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Plus one for Hoppy. I bought this for my old 10g and hated it. One of the few Fluval products that I've bought that I was not happy with. Those little canisters don't last long. After shipping/refill canister costs- you're running up your bill. If that's all you can really get- I'd recommend looking into finding very cheap non-fluval 20g cartridges (like the kind they use for airguns) and stocking up on them. Of course Fluval does not recommend using non-Hagen products for their system because they want you to buy their brand.

If you can't afford a large pressurized Co2 system (one that might use a 5# or 10# cylinder) I would at least aim for a paintball pressurized system. Refilling a 20oz paintball tank is much more cost effective than buying those little 20g bottles.
 

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You can adapt it to a paintball system but that is a how DIY project. On it's own, it's not a good system. Even if replacement cartridges were dirt cheap, they don't last long so I wouldn't use it as is.


Thus far, I have yet to see many people 100% happy taking short cuts with CO2. Even people who are happy with a paint ball system tend to want to upgrade later on. Some don't but that is still a much larger tank than the Fluval refills.


This is one system that really proves a the tried and true pays itself off. I am not sure how much bigger a 20lb tank is compared to their 3 pack refill but even at the cheapest I have seen them, it is only slightly more to fill my tank. I am guessing that my 20lb last about 10-20 times as long, if not more, maybe much more, compared to the refill pack (3 cartridges). It really doesn't make sense to use the system, but I have contemplated using the regulator for a DIY project on a small tank I have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've been checkin out the DIY paintball setups and was eyeballing a 12oz tank on e bay I'm super excited, soon I'll have better plant choices!! But then I'll need more light lol. Come to think of it, is 12oz a reasonable size tank for my 10gal? Or should I get a 20?
 

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What do you guys think of the fluval diffuser? It doesn't atomize the CO2 but the way I see it, if you don't see the CO2 bubbling to the surface, it must be going into the water. Right? I have the Fluval 20g system and have been using it a week. I got it for $21 with free shipping and no tax from thatpetplace.com. I figured, I can give this CO2 thing a try with this but I defintely see it getting more expensive down the line as I get the refills. So, I just decided to get the ASA on/off valve from jagged given that I do have a paintball canister. Should I also go ahead and get a bubble counter and the glass diffucer with the ceramic disc or do you think the fluval diffuser is good enough. Thanks.
 

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So I have ran out of the CO2 from the small canister that came with the Fluval kit. I decided to use my paintball tank with an ASA valve and a swagelock needle valve I picked up. Well, here's my advice to all you kids at home. Don't do it. I hooked up the Fluval diffuser to the paintball set up in my Finnex 4 gallon and when I cracked the needle valve open, a gush of CO2 came out. I ended blowing some water along with some fish out of the tank. The needle valve just does not have that fine of an adjustment to control the CO2 coming out. I had to scoop the fish back in and all was good.
 
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