and it wasn't working out so well? Spend the money, you won't regret it. I don't.
what do you think about this one, per GLA standard what is the proper price range for this system?
all parts are new.
Cornelius co2 regulator with protection guard, slightly better than taprite, imo
Clippard mouse extreme low power consumption solenoid, 0.67watts, 1 billion officially on/off cycle life.
SMC AS1200 needle valve(in picture is the older version), it is the 1000 series, lower flow rate than the 2000 series which is the one you see on ADA co2 system.

 

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I'm not qualified to judge regulator particulars for the home aquarium. My 25 year forte is reef 'centric and this is my first go at pressurized co2 for freshwater planted. That said, I'm happy with the GLA setup and it is functioning pretty well so far. A year from now ask me again and I'll let ya know. ;)

The stage was set ... time was all that was left to do. We put the kettle on too boil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
what do you think about this one, per GLA standard what is the proper price range for this system?
all parts are new.
Cornelius co2 regulator with protection guard, slightly better than taprite, imo
Clippard mouse extreme low power consumption solenoid, 0.67watts, 1 billion officially on/off cycle life.
SMC AS1200 needle valve(in picture is the older version), it is the 1000 series, lower flow rate than the 2000 series which is the one you see on ADA co2 system.

Your name has popped up a few times so far as someone who can put something together. What do you recommend and what is a realistic price range to get up and running?
 

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Your name has popped up a few times so far as someone who can put something together. What do you recommend and what is a realistic price range to get up and running?
it is your budget takes the lead.
but if you look a little bit further, you will understand a custom system is under value because all parts are industrial grade(even a single high precision metering valve is $450 retail-the parker H3L). a well built show quality system serves well and it holds its value, because the parts price can not go any lower.

darkblade, oldpunk and me are building co2 systems, I am sure we are the best for such custom systems because info were shared openly, and most importantly, we help other hobbyists to build their own systems.
we only build for the hobbyists that don't want to go through the hassle to make their own. whoever has successfully make their own, understand it is not a small task, too much learning and too much attention to detail, plus a set of good tools.
A complete custom double stage system, all parts price are open, so whoever makes his own system, has good idea what is the cost to build and understand it is reasonable price of our custom built complete system.

last, it is always a thread like this pops up from time to time, asking what to get, but always answer by another guy with the similar background: new registered, low post count. the answer is identical though, GLA.
GLA is really good at marketing, so most hobbyists have less experience with co2 system know GLA first before some other choices.
I think GLA price is high but it is reasonable, they have to deal with the operational cost as a full-fledged business, but we just build on our spare time. The high value GLA systems are built by the owner though, this part of the operation make no difference.
 

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what do you think about this one, per GLA standard what is the proper price range for this system?
all parts are new.
Cornelius co2 regulator with protection guard, slightly better than taprite, imo
Clippard mouse extreme low power consumption solenoid, 0.67watts, 1 billion officially on/off cycle life.
SMC AS1200 needle valve(in picture is the older version), it is the 1000 series, lower flow rate than the 2000 series which is the one you see on ADA co2 system.

I know this is off topic but, that is by far the ugliest custom build system. If you're going to order off of Bettatail, ask him to build you a nice Concoa or Harris or Matheson or any of the rebrand stuff. Oldpunk is another awesome rig builder, he made an beautiful Concoa 212 recently.
 

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Your name has popped up a few times so far as someone who can put something together. What do you recommend and what is a realistic price range to get up and running?
It all depends on how quick you need it. If you are patient, you can find a lot of good used stuff on fleabay. If you need it by the end of next week, then choices are limited. I got a used dual stage matheson for $25 shipped and a post body kit from bettatail for $45 i think. Add another $40 for a paintball tank and adapter. It's not the flashiest beong chromed out or all stainless but does the job. Not bad for $110.
 

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I know this is off topic but, that is by far the ugliest custom build system.
I am depress:flick:
it is not looking good as other double stage systems, but still kills a lot that are commercially available. :hihi:
 
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